Archive for the ‘AAAAA’ Category

AAAAA roundup: Ranked teams roll

By Score Atlanta

Allatoona 49, Lithia Springs 0: Josh Bettistea rushed 10 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns for host Allatoona. Russell Holimon had six carries for 97 yards and a score in addition to a touchdown reception. D.J. Ezell and Cameron Bowen also had touchdown catches. Quarterbacks Connor Larson and Brandon Rainey combined for 155 passing yards and three scores.

Flowery Branch 48, Loganville 14: Flowery Branch quarterback Jackson McDonald rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 145 yards passing with a touchdown. Davante King caught a short touchdown pass, had a 52-yard touchdown run and also had a 33-yard interception return for a score. Flowery Branch led 48-0 at halftime.

Gainesville 49, Apalachee 6: Deshaun Watson completed 24 of 29 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns to lead visiting Gainesville past Apalachee. Watson also ran for a 12-yard touchdown. Rodney Lackey hauled in two of Watson’s scoring strikes while Jay Gaudlock caught …

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Mays upsets No. 4 M.L. King 36-28, ends MLK’s 19-game region win streak

Region 6-AAAAA isn’t the three-horse race that some thought.

Mays, a team that lost its opener to Carver, shocked fourth-ranked M.L. King, the defending region champion, 36-28 on Saturday at Lakewood Stadium. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Class AAAAA – Tucker and Stephenson – remained unbeaten in region play.

Mays’ Kessely Tyler scored three touchdowns, and his last one gave Mays a 21-6 lead in the second quarter. Tyshawn Brown caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Ayinde Russell midway in the fourth quarter for a 36-20 lead.

M.L. King got within 36-28 but didn’t mount a serious threat after that.

‘’It was bittersweet,’’ said Mays coach Corey Jarvis, who was M.L. King’s coach from 2005, when the school opened, to 2009 and compiled a record of 49-11. “I saw a lot of kids that I knew on that team. A couple of them were ball boys and I used to work out with them in the seventh grade. It was different beating them. But our kids played well. We played as a …

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Class AAAAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Allatoona 45, Rome 14: Josh Bettistea had more than 200 yards rushing and scored on a 55-yard touchdown in the opening moments of the third quarter to lead the visiting Buccaneers. Frank Griffin was equally as effective for Rome, scoring on an 80-yard run to keep the game close in the first half.

Clarke Central 27, Loganville 17: Jaqua Daniels ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns, including one with 3:50 left to play, to help Clarke Central hold off host Loganville. Gladiators quarterback Cameron Johnson was 9-of-16 passing for 111 yards and a 45-yard touchdown to Austin Johnson, and place kicker Matt Ward made field goals of 35 and 26 yards.

Creekside 33, Tri-Cities 17: Visiting Creekside started the scoring on its first offensive play with an 89-yard touchdown run by Evan Berry, his only carry of the game. Bricen Terry rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns, and Dexter Knox added a touchdown run. Jayson Stanley led Creekside with 51 receiving yards and a …

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Class AAAAA football roundup

By Score Atlanta

Allatoona 39, Paulding County 0: After holding a 9-0 halftime lead, the visiting Buccaneers pulled away in the second half led by Josh Bettistea. Bettistea had 189 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns. Russell Halimon also added two touchdowns on the ground. The Buccaneers’ defense recorded two safeties and Scott Roembke had an interception in a shutout effort.

Lakeside-DeKalb 30, Dunwoody 12: Host Lakeside-DeKalb used a strong running game to rally past Dunwoody. Kellyen Walker rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Brad Earnest added 98 yards for the Vikings. Quarterback Nicholas Alexander completed six of 11 passes for 74 yards including a touchdown throw to Daniel Harper for Lakeside-DeKalb. Defensive back Javarus Wesley intercepted two Dunwoody passes.

Salem 26, Wesleyan 0: Salem limited the Wolves to fewer than 100 yards of total offense to preserve the shutout. The host Seminoles were led on offense by quarterback Licash Lackey, who ran …

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Class AAAAA football roundup

By Score Atlanta

Allatoona 50, Woodland-Bartow: Allatoona quarterback Conner Larson connected with D.J. Ezell on two touchdown passes and Conner ended the game with 65 total yards. Allatoona running backs Josh Bettistea and Ryan Halimon combined for 229 yards and four touchdowns. Bettistea led the team with 144 yards rushing.

Gainesville 58, West Forsyth 28: Record-setting quarterback Deshaun Watson had another big night for visiting Gainesville. Watson threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Watson also added 70 yards and a score on the ground. Wide receiver Jay Gaudlock caught 10 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Heritage-Conyers 14, Northgate 7: Visiting Heritage-Conyers beat Northgate in a closely contested game Friday night. Heritage scored off a 20-yard C.J. Stone rushing touchdown, and the game remained tied up until the final seconds of the game. Heritage’s Ryan Sutton had a quarterback sneak in the last 15 seconds for the game-winning score.

McIntosh 55, …

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Corky Kell to sort state contenders in AAAAAA as five Top 10 teams are entered

Five of the Top 10 football teams in Class AAAAAA will play their opening games in the Georgia Dome on Saturday in the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic, an annual high school kickoff event in its 22nd year.

The football season officially began Thursday with a single game in Savannah, and it resumes Friday with 44 games. Four of those include ranked teams going head to head with Blessed Trinity at Westminster, Burke County at Thomson, Eagle’s Landing Christian at Washington County and Woodward Academy at Lovett.

On Saturday, ESPN will be in Norcross to televise the defending AAAAAA champion Blue Devils, ranked in the top six of six national polls, playing Booker T. Washington of Miami, the No. 1 team in USA Today.

But the main event will be at the Georgia Dome with the first of five games starting at 9 a.m., each televised by GPB.

“We don’t call it the kickoff classic any more, but the Kell games do symbolize the start of high school football in Georgia, particularly in our …

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Maxwell Ratings’ preseason projections: Class AAAAA

Below are the Maxwell Ratings’ projected finish and record (overall and region) for each team in Class AAAAA.

Remember that the only data used is related to a team’s past performance. The computer does not take into account personnel and coaching changes from season to season.













Thomas Cent.
















Harris County








Lee County
















Northside (Col.)









Northside (WR)








Warner Robins








Jones County








Lakeside (Ev.)


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Profiles of new head coaches: A look at Class AAAAA

Number of hires: 21

Best hire: Olten Downs, Creekside

Hardest to replace: Buck Godfrey, Southwest DeKalb

Best job: M.L. King

Toughest job: North Springs

Most interesting: Buck Godfrey of Southwest DeKalb retired after 30 seasons as DeKalb County Schools’ winningest coach (273-89-1 record).

Region 1

*Bainbridge hired Cairo defensive coordinator Jeff Littleton to replace Ed Pilcher, who resigned and took the head job at Berrien. Littleton had been at Cairo for three seasons. He also coached at Worth County, his alma mater; Dooly County; and Tift County. Littleton played for Worth County’s 1987 state championship team.

*Northside of Columbus promoted offensive coordinator Morgan Ingram, already the school’s athletics director, to replace Paul Cates, who remained on staff. Cates was 19-31-1 in five seasons and 2-7-1 in 2012. Ingram came to Northside with Cates in 2008 to become AD after two seasons as Hardaway’s head coach in 2006-07. His teams were 10-10. An Alabama native, …

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Norcross gets another national ranking: No. 6 in RivalsHigh100

Norcross is ranked No. 5 nationally in the RivalsHigh100 released Thursday.

Sandy Creek is No. 10, and Gainesville is No. 25. Those represent Georgia’s reigning state champions in the three highest classifications.

Other Georgia teams in the top 100 are No. 28 North Gwinnett, No. 49 North Cobb, No. 60 Camden County and No. 63 Colquitt County.

Norcross plays No. 4 Booker T. Washington of Miami at Norcross on Aug. 24. Washington plays No. 1 Central of Miami on Sept. 6.

Norcross also has been ranked No. 3 by MaxPreps, No. 6 by National Prep Football Poll and No. 11 by CalPreps.

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Preseason all-state: Region 6 dominates AAAAA team

Region 6 dominates the preseason all-state team for Class AAAAA with 12 of 27 players.

According to, there are 37 seniors or juniors in Region 6-AAAAAA with scholarship offers from Division I schools. There are only 19 seniors or juniors in the other seven regions combined with reported Division I offers.

Ten of those from Region 6 are committed to SEC schools.

Those include preseason all-state players Detric Dukes of Tucker (Georgia), Tyler Jones and Jordan Harris of Stephenson (both Mississippi State), Dallas Rivers of Stephenson (Vanderbilt), and Arden Key and Wesley Green of M.L. King (both South Carolina).

The most publicized player in AAAAA comes from Region 8 and defending champion Gainesville. QB Deshaun Watson passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for nearly 1,500 in 2012.


QB – Deshaun Watson, Gainesville, Sr.

RB – Esaias Chapman, Harris County, Sr.

RB – Dallas Rivers, Stephenson, Sr.

RB – Rodney Smith, Mundy’s Mill, Sr.

RB – Myron Washington, …

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Arabia Mountain hires Pritchett as head football coach

Arabia Mountain, a 4-year-old school in DeKalb County, has hired Stanley Pritchett as its head coach.

A former NFL player who played with the Falcons, Pritchett was at Westlake last season but left after an 0-10 finish. Pritchett’s five-season record is 21-29. He led Washington of Atlanta to three straight winning seasons from 2008 to 2010.

Arabia Mountain was 4-6 last season in strong Region 6-AAAAA. The Rams was competitive in losses to top programs such as Tucker (39-20), Stephenson (28-18), Miller Grove (21-10) and Southwest DeKalb (26-15).

Junior quarterback Trevous Reynolds threw for2,009 yards last season, the most of any non-senior in DeKalb County.

Arabia Mountain’s only head coach had been Christopher Beal.

The school’s booster club announced through Facebook that Pritchett would be meeting with players and boosters on Monday.

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50 in 50: Martin Luther King Lions

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

They say it is good to save the best for last. Martin Luther King head football coach Cortez Allen hopes that is the case when it comes to the 50-in-50 series.

The Lions are the final team on this year’s list. Allen hopes they are the final team left standing in Class AAAAA, at the end of the playoffs. In just 11 seasons of football M.L. King has established itself as one of the state’s top programs with a record of 105-29, and four region championships, including the 2012 Region 6AAAAA title.

But Allen, in his first year as head coach, wants more.

“That’s why you work so hard, because ultimately, you are working and competing to win a state championship,” Allen said. “Winning region championships is great, an outstanding accomplishment, especially in a region as tough as ours. But ultimately, it’s about winning state championships, making sure your kids graduate and go to college, and become successful men in life. …

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Class AAAAA Baseball Finals: Pope sweeps Greenbrier, 11-7 in eight innings and 15-5 in five innings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Propelled by two huge innings, Pope swept the Class AAAAA Finals from Greenbrier, winning Game 1, 11-7 in eight innings, and Game 2, 15-5 in five innings. It gave the Greyhounds their second state title in four years (2009).

Game 1 had one of the most bizarre finishes imaginable for any ball game, let alone a state final.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Pope scored three runs to tie the game. The final two runs were plated on a two-out single to center by junior Patrick Wiseman that was misplayed into a double by the Greenbrier centerfielder.

But the Wolfpack retook the lead in the top of the eighth. Two walks and a single by senior Steven Maier loaded the bases, and after freshman Ty Snipes was fanned by Pope freshman hurler Cameron Allison, senior Clint Hardy’s sharp grounder ate up Greyhound shortstop Johnny Flading, which allowed Chris Michaels to score.

Greenbrier added what seemed like a key insurance run one …

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Updated: Creekside hires Riverdale coach Downs

Olten Downs, who led Riverdale to its first playoff appearance in seven years last season, is the new head coach at Creekside in Fairburn.

Downs was 13-10 in two seasons at Riverdale and 7-4 in 2012 as the Raiders had their first winning season since 2006.

‘’It was difficult to leave Riverdale,’’ Downs said Tuesday. “When I took it over, it wasn’t in the best of shape, and we got it turned around. We had a great senior class coming back, but I felt that at Creekside I could turn that program on the elite level on the state of Georgia. They have that type of talent.’’

Creekside has a talented rising senior class that includes quarterback Evan Berry and linebacker Elliot Berry, brothers of NFL safety Eric Berry.

Downs also said that he was attracted to a school that had its own stadium on campus. Riverdale and other Clayton County schools share stadiums.

Downs, 28, was a defensive coordinator at Carver of Columbus from 2006 through 2010,   during which his …

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Former Duluth, MLK football coach Jarvis ‘going back home’ to Mays

New Mays head football coach Corey Jarvis says leaving Duluth was a family decision. The coach, best known for his time at M.L. King, already begun work at the Atlanta school and is busy hiring a staff.

‘’It’s closer to home for me,’’ said Jarvis, a graduate of old Harper High in Atlanta. “I’m closer to mom, closer to my house. I know the area well, so it’s like me going back home to be honest. I just had to make a sacrifice for my family time-wise.’’

Duluth was 4-6 in each of Jarvis’ three seasons playing in Region 7-AAAAAA. Duluth’s record was 2-28 over the previous three seasons.

Jarvis’ region doesn’t get much easier at Mays, which was 5-5 last season in 6-AAAAA. It is the region that features Stephenson, Tucker, Southwest DeKalb and Jarvis’ previous employer M.L. King. King was 49-11 in Jarvis’ five seasons (2005-2009) and won five playoff games.

Mays hasn’t won a playoff game since 2007 despite a 35-18 record over the past five years. …

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