High School Football Returns: South Carolina

The 2016 regular season high school football kicked off around the southeast with a slate of games from Thursday night to the wee hours of Sunday morning in what has come to be known as Week Zero. Here is a look at some noteable games from the weekend.

Myrtle Beach forced six turnovers, scoring 21 points off those turnovers and scored a special teams touchdown in a convincing yet surprising 35-19 victory over Byrnes. Seahawks’ Keyonte Sessions rushed for two touchdowns and Chris Weston returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half as Myrtle Beach jumped out to a 28-0 lead on the Rebels. Byrnes pulled to within two possessions in the fourth quarter however the Seahawks put the game away on a 84-yard touchdown pass from Lawson Cribb to Daron Finkley. Myrtle Beach dominated the line of scrimmage particularly on the defensive line causing issues for Byrnes multiple quarterbacks in starter Dylon Dunnahoo and backup Brock Carroll as the pair combined for three interceptions. Wide receiver Demarcus Gregory recorded over 120 yards receiving and a touchdown for the visiting Rebels. Myrtle Beach will host New Hanover (NC) this week while Byrnes will host Greer.

Speaking of turnovers, Spartanburg forced four Summerville turnovers, all in Viking territory, including three inside the 20 and two fumbles inside the Viking five by Green Wave quarterback Jonathan Bennett. Spartanburg quarterback William Yex passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another in his debut as the starting quarterback. Running back Ladarius Jones caught two touchdowns while receiver Romaine Kelly caught the other.Senior Eric Rice showed he’ll need to be accounted for by rushing for over 60 yards in the first half alone for the Vikings. Bennett hooked up twice for touchdowns with Shaq Davis and Darryl Hancock added a rushing touchdown for Summerville. Spartanburg will host TL Hanna (lost 45-35 to Gaffney) this week. Summerville is idle this week and will host Berkeley (lost 32-31 to Daniel) in two weeks.

South Pointe snapped its three-game losing streak to rival Northwestern with a 30-23 victory. South Pointe jumped out to a 9-0 lead behind three fields goals from B.T. Potter in the first half. The Stallions extended their lead to 15-0 on a Derion Kendrick touchdown run in the third quarter. Northwestern would fight back to take a 23-22 lead on a Jerry Howard touchdown run with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. South Pointe would score the game-winning touchdown on a Geomni  Mayfield 5-yard touchdown run and successful two-point conversion reception. Mayfield’s touchdown was setup by a 75-yard run from starting running back Voshon St. Hill. Kendrick rushed for over 100 yards with two touchdowns and passed for over 100 yards for South Pointe. Howard rushed for two touchdowns while falling just shy of 100 yards rushing for Northwestern. South Pointe takes on Nation Ford this week while Northwestern travels to Dorman (lost 35-14 to Bob Jones, AL).

Fort Dorchester won its 16th straight game behind quarterback Dakereon Joyner’s 430-plus yards passing and five touchdowns. Joyner connected with Justin Williams on touchdowns of 72, 80 and 24 yards and Raquan Simmons on touchdowns of 77 and 79 yards as the Patriots from Fort Dorchester held off the Patriots from Sandy Creek (GA) 48-35 at Georgia Southern University. Sandy Creek running back Jaelen Green rushed for over 175 yards and touchdowns against the Fort Dorchester defense.  Fort Dorchester will host Colleton County (lost 46-14 to West Ashley) this week.

Dillon lost a hard fought defensive struggle to Mallard Creek (NC) 7-3 snapping its 37-game winning streak. Mallard Creek held Dillon out of the end zone from inside the ten four times in the second half. The game was marred by highly questionable officiating from start to finish.

High School Football Returns: Georgia

The 2016 regular season high school football kicked off around the southeast with a slate of games from Thursday night to the wee hours of Sunday morning in what has come to be known as Week Zero. Here is a look at some noteable games from the weekend.

In Georgia, two-time defending champion Colquitt County had its 30-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Mill Creek in a 34-27 defeat. It was Mill Creek’s first victory over the Packers in the all-time series (3-1 Colquitt leads) and in a stroke of irony it was a victory over the Hawks in 2014 that began the Packers 30-game streak. Mill Creek quarterback Cameron Turley connected with six different receivers while passing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Colquitt’s Jake Saunders passed for over 300 yards, three touchdowns but had two key interceptions. Turley sealed the game with a 41-yard completion to Edmond Graham on third down with less than a minute remaining in the game. Mill Creek will host Stephenson (loss 34-23 to Cedar Grove) while Colquitt will host American Heritage Plantation (FL) this week.

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Georgia High School Football Underway

Valdosta became the first high school program in the nation to win 900 games with its third straight win over Winnersville rival Lowndes 38-13. Valdosta scored two special teams touchdowns, returned an interception for a touchdown and running back Tevin Gray rushed for over 100 yards an d a touchdown in the victory. Lowndes quarterback Michael Barrett finished with a passing and rushing touchdown for the Vikings. Valdosta will host Woodland- Stockbridge (won 55-6 over Union Grove) while Lowndes will host Baytown-Palm Bay (FL) this week.

Xavier Mckinney returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and running back Sheldon Evans rushed for over 115 yards and a touchdown as Roswell defeated Buford 24-7. Roswell’s defense held Buford to less than 75 yards rushing and never allowed the Wolves to establish any momentum after a first quarter touchdown by Derrian Brown. Roswell will host Central Gwinnett in two weeks while Buford will take on Bishop Timon (NY) in Ireland in two weeks.

Throughout the summer Shiloh head coach Ryan Andrews talked confidently about the progression of his program entering his second season at the helm, namely the defense. It was that defense that stole the show in the opener by scoring three touchdowns in a 27-14 victory over Collins Hill earning the Generals their fourth straight victory dating back to last season.  Tyler Reese returned and interception for a touchdown while Greg Jones and Noah McInnis each returned fumbles for touchdowns. Shiloh will host Parkview (won 32-9 over Christ Presbyterian Academy, TN) this week while Collins Hill hosts Norcross (won 46-14 over Walton).

Other notes:
Creekside defeated Miami-Norland (FL) 9-7. Seminoles quarterback Khalil McClain rushed for a touchdown in the victory.

Langston Hughes received a strong effort from senior quarterback Isaiah Green in a 44-6 victory over Mundy’s Mill.

Clarke Central shutout Winder-Barrow 31-0 behind two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Jack Mangel. Zay Brown returned an interception for a touchdown for the Gladiators.

Southwest Dekalb defeated Redan 22-12 in its first game since the sudden death of head coach Michael Tanks. Tanks passed earlier in the month of complications from a stroke suffered at the beginning of fall camp. Retired educator Fletcher Salter was named Panthers interim head coach on August 12th. Salter coached under Tanks and legendary Panther coach Buck Godfrey in addition to coaching various sports at various schools in Dekalb County.

 

 

Atlanta Phoenix Headed To WFA Playoffs

The Atlanta Phoenix professional women’s football team won their 2016 season finale 50-0 over the Fayetteville Fierce (2-4), sweeping the season series and winners of two of their last three games entering the playoffs.

The Phoenix jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first three minutes of the first quarter with a touchdown run by Brittney Smith, a pick six by Paige Covington, a touchdown pass from Ranee Langiais to Chavala Jones and a safety on a kickoff return.

Langiais and Jones hooked up again later followed by a Dana Green touchdown run to lead 37-0 putting the game out of reach early in the second quarter.

Atlanta (5-3) played in the Women’s Football Alliance’s Southeast Region-North Atlantic Division in 2016 finishing second behind the Alabama Fire (7-1). The Phoenix and Fire split their two regular season meetings.

Atlanta will travel to the Pittsburgh Passion (6-2) to open the playoffs Saturday June 11th. Pittsburgh won the Northeast Region- North Central Division, went 3-1 at home, 3-2 in non-division games and allowed only 15.2 points-per-game with a pair of shutouts this season but enter the playoffs losing two of their last three games.

Despite averaging 35 points-per-game this season, the Phoenix only averaged 13 points-per-game in losses this season. Defensively the Phoenix posted three shutouts and allowed 20 or more points three times twice (Alabama Fire and D.C. Divas). Atlanta allowed 34.3 points-per-games in losses yielding a season-high 52 to D.C. (7-1) this season.

 

 

Walton Wins 6A Georgia State Title

East Cobb baseball (Cobb County Georgia) was on full display this weekend with the 6A championship series featuring region rivals, close county neighbors and nationally ranked teams.

One of the top hotbeds for baseball nationally featured Georgia Region 5-6A champ and 44th-ranked* Pope hosting second-ranked* and Region 5-6A runner-up Walton.

Walton flexed their muscles with an 11-1 win in Game 1 powered by Jason Rooks’ bat. Rooks homered twice including a Grand Slam in the series opener.

Pope fought ahead 3-2 on an Antonio Jareno RBI double in the top of the fifth and added a sac fly in the top of the seventh inning from Jareno in Game 2.

Trailing 4-3 with the bases loaded, one out in the bottom of the seventh (last inning of high school baseball), Walton’s Jason Avers singled down the left field line scoring the winning runs to clinch the 5-4 win and championship series 2-0 sweep.

Walton has now won three state championships and  its first since 2007.

*Perfect Game High School Team Rankings

Miller Grove NYC Bound

The Miller Grove Wolverines won their seventh Georgia state title in the last eight years after a 50-48 victory over Allatoona last Friday in the class 5A finals. Aaron Augustin tallied 16 points while Alterique Gilbert scored 15 in the victory.

Miller Grove (30-2) did not lose to a team from Georgia all season, posted a 4-2 record against out-of-state opponents- losing to Chaminade (MO) and Lone Peak (UT), finished No.1 in both major state polls and are currently ranked No.17 in the latest USA Today Super 25. The reward is a trip to New York to play in the Dick’s High School Nationals later this month

The Wolverines will face nationally respected Findlay Prep (28-1) of Henderson, NV-ten players drafted into the NBA since 2010. Findlay is averaging 102 points-per-game and have scored over 100 points in thirteen games including four games of 140-plus points. The Pilots lone loss this season came to instate foe Bishop Gorman.

The Pilots have seven players averaging double figures this season led by Markus Howard at 20.8ppg, Howard is shooting the long ball at a 53% clip. Donnie Tillman, PJ Washington, Carlos Johnson, Tristian Clark and Skylar Mays all average between 16.3 points and 10.3 points for Findlay.

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Miller Grove is known for booking a national schedule yearly however drawing an invite to the national tournament was just as much a driving force as “GOTB34” (Get Our Trophy Back 3/4).

“Excited for our guys, our school, and our community as this was a goal we set in the off-season,” Miller Grove head coach Sharman White said about the opportunity to continue their season.

Alterique Gilbert (20.4 pts), Aaron Augustin (9.7 pts), Colin Young (11.2 pts) and Raylon Richardson (9.6 pts 8.4 reb) power the Miller Grove charge as they look to improve on their 23-game winning streak.

Miller Grove becomes the second team in as many years from the state of Georgia to earn an invite to the event. Last season class 6A champion Wheeler played in the event after a drum up of support from the school, community, players, coaches and supporters after the state association intially would not allow them to participate.

Miller Grove had no such issues with the state association (GHSA) this season as the association is still under fire for blatant disregard for not only their own rules but the rules of the NFHS by allowing the state championships to be played on non-regulation baskets.

Miller Grove and Findlay Prep will play on Marcher 31st at 6pm et on ESPNU

Georgia 2A Championships

Holy Innocents entered the 2A girls championship on a three-game losing streak in state championship games spanning two different classifications. Junior Khayla Pointer was apart of the last two and was fed up with losing in title games. Pointer set the tone in the first half by scoring 21 of the Lady Golden Bears 33 first half points to put Holy Innocents up 33-28 at the half on Wesleyan.

However Wesleyan’s championship pedigree would not allow them go down easy. Sutton West’s triple tied the game 59-all with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing possession Holy Innocents committed a turnover but Wesleyan returned the favor by turning the ball over in its backcourt and then committing an ill advised foul on a three-point shot during the scramble play with six tenths of a second left. Shai Blanding missed all three free throws sending the game to overtime squared at 59.

In overtime Wesleyan took a 63-59 lead on four free throws by Amaya Register and Sutton West for a 63-59 lead. Holy Innocents knotted the count again on two free throws by Kennedy Sutton and a floater from Aaliyah Milord tied the game at 63.

Register split a pair of free throws to put Wesleyan up 64-63 and Khalya Pointer happened again. Pointer hit a driving layup and Shai Blanding redeemed herself by splitting a pair of free throws to give the Golden Bears the 66-64 lead with twenty seconds remaining. Wesleyan did not make a field goal in the overtime session.

Wesleyan had one final attempt with 3.1 seconds left but Pointer stole the inbound pass to seal Holy Innocents hard fought 66-64 win and send outgoing head coach Tony Watkins out with a championship, the schools first since 1999.

Pointer finished with a game-high 33 points on 11-of-20 from the field with two assists. Erika Cassell finished with a double-double posting 11 points with 13 rebounds while Blanding tallied nine points and Suttle finished with five points and nine rebounds for Holy Innocents (27-5).

Register led Wesleyan (27-5) with 16 points and went 10-of-12 from the foul line. Cairo Booker put in 13 points, Mikayla Coombs tallied 12 and Natalie Armstrong posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Georgia 4A Championships

Veterans had no answer for a balanced and determined effort from Americus-Sumter as the Lady Panthers shot out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter behind Amber Hicks and Jykiera Long and never looked back.  Americus-Sumter (31-1) expanded its lead to as many as 24 points in the third quarter and did not allow Veterans a double digit scoring quarter until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter in a 56-38 rout of Veterans.

A’Taynanna Gaulden finished with a game-high 16 points and Jykeira Long tallied 12 for the Lady Panthers.

Veterans (27-5) only double-figure scorer was Kya Cochran with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

It was the first state title for Americus-Sumter since the 2004 merger of Americus and Sumter County high schools. Americus High won the 1A title in 1966.

Liberty County (28-1) sought revenge against Jonesboro from last seasons semifinal blowout loss and got it with a 58-52 victory to land the schools first state championship in any sport. Richard LeCounte’s free throws with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter gave Liberty County an 8-6 lead and they never trailed again.

LeCounte finished with a team-high 20 points to go with 9 rebounds.Will Richardson put in 19 points, Davion Mitchell was held to a modest 14 points while Jaalon Frazier finished with a game-high 15 rebounds.

Jonesboro (28-5) was paced by standout James Walker Jr with 22 points, Jamari Smith put in 10 points while Zerrick Cooper had 8 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Cardinals.

 

 

 

Georgia 1A Public Championships

The Turner County Lady Rebels (31-0) sealed their first-ever state championship with a 55-38 victory over Terrell County.  Xariah Office led Turner County with 22 points while Mylashia Yancey finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists despite playing in foul trouble.

Turner County head coach Tasha Kimble finished a special season as she coached both the girls and boys teams this season compiling a 54-7 combined record with the boys losing in the semifinals.

Terrell County (24-4) was led by Jamya McDaniel’s 15 points while Jameil McDaniel posted a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

In the boys final the Wilkinson County Warriors overcame a slow start to knock off Hancock Central in the rubber match between the squads. Wilkinson County (26-6) broke a 16-all tie with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter on an Aaron Geter III hoop, the Warriors never trailed again. Hancock Central (24-7) was able to to pull as close as seven in the early moments of the fourth quarter but Wilkinson County quickly pushed the lead back to double digits, maintaining it until the 55-42 final.

Greg Cousin powered Wilkinson County with a 16-point 18-rebound double-double. Geter III finished with 10 points, Jonathan Baehre tallied nine points and eight rebounds while Larry Jones put in eight as the Warriors won head coach Dr. Aaron Geter his eighth state championship and third in the last four years.

Dr. Geter has won state titles in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016.

Martravious Smith posted a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, Phillipe Scott tallied 11 while Alex Brooks finished with 10 for the Hancock Central Bulldogs.

 

McEachern Returns To Finals

The McEachern Lady Indians style of basketball has produced three state championships the last four years. Said style earned McEachern a shot at a fourth after an 81-70 victory over West Forsyth (25-7) Saturday in Carrollton.

McEachern (24-7) overcame a yeoman effort from West Forsyth’s Jenna Staiti. Staiti finished with a career-high 51 points.

Still there was too much McEachern. Jada Lewis put in 36 points (12 in the fourth), Tierra Lindsey tallied 12 and Que Morrison finished with 10 as the Lady Indians breakneck pace, defensive pressure and solid free throw shooting powered them to victory as it has so many times.

McEachern with play Tucker (27-4) Saturday night in Macon in the 6A championship game. Tucker defeated Douglas County 79-66 to advance. The Lady Tigers only in-state losses were to Parkview and 2A finalist Wesleyan.

McEachern has not lost a game in the 2016 calendar year (18-0), its only in-state loss is to 5A finalist Southwest Dekalb in the season opener.

 

Cedar Shoals Sent Home In Semifinals

When great offenses meet-something will give, when great defenses meet-who defends, rebounds, shoots and makes free throws, will factor in who wins.

Allatoona (Acworth, GA) sank four free throws in the waning seconds to seal a ‘Georgian Tough’ 48-46 victory over Cedar Shoals (29-3) in Columbus, Ga Saturday. The ‘Toona Bucs improved to 31-0 and earned the right to end their season in Macon against Miller Grove in the 5A title tilt Friday night.

Cedar Shoals (Athens, GA) fell in the semifinals for a second straight season.If you like pouring salt in the wounds, lost both games by a combined three points, one to an eventual state champion and one to be determined.

Senior Jerrick Mitchell put in 15 points, junior Phlandrous Fleming tallied 13 for Region 8-5A Champ Cedar Shoals in defeat.

Miller Grove handed McIntosh a twenty point loss, favoring  Cedar Shoals to finish third in class 5A rankings.

 

 

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