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Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 9:22am

RDA-less Westminster beats GAC to open region play; Blessed Trinity scores major cross country win

Having lost two games in a row and without star running back Ralph David Abernathy last Friday night, the Westminster Wildcats stepped up and earned their first Region 6-AA win of the season by defeating Greater Atlanta Christian 24-13.
Following losses to Carrollton and Buford amidst a brutal early-season schedule, Westminster was quick to regain momentum on the road at GAC. Quarterback William Linginfelter threw a touchdown pass to Kamal Brown on the team’s second play from scrimmage as the Wildcats jumped out to a 24-0 lead.
Linginfelter also found fullback Dallis Joiner with a scoring strike, Jeremy Godsell kicked three field goals, and Parker Tuthill—given a heavy workload in place of Abernathy—controlled the game on the ground. The previously-undefeated Spartans put up 13 points late in the fourth against Westminster’s backups, but they could not get any closer.
“Our win on Friday was huge,” Linginfelter explained. “Even though Ralph went down in the Buford game we were still very confident that Tuthill would step up and play well, and he did. No one can bring what Ralph brings to our offense, but we were able to do some other things well, which gives the offense as a whole more confidence.”
Abernathy is expected to return from his ankle injury on October 1 following a bye week.
In other Fulton County action, Roswell picked up its first win of the season by defeating Walton 24-14. Alpharetta rolled over Marietta 51-10, Centennial blanked Wheeler 32-0, Grady crushed Druid Hills 61-0, Blessed Trinity trounced Avondale 34-0, and Mays joined the shutout parade with a 35-0 rout of Miller Grove.

Woodward’s volleyball team, ranked No. 1 in the Class AAA GACA/PrepCounty coaches poll, finished runner-up at last Saturday’s Lovett Block Party, which featured teams from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The War Eagles went undefeated in pool play, swept Chattahoochee and Eagles Landing Christian Academy to reach the final, then lost to Pope—Class AAAA’s top-ranked team—in the title match.
After compiling a 9-1 record last week, Woodward is 34-10 overall and has won 22 of its last 24 matches. The War Eagles were victorious in all 18 games of last week’s nine-match streak prior to the loss against Pope.
Blessed Trinity, which faces Woodward on Thursday in the second meeting between the two teams this season, also continues to roll on the volleyball court. The Titans have maintained their No. 1 ranking in Class A/AA thanks to an impressive 38-4 record. They swept all four of their matches last week, defeating Holy Innocents, Mount Pisgah Christian, Lassiter, and Creekview.

The Westminster and Blessed Trinity girls, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Coaches Association Class AA cross country rankings, squared off in a duel meet last Tuesday. Sahara Fletcher, Westminster’s top runner, failed to finish the race and the Wildcats could not quite overcome the loss.
Parker Rhodes filled the void left by Fletcher and came in first place with a time of 20:24, but Anna Gandolfo and Bailey Willett finished in second and third for visiting Blessed Trinity. That proved to be just enough for the Titans, who prevailed by the slimmest of margins, 27-28.
Blessed Trinity forayed outside the state over the weekend, traveling to the Wildcat Invitational in Osceola, FL. A pair of Florida teams came out on top, but the Titans enjoyed a third-place showing out of 22 teams. All five of their scoring runners finished in the Top 30 individually among 155 participants. Gandolfo was sixth with a time of 20:14, Willett came in 11th place at 20:40, and Natalie Kile’s 21:15 put her in the Top 20.
On the boys side, Roswell finished third out of 20 teams at last Saturday’s Battle of Atlanta in McDonough. Cameron Wagenbrenner ran a 17:13 for sixth place individually as the Hornets were edged by Lakeside Evans and Harrison. At last weekend’s Altitude Running Invitational, hosted by St. Pius, Woodward finished second behind Pius and Grady came in fifth place. Nathan Vassey recorded a time of 16:38 for the War Eagles, good for second overall. They Grey Knights placed two runners in the Top 5 individually. Zane Coburn was third in 16:49 and Bailey Roth’s 17:19 put him in fifth position.
Three of the top four teams in the boys Class AA rankings will be competing against each other this weekend as Blessed Trinity hosts Lovett and Westminster in the Clash of the Titans.

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