Class A Blog: FPD upset of Pace, Mt. Paran dominance of Trion among Friday surprises

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are some things we learned Friday night:

FPD shocks Pace. No. 10 Pace Academy (3-1) looked nearly unstoppable in its three wins this season, averaging more than 40 points per game. But a First Presbyterian Day (1-2) team that had been outscored 66-10 in its first two games this season found its groove Friday night at home in Macon, and the Vikings upset the Knights 28-18. FPD used big plays and clutch defense to secure the win. QB Will McCormick threw touchdown passes of 56 and 74 yards to Reggie Gantt and O’Showen Williams, respectively, while Jam Morris added touchdown runs of 90 and 35 yards. Will Black had an interception for the Vikings, who forced three Pace turnovers. Denzel Franklin had a 44-yard touchdown run for the Knights, while Malik Staples added a 4-yarder.

Mount Paran back on track. After dropping a close game at No. 2 Landmark Christian (14-7) last week, Mt. Paran (3-1) returned to its winning ways big time on Friday night with a convincing 31-12 win over previously unbeaten Trion (3-1). QB Jake Allen and WR Emoni Williams hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown, and the Eagles got rushing touchdowns from Williams, Taylor Trammell and Dorian Walker while Dallas Kippler added a 37-yard field goal. Mt. Paran rolled up more than 400 yards of offense in the Region 6 crossover win. Jared Wigley (11-yard run) and Bradley Womack (1-yard run) provided the points for Trion.

Seminole County keeps rolling. No. 8 Seminole County (4-0) and its option attack rolled up 250 yards rushing en route to a 42-12 win over previously unbeaten Class AA Pelham (3-1). RB Robert Speight and QB Alex Fudge ran for two touchdowns apiece, and Fudge’s only pass attempt of the night was good for a 32-yard touchdown to Jabius Glenn.

Aquinas makes a statement. The Irish (3-0) got four touchdown passes from QB Liam Welch in a 49-0 win over Class AA Josey (0-4). Welch connected with Ruben Garnett (54 yards), Antonio Clark (33 yards), Christ Lambert (14 yards) and Justin Gibbs (4 yards) for the scoring strikes. Garnett (1 yard), Daniel Lindsey (1 yard) and John Morris (3 yards) added touchdown runs.

Terrell County pulls off stunning comeback. Down 30-6 at halftime to Schley County (0-3), Terrell County (2-2) scored 38-unanswered points in the second half to win 44-30. After falling behind by 24 points, Greenwave head coach William Huff pulled most of his starters and went with backups, who ignited the comeback with a 4-play goal line stand in the closing seconds of the first half, according to the Albany Herald.

30 comments Add your comment


September 21st, 2013
7:10 am

STC… Mt. Paran doesn’t have a Dorian Ridge – that should be Emoni Williams. Great game last night. Trion has great facilities but probably the worst field conditions I’ve seen – it was a sand lot. Surprised nobody tore an ankle/leg. By the way, Trion fans were chirping pretty loud last week on the blog – what happened???

At last

September 21st, 2013
8:18 am

Aquinas seems to be playing well without All world Brendan Douglass. Gotta give their program props for starting out well. I wish out of 10 games that all teams would have somewhat of a challenge in each contest. The top teams seem to not have a real challenge until they reach the semis or the champs. Programs like Aquinas are our unsung heros that sneak up and defeat the big names.

At last

September 21st, 2013
8:21 am

Anybody shocked about Pace and Trion? Baffled…did they have kids hurt or was their opponent just better?


September 21st, 2013
9:07 am

Great article as usual Mr. Coleman.

No doubt Aquinas is playing VERY well!!!!! Hats off to Brandon at the next level you are making A Georgia Football very proud . Just shows Aquinas was not a one man team. Props to the coaches, players and program. And I wondered how PACE would fare once they played a decent opponent on the road. Now we know!!!

Not sure about all the top teams being challenged but I now ELCA opened with WACO, #4 in AAA and a perianal power house In AAA, then had AAAAA Briarwood out of Birmingham before traveling WAY down to long time single A power Clinch County.

But as far as the top teams being challenged every week I would agree that would be nice but it as never been the case, a lest not year in and year out, in A football. Even if you schedule your out of region foes to be a real challenge there always seems to be a top tier and bottom tier to most all regions.


September 21st, 2013
11:52 am

@atlast Trion is huge but very,very slow and predictable, our d-line stood out once again and our speed was way to much for them. i said in earlier comments they wouldnt score more than 2 td’s on us after watching their film and that was their total. Field was a sand pit but stadium was very nice.

Swamp Lizard

September 21st, 2013
5:23 pm

@ Friday Night Lights ….. very well said, there will always be lower tier teams in every region. To add to ELCA’s schedule, Landmark and Seminole have played a quality out of region schedule too. I’m sure there are others, those just come to mind.

Swamp Lizard

September 21st, 2013
5:28 pm

@ At Last ….. I was at the Pace / FPD game last night. I can’t say I was shocked, but I thought Pace would win easily on my ride down to Macon. If they played FPD 10 times, I’d say Pace would win 8 … they were clearly more athletic than FPD …. feel Pace got outcoached.

At last

September 21st, 2013
6:19 pm

Why is it that single A football seems to not get the respect that all the other classifications do? Coaches are just as good and athletes are just as good with not as many perks as the larger classifications. They work with high school numbers not over 300 kids and sometimes as low as 170 students and they still are very good often challenging other larger classifications and beating them in nonregion games. Many single A players are also multiple sport athletes where they challenge at the state championship levels. I watched Brendon Douglas the Aquinas star running the ball for Georgia giving perks for single A programs. ELCA DE playing for Norte Dame. Can we give some kind of equal billing for single A programs?? I know the character development is the key in retaining kids in 1A and strong 1AA programs. I believe great work ethic and character develop great unselfish players that become great men at some point in their lives. Lets celebrate single A football a little more.

At last

September 21st, 2013
6:37 pm

@ Swamp Lizard…..You just cant even be competitive against an ELCA, Landmark, Aquinas, or even the Seminoles with those kind of mistakes. If you look at the quarterbacks for these schools they don’t make mistakes often and their backs don’t fumble and their defensive players don’t cheat but they play their assignments very disciplined. Being athletic does not win games because its a strategic game. You and I have watches athletic teams just get dominated by well disciplined hard hitting, less athletic, unselfish teams. Pace better take note that hard work and disciplined play wins games.


September 21st, 2013
8:05 pm

Johnson County looked very good at Savannah Country Day. It was a great game inspite of the fact that Johnson County had as many fans as SCD. SCD has pathetic home fan support. JoCo had vastly superior athletes.

viking proud

September 21st, 2013
8:06 pm

Pace obviously did a lot of recruiting in the off season. team was completely different compared to last years players. a lot of big fast newcomers that FPD just out played. the pace team appeared to have very little discipline. guess they need to find another recruiting coordinator.

S. Thomas Coleman

September 21st, 2013
11:04 pm


Thanks for the correction.


S. Thomas Coleman

September 21st, 2013
11:06 pm

At last:

Yes, hats off to the new staff at Aquinas!


Tiger Patpaw

September 22nd, 2013
9:14 am

We’ll find out about Trion Friday 27-SEP-13 in Rome.


September 22nd, 2013
10:17 am

Dude we just found out about Trion….


September 22nd, 2013
12:06 pm

I watched the Pace/ FPD game. Pace had size and speed but you can’t turn the ball over in the red zone. Taking nothing away from FPD but their scores came on long runs or passes. Paces qb is very athletic and if he quits making mistakes they will be hard to deal with in the playoffs
Landmark is Landmark . They are always a contender.

Swamp Lizard

September 22nd, 2013
5:04 pm

AJC Top 10 ….

Swamp Lizard

September 22nd, 2013
5:13 pm

1. ELCA … best team in Class A
2. Landmark … should run the table for a big Region 5 match with ELCA the last week of regular season.
3. Aquinas … solid at #3 with win over George Walton
4. Sav Christian … big game with #10 Johnson Co? NO !!! …. the Raiders will roll.
5. George Walton …. one of better Class A teams in the state with RB Williams
6. Prince Ave Christian …. Coach Heron will continue to make them better.
7. Seminole Co …. will finish 10-0! I think they should be ranked higher than this.
8. Irwin Co …. can they keep it up and win Region 2?
9. Johnson Co …. enjoy this ranking this week.
10. Lincoln Co …. 1-2, just the name of the program here.

Swamp Lizard

September 22nd, 2013
5:19 pm

BIG GAMES in Class A this week ???

Can’t find many unless I just overlooked them, but here’s a few ….
Region 6 match up with Trion visiting Darlington
Region 3 with Johnson Co @ Sav Christian
Region 5 Holy Innocents coming down to ELCA

walton co youth

September 23rd, 2013
8:58 am

@ Lizard. I would not call the Aquinas win over GWA solid, more like a gift! However I will add a big game to this weeks list.
GWA @ Commerce. The Tigers could take this one as George Walton is like a Ocotopus on roller
skates-they don’t know if there going left or right, forward or back. Just stop the run as they cant pass and kick.

Class A Wizard

September 23rd, 2013
9:55 am

I wouldn’t sleep on Lincoln County just yet. They have been without four key starters through their first three games and should get them back in time for region play this coming Friday night. Look for them to come through their region undefeated and be poised for a deep playoff run.


September 23rd, 2013
12:53 pm

@ Class A Wizard – I agree. Most of us just look at scores and we don’t know what has been going on behind the scenes. Prince has played the last several games w/o key starters as well and there is no way of knowing how some of those games would have turned out if that wasn’t the case.

Sam Roney

September 23rd, 2013
4:09 pm

Too bad for the sour grapes of “walton county youth”…Aquinas beat them solidly in the OT after an
even game in regulation. Second year in a row for an OT Aquinas win. Two other Aquinas wins are
over AA schools. Aquinas is a much more balanced team this year on offense, and has a much better
passing game, to go with a solid 1-2 punch on the run game with Garnett and Morris both very capable.
Considering the loss of Douglas to UGA, and a brand new coach, Aquinas looks very good.

Keith Thomas

September 23rd, 2013
5:26 pm

I think “walton co youth” was spot on Mr. Sam. Im a A Acad fan and was there and actually was rooting for the green. However your observations of your team this year are well noted. Luck of the irish?


September 23rd, 2013
6:52 pm

I was at the Aquinas-GW game. Don’t really think there is that much difference between the two teams. 1st quarter was even, GW had edge in 2nd and 3rd quarters, while Aquinas dominated the 4th and OT. Both each got gift turnovers in their own ends resulting in FGs. Both have great RBs. My take is that there is probably not much difference between teams 2 through 10 and each team could beat each other on any given night. One other thing for sure is that injuries have a big impact on class A teams cause of lack of depth .

You People Need Lives

September 23rd, 2013
9:06 pm

LOL at you people

Swamp Lizard

September 24th, 2013
7:57 am

I think all of us are right to a degree ….. it’s just a lot of “opinions”. Not one of us can be at all the games to see each and every team / game. Not even our main man STC. His opinion, my opinion, and your opinion are taking from what we hear, how much of that we believe, and us seeing how teams stack up agaist one another when we get the chance to see our team and other teams. I went down to Macon last week thinking Pace would win in a cake walk over FPD …. well, FPD pulls off the upset and wins 28-18. It’s fun to pull for our teams, give others “static”, and even compare Team A to Team B. This is my son’s senior year, I will miss going to games on Friday nights watching him, but I will always be a Friday Night Fan.

@ You People Need Lives …… we do have a life ( a damn good one ) …. we have kids that we love, teams that we pull for and we enjoy giving our opinion on what we think. It’s mostly fun and games, and I don’t think any of us our going to jump off the bridge if our team stumbles …… unless my team doesn’t win the State Championship !!! ;)


September 24th, 2013
9:23 am

@ You People Need Lives – So…you had to spend your time clicking through the AJC site so you could come to a blog that apparently you care nothing about just to say that? Remind me again who needs a life?


September 24th, 2013
2:37 pm

@Augusta68, I think that’s a pretty fair assessment of the GWA @ Aquinas game. Two fairly even teams and GWA probably went into the game a little more confident than they should have. Keep in mind Williams was out the second half of that game. I think a healthy Williams for 4 quarters might have made a difference.
@Walton Co Youth, you’re smoking crack if you think Commerce will beat GWA on Friday. And to say they can’t kick is ludicrous. They have the number one junior kicker in the country. I think that pretty much shows your knowledge of the team and football….enough said.

S. Thomas Coleman

September 24th, 2013
4:35 pm

Class A Blog Heads:

The new blog is up with the Divided Top 5 and Coachspeak with Mt. Paran’s Mitch Jordan. Have at it!