Class A Blog: JoCo, Clinch and Calvary Day win in unanticipated blowouts; Mt. Pisgah, Holy Innocents’ and FPD win nail biters

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are some highlights from Week 10:

Surprise blowouts. Three games expected to be hotly contested ended in lopsided decisions. No. 5 Johnson County moved to 8-0, 2-0 in Region 3 – Division B, as the Trojans jumped all over No. 8 Emanuel County Institute (5-3, 2-1), 65-29. ECI had won eight of the last 10 meetings, including a 40-0 decision last season on the way to winning the Class A public school state championship. The 65 points tallied by the Trojans was the most points scored by one team in the history of the series, which dates by to 1978. ECI still leads 20-14. The win by Johnson County essentially gives the Trojans the sub region title.

Down in Homerville, No. 10 Clinch County (5-3, 4-0) continued its march back to prominence with an unexpectedly easy 34-7 win over rival Charlton County (5-2, 3-1), which had won nine of the previous 10 meetings between the two schools. Charlton still leads the series, which dates by to 1962, 27-24-1. The win by the Panthers will move them up in the Class A public school power rankings and makes them the odds-on favorite to win the Region 2 title with two games left in the regular season. Clinch County finished 4-6 last season, its worst mark in 27 years.

In Savannah, Calvary Day (6-2, 4-0) turned what was expected to be a tight battle for the Region 3 – Division A title into a 48-6 romp over Claxton (4-4, 2-2). The Cavaliers raced to t 34-0 lead by halftime, with quarterback Michael Peterson, running back Derek Kirkland and receiver Robert Heyward doing most of the damage, according to savannahnow.com. Kirkland had first half touchdown runs of 8, 11 and 16 yards, while Peterson and Heyward hooked up on touchdown passes of 53 and 5 yards.

As good as advertised. Three games were as good as advertised. Mount Pisgah (8-0, 4-0) scored 14 points in the game’s final seven minutes for a 28-24 comeback win over No. 9 Mount Paran (6-2, 3-1), stunning the homecoming crowd in Kennesaw. Leading the way for the Patriots was junior quarterback Aaron Winchester, who drove his team 56 yards in a little over one minute for the winning score, an 18-yard touchdown pass to Ben Miller with :28 seconds remaining in regulation. The win essentially gives the Patriots the Region 6 – Division B championship.

Holy Innocents (5-4, 3-2) bolstered its chances of making the 16-team private school playoff field with a dramatic 17-14 win over Pace Academy (4-4, 1-3). Walker Thomas drilled a 41-yard field goal with :07 seconds left in regulation for the win.

First Presbyterian Day (5-3, 4-1) raced to a 21-0 halftime lead and hung on to edged Wilkinson County (3-5, 2-2) 41-40. In a battle of running vs. passing, the ground game won out as the Vikings rolled up 306 rushing yards, led by quarterback Will McCormick’s 100 yards on 15 carries. Wilkinson County quarterback Devon Dilson completed 28 of 48 passes for 403 yards and three scores, but he also threw four interceptions, one of which was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by O’Showen Williams, late in the second quarter, all according to the Macon Telegraph.

60 comments Add your comment

Swamp Lizard

October 26th, 2013
9:11 am

FIRST BITE OF CROW …. Johnson Co fans, I’m all yours! I bashed you saying you didn’t belong in the Top 10, I doubted that you hadn’t played anyone, I threw your opponets win / loss record at you, I didn’t think you could even hang with ECI predicting they would win by 20 or more …. well …. CONGRATS! You showed me, ECI, and you have validated that you are a true TOP 5 team in the state. Whatever you give me …. I deserve. I have no ties to ECI nor do I have any ill will towards JoCo ….. you just went out and laid the “wood” to ECI & MYSELF!

bucket

October 26th, 2013
9:18 am

@ STC – I would add Athens Academy’s 2 TD victory over George Walton to the surprise list.

CheerTigerDad

October 26th, 2013
10:05 am

To bucket’s point, GWA’s loss to AA last night nearly secures Prince as the Region 8 Champ. PACS still has to play the unpredictable Pinecrest, they are no pushover and have caused damage to several aspiring teams in the past 2 years. They pretty much eliminated Athens Christian from the playoffs last night.

rtc24

October 26th, 2013
10:17 am

STC….I think your comments a few days ago about the best junior QBs in Region 6 may have to be enhanced after the Mt. Pisgah vs Mt. Paran game. I would have to say Winchester is the best junior or senior, sophomore, or freshmen QB in region 6 after his masterful final drive against Mt Paran and what he has been able to due the entire year. The best QBs have great games in big games.

TomDawg

October 26th, 2013
11:24 am

Enter your comments here

S. Thomas Coleman

October 26th, 2013
12:17 pm

Bucket:

The score looks surprising, but according to the Athens Banner Herald story on the game, AA was aided by two GWA turnovers deep in their own territory that AA converted into touchdowns. But then again, turnovers are part of the game.

STC

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

October 26th, 2013
12:33 pm

Just asking………. If Clinch is that GOOD, “Back to prominence” 4-0 in Region 2, what would ELCA be doing on the public school side? Asking the Clinch county folks since they saw ELCA first hand this year!

mpcseagle

October 26th, 2013
12:50 pm

@RTC 24 I would have to agree that kid is the best we have seen so far and I cant imagine any one thats better than Winchester.

Curious

October 26th, 2013
1:36 pm

Will Pace get in with 5-5 record? It seems they will get in because Whitefield is ahead of them now, but I don’t think they will finish better than 5-5 (best senario, assuming they win the crossover and all). What’s your thoughts?

jocochief

October 26th, 2013
1:40 pm

Mercy ruled the defending state champs…

JonsThreeCents

October 26th, 2013
3:07 pm

AA over GWA much closer than that score might indicate. The two turnovers were the result of hits/strips on short kickoffs meant to keep the ball away from S. Williams. Both were eventually converted (one in each half) into TD’s with 40 yard drives. The first made it 14-7 AA, the second one provided the final margin of victory with about 4 minutes to go.

bucket

October 26th, 2013
4:19 pm

@ STC – yeah I watched that game on the Athens Academy website because Prince was off. I didn’t mean to insinuate that ACAD blew GWA out, I just meant I was surprised that they won. I still consider GWA to be a really good team and I think they will give Prince all they want in a couple of weeks.

bucket

October 26th, 2013
4:23 pm

@ CheerTigerDad – assuming Prince can win one of the next 2 games you are correct that they will win Region 8 because of the tie-breaker over Commerce. The game against the Tigers was a lot closer than the score indicated and I expect Commerce can make a run on the public side in the playoffs.

dap01

October 26th, 2013
4:49 pm

JOCO with the mercy rule against ECI was sweet revenge. Joco fans being beat up and attacked was classless. JoCo’s athletes made ECI look slow. Coach Don Norton has to be the coach of the year, He was heads and shoulders above any other coach on the field last night. ECI could never figure out what they were about to be hit with. AND IT WAS SO GOOD NOT HAVING TO HEAR THE ANNOUNCER WITH THE FEMININE VOICE SAY, “GIVE THAT DOG A BONE”. They were kinda quit.

Spartan Walk

October 26th, 2013
11:40 pm

And over in Monroe, Athens Academy, a two touchdown underdog, continued their domination over George Walton Academy 35-21. Just goes to show, good coaching beats good recruiting every time.

Spartan Walk

October 26th, 2013
11:50 pm

STC,
GW’s loss to Athens Academy was assured when, late in the fourth , they were called for intentional grounding and then proceeded to mouth off at the refs, resulting in GW being called for intentional grounding and three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties all at once. Fifty yards later, it was 3rd and 51

Tiger PatPaw

October 27th, 2013
2:25 am

Darlington redeemed one of last year’s surprises vs Mt. Zion, Carroll. The Tiger defense dominated, providing 6 turnovers. Senior Jeremiah McClure led with 3 interceptions including a pic 6.

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
10:29 am

Will Pace get in with 5-5 record? It seems they will get in because Whitefield is ahead of them now, but I don’t think they will finish better than 5-5 (best senario, assuming they win the crossover and all). What’s your thoughts?

Note: They did beat Athens Academy by 40

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
11:58 am

Camden 2013

October 27th, 2013
12:44 pm

Pince Avenue Christian….Jeff Herron….looking alot like …… Camden County!

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
12:52 pm

@ Curious …. This is just my take, but it’s going to be a close call for Pace Academy to get in playoffs. They still have ELCA and Mt Vernon Presbyterian left. You have to assume they split those ( loss to ELCA win against Mt Vernon ) and finish at 5-5 ….. I think they get in at 5-5, but a lot depends on other teams also … an upset win from a team behind them will vault that team ahead of Pace. No matter what our takes our right now, we all have to sit back and see how it plays out.

Caves dad

October 27th, 2013
1:00 pm

Single A should be very concerned about Calvary Day – best QB in single A (look it up) , all state receivers, very veritable physical backs and a great line. Defense has come on last 6 games — they give up nothing and if you punt or turn the ball over you will lose….. Be concerned :)

Pace Fan

October 27th, 2013
1:02 pm

If Pace gets in at 5-5, its going to be a tough first game for a higher seed. The same can be said for OLM.

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
1:14 pm

@ Caves Dad …. I’m not saying Calvary Day isn’t a good team, I just don’t know how good. They lost to Landmark, and haven’t beat a team in the Top 10 or have a “signature” win …. should know where you stand if you play Johnson Co in the Region 3 crossover game.

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
1:27 pm

@Caves… Best QB in Class A?? Think about that for a second…

@Swamp/STC…

So if Pace beats/plays ELCA down to the wire… they are in?

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
1:29 pm

Good QB’s=WINS…
Etheridge has to be considered the best right now, followed by McGuire, they grind out the wins…

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
1:30 pm

AJC Top 10

Class A

1. (1) Eagle’s Landing Christian (7-0)

2. (2) Aquinas (8-0)

3. (3) Seminole County (8-0)

4. (5) Johnson County (8-0)

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

6. (4) Landmark Christian (8-0)

7. (10) Clinch County (5-3)

8. (NR) Mount Pisgah Christian (8-0)

9. (7) Prince Avenue Christian (7-1)

10. (NR) Darlington (7-1)

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
1:34 pm

@ Curious ….. if Pace beats ELCA they are in … no questions! I also agree with you that Etheridge is by far the best QB in Class A, it’s not even close. He is the total package …. running, throwing, all the intagables .

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
1:41 pm

Will playing ELCA very close, win or loss help them… If they lose by a TD, is that the same as losing by 45?

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
1:51 pm

@ Curious ….. if they lose by 1 or 40 it doesn’t matter. Other than a “moral” victory. The playoffs teams are “seeded” by points they accumilate from the teams they play. If you win you get 10 points plus that teams wins throughout the season …. an example if Pace beat ELCA, it would be 10 points for the win and 7 points for the wins they already have for a total of 17 points.

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
2:27 pm

So while Athens and Whitefield win, it actually helps Pace, because Pace beat them. Thanks for that info about Point Spreads…

TomDawg

October 27th, 2013
3:11 pm

To all the JOCO fans running their mouth because you finally beat ECI. I wasn’t impressed. We have the worst defense in the last 20 years. If it weren’t for playing a bunch of sorry teams we wouldn’t have 5 wins. Just because your coach shows no class doesn’t mean ya’ll have to. Going for onside kicks and still playing your starters with the running clock going, yeah real classy. Just remember over the last 11 years we’re 9-2 against ya’ll, with 2 state titles and 1 runner up. I’ll take that.

Joco Trojan Fan

October 27th, 2013
3:48 pm

Hey TomDawg, what gives ECI the right to win 64-21 and 40-0 the past 2 years but not JOCO to win 65-29? Y’all can’t take losing and when you get a taste of your own medicine y’all whine and cry about it! Calling us classless? Dude you must be drunk! We are way more classy than ECI. We never run up the score on the teams like y’all do… Rather than scoring 64 and 40 the past two years, y’all could of easily shut it down at 42 and 30 respectively and we shut it down earlier… but we still had to respect the ECI offense. ECI is not a bad program, I still believe ECI is a top 5 public school team. However, you are too arrogant to give JOCO their credit. You’re just downplaying your own team. True fan huh? And tell your radio announcer to chill out on punching the opposing announcer… WHEE DOGIE!!!

Monroe Mama

October 27th, 2013
3:50 pm

Spartan Walk dont break your arm patting yourself on the back. Your Coaching didnt cause the turnovers. And you dont have a clue as what went on at the end of the game. Mr. John Wilson has no business calling any GWA or Monroe Area games. His past history with this team is well known. Shame on the GHSA for letting it continue. Remember MAMA knows all.

LoveFridayFootball

October 27th, 2013
5:07 pm

@ pace fan… Unless that 5-5 record gets you a trip to Commitment Field.

Curious (still)

October 27th, 2013
6:16 pm

I mean, they will have played ELCA already once at Commitment Field…. So it won’t be anything new….

So say Pace splits, you think they sneak in as a 16/15? Could they go right back and play a team from their region again? Or would they play a crossover?

LoveFridayFootball

October 27th, 2013
6:22 pm

They could come right back… Last yr first round ELCA hosted OLM.

Pace Student

October 27th, 2013
6:26 pm

I’d like to see Pace get a 15 with Landmark as 2. I think we can beat them this time. I’d probably go too.

mike

October 27th, 2013
7:26 pm

winning out do you see any possibility of Whitefield getting the number 16? they have had a tough schedule and many injuries. However, they have kings ridge this week followed by crossover game so could that push them to 16? thoughts?

groove holmes

October 27th, 2013
7:48 pm

In response to Friday Night Lights’ comment, Clinch was missing 5 starters against ELCA earlier in the season. Clinch’s quarterback, Octavis Johnson (who has offers from FSU, Clemson, etc., as a junior), was injured in the first series of the first game and didn’t return until the fifth game of the season. Against Charlton, he had over 100 yards rushing and was 3-of-4 passing for 89 yards. At one point during the ELCA game, Clinch had six freshmen on the field on defense. Not saying Clinch would have won that game, but the outcome would be decidedly different if they played now, with all those guys healthy.

dap01

October 27th, 2013
8:02 pm

ECI got a dose of their own medicine. Congrats to Don Norton and the talented Trojans. Boo to the classless poor sportsmans who live in Twin City. I hope your announcer goes to jail for a cowardly assault. And I hope your principal finally buys a second tie. I am tired on him wearing that same one over and over and over.

dap01

October 27th, 2013
8:03 pm

Give that dog a bone, ha ha.

dap01

October 27th, 2013
8:04 pm

Mercy rule, mercy rule, mercy rule.

Bystanding...

October 27th, 2013
9:07 pm

Pace vs. ELCA will be interesting.. leave it at that, Pace has so much on the line and will be playing with much more emotion than ELCA.. Should be exciting.

TomDawg

October 27th, 2013
9:32 pm

JOCO Fan and dap01, I’ve got ties to Johnson Co. Got family there. When ya’ll beat us in 2005 and had that nice little run in the playoffs, and went to the dome and got embarrased by Lincoln Co., I was at every game. But when we started the winning in 06 and kicking yall and everybody else butt, all i heard from anybody over there was negative comments and how ya’ll hope we lose in the playoffs. That didn’t work out to good for you did it? But i predict ya’ll wont make it out of the second round of the playoffs.

Innocent Bystander

October 28th, 2013
6:34 am

@ by standing…..1st off, find a more original name, 2nd, what on earth makes you think ELCA/Pace will be interesting ??? Has Pace been Sandbagging all year just so they could sneak up on ELCA ??? @ caves dad…..no offense to your QB, I’m sure he’s talented, but Dalton Ethridge is the best QB in the state of GA !!! No doubt, no question !!! YouTube him and see for yourself or ask your neighbors at Savannah Christian. Chumley will tell you !

old dawg

October 28th, 2013
7:58 am

I am from Johnson county and some people might be interested in checking the arrest records for some of Norton’s players.

Single A Fan

October 28th, 2013
8:31 am

Sorry Joco, we can take a loss, but when your announcer sticks his head in an opposing concession stand after his team beat them, you don’t yell and
taunt a group of ladies. A lot of people saw his vulgar suck it actions on the sidelines toward our sidelines and fans the last min of the game, and Norton pulling him back by the collar.

TCDAWG25

October 28th, 2013
9:58 am

who knows maybe we will see JOCO again. Beating ECI one time does not make you a state champion. Now go out an make a deep run in the playoffs. We got beat from the sidelines, meaning we got out coached badly. Defensive players not knowing where to line up, and two big mistakes on kick off return teams. But honestly I wish y’all luck in the upcoming weeks, our region champ has been in the Championship game since we one our first championship in 2007. But don’t count the Bulldogs out just yet a lot of football left.

Cold Hard Facts

October 28th, 2013
10:16 am

A few thoughts on Landmark and the season as a whole….We lost a lot of seniors last year. They were the main reason Landmark made it to the semi final round. Then this summer we found out that our stud running back, Jeremiah Kirkland(2000 yards rushing) was jumping ship and transferring to Lovejoy. I have not seen any results/stats from his season. We started the season with 41 players,mostly freshmen and sophomores. 4 seniors. Injuries hit us early and we are down to 35 active players. 8 and 0 so far. I cant explain it except this team is full of heart. Championships are won in August and these kids are well conditioned and well coached. Probably, no, definitely the best coaching staff in the state. Not only do these coaches build good football players, they build great character in these young men. I dont know what to expect these next two games(HI and ELCA) but we have learned that we can play with anyone. We love Friday night football!