By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Here’s what we learned Friday night in Week 7 of the season:
The wheels have come off of the wagon at Savannah Christian. Once again the biggest shocker of the night involves Savannah Christian, and again the news is not good. The Raiders (2-3-1, 0-2) dropped their third straight game, this one in humiliating fashion, 37-0, at rival Calvary Day (4-2, 2-0). Savannah Christian, the 2011 state champion, is known for having a stingy, physical defense, and showed flashes of it earlier this season when the Raiders stymied Prince Avenue Christian’s vaunted wing-T attack in a 17-9 win over the Wolverines – their only loss this season. But that was a month ago. Friday, the Cavaliers scored all 37 points in the first half, taking advantage of three turnovers by the Raiders, who mustered just 20 yards of offense all night, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Aquinas ends 41-year skid vs. Lincoln County with authority. No. 2 Aquinas had lost 32 straight games in its series with Lincoln County, with the last victory coming in 1972, 45-0. Friday night the Irish ended the losing streak with another blowout, 42-14 over the Red Devils. Aquinas (6-0, 3-0) jumped on top 20-14 late in the second quarter, and stayed unbeaten with 21-unanswered points in the second half in Lincolnton.
Prince Avenue and Commerce both make statements. No. 7 Prince Avenue Christian moved to 6-1, 3-0 in rugged Region 8, with a 28-14 win at Commerce (4-3, 2-1). The Wolverines, last year’s private school runners-up, used big plays by standout junior RB Zantravious Shields – who scored touchdowns on an 85-yard punt return, an 85-yard kickoff return and a 71-yard run from scrimmage – to re-establish themselves as state title contenders. Commerce showed that it will be a tough out once the public school playoffs begin.
St. Anne-Pacelli’s streak ends, Marion County’s continues. Marion County (6-0, 3-0) prevailed in a battle of unbeaten teams at the top of Region 4, with a 28-14 win at home over the Vikings, who entered the game 5-0 for the first time since 2007. Lorenzo Smothers did most of the damage for the Eagles with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the third quarter and a 53-yard run early in the fourth to put Marion County up 21-7, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Clinch County, Charlton County getting back to normal. Last season was a nightmare for Clinch County. The Panthers went 4-6, their worst record since 1985, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1994. But things are getting back to normal in Homerville. Clinch County (3-3, 2-0) went on the road and outlasted previously unbeaten No. 5 Irwin County (4-1-1, 1-1) 30-24, Friday night. The Panthers sit atop Region 2 with Charlton County (5-2, 3-0), another proud program getting back on track after a rough 2012 season. Charlton County won its third straight Friday, 38-8 over Lanier County (1-2, 2-5).
Top teams in Region 6 keep winning. The top three teams in subdivided Region 6, Darlington in Division A, and Mt. Pisgah Christian and Mt. Paran Christian in Division B, have a combined overall record of 16-2 and 6-0 in the region after all three won Friday night. Darlington (5-1, 2-0) had to battle back and score in the game’s final minutes to defeat upstart Christian Heritage (5-2, 2-1) of Dalton, 18-14. Mt. Pisgah (6-0, 2-0) held off King’s Ridge Christian (1-2, 2-4), 14-7, and Mt. Paran (5-1, 2-0) fell behind 9-0 but scored 28 unanswered points to defeat Whitefield Academy (2-4, 0-3), 28-17.