Archive for the ‘4ABlog’ Category

Friday look-ahead: Notes on Grady, Marist, Chamblee, Pickens and more

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Lakewood showdown: Grady, winner of four straight, faces undefeated Washington (Atlanta) on Friday at Lakewood Stadium. Grady coach Ronnie Millen notched his 100thwin earlier in the season and has won four of five meetings with Washington, including a 42-22 victory over the Bulldogs last season. Tonight’s game kicks off at 8 p.m. Washington has won its first five games by an average margin of 32.6 points.

Region 6-AAAA notables: Chamblee will be looking for its third consecutive shutout and fourth on the season, when the Bulldogs face Columbia on Friday at North DeKalb Stadium. … Marist has bounced back from consecutive losses with convincing wins over Therrell and Columbia. The War Eagles take on Lithonia at Hallford Stadium on Friday. Lithonia is 1-0 in region play, but has never beaten Marist in 11 tries.

Statement game: Liberty County has a chance a statement win, when the Panthers travel to No. 5 Statesboro for a battle of Region 3-AAAA …

Continue reading Friday look-ahead: Notes on Grady, Marist, Chamblee, Pickens and more »

Who’s the favorite in AAAA? Carrollton coach weighs in

By David Purdum / For the AJC

On Nov. 1, No. 2 Carrollton hosts No. 1 Sandy Creek in the game of the year in AAAA. But Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague isn’t sure that either of those Region 5 rivals is the best team in the classification.

“I think people are putting too much stock into either Sandy Creek or us and not putting enough stock into a Griffin or a Monroe Area,” said Teague. “I think it’s wide open. I think the competition in AAAA is way up this year. “

Teague’s Trojans are 5-0, heading into a tough Thursday game at Troup. Teague is in his 12th season at Carrollton. He visited with me this week about what he believes is the most talented team he’s had at Carrollton and how AAAA might posses the most talent of any classification.

Q: What stands out to you about this year’s team?

Teague: It does have the most Division-I caliber athletes that we’ve had on one teams since I’ve been here. We’ve got five that’s already committed, and there’s a couple more that has a chance …

Continue reading Who’s the favorite in AAAA? Carrollton coach weighs in »

Calvin Johnson’s gift to Sandy Creek; notes from Friday

securedownload

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Is it the shoes?

Top-ranked Sandy Creek’s abundance of talent probably had more to do with the Patriots’ 21-0 win over Troup on Friday, but the arrival of special edition Nike cleats, courtesy of Calvin Johnson, didn’t hurt.

An all-pro wide receiver for the Detroit Lions and Sandy Creek alumnus, Johnson sent the Patriots his new cleats in Sandy Creek colors earlier this week. The shoes were the latest gift from Johnson, who continues to give back to the program that put him on track to Georgia Tech and the NFL.

Johnson also purchased the Patriots new lockers in the past.

Playmaker: Akebren Ralls returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Cal King and set up a Dennis Miller field goal with a long kickoff return in sixth-ranked Mary Persons’ 16-13 win over Westside (Macon). Mary Persons (6-0, 3-0 2-AAAA) shutout Westside in the first half and has not allowed a point in the first or second quarters this …

Continue reading Calvin Johnson’s gift to Sandy Creek; notes from Friday »

Mary Persons hasn’t allowed a point in first half

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Mary Persons has not allowed a single point in the first half this season. Opponents have managed just two touchdowns, both coming in the fourth quarter of blowouts. The 5-0 Bulldogs are allowing 3.6 points per game and have two shutout victories.

“We’re having a decent season, record-wise,” Mary Persons coach Brian Nelson said. “We need to continue to get better.”

Decent?

The sixth-ranked Bulldogs will look to impress their coach more Friday, when they host a solid Westside team that put up 40 points against them last season. The Seminoles (3-2) are averaging 390 yards and 27 points per game this year and hung with AAAAA power Northside-WR.

Westside beat Mary Persons, 40-21, last season.

Back-to-back against the best: No team is facing a tougher two-week stretch than the Troup Tigers from Region 5-AAAA. The Tigers play at No. 1 Sandy Creek on Friday. Sandy Creek has won 35 consecutive region games. Troup returns home next week to host No. 2 …

Continue reading Mary Persons hasn’t allowed a point in first half »

Oozing talent, Wayne County has big plans

By David Purdum / For the AJC

The SEC West has nothing on Region 3-AAAA’s Division A.

Three of the four teams in Region 3-AAAA Division A are undefeated, with the fourth, South Effingham, sitting at 3-2. No. 5 Wayne County, No. 7 Statesboro and unranked Liberty County are all 5-0.

The fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets haven’t reached the playoffs since 2002 and are off to their first 5-0 start in 20 years. It’s a process that began in 2010, with the arrival of coach Jody Grooms.

Wayne County went 6-36 the four seasons prior to Grooms’ arrival. The Jackets went 5-5 in Grooms’ first season, but the foundation was established and a vision of what was possible was planted in the heads of talented freshmen class.

Two Wayne County players, Tre Jackson and T.Y. McGill, signed to play Division I football off that team. Jackson is now an all-conference offensive lineman at Florida State, who is on the Lombardi Watch List. McGill is an all-conference defensive tackle at North Carolina …

Continue reading Oozing talent, Wayne County has big plans »

Carrollton’s dominance; another remarkable night for Nick Chubb

Chubb watch: Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 370 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 42-28 win over Southwest Whitfield. “(He) probably had 150 yards called back by penalties,” Cedartown coach Scott Hendrix said in a text message. Chubb, who is committed to Georgia, now has 1,359 yards.

Upset: Westover ended a 13-game losing streak to Cairo and snapped the Syrupmakers 24-game region winning streak with a 14-9 win. Jysanti Richardson had two interceptions for Westover. The Patriots’ last win over Cairo came in 1993.

Ejection: Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney was ejected in the first quarter of the fifth-ranked Bears’ big win over No. 3 Stockbridge. After the Bears were called for offensive pass interference, Griffin’s bench was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct, before DeVoursney was eventually ejected. The undefeated Bears rallied around assistant Antonio Andrews and senior quarterback Jaquez Parks, who accounted for 376 yards and four …

Continue reading Carrollton’s dominance; another remarkable night for Nick Chubb »

Friday lookahead: Wayne Co., Alexander, Rutland early surprises

Return to action: No. 1 Sandy Creek and No. 2 Carrollton return to action Friday, after last week’s bye. The defending champion Patriots open Region 5 play at winless Fayette County. Carrollton hosts an improved Columbus team that ended a 19-game losing streak with a win over Northside (Columbus). “I hope Carrollton will notice us, notice the athleticism that we have,” Columbus coach Phil Marino said. “ Our SEC schedule starts on Friday. We want to be competitive.”

Chubb watch: Southeast Whitfield gets its chance to slow down Cedartown running back Nick Chubb tonight, when the Raiders host the Bulldogs. Southeast Whitfield has allowed an average of 12 points in its first three games. Chubb, who is committed to Georgia, already has 987 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

Huge game: Th biggest game of the week is No. 5 Griffin at No. 3 Stockbridge. Read more about this game here.

Banner start: No. 6 Wayne County is 4-0 for the first since 1996. The Yellow Jackets travel to Richmond …

Continue reading Friday lookahead: Wayne Co., Alexander, Rutland early surprises »

Huge game: No. 5 Griffin at No. 3 Stockbridge

By David Purdum / For the AJC

No. 5 Griffin features an explosive no-huddle, up-tempo offense that is putting up 41 points a game. The Bears are led by senior quarterback Jaquez Parks, a three-year starter with a 3.8 GPA who is being recruited by Harvard, Yale and Air Force.

No. 3 Stockbridge has a defense loaded with big-time talent that is allowing 5.5 points per game. The Tigers are led by senior defensive back Kendarius Webster, who will be deciding between Georgia, Florida State, Ole Miss and others next Friday.

The two Region 4-AAAA teams collide Friday in the marquee game in the state. Stockbridge beat Griffin for the first time last season, 17-14, on a last-second field goal. The Bears had won the previous six meetings by an average score of 38-11.

“They don’t have weak spot on defense,” said Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney of Stockbridge. “All 11 players look like college football players.”

Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley was equally respectful of Griffin’s …

Continue reading Huge game: No. 5 Griffin at No. 3 Stockbridge »

Liberty County freshman WR has offers from Ohio St., Florida

Talent advantage: Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan had 15 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and scored a touchdown on offense in the Panthers’ 49-0 victory over Cross Keys. One of the most sought after recruits in the state, McMillan played only the first half and one series in third quarter. Liberty County freshman receiver Richard LeCounte, who already has offers from Florida and Ohio State, caught a touchdown pass, returned an interception for a touchdown and returned a fumble for another score.

Big win: Columbus ended its 19-game losing streak, the longest in AAAA, in impressive fashion, blasting Northside, 35-13. James Traylor and Dale Williams scored two touchdowns each, and Essang Bassey had three interceptions for the Blue Devils.

Chubb check: Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 267 yards and three touchdowns in the undefeated Bulldogs’ 36-14 win. Chubb, who has committed to Georgia, has 16 touchdowns in four games.

Pick pocket: Jacob Schofill had …

Continue reading Liberty County freshman WR has offers from Ohio St., Florida »

Cairo’s region dominance; Statesboro coach eyes Donquell Green

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Region dominance: Cairo has won 23 consecutive region games, a streak that dates back to 2009. The Syrupmakers open Region 1-AAAA play Friday against Crisp County. Cairo has won the last 10 meetings against the Cougars.

‘He’s got it’: Undefeated and ninth-ranked Statesboro takes on its toughest challenge so far, when dynamic quarterback Donquell Green and No. 6 Burke County visit Friday. Statesboro coach Steve Pennington believes Green is one of the best he’s faced.  “I’ve been doing this for 34 years and have seen some good ones, like Cam Newton,” Pennington said. “When I watch this guy (Green), pound-for-pound, he’s got it.” Look for Statesboro linebacker Anthony Gore, who Pennington describes as a “pleasant surprise,” to meet up with Green.

Rest for the best: No. 1 Sandy Creek and No. 2 Carrollton are off this week. The two region 5-AAAA rivals meet Nov. 1, at Carrollton in what’s shaping up to be the game of the year in AAAA.

Defense: After …

Continue reading Cairo’s region dominance; Statesboro coach eyes Donquell Green »

Ridgeland coach on Nick Chubb: ‘We don’t have anyone to catch him’

You can try, but it’s extremely difficult to replicate Nick Chubb in practice.
“If we had someone like him, he’d be starting,” said Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis, who will lead his Panthers against Chubb and the Cedartown Bulldogs on Friday. “You can’t replicate the speed, the quickness and the power.”
The Panthers managed to contain Chubb somewhat in a 42-21 win over Cedartown last season. Chubb had roughly 120 yards, Cedartown coach Scott Hendrix said.
“We were really one-dimensional last season,” said Hendrix. “We couldn’t do much else except give it to Nick. We’re throwing the ball considerably better this season. I think we completed 20 percent of our passes last season. This year, we’re up to 50 percent, and overall have a better offense.”
That’s not good news for a banged-up Ridgeland team starting three freshmen and missing 11 key contributors, including defensive end/tight end Jermaine Conyers, who is out with a broken shin. The Panthers’ focus will remain on stopping …

Continue reading Ridgeland coach on Nick Chubb: ‘We don’t have anyone to catch him’ »

Another big night for Nick Chubb; Marist coach suffers career first

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Unpleasant first: Marist fell to Lovett, 41-38, in double overtime, the War Eagles’ second straight loss. It’s the first time in Marist coach Alan Chadwick’s 29 years that he has lost consecutive regular-season games.

Five-pack: Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 266 yards and five touchdowns on 14 carries in the undefeated Bulldogs’ 62-21 win over LaFayette.  Chubb, a Georgia commitment, has more than 700 rushing in his first three games.

Ball hawks: Malik Sheppard, Deantoine Cammons and Sam Turner had interceptions in No. 2 Carrollton’s impressive 42-7 win over Calhoun, Class AA’s No. 1 team. Sheppard returned his interception 63 yards for a touchdown and also ran for a score. Carrollton’s defense has forced 11 turnovers in its first three games, including eight interceptions.

Potent: Monroe Area had three 100-yard rushers—Stanton Truitt, Kwan Brooks and Demek Kemp—and a 100-yard receiver in Michael Gallup in a 53-0 win over Oconee …

Continue reading Another big night for Nick Chubb; Marist coach suffers career first »

‘Average’ start for No. 1 Sandy Creek; 2 teams looking for first wins, points

By David Purdum / For the AJC

It’s been four years and 40 games since Sandy Creek lost a regular-season game.

The Patriots fell 28-27 in double overtime at East Coweta to open the 2009 season.

Sandy Creek heads to East Coweta on Friday, looking to put together its best performance of season. Patriots coach Chip Walker gives his team a “C” grade, after their first two games. Turnovers on offense and surrendering big plays on defense have hindered Sandy Creek, Walker said.

“We’ve got to cut out some early-season mistakes,” said Walker, who will be looking for his 90th win career win. “We need to start clicking altogether.”

After the 2009 loss at East Coweta, Sandy Creek won its next 39 regular-season games, before opening this season with a 27-27 tie against Florida power Plant High School. The Patriots rebounded to hammer Newnan. Walker says recruiters from Georgia, Auburn and Georgia State were in the stands for the Newnan game.

Clash of the Titans: Two perennial powers …

Continue reading ‘Average’ start for No. 1 Sandy Creek; 2 teams looking for first wins, points »

Westside’s 2-QB system set for showdown with No. 1 Northside-WR

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Sometimes you do have two quarterbacks.

That’s clearly the case at No. 10 Westside (Macon), where coach Sheddrick Risper has the Seminoles putting up points in bunches. Westside has scored 91 points in its first two games. Only No. 2 Carrollton and No. 6 Griffin have scored more than the Seminoles in AAAA.

Risper took over the offensive coordinator and play-calling role two years ago. He’s running an up-tempo spread attack, featuring two quarterbacks in dual-threat Daqavius Walker and pocket-passer Eric Thomas.

Walker plays both receiver and quarterback for the Seminoles and has become Thomas’ favorite target.

Both quarterbacks will see action Thursday, when the Seminoles face AAAAA No. 3 Northside-Warner Robins.

Crisp County’s rise

A few more people showed up at the Crisp County Touchdown Club meeting this week. A few more text messages and emails have popped onto coach Lee Campbell’s phone. And the student body seems a little more …

Continue reading Westside’s 2-QB system set for showdown with No. 1 Northside-WR »

Donquell Green, Stanton Truitt shine; Marist falls

Showstopper: No. 3 Burke County rolled up 405 yards of offense in the first half en route to a 55-0 win over Hephzibah. Bears quarterback Donquell Green accounted for five touchdowns, all coming in the first half.

Efficient: Monroe Area quarterback Stanton Truitt attempted only three passes, but two went for touchdowns in the sixth-ranked Purple Hurricanes’ 40-14 victory over Winder-Barrow. Running back Kwan Brooks rushed for 120 yards and scored four touchdowns.

A first: Harris County rallied from behind, scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter to beat LaGrange for the first time. The Grangers had won the previous seven meetings.

Chubb watch: Cedartown running back Nick Chubb, who has committed to Georgia, rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 33-6 win over Pepperell.

Turnaround: The Howard Huskies entered the season on a 24-game losing streak, but are now 2-0 after beating Southwest 12-6, Friday.

Rolling again: No. 1 Sandy Creek

Continue reading Donquell Green, Stanton Truitt shine; Marist falls »