Spartanburg Holds Off TL Hanna; Byrnes Wins

Spartanburg avoided the sting of an upset-minded TL Hanna Yellow Jacket nest 38-35 to advance to the semifinals. The Vikings played with standouts Tavien Feaster and Taravis Scott for the first time in the playoffs as each sat out last week with injuries.

Feaster finished with over 180 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Scott caught nine passes for over 160 yards and three touchdowns.

Austin Scott passed for over 350 yards and four touchdowns for top-seeded Spartanburg.

In the end however it was about Louis Rodgers and the Viking defense. Rodgers recorded three straight sacks on TL Hanna’s last drive to seal the victory.

Spartanburg (12-1) host fourth-seeded Lexington next Friday in the 4A-DII semifinals. Lexington defeated Blythewood 30-13 to advance. The winner faces the winner of two-seed Northwestern (12-1) and eleventh-seeded Nation Ford (9-4). Northwestern won the regular season meeting over Nation Ford 48-25.

Byrnes pulled away from Sumter for a 35-14 victory. The Rebels scored 21 unanswered points after being tied 14-all in the third quarter. Micah Young passed for four touchdowns to Demarcus Gregory (2), Bouvier Howard and Chavis Dawkins.

Fifth-seeded Byrnes host ninth-seeded Dorman in the 4A-DI semifinals. Dorman manhandled top-seeded Dutch Fork 49-19. Byrnes (12-1) defeated Dorman in the regular season  31-7.

The bottom of the bracket held form as the winner faces the winner of two-seed Fort Dorchester (13-0) and third-seeded Goose Creek (9-3). Fort Dorchester won the regular season meeting 20-13.


Undefeated Georgia 6A Semifinalist

Georgia is known for its deep and passionate high school football. That depth and passion will be taken to another level as all four 6A semifinalist have a combined 52-0 record.

Colquitt County (13-0) withstood a stout challenge from South Forsyth to advance with a 49-31 victory. Twice Colquitt scored 21 unanswered points, the last of which game when trailing 31-28 early in the fourth quarter. Colquitt’s Ty Lee and Keil Pollard each scored two touchdowns while South Forsyth’s  Jaylen Camp caught three touchdown passes. The win gave the Packers their 28th consecutive win.

The Packers will face Mill Creek (13-0) after the Hawks blanked Archer 23-0 on the strength of vicious defensive effort and solid placekicking. Mill Creek’s only offensive touchdown came on a Cameron Turley to Daniel Leconte 12-yard pass. Peyton Moore scored on a pick six while kicker Brenton King went 3-of-4 on fields goals. The victory put Mill Creek in the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Colquitt County travels to north/metro Atlanta Georgia for the second straight week as Mill Creek will host. Colquitt County leads the all-time series 2-0. The teams met last season’s opener at McEachern High School with Colquitt County winning 31-14. The Packers defeated the Hawks 27-14 in the 2010 5A quarterfinals in Moultrie.

On the other side of the bracket Roswell (13-0) advanced past Collins Hill despite scoring a season-low 17 points in their 17-10 victory. Roswell quarterback Quintarius Neely engineered a 96-yard drive capped with his 17-yard touchdown to break a 10-10 tie. Neely also passed for a touchdown. Sheldon Evans rushed for over 150 yards for the Hornets.

Grayson (13-0) came from behind to defeat Westlake 35-28 after a late interception by Matthew Greenway preserved the victory. Grayson’s Cameryn Brent rushed for over 260 yards and four touchdowns. Westlake quarterback Malik Willis amassed over 200 all-purpose yards passing for three touchdowns and rushing for another in defeat.

Grayson will host Roswell in the schools first-ever meeting.

Four teams with a combined 52-0 record speaks volumes about how tough each team is. The playoff path each took to reach the semifinals is easily one of the toughest in all of high school football from coast to coast.

All four teams entered the quarterfinals ranked in the latest National High School Football Top 100, all will remain ranked when the rankings are updated Monday. Colquitt County entered the quarterfinals No.4, Grayson No.9, Roswell No.11 and Mill Creek at No. 63. Mill Creek is certain to move up with its impressive shutout victory over previously fifteenth-ranked Archer.

UPDATED: MIll Creek moved up to No. 30 in the latest National High School Football Top 100. Colquitt, Grayson and Roswell all remained the same. Archer fell to No. 33.


Cedar Shoals Races By Creekside; Sweeps Lou Williams Classic

Cedar Shoals trailed early in the first quarter to Creekside 5-0 Friday in the Lou Williams Classic, from there the Jaguars outscored the Seminoles 24-4 the rest of the quarter and never looked back.

The Jaguars continued to open the game up in the second quarter with pressure defense leading to twelve Creekside turnovers, fast break points, timely shooting and second chance points before halftime.

Cedar Shoals took its biggest lead of the game on a Greg Smith fast break layup from Jerrick Mitchell for a 39-16 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the half and led 44-23 at halftime.

The Jaguars maintained a comfortable cushion most of the second half despite being outscored 29-23 in the half. Creekside never pulled closer than 15 points until less than a minute remaining for the final 67-52 margin.

Jerrick Mitchell posted a game-high 15, Phlandrous Fleming 13, Greg Smith 11 while Stavion Stevenson and Chris Gresham each tallied eight points for Cedar Shoals.

Shawn Rushing scored a team-high 12 while Christian Harris had nine. Tony Wood, Jordan Rhodes and Dwight Joiner each scored eight points for Creekside.


On Saturday Cedar Shoals improved to 4-0 sweeping its two-game showing in the Lou Williams Classic at South Gwinnett High School.

Jerrick Mitchell led the Jags with 16 points while Greg Smith tallied 10 in the 62-56 win over Tri-Cities.

Eighth-ranked Cedar Shoals opens region 8-5A action Tuesday against Apalachee. The Jaguars will face Winder-Barrow and Elbert County before hosting Gainesville December 8th.

Gainesville entered last weeks action unranked despite D’Marcus Simonds being one of the most highly-touted players in the nation. Simonds led Gainesville to a victory over defending 1A-Private champion St. Francis-playing without highly-touted recruit Kobi Simmons, last week in its season opener.



McEachern falls in season opener


Fourth-ranked McEachern fell 74-67 to unranked Southwest Dekalb in the Parkview Tip-Off Classic Tuesday night.

Jada Lewis finished with 31 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Chantel Wilson chipped in 13 points, Que Morrison had a box score stuffing 6 points, 7 assist and 7 rebounds while Jasmin Clements tallied six points and grabbed ten rebounds for the Lady Indians

“We aren’t in basketball shape right now,” McEachern head coach Phyllis Arthur said.”We looked like we had elephant legs. We’ll regroup and get in basketball shape and will be ready for whoever is next.”

McEachern (0-1) returns to action  on December 4th in a region game against Hillgrove.

The Lady Indians were not the only Top 5 team to fall in the event. No.1 Norcross (4-1) had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 61-60 loss to No.9 Tucker on a buzzer beating layup by Najla Shamrid-Dean.

McEachern and Norcross have combined to win the last six state titles in Georgia’s highest classification since 2010, each winning three. McEachern is the two-time defending state champion.



Roswell Gets Solid Win, Down Camden County

The Roswell Hornets have been trending up all season. The Hornets, ranked No.12, took on their first nationally ranked opponent for the first time in recent history against No.84 Camden County in the National High School Football Top 100 

The Hornets jumped on the Wildcats early and then kept the Wildcats at bay to get the win.

Underrated, yet respected running back Sheldon Evans capped Roswell’s opening 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Hornets up 7-0 with 8:21 left in the opening frame. Evans finished with a quiet 181 yards and two touchdowns but was a vital part of the Roswell offense against a stiff Camden defense that made sound adjustments in the second half.

After punting on its opening possession Camden County forced Roswell to punt yet muffed it, Roswell’s Mitch Stone recovered the muff. Roswell cashed it in for a touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Quintarious Neely to AJ Smith to push the lead to 14-0 with 2 minutes left in the fourth. The touchdown pass by Neely capped his 11-of-11 start throwing the football, mainly on short passes and long screens.

Evans found the end zone again with six seconds gone by in the second quarter racing in from 34-yards out to give the Hornets a 21-0 lead.

Camden never got anything going on offense and were forced to punt and then threw and interception. Roswell turned that interception into points with a 32-yard field goal from Turner Barckhoff to push the margin to 24-0 with 2:57 left in the first half.

Camden, desperate for points and now having to somewhat abandon its run heavy Wing-T offense, answered for the first time with a 62-yard drive with a  34-yard touchdown pass from Antonio Hamilton to Kevon Brewington just before the end of the half for 24-7 halftime score.

Camden was unable to get points on its opening possession of the second half and Roswell went up 31-7 on a 10-yard touchdown run by Quintarious Neely with just over four minutes gone by in the third quarter.

After a punting showcase by each team the rest of the third and into the fourth quarter, Camden continued to fight scoring midway in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run by Harrison Poole with 6:25 left in the game. Roswell would eat the clock and finish the drive and game with a Barckhoff 39-yard field goal for the final 34-15 margin.

Neely finished with 216 yard passing with one touchdown, Neely also rushed for a touchdown while Evans rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

Roswell (12-0) will host Collins Hill in the 6A quarterfinals next week. Camden County (10-2) will look to build off a successful bounce back season in which both of its losses came to teams in the 6A quarterfinals (Colquitt County was the other), following a 5-5 effort in 2014 which resulted in missing the playoffs.


Tucker Uses Balance To Get By Langston Hughes

Garrett Rigby has commanded the Tucker Tigers high-powered rushing Wing-T offense all season from the quarterback spot. In the first round of the state playoffs the senior signal caller balanced the run with the pass.

Rigby passed for a season-high three touchdowns while running backs Chris Broadwater and Myles Donaldson each rushed for over 100 yards in a 38-28 victory over visiting Langston Hughes.

Behind the play of Rigby the Tigers scored four touchdowns on six first half possessions to open up what began as a back and forth affair.

Sam Bryant scored on a 4-yard touchdown to put Tucker ahead 7-0. Langston Hughes answered back in two plays when Isaiah Green hit Karam Puckett for a 56-yard touchdown to even the score with just over three minutes gone by in the opening quarter.

The Panthers would recover a fumble on the ensuing kickoff but were turned over on downs by the Tigers. Moments later Rigby found leading receiver Joshua Vann for a 27-yard touchdown pass to put Tucker up 14-7. Langston Hughes again answered back with a Green 1-yard touchdown run to even the score at 14 with 37 seconds left in the quarter. Green’s 38-yard pass to Rashad Burch set up the score.

Rigby went back to air capping an eight-play 73-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Sam Bryant. Rigby later hit Vann again, this time from 20 yards out, giving the Tigers a 28-14 halftime lead.

Tucker stretched the lead to 21 points in the third quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by Sam Bryant with 7:03 left.

Langston Hughes mounted a rally as Green hit Tony Jones Jr on a 27-yard touchdown pass in the third and then scored his second rushing touchdown from a yard out in the fourth quarter to pull Hughes to within 35-28 with 7:09 remaining. Tucker put the game away on its next possession as Adam Lippy made a 27-yard field goal for the final 38-28 margin with 2:25 left in the game.

Tucker (7-4) will travel to South Forsyth (10-1) in the second round. Tucker faces the War Eagles for the first time since 2003 and leads the all-time series 2-0.

Langston Hughes (5-6) will look toward next season with much experience gained for a youthful team that will only lose three starters on each side of the ball.

Langston Hughes and Tucker Will Complete Georgia 6A Bracket

The first round of the Georgia high school football playoffs began on Friday, the second round bracket will be completed tonight shy of midnight as the winner of Langston Hughes (5-5) and Tucker (7-3) will fit in the final piece of the puzzle.

Both teams have played solid schedules in the regular season, Tucker took on an OOS (out-of-state) foes Godby (FL) and Blackman (TN). Langston Hughes stacked its non-region schedule with the likes of Mays. Grayson and Creekside, two of which advanced to the second round of the Georgia playoffs in its respective class.

Tucker runs the ball at a clip of upwards of 300 yards a game on the legs of leading rusher Chris Broadwater. Langston Hughes throws it off the arm of Isaiah Green at a clip upwards of 285 yards per game.

Stephenson Holds Off Mays, Wins Region Title

The excitement was in the air Friday night at Lakewood Stadium as Stephenson and Mays squared off for the Region 6-5A championship. Each team couldn’t wait to kick the game off as matters escalated during pregame warmups as both teams exchanged words, smack talk and noise in advance of the opening kickoff.

After a scoreless first quarter, Stephenson opened the scoring with a 29-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Mays would drive right back down the field yet missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Stephenson then marched 80 yards in 16 plays (14 rushing plays) capped by a Trestan Kinsler 4-yard touchdown run to put Stephenson up 10-0. That score held until halftime.

Mays' Randrecous Davis is held back by an official during pregame warmups. Davis caught a touchdown in the game
Mays’ Randrecous Davis is held back by an official during pregame warmups. Davis caught a touchdown pass in the game

Mays opened the second half with a 22-yard field by Trenton Jamison to pull the Raiders within 10-3. After forcing a three-and-out Stephenson’s punt went for minus-2 yards to their own 18. Two plays later BJ Phillips hit Randrecous Davis for an 18-yard touchdown pass however the extra point was blocked leaving the score 10-9 with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The defensive battle continued the remainder of the game, fittingly it was the defense that won the game in the end for Stephenson. After Stephenson punter Justin Smith mishandled the snap, Mays took over with just over one minute remaining in the game at the Stephenson 25 with no timeouts. Mays was unable to use the miscue as the Stephenson defense, led by Michael Pitts, Aaron Sterling and Amari Andrews, recorded three of the Jaguars 10 sacks on Mays’ final possession including a fourth down sack by Amari Andrews on the games final play sealing the victory and first region championship since 2009. the 10 sacks were the most Mays allowed in a game this season.

Stephenson enters the playoffs 9-1 without a loss a Georgia opponent, as the Region 6-5A top seed and will host Rome in the first round. Mays (9-1) is the No.2 seed will host Creekview in the first round of the playoffs.

Colts Rout Lake Weir In Regular Season Finale

For years homecoming opponents are suppose to be easy victories where alumni gather for festivities, fun and cheering proudly in support their team in an “expected” victory. In Thursday night’s regular season finale North Marion took that to another level against Marion County foe Lake Weir (5-5; 0-4).

The Colts kicked off the homecoming weekend in grand fashion by jumping all over Lake Weir early and often to the point that multiple mercy rules were activated. By the end of the first quarter the Colts had set a new Marion County record* for points in a quarter with 53 as they led 53-0. The second quarter was played with a running clock which only saw the Colts score one touchdown on a 63-yard Cameron Mackey run making the score at halftime 60-0.

The third and fourth quarters were played with ten minute running clocks yet still saw North Marion put up three more touchdowns to take a 74-0 lead. Lake Weir would score on a 94-yard touchdown pass in the waning moments for the final 74-6 margin.

When the dust settled Cameron Mackey rushed for two touchdowns with a touchdown reception. Sophomore sensation Justin Watkins rushed for two touchdowns, eclipsing 1,000 yards rushing for the season on his first carry-a 60-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. D’monte Reaves caught two touchdown passes while backup quarterback Dreqwan Williams rushed for a touchdown. It wasn’t all offense for North Marion as the defense was in on the scoring posting 18 points on two safeties. Jordan Woods returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown and Elijah Vuckovich returned an interception 65 yards for a score for the defense.

“We took it personal,” head coach Stephen Field said after the victory. North Marion (9-1; 2-0) was coming off its poorest performance of the season in a 38-14 loss to Hoover (AL) on national television last Thursday.

Field stated earlier in the week, “any opponent ahead of us right now will have to feel the improvements we made from the Hoover game. We took that loss personal as a staff and a team.” Check the box on that one as Lake Weir felt the wrath.

The 74 points by North Marion tied a school record for points in a game*.

“It’s pretty awesome breaking a county record, it’s a great feeling for our kids,” Field said yet was also quick to acknowledge the groundwork laid prior to his arrival.

“(North Marion) is the way it is because Craig Damon (former North Marion Head Coach and Athletic Director) built it this way,” Fields lamented. “Craig is a guy that’s my mentor in many ways and I’m glad to keep going what he did.”

North Marion opens the 5A playoffs at home against Menedez in the 5A regional quarterfinals next week at Stan Toole Memorial Stadium in Sparr. Menedez (5-5; 3-2) lost to Mantanza 28-20 Thursday night to close the regular season.

*According to Richard Burton of Florida Football Records (follow on Twitter)

Stephenson And Mays Set To Battle For Region Crown

Dekalb County Georgia meet Atlanta Public Schools. That’s the case as Dekalb’s Stephenson and APS’ Mays meet for the fifth time in history Friday. This meeting will be slightly different from the previous four as the region 6-5A championship is on the line. Stephenson leads the all-time series 3-1 however Mays won the last meeting 13-9 in 2013 in head coach Corey Jarvis’ first season at Mays. Neither team has lost to a Georgia opponent this season.

Stephenson enters the contest 8-1 with its lone loss coming to Florida 5A favorite American Heritage (ranked No.1 in FL 5A and No.19 in the National HSFB 100) 38-6 back in late August. Mays enters 9-0 has not played an out-of-state opponent this season however the Raiders have been exploring their options for future seasons.

Jarvis is no stranger to Stephenson and head coach Ron Gartrell. In five seasons at ML King from 2005-2009 Jarvis posted a 3-1 record against Gartrell and the Jaguars. Jarvis leads the all-time head-to-head series between the two coaches 4-1.

“They are a different team this season. (Gartrell) will have them ready and we’ll be ready,” Mays head coach Jarvis said.

Since coming over from Duluth after the 2012 season, Jarvis is 29-7 at Mays with a class 5A state runner-up finish last season in now his third year at the southwest Atlanta school while. This season the Raiders have been nationally ranked since Labor Day, that’s nine straight weeks in the National HS Football 100, the longest an Atlanta Public School program has been nationally ranked in any national poll. Currently the Raiders are No.95, they’ve been as high as No. 84 and as low as No.97 during the nine week stretch and have been the only team from Georgia class 5A to crack the rankings despite not being higher than No.2 in the state 5A poll.

Jarvis has mainly downplayed the state and national rankings most of the season.

“We lost in the state championship game last season,” Jarvis says when it comes to questions about rankings.

Yes they did and if a return trip to the finals are in their plans it starts with Friday night with a win over Stephenson for the Region title and number one seed for the 5A playoffs.

Total Sports Coverage will have all the action live beginning at 7:20 pm et.