Class A Blog: Claxton upsets Savannah Christian; Mt. Paran, Mt. Pisgah keep winning; Landmark escapes; Pacelli stays perfect

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Friday night produced some interesting outcomes:

Shockers in north, south Georgia. In the biggest stunner of the night, Claxton (3-2, 1-0) scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to stun Savannah Christian (2-2-1, 0-1), 28-21, and ruin the Raiders’ homecoming. Trailing 14-13 after three quarters, the Tigers got two fourth quarter touchdown runs from QB Cornelius Taylor (16, and 1-yard), and hung on for their first victory over Savannah Christian since 1999. The win ended a seven-game losing streak in the series for Claxton, which now is in the driver’s seat for the Region 3-Division A crown. At the other end of the state, Christian Heritage(5-1, 2-0) won its fifth game in a row in impressive fashion, 35-0 over Gordon Lee (3-2, 0-1). The win for the Dalton-based Lions, in just their third season of competition, sets up a showdown with Darlington next week for the Region 6-Division A lead.

Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Paran on collision course. The two “Mounts” in Region 6-Division B, Mount Paran Christian (5-1, 2-0) and Mount Pisgah Christian (5-0, 1-0), appear to be headed for a huge showdown for the subregion crown when they meet Oct. 25 at Mt. Paran. Mt. Paran kept King’s Ridge Christian (2-4, 1-2) reeling after a 45-3 thumping sent the Tigers to their third loss in a row. The Eagles were led by WR Emoni Williams. The junior had five carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns, two receptions for 68 yards and a score, and had a 38-yard interception return for another touchdown, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. Meanwhile, Mt. Pisgah remained undefeated and improved to 5-0 for the first time in school history with a 47-0 trouncing of Walker, last season’s region champs. The Patriots were led by QB Aaron Winchester, who completed 10-of-13 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Hard knock life continues for Mercy. Perhaps no team in the state has had it as tough as Our Lady of Mercy (1-4, 1-1). The combined record of the four teams that have beaten the Bobcats is 23-5. Friday, Mercy led 13-10 heading into the fourth quarter at No. 2 Landmark Christian (6-0, 2-0), but couldn’t hold on as the War Eagles prevailed 17-13.

Pacelli stays unbeaten, flips script in Brookstone rivalry. St. Anne-Pacelli (5-0, 2-0) is 5-0 for the first time since 2007 and got some sweet revenge in the process. The Vikings edged their Columbus private school rivals, Brookstone, 14-7 on Friday behind the efforts of senior QB Wyatt Peterson, who ran 19 times for 124 yards and two scores, including the game winner from 8 yards out with about 3 minutes left in regulation, according to the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer. In a series that dates back to 1972, Pacelli had lost the last eight to Brookstone. The Cougars still lead the series 27-15-1.

Aquinas, Prince Avenue, Seminole County keep rolling. Three teams with state title aspirations kept on chugging Friday. No. 3 Aquinas (5-0, 2-0) stayed undefeated with a 24-0 shutout over Hancock Central (3-2, 1-1), in a tune-up for Thursday’s showdown at Lincoln County (3-1, 2-0) that will go a long way toward deciding the Region 7 champion. No. 7 Prince Avenue Christian (5-1, 2-0) blasted last year’s Region 8 champ, Athens Academy, 41-7, setting up a big game for the Wolverines next week against Commerce (4-2, 2-0). No. 4 Seminole County (5-0, 1-0) looks poised to cruise to its second straight Region 1 title, after a 48-8 demolition of Terrell County (3-2, 1-0).

50 comments Add your comment

LanFan

October 5th, 2013
7:31 am

With the size and speed Mercy has I was just glad we kept it close. Very good game. I think they could very easily turn their year around.

Class A Wizard

October 5th, 2013
8:38 am

@STC Lincoln vs Aquinas will be Friday night, Oct 11. Lincoln had all of their starters back last night against Warren County and got them game ready for the showdown next week.

I thought SCPS was a powerhouse and to be regarded with high esteem. Claxton? Those guys are not good.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

LanFan:

That was a perfect example of a program that’s established versus one that is still building. Programs develope a mindset and an attitude over time. Mercy is still developing theirs. It doesn’t happen over night or during one season, especially when you don’t have a feeder program.

Coach Earwood and Coach Griffin are doing a great job trying to develope that mindset and attitude. We’ll see how the kids respond the rest of the way.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

October 5th, 2013
12:29 pm

Class A Wiz:

The sked says the game is Thursday but I’ll try to confirm that over the weekend.

Clayton over SCPS was a shocker but I think it was a product of a perfect storm: Claxton is building and much improved; SCPS still has several first year starters; SCPS probably took Claxton lightly, after beating them so easily for so long; it was homecoming for SCPS, lots of distractions there.

STC

LoveFridayFootball

October 5th, 2013
12:35 pm

STC: don’t be surprised to see HI make a deep run in the playoffs and if they are on the other side of the bracket from ELCA…all the way to the Dome!

TCDAWG25

October 5th, 2013
1:20 pm

Still no love for ECI bulldogs two weeks until ECI vs Johnson Co. But remember you heard it here first the DAWGS are back.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 5th, 2013
1:36 pm

LoveFridayFootball:

Coach Livezey and his staff do a great job at HI. Always a tough, physical team.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

October 5th, 2013
1:40 pm

TCDAWG25:

ECI will definitely be in the mix to repeat. They’ll have to fend off JoCo, Seminole County, Lincoln County and Marion County. Should be fun to watch!

STC

Old dawg

October 6th, 2013
10:26 am

James brown scored 5 tds and had 249 yards rushing on only 9 carries for Eci Friday night.

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
10:29 am

@ OLM players, fans, and coaches ….. I’m just a bystander on the outside looking at your program, a fan. I keep up with you and other region 5 teams close. I’ve seen a real difference in your program over the last few years. Trust your coaches, keep fighting the fight, do not give up, keep believing and good things will happen for you. I know you are 1-4 right now with Holy Innocents, ELCA, and Darlington ahead of you …. but good things will happen if you keep fighting through all this adversity. This is the most important week of practice in front you …. practice like a champion and believe!

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
11:02 am

@ STC and Landmark fans ….. as you know I have been a big supporter of Landmark’s #2 ranking the last few weeks and even called out STC on his weekly Top 5 rankings ( Public / Private ). Well after having the opportunity to see Landmark first hand Friday night, I have to agree with STC and say that Landmark isn’t the #2 team in Class A. Is Landmark tough, are they physical, do they have heart, can they beat nearly anyone on a Friday night? ….. YES they can, but they are not the #2 team in Class A. I’m still hoping they run the table and set up an undefeated, #1 vs #2 showdown for the Region 5 Championship at years end, but they will have their work cut out for them with Holy Innocents on November 1st. I could elaborate, but I’m sure when the Landmark fans see this, I’ll have my opportunities.

Class A Fan

October 6th, 2013
12:28 pm

@ Swamp – You are absolutely right when you say Landmark is not the #2 team in the state in class A this year at this point in the season. When you look at their roster they shouldn’t even be in the top 10 considering how young they are on both offense and defense. Rankings are fun because they get people like me and you talking. Whoever votes in these “polls” took a team that was unranked at the beginning of the season and after 3 weeks placed them at #2. Why did they do that? I don’t have an answer for it but again it got people talking about what… the rankings. Outside of ELCA being #1 I think we could all debate 2-9 with a lot of teams. So, how good is Landmark? I honestly have no idea but a team is their record and they are 6-0. Maryland this past weekend was undefeated and ranked in the top 25 until Saturday when they played Florida State. Maybe the end of Landmark’s schedule will balance things out since they close out their schedule according to gasports.com with Pace, HEIS and ELCA. just as it did this past weekend with Maryland.

mpcseagle

October 6th, 2013
12:45 pm

It will sort itself out, but don’t think you should move a team if it doesnt lose. OLM is a hard luck team for sure glad we got them 1st game of season they are big and fast but just cant seem to get over hump.

walton county youth

October 6th, 2013
12:50 pm

@GWdad-Your RB Stanley Williams went over 1000yrds Friday Night. However he had two TDs and 108 yards rushing erased due to penalites.
Can you explain how GWA gets 21 penalties can win down the Region stretch ahead? Wheres the discipline?

Single A Fan

October 6th, 2013
1:10 pm

Looks like Landmark is Ranked number 1 by maxpreps because ELCA had a bye this weekend. Rankings are rankings and games are games. ELCA is by far according to their history in the last few years and this year No#1. Rankings are apart of the hype of football season and based on a teams record. Undefeated teams will be ranked high especially when they have gone deep in the post season previous years, been to the dome, and won championships. In the case of Landmark and ELCA they have starting quarterbacks that are state champions in other sports. The beauty of team sports is that especially with these two teams is they already understand how to win regardless of what they look like or how they win games. Could OLM beat ELCA? Do they believe they can beat ELCA that’s the question. Everyone thought Pace was the team to beat and OLM gave them the truth. HIES is a great squat that played ELCA very well. Great programs can win on any given night and they can win big or by 1 point. Its great to make predictions but no coach should ever take any top team that wins for granted and he had better encourage his team to play hard no matter who they step on the field with. Go single A football.

foxdog

October 6th, 2013
1:30 pm

Irwin County has a good football team. If they clean up their penalties they can be VERY good…

LanFan

October 6th, 2013
2:39 pm

Swamp if you go back several weeks I posted that we didn’t vote ourselves #2 so people should beat them up about it. I like us being there but when you have to play that many 9th and 10th graders, man. I hope we can make it to that game with y’all without losing. I can’t, bet against them at this point.

But I can’t say I really know how they are doing it. We keep seeing what appears to be more size, speed and just numbers coming but non the less they have been Ws.

LoveFridayFootball

October 6th, 2013
3:59 pm

@single A fan… Not everyone jumped on the Pace bandwagon. Saw them play a bad team and have several things exposed. BUT… I will say that HI is very good. It will take a very solid team to beat them the rest of the way. We all talk about teams playing on a different level. ELCA is on it’s own level, but HI isn’t that far behind. Landmark is good, but not as good as last yr. HI is a lot better than last year! I think everyone will see come Nov 1st.

gatorfan

October 6th, 2013
5:49 pm

No sure HI is really that strong. QB makes bad decisions and constantly bickers with coaching staff. Not sure they can withstand the pressure of tough games. Just not a mentally tough team. ELCA, Landmark and Pace are all stronger teams

JSP

October 6th, 2013
6:20 pm

I think HI is better than last season, but nowhere near as strong as they’ve been over the past couple of years. They’re well coached and will always be competitive, but I see them losing at least 1 more game during the regular season. Very easily could lose 3 with Landmark, Pace, and OLM still being on their schedule. Then again, they do play in the toughest region in Class A.

At Last

October 6th, 2013
6:57 pm

Football all is an emotional game for player, coach, and fan (parent). This is why high school football is the purest form of football. The aggression has to be contained between he whistles, in the stands, and on the sidelines. This is very difficult and the coach and player that can maintain their composure in the biggest moments is usually the winner. Many times teams that are down a score that aren’t used to being in that position come unraveled and you just must stay focused. I’ve watched teams like OLM, Pace, HIES, Aquinas, and others in the top ranking have lapses in judgment. The great teams don’t make mistakes or they make the least mistakes. I still believe ELCA and Landmark will both come together 9-0 and play for the region championship on 11/8 for the game of the year. My prediction ELCA and Landmark play for the State Champs with one team being undefeated and the other having only one lost at hands each other if they are on opposite sides of the draw. If they end up on the same side and meet in the playoffs, then one of them will be state champion. They are the best teams in single A public and private.

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
7:14 pm

@ Class A Fan ….. I’m not saying Landmark is a “Maryland” …. not by any means. They are a very strong team. I also agree with you that rankings are just that …. rankings from an opinion of few or just an individual. Just like mine. I want to go on record to say that I really admire the toughness and never say die attitude that Landmark has. I still think they will do very well in the playoffs and make a run at the Dome.

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
7:22 pm

@ LanFan … I wouldn’t bet against Landmark either. I love it that they “believe” every time they walk on that field. I haven’t seen every team in the state in Class A …. no one has. I just didn’t see a #2 team Friday night.

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
7:25 pm

Class A

1. (1) Eagle’s Landing Christian (4-0)

2. (3) Aquinas (5-0)

3. (7) Seminole County (5-0)

4. (2) Landmark Christian (6-0)

5. (8) Irwin County (4-0-1)

6. (9) Johnson County (5-0)

7. (6) Prince Avenue Christian (5-1)

8. (NR) Marion County (5-0)

9. (10) Lincoln County (3-2)

10. (NR) Emanuel County Institute (4-2)

Swamp Lizard

October 6th, 2013
7:53 pm

I think this suits Landmark very well …. a #4 ranking …. very good, but just a little under the radar.

Small School football fan

October 6th, 2013
9:53 pm

Feel bad for OLM, the kids fight hard and Coach Earwood and Coach Griffin do a fantastic job of preparing the kids each week. Until administration supports that program it will be tough to sustain real success.

Tiger Patpaw

October 6th, 2013
10:20 pm

Enter your comments here

Tiger Patpaw

October 6th, 2013
10:36 pm

OOPS. Sorry about above.

Couple thoughts:

With the Mt. P’s in B doing their thing well, a critical game in A will take place in Dalton come Friday.

Not looking forward to playing a PO’d OLM the last week of the season.

LanFan

October 7th, 2013
5:38 am

@ Small School Football fan. What does that mean.What kind of support do you need from the administration. Speaking from the outside and only seeing them last Friday all I know is I think I would hand to 44 more to pound the other team.

Truth Hurts

October 7th, 2013
9:35 am

To Lan Fan — Small School Football Fan might be talking about the kind of administrative support that allows kids to be admitted to the school and then REPEAT 8th grade so they can get bigger and stronger, you know, the same way Landmark does! That kind of administrative support!

Small School Football Fan

October 7th, 2013
9:58 am

Hiring coaches to work in the building as full time teachers, not having your head coach teaching and having to cut all of the athletic fields in addition to leading a program would be a start.

LanFan

October 7th, 2013
10:15 am

Small School Fan. That is rough. For what a good coach can get paid I am surprised they would put up with that. But, that must mean there is something special to keep them there. Good luck in the rest of the schedule.

MillerMan 81

October 7th, 2013
4:07 pm

Just hope my Pirates can win one or two more. They are struggling this year and have a new defensive coordinator after long time d/c Jason Houston stepped down.

Swamp Lizard

October 7th, 2013
4:53 pm

????? ….. STC, did we ever find out if the Aquinas / Lincoln Co game is Thursday night?

Aquinas Parent

October 7th, 2013
7:57 pm

Aquinas game is Friday night! WJBF is going to televise it.

CR

October 8th, 2013
12:15 am

Truth Hurts
Landmark Doesn’t Do That Never Has Never Will!!! If That were the case more than 40 kids would be dressing out The Truth does hurt and the truth is you don’t your facts. You Probably are a part of one of the programs that have been defeated by this Landmark team who just plays with heart!!!

Swamp Lizard

October 8th, 2013
6:38 am

@ Truth Hurts & Landmark Fans …… even though ELCA and Landmark are big rivals, I have to say I admire the Landmark program and think they are a first class school with great leadership in both, sports and academics. I have never known of Landmark doing “wrong”. I have a son that’s a senior, and he started school early, I wish I would have held him back a year knowing what kind of football player he has turned out to be. I see no problem holding a child back for academic reasons or for sports if it will better him / her ( & parents ) for their education in the future ( scholorship).

Truth Hurts

October 8th, 2013
9:21 am

To CR: Nonsense! I won’t put the kids names out there because it’s not fair to them. However, there is at least one player on the Landmark team right now, playing a VERY PROMINENT POSITION, who did this. I know if for a fact because I know a kid who played with him in middle school.

Also, more than that, I have first hand knowledge of a kid from last year’s team who did the same thing. I know this because he was in 8th grade with my daughter at a public school and went to Landmark and REPEATED 8th grade! My daughter is now a sophomore in college, the Landmark kid is now in his FRESHMAN season playing football out west. CR, please don’t come on here and lie. It is what it is. This IS a practice at Landmark and has been for a while. Not saying the coaches encourage it, but they sure DO NOT DISCOURAGE it either. Know your facts

To Swamp Lizard: Landmark has a great program. The kids always play hard and believe they can win. Also, I don’t necessarily mind the practice of holding a child back either, for academic or athletic reasons. But don’t come on this blog or anywhere else and lie about it. The fact is the fact. It’s done at Landmark and has been for a while now.

CR

October 8th, 2013
9:51 am

Truth Hurts Not Going To Argue. That Is not the Landmark Way God Blesses That Program and the school because they do things right!!!!

Truth Hurts

October 8th, 2013
10:22 am

To CR: That’s because YOU CANT ARGUE AGAINST FACTS!! I guess you could argue against facts, but then that would make you an idiot. Again, know what you’re talking about before you speak. That IS INDEED the Landmark Way and has been for a while. You may not know it, or want to admit it, but …

And God blesses all programs and kids, not just Landmark’s. Not saying that allowing kids to be held back is right or wrong. If a parent allows it, then it is what it is. Just don’t say it doesn’t happen at Landmark when the FACTS say otherwise! God Bless!

Sam Roney

October 8th, 2013
11:23 am

At last, what Aquinas game did you see that had any “lapse” in it? And JSP, who nominated you to pick the “toughest” class A region? 7-A is the toughest if you stop at Lincoln Cty., Aquinas, & Wilkinson Cty. All of you ELCA, Mt. Parans, and Landmark wannabees would be looking different if
you had to play such as Lincoln Cty. every year. Even with two losses (to AA Washington-Wilkes &
SC power, Ninety-Six, SC, they could beat most of those wannabees. Aquinas will be Lincoln’s biggest threat, and they could possibly beat them this year. It’s on TV over in Augusta-Lincoln area,
and it’s this Friday, not Thursday. One of the biggest class A games of the year in the state.

Just how old is he?

October 8th, 2013
11:38 am

Holding kids back is common all over Georgia…the first thing I ask when a kid is dominating: how old is he?

Also, it kind of sticks out when kids grow up together – didn’t Billy used to be in the same grade? Yep, but not anymore…he’s too stupid, he has behavior problems or his parents are afraid to let him play against kids his own age – take your pick.

With that said, an 18 or 19 year old senior often has an advantage over a 17 year old senior and it rubs people the wrong way. I usually just say that (except for the rare exception) the 19 year old senior will likely be washing dishes while the 17 year old senior is in grad school, but as far as HS football is concerned, good for them…just win baby!

At Last

October 8th, 2013
12:31 pm

Its really all about building great programs and winning championships. How do we determine who will end up in a winning program at a private school? Several schools have gotten great kids because maybe their parents could afford it and the school provided a better opportunity for Johnny athletically and academically. Since when are we not supporting opportunity for all that can afford it. There are many families that have given up everything tangible so their kids could attend a private school program. If the program happens to have a great sports program why does this seem unfair. No matter how good the particular athlete is there still has to be a great program. Individuals don’t win championships, teams do. 11 players against 11 players. I guess if we examine all winning programs then all of their seniors are 19 or 20 and that’s why they are winners. There are plenty of programs now and in the past, and in the future that will have young players and they will still win. The argument that programs have some players that were held back doesn’t hold any water because we haven’t measured every 17 year old with every 19 year old. Since when does age between 17 and 19 determine size all the time? Lets just take the weight and height of every 17 year old and the toughness, and the height and weight of every 19 year old and the toughness and lets just tell the 17 year old that he just cant or shouldn’t try to compete…right? Great programs make great kids even greater no matter what their ages are.

Truth Hurts

October 8th, 2013
12:47 pm

To At Last: While age doesn’t necessarily equate to a kid being a better football player over another, to wave it off as a negligent factor doesn’t make sense. Coaching and a lot of other factors come in to play for sure. But when kids are at that age and their bodies are changing and developing more rapidly than in any other time in their lives, hold a kid back DOES make a big difference. Why do you think colleges to it by red shirting kids? To allow their kids to get bigger, stronger, faster, more mature.

My point was, don’t get on this blog and try to act like everything is done “THE RIGHT WAY” at your school when you are clearly practicing something that not everyone else does to get an advantage.

LanFan

October 8th, 2013
1:38 pm

How does everyone know what everyone else is doing? I have no clue but, I am sure there are plenty of things different schools do that someone else considers wrong. I have no idea what they are doing but I know everyone isn’t doing everything that you may consider up and up. Every week someone has something different to bring up as to why some win and they don’t. The list is endless. At some point you have to just play. I have no idea what school you cheer for but I am sure there is something they do others wouldn’t like. What I learned when I started my kids in Private school was that holding kids back was a common practice for so many reasons. Every school jumping point has a different reason for holding back. I will not get into it because it is a parent and family decision (agree or not it is their kid.) Things I do know, I am not paying an extra 15K unless I really have too, and I have only known administrators being OK with it when it was for academic reasons but as I said in the end it is a parent’s decision.
But for the record once you start calling people Idiot and other names you lose any credibility you may have had. 99.99% of people don’t know rather than trying to lie.

Go make what you want to about it and give us insight into what your next thing will be.

For the rest of the readers do we have some football to talk about.

At Last

October 8th, 2013
2:03 pm

@LanFan…Hey I agree lets play some football I think we all really enjoy that better. Go single A!

Truth Hurts

October 8th, 2013
2:09 pm

Funny how you go from your program doing things THE RIGHT WAY, to wanting to HAVE SOME FOOTBALL TO TALK about when someone airs your dirty laundry. But I’d rather talk football myself! And for the record, I am a southside high school football fan who has kids in high schools all over the southside that I coached in football and track when they were younger. Some also play at north Fulton schools, electing to take advantage of Fulton’s magnet program.

LanFan

October 8th, 2013
2:27 pm

I don’t think I ever said we do it THE RIGHT WAY. I am simply impressed at what we get. If you have really looked at our team (size, age, speed, numbers) all around I am surprised we beat anyone. My points have been that if you listen to people who haven’t really seen what we put on the field make it seem like we have a huge group of super athletes. When you see the team we don’t.
People want to through around all the ways that people cheat and try to get ahead. I will never say we haven’t done anything wrong but if we were doing all that some people say we are we doing we would be a lot more impressive.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 8th, 2013
3:09 pm

To LanFan: Fair enough.

ash1986

October 9th, 2013
6:21 pm