Crush Knockoff Rust, Defeat Firebirds

The Georgia Crush were chomping at the bit to get back on the field after a series of forfeits and cancellations. Once the chance came to snap their chin straps against the Georgia Firebirds the rust showed in their first game in 28 days.

Trey Register opened the scoring with a long touchdown run around the Crush defense as the Firebirds went up 6-0.

Marcus Brooks and Lamontray Williams hooked up on a touchdown pass to give the Crush a brief 7-6 lead in the first quarter. Brooks was held under 100 yards passing for the first time this season and followed up his touchdown pass with back-to-back pick sixes as the Firebirds led 20-7 midway through the second quarter.

The Crush closed the half on a positive note going 99 yards for a touchdown when Brooks and Williams hooked up for the second time pulling the Crush within six, 20-14 at the half.

In the second half the Crush special teams got in on the scoring act. Octavious Hall recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to give the Crush a 21-20 lead.

Later in the fourth quarter Eric Williams scored on a rushing touchdown giving the Crush a 28-20 lead. Williams lead an effective Crush rushing attack with 102 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Crush finished with 223 rushing yards.

Register and the Firebirds would answer back when Register connected with Issac Alford for a touchdown. The potential tying two-point conversation failed and the Crush led 28-26.

The Firebirds had one last shot late in the game and were moving until Juantreze Williams intercepted Register to seal the victory with less than a minute remaining.

The Crush improved to 6-2 while the Firebirds lost their third straight game falling to 2-6. The two teams will meet in the regular season finale on August 9th.

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Warren Easton Wins National Select Championship

The Warren Easton Eagles from New Orleans, LA made their first-ever appearance in the National Selection 7-on-7 National Championships in Hoover, Ala a memorable one.

The talent-laden squad posted a 12-1 overall record, including a 6-0 mark in tournament play on Saturday, to win the National Championship. Warren Easton defeated Spanish Fort (AL)- Alabama’s Class 5A champion last season, 28-19 in the championship game.

WEChamps

“This program has come a long way. Five or six years ago we could barely win a game and now we’re talking about winning a national tournament with a bunch of elite talent. My heart is filled with joy, we are just extremely blessed and we’re going to keep working,” Warren Easton head coach Antonio Hull said.

The Eagles only loss was to defending National Select 7-on-7 champion Kenton (OH) in its second game of pool play on Friday. After that, it was all Warren Easton Eagles. Easton did not lose again, winning their final eleven games to bring home the title.

Deshawn Capers-Smith led Warren Easton to the National Select 7on7 National Championship
Deshawn Capers-Smith quarterbacked Warren Easton to the National Select 7on7 National Championship

Texas A&M commit Deshawn Capers-Smith lead the way for the Eagles at quarterback. Capers-Smith had plenty of help on offense with five-star wide receiver Tryon Johnson, three-star wide receiver Darrell Clark and Tulane commit Devin Glenn on offense.

Warren Easton scored 343 total points- an average of 28.5 points a game. In National Select events the defense can score however the scoring point breakdown was not available.

Defensively, Warren Easton allowed a total of 197 points- an average of 16.4 per game. Tulane commit Jeremie Francis, Arthur McGinnis and Clyde Leflore anchored the defense. McGinnis and Lefolre will begin to pop up on recruiting service website by regular season’s end.

Hull acknowledged his squads defensive efforts. “I’m ecstatic about the way our defense played. We’ve never had a defense to play like this since I’ve been at Warren Easton. Our offense did some great things but defensively we did a lot of good things.”

The Eagles will turn their attention to the regular season where they will look to improve on a 10-4 record last season which included a trip to the quarterfinals in Louisiana’s class 4A.

“We’re going to use this as a stepping stone. This is something to show them if you work hard and have a burning desire to perfect your skill good things happen,” Hull said.

Stingrays Shutout Predators; Other News

The Florida Stingrays of the Gulf Coast division picked up a big win defeating the Georgia Predators out of the Heart of the South division 20-0 in Gainesville, FL Saturday night in GDFL action.

The Stingrays improve to 3-4 while the Georgia Predators fall to 4-2. It was the first time the Georgia Predators have been shutout in franchise history. The Predators return to action next week against the Georgia Crush in their first home game in over a month at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston, Ga.

In other GDFL action the East Alabama Predators (7-0) defeated the Huntsville Rockets 22-0 and remain in first place in the Heart of the South Division.

The Georgia Crush (4-2) were unable to fill their open slot this weekend after scheduled opponent the Georgia Knights shut down operations for the remainder of the season earlier this week.

The Georgia Knights cancelled their remain regular season games after an 0-5 (on the field) and 0-6 record earlier this week. Head coach Elmar Watters cited multiple injuries as the main reason why the Knights would not complete their season. The GDFL has not commented about the Knights status but has removed them from their official website.

Mays Wins Cam Newton National Championship

The Mays Raiders are beginning to become more than just a blip on the radar. The team loaded with three and four star recruits went on the road to Fort Mill, SC and won the Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 National Championship over the weekend.

The tournament consisted of teams from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina. Mays defeated Hough (NC) 27-20 in the championship game.

Mays finished 6-2 the first day and entered the tournament as the three-seed. They went undefeated in tournament action and finished with an 11-2 overall record and came out of the winners bracket to play for the championship.

“We played well,” Mays head coach Corey Jarvis said. “We still have work to do to become a complete team”.

Mays posted an 8-4 record last season advancing to the second round of the playoffs in Jarvis’ first season as head coach. The Raiders lost all four games by a combined 18 points and finished second in their region after falling 16-11 to eventual Class 5A runner-up Tucker in the region championship game in the regular season finale.

A quick glance at their schedule explains why Jarvis wants his group to remain focused. They will remain in Class 5A Region 6B this season after realignment and have defending 5A state champion Creekside in their sub-region. Mays will travel to Jarvis’ former team M.L. King and play history-rich yet declining Southwest Dekalb in region crossover games. Class 6A teams Lovejoy and Langston Hughes are also on the schedule. Mays will be the home team against Southwest Dekalb in a game that will be played at the Georgia Dome. Both Lovejoy and Langston Hughes advanced to the second round of the 6A playoffs last season and are expected to at least go that far if not further this season. Lovejoy finished as state runner-ups in 2011 (Class 5A) and 2012 (class 6A).

Mays was also entered in the National Select 7-on-7 Georgia Qualifier at Lassiter for the right to earn a spot in the National Championships in Hoover. The Raiders made good on their obligation and sent the JV team to the qualifier. The JV squad went 1-6 overall at the Georgia Qualifier with their only victory coming in pool play 16-15 over Walton. The only JV team they saw in the event was Valdosta where they were eliminated after losing 30-11 in the losers bracket.

Grayson Wins Georgia Qualifier

The Grayson Rams became the first team to navigate the entire loser’s bracket to win the National Select 7-on-7 Georgia Qualifier hosted by Lassiter in Marietta.

Grayson is known to make runs in 7-on-7 events in previous summers however this run stands alone by itself. Grayson entered the tournament portion of the event with a 2-1-1 pool record and drew Lovejoy in the opening round of the tournament. Lovejoy won in thrilling fashion 22-21 after scoring a touchdown with less than 10 seconds remaining to send Grayson to the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

The Rams went on to defeat Jackson County, Alpharetta (undefeated in pool play), Rabun County, Northview (undefeated in pool play), Villa Rica, North Cobb, Hillgrove and Hoover (AL) (undefeated in pool play) to advance to the championship against Valdosta.

Valdosta entered the tournament with a 2-2 pool play record and won the winner’s brackets by defeating Alpharetta (undefeated at the time), Jonesboro, North Cobb and Hoover meaning Grayson had to defeated them twice to win the championship.

The Grayson Rams celebrate their Georgia Qualifier win
The Grayson Rams celebrate their Georgia Qualifier win

The Rams continued to ride their momentum making a defensive stop with less than a minute remaining to win the first championship game 18-17. In the winner-take-all championship, Grayson wouldn’t need any late-game heroics as they jumped out 15-0 and never looked back, defeating Valdosta 31-9 capping the historic tournament run.

“I take full ownership in the Lovejoy loss. We were up with 10 seconds left and we went prevent and it was a terrible thing to do,” defensive coordinator Lenny Gregory said. “We have great kids and I should have had more confidence in them. I told the guys that (loss) was on me now the rest of the day I’m begging you to make it right. They fought and played lights out the rest of the day”

Gregory along with offensive coordinator Richard Gillespie ran the Grayson team after head coach Mickey Conn left earlier to attend his son’s youth baseball game.

Coming through the entire loser’s bracket is no easy feat. Teams must play back-to-back games with very little, if any rest in between. Grayson played and won seven straight games over a three and-a-half hour span from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. Gregory admitted that he was concerned with fatigue as the day wore on but turned to his seniors.

“I asked my seniors if I should rotate them or keep them in and they said ‘coach your not taking us out’,” Gregory said. “If they tell me they can go and they can suck it up and get it done then I’m going to win or lose with them.”

Win they did. Grayson finished on a 10-game winning streak, went 12-2-1 overall and clinched a spot in the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships next week in Hoover, Al.

Valdosta (7-4 overall GA Qualifier record), North Gwinnett and Lassiter will join Grayson as representatives from Georgia in Hoover next week. Valdosta was invited and accepted after finishing second at the Georgia Qualifier while North Gwinnett and Lassiter did not win a qualifying event, earned invites by hosting qualifying events. Kenton (OH) is the defending champion and was the first team from Ohio to win the National Championship last year defeating Byrnes (SC). No team from Georgia has ever won the National Championship.

USA U17 Women Win Gold

The US Women’s U17 World Championship Team (7-0) completed their goal of winning the Gold at the World Championships in Czech Republic with a slim 77-75 victory over Spain (6-1). Tied at 71, Team USA outscored Spain 6-4 over the final 1:36 to seal the win.

Lauren Cox led the US in the win over Spain falling two blocks shy of a triple-double, with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks.Cox’s 8 blocks were an USA U17 single-game record. Georgia product Asia Durr hit the game-clinching free throws with 7.1 remaining and finished with 17 points and 4 assists while Arike Ogunbowale scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Spain was paced by tournament MVP Angela Salvadores’ 40 points on 16-of-29 shooting.

Joyner Holmes and Katie Lou Samuelson were named to the five-member all-tournament team for the US.

In the medal round Team USA defeated Canada, Hungary and Spain.

Bye Week For Area GDFL Squads

For most of the teams in the GDFL this week is a bye week. There were only four scheduled games this weekend, none involving teams in the southeastern region of the country in the Heart of The South or Gulf Coast divisions.

Heart of the South division leader East Alabama Predators are 6-0 in their first season. The Predators are averaging 38.5 points-per-game and have record two shutouts. East Alabama quarterback Charles Drinkard leads the offense with 706 yards 6 TD 2 INT passing and is second on the team in rushing with 232 yards and 3 TD. Running back Latrell Jenkins leads the team in rushing with 290 yards and 4 TD while Tony Askew has scored five rushing touchdowns.

The Georgia Predators are 4-1 with their only lost coming to East Alabama. Starting quarterback Stephen Williams has passed for eight touchdowns while backup Edward Russ has four passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. Georgia is averaging 30.4 points-per-game and has recorded one shutout.

The Marvel City Tigers (2-4) and Georgia Knights (0-6) pull up the rear in the Heart of the South division.

In the Gulf Coast division the undefeated Florida Falcons lead the division with a 6-0 record. Felix Diaz and Boobie Toler have both seen action at the quarterback spot with Diaz leading the team in passing. The Georgia Crush are second in the division and are led by the GDFL’s second-leading passer Marcus Brooks. Brooks has passed for 921 yards 9 TD 3 INT this season and his top target, Lamontray Williams is fourth in the GDFL in receiving yards with 367 yards. Williams has five receiving touchdowns.

The Georgia Firebirds (2-3) and Florida Stingrays(2-4) pull up the rear in the Gulf Coast division.

Both divisions resume play next weekend July 12th.

USA In Quarterfinal

The USA Women’s U17 World Championship team (4-0) defeated Mexico (0-4) 91-35 to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIBA World Championships.

The US scored a team-high 91 points in the victory with five players scoring in double figures. Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers with a game-high 19 points. Georgia product Asia Durr chipped in 14 points and 5 rebounds. Joyner Holmes put in 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds while Kristine Anigwe had 12 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 10 points and 9 rebounds.

Since their opening round win over China, the US defeated France 88-40 (France defeated the US in an earlier exhibition) and Mali 78-22 in Group D action.

Team USA will face Canada (2-2) in the quarterfinals, Friday July 4th.

GDFL Roundup: June 28th

Total Sports Coverage

GDFL games played Saturday June 28, 2014:

The Nashville Storm (5-0) swept the season series against the Memphis Blast (3-2)Saturday with a 19-6 victory. Nashville is atop the Central South division and will begin a three-game road trip after the next weeks bye. The Storm will play the Indianapolis Tornadoes, Clarksville Wolfpack and Memphis Panthers on the trip. The Blast are second in the Midwest division behind top-ranked Oklahoma Thunder. Memphis will travel to the St. Louis Bulldogs before hosting the Thunder the following week.

In the Heart of the South, the division leading East Alabama Predators (6-0) defeated non-league opponent the Montgomery Buffalos 29-0. The Buffalos were a replacement for the Georgia Knights (0-6).

Steven Williams threw touchdowns passes to Jeremy Parham and Caleb Simms as the Georgia Predators (4-1) defeated the Marvel City Tigers 22-12. Kevin Fancher added a touchdown run as the Predators swept the season series…

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Falcons Swoop Over Crush Late

Total Sports Coverage

Marcus Brooks hooked up with Allen Davis twice on first half touchdowns as the Georgia led Gulf Coast division leading Florida Falcons 14-0 at halftime. In the second half the Falcons scored 14 unanswered points including a long touchdown catch and run by Grant Tyner for a 24-14 Falcons lead.

The Crush answered back by putting a lengthy drive together ending on a short touchdown run by Adam Crump, pulling the Crush within 24-21.

On the ensuing possession Falcons leading rusher James Ezell raced 81-yards for the game-clinching touchdown with under two minutes remaining. The Florida Falcons (6-0) won its sixth straight game with the 31-21 victory.

The Crush (3-2) have a bye week next week before a scheduled game against the Georgia Knights (0-6) on July 12th and visit the Georgia Predators (4-1) on July 19th.

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