Cedar Grove-St. Pius in spotlight

Cedar Grove burst into the state rankings this week. That’s what six straight wins will do for a program. The Saints (6-1) have lost only to Tucker, the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAAA, in the season opener.

Since then the Saints have gotten better and better and beaten all the would-be contenders in their way. But if No. 10 Cedar Grove wants to avoid a road game in the playoffs, it will have to win at least two of their final three games against the elite teams in Region 6-AAA.

The road begins tonight against defending region champion and No. 7-ranked St. Pius at Panthersville Stadium. The Saints finish with games at Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity, two teams that have spent time in the state rankings this season.

Cedar Grove features the most efficient passer in DeKalb County in junior James Hartsfield, who is hitting on better than 70 percent of his throws. He had thrown 11 touchdown passes in the first six games, eight of them to senior Brandon Norwood. Benjy Parrish caught two TD passes last week against McNair. Running back Deion Sellers is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing and had nine TDs through six games. The Saints are averaging 420 yards on offense each week.

St. Pius (5-1) is coming off a bye week. The Golden Lions have outscored their last two opponents 83-14 behind an offense guided by quarterback Joey Connors and the running of Dalton Wilson and Nick Ruffin. Like Cedar Grove, the Golden Lions have the toughest part of their schedule yet to come, with games against Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity and Decatur.

St. Pius leads the series 2-1. The Golden Lions won 38-28 a year ago.

There isn’t much on the schedule this week, but here are two other games worth paying attention to:

East Hall at West Hall: These two teams have the same problem. Neither one of them is good enough to beat Buford or North Hall, so they join the four clubs (joining Dawson County and White County) playing for the two remaining playoff spots.

East Hall is in the hole, since the Vikings have already lost to White County. West Hall still closes the season against White and Dawson. Dawson and White County must also play each other. It likely means the matter won’t be settled until the final week.

East Hall’s offense is sparked by junior quarterback Devin Watson and produced 31 points against North Hall. But the Vikes failed to score a single point against White County. Likewise, West Hall has show it can light up the scoreboard against the weak teams, but failed to scratch against mighty Buford.

Elbert County at North Oconee: The No. 8 Titans (5-1) will try to eliminate its last major obstacle before the season-ending showdown against Hart County that will determine the Region 8 championship. North Oconee will unleash junior tailback Kawon Bryant, who has rushed for 1,551 yards and 30 touchdowns. He has scored a touchdown on every five carries. The state record for touchdowns is 58 set by Washaun Ealey of ECI in 2007. Elbert County (4-2) has losses to Buford and Evans, but has ripped through the region thanks to quarterback Mecole Hardman (980 yards).

24 comments Add your comment

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

October 17th, 2013
10:10 am

Grove’s best win so far against the up and coming Decatur program. Last year they underachieved this year doesn’t look like a repeat of that. A first place or second is a must finish if they want to go deep in the playoffs.

cghsfan

October 17th, 2013
10:10 am

Saints will have to play fundamental, gap sound, disciplined football. They need to make sure that they force Pius to go to the air. Should be a good game. Looking forward to it.

cghsfan

October 17th, 2013
10:12 am

It’ll be a boon for Coach Smith as a 1st year HC if they make it deep into the playoffs.

Son Of Waco

October 17th, 2013
10:32 am

So if a big region like 7 AAA can have 4 teams playing for the 3rd and 4th spot and just two teams for 1st and 2nd…. What’s the difference between a little region like 3 AAA having near the same ratio.. Oh yeah they not a mighty North region….

Father_of_Two

October 17th, 2013
11:13 am

I have a novel idea….why doesn’t every team in GA play every other team in GA no matter what the class or ranking?!?! All we have to do is extend high school to 5 years before you can graduate and play two or three games a week!!! As they say on ESPN….C’mon man!!!

High 5

October 17th, 2013
1:12 pm

It’s simple for Cedar Grove:Control the line of scrimmage and you control the game!

kidsballcoach

October 17th, 2013
2:30 pm

High 5, I know a very disciplined group of young men who don’t plan on letting that happen! Any TV coverage for this game?

cghsfan

October 17th, 2013
3:33 pm

Kidsballcoach, we know a group of young men who are just as determined… Hoping for a good clean game. No TV coverage for this game.

Titletown USA

October 17th, 2013
3:51 pm

Let’s Go Saints….Brandon Norwood is my nephew, man I wish this game was televised and/or on a link somewhere. if anyone knows anything, please post. I will even take an internet radio broadcast.

Keeping it 100

October 17th, 2013
3:52 pm

The article says it all cedar grove have beaten all the would be contenders .@cghs fan okay can ya’ll 1st year coach ,coach against the good teams,remember the tucker game tucker was laughing at him no adjustments. CG talent out played those other teams.He didn’t need to coach they were just better football players .Lets talk after the game no need to reply go help your coach get ready for the game help him with game adjustments okay.

Jfield

October 17th, 2013
4:35 pm

St. Pius is not Tucker. Also that was our first game of the year. For some strange reason everybody wanted to make the Decatur and Towers big games for us. We knew all alone this was the game for us. Hit them hard!!! Saints

The Scout

October 17th, 2013
5:10 pm

Well, Well, Well… Playtime is finally over!! Like the article said “if Cedar Grove doesn’t won’t a road playoff game then they have to win two of the final three.” That’s easier said then done when you have to beat St. Pius, Woodward Academy, and Blessed Trinity in consecutive weeks. Let’s be honest, Cedar Grove has been beating weaker teams strictly off talent along. No real adversity to overcome, no real coaching needed. Now, in rolls Mighty St. Pius, fresh off a bye week after destroying their last two opponents 83 to 14. This week we can’t just depend on talent, there’s got to be some real coaching taking place. I told you before I left, “St. Pius is watching,” and guess what the region champ has been doing for the last two weeks? You got it, studying Cedar Grove!!! We’ve had 7 weeks of practice games to work out most of the kinks. I hope the coaches are ready. I know our boys will show up and battle, but I’m still not convinced that our Head Coach/O-Coordinator is up for this task. I’m praying we get this win, just not sure if he’ll make the right adjustments or if he knows how to keep the team’s head and motivation up if they get down.

jfield

October 17th, 2013
6:48 pm

Cedar Grove have been beating the same teams that St. Pius, Woodward and Blessed Trinity beat. My bad, Blessed Trinity lose to Decatur. We have confidence in our team, to do what it take to win this game. Go Saints

Atl man

October 17th, 2013
7:51 pm

Spx typically has a webcast of their games. You can go to spx.org. It’s in the football are of the site. You may need google chrome as your browser.

hamilton

October 17th, 2013
10:16 pm

Looking forward to seeing some of this great CG talent I have been reading about. At their best, SPX has looked mighty good this year. At their worst they have looked… not so mighty good. I hope they bring their best. Good luck to both teams – looking forward to a hard fought, clean game.

HS Fan

October 17th, 2013
10:59 pm

You guys give St.Pius too much credit. They are not the team they were last year with Nick Glass, Braswell and the qb. They can be beat. The sleeper in the region is on the south side. Woodward Academy has more talent than any team in the region and I predict they will not lose another regular season game and win the region.

WOW

October 18th, 2013
6:30 am

HS Fan, you stated that without Nick Glass? I don’t think he was a very big part of the puzzle last year for SPX. Not sure where he is now. SPX had better bring their A game to play Cedar Grove. Good luck to both teams.

Fuseball fan

October 18th, 2013
8:17 am

Should be a battle tonight. Look for Deion Sellers to break a big one.

Fuseball fan

October 18th, 2013
8:19 am

@wow, Glass was a factor on the SPX team. He went to Peachtree Ridge but has since been kicked off the squad.

hamilton

October 18th, 2013
9:18 am

Glass was big in the WaCo game IIRC, but he played injured much of the season and was not as big a factor as anticipated. The SPX defense played very well without him.

Our secondary needs to step up tonight and our O line needs to dominate.

Hopefully the week off has given everybody time to get healthy.

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

October 18th, 2013
12:52 pm

Pius line is no where close to as big as CG and they are not quite as good. Up front as they have what 2 of 5 returning starters according to one of the hs magazine that looms large. So guess it comes down to size and speed or discipline and which one would you chose?
As they say in rasslin you have to beat the champ to be the champ. AJC has Pius as 4 point favorite ! Maybe they know something.
Woodward is a funny team lose to BT by 10 then beat Decatur by 30 who beat BT by 3. In other words this region looks to be up for grabs. Be watching tonight on http://www.spx.org thanks for the tip.

kidsballcoach

October 18th, 2013
2:29 pm

SPX has more than enough talent. As far as the line, they have performed awesome and man handled a much bigger DL at Thomson. Size is not the only factor in line play. As with all SPX teams, it is never about 1, 2 or 3 players: We win when we play as a team. Had 11 ball carriers with positive yardage recently. That says alot. At Mcnair the starters were out 3 minutes in the 2nd QTR. Hard to believe CG gave up 21 to Mcnair. Best Wishes to both teams. GO GOLDEN LIONS!

Just Saying

October 18th, 2013
10:32 pm

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb
October 18th, 2013
12:52 pm

Pius line is no where close to as big as CG and they are not quite as good. Up front as they have what 2 of 5 returning starters according to one of the hs magazine that looms large. So guess it comes down to size and speed or discipline and which one would you chose?
As they say in rasslin you have to beat the champ to be the champ. AJC has Pius as 4 point favorite ! Maybe they know something.
Woodward is a funny team lose to BT by 10 then beat Decatur by 30 who beat BT by 3. In other words this region looks to be up for grabs. Be watching tonight on http://www.spx.org thanks for the tip.

Speed and Discipline won. Boat Raced CG and could have been 100-0 if starters stayed in..

kidsballcoach

October 19th, 2013
12:23 am

HS Fan: 32-0 in the first half. ENTER YOUR COMMENTS HERE.

THE SPX Offensive Line was dominant and Woodward is next. Best of Luck to CG on the rest of the season.