Archive for September, 2013

AAA roundup: St. Pius hands Towers first loss

By Score Atlanta

Blessed Trinity 27, Woodward Academy 17: Sophomore running back Milton Shelton rushed for 126 yards and an 80-yard touchdown run for host Blessed Trinity, and Carter McManes rushed for a 39-yard touchdown with :38 remaining in the game to seal the win. Marc Nolan of Blessed Trinity added field goals of 51 and 45 yards.

Buford 63, Banks County 0: The host Wolves took a 49-point lead at the half with 35 of those points coming in the opening quarter. Martin Mangram ran for a 45-yard touchdown and Isaac Nauta hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception. This is the second consecutive shutout for the Wolves’ defense.

Cartersville 41, Coahulla Creek 3: Irwin Rivera gave visiting Coahulla Creek an early 3-0 lead, but Cartersville responded with 41 unanswered points. Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden threw four first half touchdowns, including two to Trase Fezzia, to give the Purple Hurricanes a 38-3 lead. In the fourth quarter, Zach Edwards kicked his second field …

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AA roundup: Lions, Cats win again

By Score Atlanta

Greater Atlanta Christian 67, Howard School (Tenn.) 20: The host Spartans staked themselves a 28-0 lead in the first quarter behind Micah Abernathy’s two early scores. The defense and specials teams decided that they wanted to get in on the scoring action as well. Parker Pohill returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown and Ross Wood ran an interception back 90 yards for a score.

Lovett 35, Fort Payne (Ala.) 13: Lovett improved to 5-0 after roaring to a 21-0 halftime lead. The visiting Lions rushed for 348 yards while causing five turnovers. Running back Grant Haley rushed for 141 yards on just four carries including a 99-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Miles Henderson added 100 rushing yards and two scores for Lovett.

Westminster 30, Thomson 13: Westminster had four interceptions in its win over visiting Thomson, one each by Chase Williams, Luke Johnson, Nelson Douglas and Charlie Trense. Johnson returned his pick for the Wildcats’ second touchdown of …

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Chattahooche 23, Johns Creek 7

With both the Chattahoochee Cougars and Johns Creek Gladiators struggling to capitalize on their opportunities, it was a few big plays on special teams and the passing game for the visiting Cougars that made the difference in their 23-7 win on Friday in Region 6-AAAAAA play.

The Cougars improved to 3-2 and 1-1 in region play, while the Gladiators remain winless (0-5, 0-2).

Cougars quarterback Taz Wilson helped to provide the offensive spark, passing for 300 yards and a touchdown on 12-for-20 passing. Collin Lisa caught four passes for 134 yards – including a 67-yard touchdown – and Avery Ward finished with 109 yards on five catches.

“We’ve got deep threats,” Wilson said. “I don’t see anybody beating our receiving corps in the state. I don’t see it. We’ve got smart kids who read and react – that’s what our coaches teach us, and that’s what we did.”

Wilson’s long touchdown pass to Lisa with 9:17 in the first half gave the Cougars the lead for good at 14-7. But the momentum may …

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Brookwood 10, Parkview 0

By Robert Haddocks

Two teams with a history of region and state titles battled more for pride and just a glimmer of hope to return to the playoffs. In the end, Brookwood, behind Jesse Brown’s 175 yards rushing, beat Parkview, 10-0 to notch its first win of the season.

Brookwood is 1-3 on the season, 1-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA. The loss drops Parkview to 0-5, 0-2.

The two teams have a combined six state titles and Brown, a sophomore, believes the Broncos can still get there. He said the win “kick starts our road to the state championship and added that “knocking them to 0-5 is just great.” Brown, who also had 175 yards in his last game against Archer, credited the offensive line for opening up holes and allowing him to use his natural ability.

“We just pounded it down their throats, to be simple,” he said. “We’re a running offense and that’s what we did.”

After a sloppy first half, Brookwood fed the ball to Brown. He gained 130 yards in the second half, bouncing off tacklers and …

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Griffin 35, Stockbridge 14

Stockbridge had everything going its way early in the second quarter, holding a 14-8 lead and having watched as Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney was ejected in a flag-riddled sequence late in the first period.

But then Griffin went 90 yards for one score, converted a Stockbridge turnover into another and seized control on the way to a 35-14 win.

Griffin quarterback Jaquez Parks accounted for 376 total yards, passing for 187 and rushing for 189 more as the Bears, ranked No. 5 in Class AAAA, upended No. 3 Stockbridge in a Region 4-AAAA cross-over game.

Griffin (5-0) avenged a 2012 loss to the Tigers (4-1), who committed four turnovers. The Bears ran 68 plays to Stockbridge’s 26 and outgained the Tigers 463-95.

“We’ve had this game circled since the summer,” said Parks, who scored three rushing touchdowns and passed for another. “We were ready for this game the whole time. I felt like I had to have a big game because they were talking about they had the best defense in the state. …

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Norcross 27, Mill Creek 13

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Blake Bingham hit two field goals and made a touchdown-saving tackle on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter to help Norcross beat Mill Creek, 27-13, in a key Region 7-AAAAAA game Friday at Blue Devils Stadium.

Bingham’s second field goal put Norcross up 20-13 with seven minutes to play. On the ensuing kickoff, Mill Creek’s DeVozea Felton broke free and was one-on-one with Bingham on the sideline. The kicker made the play, and the Blue Devils’ defense did the rest.

Jaquan Frazier and Jean-Baptiste Kouassi each had drive-killing sacks in the fourth quarter, and Ridwan Issahaku sealed the win with an interception on Mill Creek’s final drive. The Blue Devils shut out the Hawks in the second half.

Norcross has won all eight meetings with Mill Creek.

Josh Boyd had a 59-yard touchdown run, and A.J. Bush threw a touchdown and ran for a touchdown to lift the Blue Devils (3-2, 2-1 7-AAAAAAA) to their second straight win. Boyd led Norcross with 110 yards …

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North Cobb 46, Harrison 14

North Cobb doesn’t need much help putting up points in a hurry, but the Warriors’ offense can be devastating when it gets the kind of assistance provided by Latrell Gibbs on Friday.

North Cobb’s senior defensive back had four interceptions (a fifth was nullified by a penalty), returned two for touchdowns, set up another score with a return to the 3-yard line and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass to lead the Warriors (3-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA) to a 46-14 victory at Harrison.

“He didn’t have his best game against these guys last year, and he kind of took it personally,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “Tonight he had four interceptions and could have had five. That’s what he’s about and what we expect from him. You can put him on the other team’s best receiver, and he can make plays. He’s a baller, and he’s got the biggest heart on the team.”

Gibbs stopped Harrison’s first drive of the night with an interception at the North Cobb 5-yard line. It was just a sign of …

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ELCA 34, Holy Innocents 14

Eagle’s Landing Christian senior quarterback Dalton Ethridge scored three rushing touchdowns for the top-ranked Chargers, who outmanned Holy Innocents 34-14 Friday night in the Region 5-A opener for both teams.

Etheridge was one of three football players who received championship rings at halftime for the Class A baseball title earned this spring. The Jacksonville State commitment helped the ELCA offense put up 28 unanswered points after a Golden Bears’ score on the game’s first possession.

“I love to see two physical teams play,” ELCA head coach Jonathan Gess told both teams in the post-game huddle. “(Holy Innocents) helped us turn our program around four years ago.”

Holy Innocents opened the game with a 71-yard, 10-play drive that included a fourth-down conversion from quarterback Luke Wright inside the Chargers’ 10-yard line. Two plays after the conversion, William Morton scored on a 4-yard run.

Down 28-7 late in the third quarter, Wright found the end zone on a 2-yard …

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List/Trivia/Quote: Lovejoy’s Williams among 11 juniors committed to Division I schools


Lovejoy junior Preston Williams, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver, is playing like an all-state player. Entering Thursday’s game against Druid Hills, Williams had 20 catches for 420 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning catch in a victory last week against East Coweta. He is one of 11 juniors committed to Division I schools, according to

*DE Mehki Brown, Carver Columbus (Alabama)

*C Will Bryan, Franklin County (Georgia Tech)

*DE Andrew Butcher, Alpharetta (Tennessee)

*LB Arrington Farrar, Woodward Academy (Stanford)

*LS Blake Ferguson, Buford (LSU)

*WR Christian Owens, Griffin (Georgia)

*QB Tyler Queen, North Cobb (Auburn)

*WR Dexter Neal Jr., Stephenson (South Carolina)

*LB Chauncey Rivers, Stephenson (South Carolina)

*OL Dallas Warmack, Mays (Alabama)

*WR Preston Williams, Lovejoy (Tennessee)


Meadowcreek’s losing streak of 51 games is tied for second-longest in state history with that of Long County, which ended in 2005. Which school holds the …

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Gruden’s call to Osborne coach is no joke

Osborne coach Xarvia Smith got a call on his cell phone this week that he still thinks might’ve been a joke.

The caller invited Smith for dinner next week at Hooters in downtown Atlanta to talk football. He identified himself as Jon Gruden, the former NFL coach and now commentator for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

“He said he knew some friends of mine and heard good things about me and my team and wanted to help me out and talk a little football,” Smith said. “I was in the weight room and told him I couldn’t talk. I probably sounded disrespectful, but I didn’t believe it. Then I called Hooters to ask them if they had something scheduled when he said it was.”

It was no prank.

Gruden will be in town next week ahead of the Monday night game between the Falcons and the Jets. The coach, who won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season, also has reached out to local coaches John Diehl of Forest Park, James Holloway of Towers and Dominic Callaway of Therrell, none of …

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National rankings: North Gwinnett retains top billing among Georgia teams

Here is where Georgia teams stand in several national polls. The numbers on the left are this week’s ranking; the numbers in parentheses are last week’s rankings.

CalPreps (computer)

20. North Gwinnett (13)

39. Buford (38)

64. Carrollton (70)

74. Sandy Creek (74)

MaxPreps Xcellent 25

6. North Gwinnett (7)


14. North Gwinnett (13)


9. North Gwinnett (10)

42. Sandy Creek (38)

43. McEachern (39)

44. Norcross (84)

46. Camden County (53)

49. Colquitt County (42)

Student Sports Fab 50

27. North Gwinnett (25)

39. Colquitt County (40)

47. McEachern (47)

USA Today

25. North Gwinnett (25)

38. McEachern (38)


No. 9 North Gwinnett (16)

No. 20 Sandy Creek (21)

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Notebook: Hughes, Brooks, Woerner make GA Sports Hall

Jim Hughes, James Brooks and Scott Woerner, three prominent names in Georgia high school football in the 1970s, were among eight new members selected this week for induction in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Hughes led Thomasville (1973, 1974) and Colquitt County (1994) to state championships. He is one of 14 Georgia coaches to win state titles at two schools. He retired in 1999 with a career record of 247-102-4.

Brooks was a star running back on Warner Robins’ 1976 team that finished 13-0 and won a national title. He went on to make all-SEC at Auburn and made the Pro Bowl four times in an eight-year career in the NFL.

Woerner was an all-state defensive back with Jonesboro in 1976 and an All-American on Georgia’s 1980 national championship team. He played briefly in the NFL and was part of two USFL championship teams with the Philadelphia Stars.

Also to be inducted on Feb. 22 in Macon are Bobby Cremins, Homer Rice, Hollis Stacy, Frank Thomas and Chester Webb.

Region of …

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Thursday football scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

Appling County 40, Savannah 0

Baconton Charter 34, Stewart County 6

Banneker 24, Redan 13

Creekside 54, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 0

Lovejoy 59, Druid Hills 0

Troup 37, Alexander 10

Veterans 31, Rutland 6

Whitewater 35, Forest Park 8

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Predictions: Camden, Colquitt and Coffee will start strong in 1-AAAAAA

Region play begins in 1-AAAAAA this weekend, and the state’s toughest region gets right down to business with three games involving teams ranked in the top 10. Look for Camden County (over Valdosta), Colquitt County (over Lowndes) and Coffee (over Tift County) to take the early lead in the playoff race with victories on Friday. Allatoona will take sole possession of first place in Region 5-AAAAA by beating South Paulding, and Archer will do the same in 8-AAAAAA by beating a rejuvenated Dacula team.


Last week: 134-35 (.793); Overall: 569-177 (.763)



Appling County##Savannah

Baconton Charter##Stewart County


Creekside##Mount Zion-Jonesboro

Lovejoy##Druid Hills



Whitewater##Forest Park



Allatoona##South Paulding

Alpharetta##South Forsyth

Aquinas##Twiggs County


Athens Academy##Lakeview Academy


Beach##Brantley County

Benedictine##Atkinson …

Continue reading Predictions: Camden, Colquitt and Coffee will start strong in 1-AAAAAA »

Class A Blog: What to look for on Friday? Holy Innocents-ELCA, JoCo-Savannah Christian headline the slate of games

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are four games of note on Friday, along with four more to pay attention to.

Athens Christian (2-2) at No. 6 Prince Avenue Christian (3-1). It’s the Region 8 opener for both teams. Both were involved in blowouts last week. PAC is coming off of a 55-6 win over Glascock County (1-4) while Athens Christian was blasted 56-0 by Class AAA No. 9 North Oconee (2-1).

Holy Innocents (2-2) at No. 1 Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (3-0). After taking a week off, the top-ranked team in Class A will begin Region 5 competition at home in McDonough against the Bears. ELCA rolled to a 68-6 win over Class AA Hapeville Charter back on Sept. 13, while the Bears are trying to reverse a two-game skid, having lost to Class AAAAA Riverwood (35-21) and George Walton Academy (35-14) the past two weeks.

No. 9 Johnson County (4-0) at No. 4 Savannah Christian (2-0-1). In what many believe is the best game of the weekend, the Trojans will visit Savannah for a Region …

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