To kick off our weekly high school football recaps, we covered five games on the first Friday night of the season.
As usual, there was a little bit of everything tonight. Highlighting the evening was a three touchdown performance by a Cherokee Warrior, a South Atlanta athlete who did a little of everything and a pick-6 happy Pinecrest Academy squad.
See below for more detailed information about our games.
Cherokee 34, North Forsyth 14: In a Class AAAAA season opener, running back Andrew Blaylock rushed for three first-half touchdowns to lead the visiting Warriors to a commanding 28-0 halftime lead. Blaylock’s touchdowns covered 19, 10 and one yard. Keifer Wright returned an interception 37 yards to close out the first-half scoring.
The Warriors grinded out 226 yards on the ground, including a 40-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mason Keyt. North Forsyth played four quarterbacks who combined to complete 16 passes in 31 attempts with two interceptions. Running backs Joe Musulman and Tanner Riddle each scored rushing touchdowns for the Raiders. Despite the lopsided score, North Forsyth had 17 first downs to eight for Cherokee.
Keyt completed two passes in five attempts for 40 yards.
South Atlanta 14, Druid Hills 6: Jessie Taylor had a 27-yard touchdown reception, a fumble recovery for another score, and an interception in the Hornets’ season-opening win. South Atlanta took a 14-0 lead at halftime after Taylor’s scores. Linebacker Chris Gardner had 20 tackles for the Hornets.
Stone Mountain 28, Jackson-Atlanta 6: The Pirates led 13-0 at the half and cruised to a season-opening win. Running back Fredarious Scott rushed for 144 yards and fellow running back Willie Parker ran for 141 and a touchdown. Quarterback Cordero Cook ran for two touchdowns and completed 11 of 12 passes for 142 yards and a score. Armageddon Draughn had 82 yards receiving with one touchdown catch. Stone Mountain had 416 yards of total offense.
Luella 25, Villa Rica 10:
In a battle of Wildcats, Luella quarterback Jared Hendricks threw two touchdown passes to tight end Reece Towell to carry the hosts. The home-standing Wildcats also scored on a 95-yard kickoff return by Reise McDaniel to open the scoring in the first period.
Villa Rica kicked a field goal in the second to draw to within 6-3, but Luella scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take an 18-3 halftime edge. Quarterback Jared Hendricks threw a 59-yard touchdown to Towell with 8:18 left in the quarter, then running back Gabe Smith had runs to 34 and 25 yards to set up a four-yard touchdown of his own before the half.
Villa Rica then scored to cut the lead to eight in the third quarter, but Hendricks and Towell would connect again, this time on a 20-yard scoring pass in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Pinecrest Academy 21, Riverside Military Academy 14: The visiting Paladins took a 14-0 lead after one quarter on two interceptions returned for touchdown in their season-opening win. J.P. Metz took the first interception 35 yards on the Eagles’ second drive of the game, while Jimmy Strom returned one 40 yards on the third drive. Strom also played quarterback and completed six of 10 passes for 129 yards.
In the fourth quarter, Pinecrest’s Preston Stafford had three tackles-for-loss, while Adam Maresco recovered a Riverside fumble on the Paladins’ 11-yard line late in the fourth to preserve the lead.
Running back Jacob Carr scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run in the third quarter.
Riverside quarterback Collin Pattell completed 17-of-34 for 202 yards and two interceptions.
Darlington 35, Sonoraville 14: The host Tigers roared to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and expanded it to 35-0 by the half. Quarterback Brad Butler completed seven of eight passes for 153 yards and one touchdown for Darlington. Butler also accounted for 38 yards on five rushes.
Butler’s touchdown pass was to wide receiver Nigel Matthews. Also scoring for Darlington were Cedric Spivey (39-yard run) and Spencer Jones (9-yard run). The Tigers had 334 yards of total offense, including 181 on the ground. Defensively, Darlington held Sonoraville to 154 yards of total offense, including just 67 through the air.