Weekend Wrap-up

Posted August 29, 2010 by Stephen Black
Weekend Wrap-up

Photo by Jon Barash

After one full weekend of play, the balance of power in 5A appears to remain in the same places. Camden Co. and Lowndes took care of business in dominating fashion in South Georgia while Gwinnett teams impressed on both Fri and Sat nights.
Grayson and North Gwinnett convincingly defeated opponents from Alabama in the Progressive Football Challenge in Suwannee. The visiting squads, Spain Park and Bob Jones, are not pushovers either, as the two teams are ranked No. 6 and No. 8 in Class 6A, Alabama’s highest classification. ...
Grayson’s 20-9 victory not only had to make Coach Mickey Conn feel better about his team this year, but think of how it makes the Kell Longhorns look. Last week in the Corky Kell Classic, the Class 4A Horns knocked off Grayson in the Georgia Dome. Head coach Derek Cook’s squad was ranked No. 10 coming into this weekend, an off week for Kell. Do you think they’ll move up after Grayson’s impressive win?
For the Rams, the performance of their running back-by-committee Saturday is a welcome sign. After losing star tailback Ean Pemberton to graduation after the 2009 season, Grayson needed to find a replacement and did not seem to have one against Kell last weekend. However, Tarrius Watson, Devin Gillespie and Korey Jones toted the ball 37 times for 152 yards Saturday afternoon, with Jones tallying two touchdowns. If the Rams can continue to run the ball effectively against solid competition, they will once again be a force in Region 8. ...
North Gwinnett looked great for the second weekend in a row in dispatching Alabama power Bob Jones 42-20. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will take on another worthy opponent as Crenshaw (Calif) comes calling. The national No. 13 Cougars will fly into Atlanta from South Central, Los Angeles for their season-opener (ranking by rivals.com). This is the type of matchup college football needs more of: powerhouse programs flying across the country to face each other. High school programs are doing more of it, but we rarely see it in the college game. It is good for the kids to travel and see other parts of the country and it is also good for the sport itself. Kudos to Coach Bob Sphire and North Gwinnett for playing such a challenging non-region schedule to start the season. They may be the most impressive team in the state thus far.

SOUTH GEORGIA HIGHLIGHTS …
Colquitt County has been a huge disappointment already this season. Head coach Rush Propst, of MTV reality fame when he was with Hoover (Ala.), has seen his team get upset by a AA team (granted, Cook is a very solid squad) in the opener and then get squashed by national No. 5 South Panola (Miss.) Saturday by the basketball score of 65-35. ...
Lowndes (2-0) beat a metro Atlanta team for the second weekend in a row; this time it was Pebblebrook. Last weekend, South Gwinnett was able to rally in the fourth quarter and managed to make the game interesting before falling 34-26. No such luck for the Falcons, who were run out of "Valhalla" 47-7. It is safe to say that the Vikings are a good bet to make another serious run to be at the Georgia Dome this November for the state finals. ...
Camden Co. won their first Region 3 game of the year, a laugher over Savannah 65-14. Expect several more results like this for the Wildcats this season, who have literally no competition in their region. Last season, Jeff Herron’s squad gave up just 15 points in seven region games. Next week, Camden Co. will receive a sure test from Miami’s Central, who is ranked No. 11 in America by rivals.com. The Wildcats are ranked No. 21 by the same poll. ...

ATLANTA ACTION …
I wasn’t at the Westminster-St. Pius X game Friday night, but from everything I’ve heard, it had playoff-level intensity. The two Atlanta private schools had not played in over 10 years and the hostilities had obviously built up. Led by Ralph David Abernathy IV's two touchdowns, the visiting Wildcats jumped out to a 17-0 first-half lead. But the Class 3A, No. 4-ranked Golden Lions roared back, closing to 17-12 in the third quarter. However, a clever fake punt in the fourth quarter helped Class 2A, No. 6-ranked Westminster hold onto their lead, and Coach Gerry Romberg’s squad had their 17th win in 18 games against their would-be rivals. I say “would-be” because these two should probably play more often. As it stands, Westminster now holds a 23-3 series edge. But as long as Paul Standard is coaching at Pius, those wins will be a lot harder to come by. Next year’s game should be another classic. ...
Collins Hill scratched an itch that had been bothering them all offseason as they won a defensive struggle against No. 8 Roswell in GPB’s Game of the Week. The Hornets had ousted Collins Hill from the playoffs last season with a 30-27 double OT win. Score 44 member Taylor Heinicke showed why he is being recruited by D-1 programs by throwing for 168 yards and two touchdowns on the night, including completing all seven of his first-half passes. ...
Stephenson won a very competitive game with Parkview in the Big Orange Jungle Friday Night. In a hostile atmosphere outside of the area of town where they normally play their games, the Jaguars managed to find a way to win. This type of character-building win can go a long way in a football season. Look for Ron Gartrell’s team to be a factor in the state playoffs this season. For the Panthers, it was a good sign to be able to hang with and nearly defeat an ultra-talented Stephenson squad. Cecil Flowe seems to have his program going back in the right direction, and that is a good thing for Gwinnett County football. ...
Tucker exacted revenge against SWD with a 50-19 white-washing of their DeKalb County neighbors. Last season, Buck Godfrey’s team dominated Tucker in a 26-0 embarrassment. Coach Franklin Stephens’ Tigers look like they are back to being elite after a sub-par 9-3 2009 season. ...
Marist crushed Douglass 48-12 in an interesting Region 6-AAAA matchup. The War Eagles looked primed and ready for next week’s huge showdown with long-time rival Tucker. The winner of that one not only looks like the favorite to win the region, but also a favorite win the state title.

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