The Florida high school football week 3 schedule was hit heavy by the approaching Hurricane Irma. Some games were moved up to Thursday, others were cancelled, some were postponed with uncertainty of if they will ever be played. Other games were played even out-of-state on Friday. Here are the games of interest that we followed this week.
Vanguard (3-0) handed rival North Marion (0-3) its third straight loss to open a season for the first time since 1994. The Knights jumped on the Colts early and often and ran away with a 45-0 victory. Vanguard is a heavy favorite in the Marion County area and has contender status in the 6A class under fourth-year head coach Edwin Farmer. Knights’ quarterback Marquez Glover passed for over 250 yards and three touchdowns passing.
The game was never in doubt as Vanguard raced to a 31-0 halftime lead and early in the third quarter enforced Florida’s running clock rule after going up 38-0. Vanguard capped the scoring when backup quarterback Trevonte Rucker hit Russell Tolbert for a 15-yard touchdown pass for the final 45-0 margin.
The shutout ended a 94-game streak for North Marion and the 45-point defeat was their worst shutout loss since 1983.
Miami Central (3-0) was able to leave south Florida on Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Irma for the pacific time zone. The Rockets had a nationally televised date with Nevada power and private school Bishop Gorman (1-2). Gorman is ranked higher than Miami Central in most every respectable national poll but were coming of their first loss last week to Mater Dei (CA).That loss snapped Gorman’s 55-game winning streak.
Miami Central was unfazed by the lore of Bishop Gorman and represented the state of Florida and southeastern high school well coming away with a 24-14 victory.
James Cook rushed for over 200 yards with rushing touchdowns of 83 and 87 yards. Cook’s 87-yard touchdown run came moments after an interception by Chris Metayer inside the Bishop Gorman five with less than four minutes remaining in the game. The Rockets win marked the first time Bishop Gorman had loss consecutive games since 2006.
The High School football season cranked up with a full schedule in Georgia on the final Friday in September. Here are some notes and scores from around the state.
In a battle of state champions from the highest class in Georgia (Grayson) and Alabama (Hoover), host Grayson jumped out a 14-0 lead and held on late for a 35-26 victory over the Buccaneers. Hoover (0-1) pulled to within two points, 28-26 on Larry McCammon’s third rushing touchdown with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Grayson answered quickly when DJ Irons hooked up with Keynon Jackson for 71-yard touchdown pass to give Grayson (1-0) the 35-26 cushion which they held for the victory. Ronald Thompkins rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns while DJ Irons passed for 200 yards and touchdown and rushed for a touchdown. Hoover falls to 2-4 all-time against Georgia opponents and 0-2 all-time to Grayson.
In Moultrie, GA the Colquitt County (2-0) Packers won their second straight game with a 26-7 victory over Vista Murrieta (CA). Daijun Edwards rushed for two touchdowns, Cam Singletary scored on a 46-yard touchdown reception and the Colquitt County defense held their second straight opponent under 150 yards of total offense. It was the Packers first-ever game against a team from California.
Lowndes (2-0) shutout its second opponent in a row with a 56-0 victory over International School Of Broward (FL). The Vikings have outscored their first two opponents 111-0 to open the season including a 45-0 victory over rival Valdosta in the season opener. Valdosta (1-1) defeated Woodland-Stockbridge (1-1) 26-0 to earn it’s first victory of the season while handing the Wolfpack it’s first loss.
Walton (2-0) under first-year head coach Daniel Brunner withstood Brookwood (0-2) 42-35. DJ Soyoye rushed for three touchdowns, quarterback Austin Kirksey passed for over 260 yards with a touchdown while highly-touted receiver Dominick Blaylock caught a touchdown pass for Walton. Brookwood was powered again by its rushing attack from Matthew Hill (rushing and receiving TD) and Dante Black (3 rushing TDs).
Defending 5A state champion Rome (1-0) defeated 6A Harrison (0-1) 33-21. Rome score the final 16 points of the contest after Harrison scored 14 unanswered points to take a 21-17 lead in the second half after trailing 17-7. Knox Kadum passed for a pair of touchdowns- both to Xavier Roberts, while Jamious Griffin rushed for a touchdown and defensive lineman JaQuon Griffin returned a fumble for a touchdown. Highly-touted Harrison quarterback Justin Fields passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another while finishing with over 300 yards of total offense.
Clarke Central (1-1) rebounded from a season opening loss to Winder-Barrow by defeating Oconee County (0-1) 27-11. Leading 14-3 in the third quarter, Jonathan Sewell caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Jack Mangel. Kapres Forbes put the game away by returning a punt 51 yards for a touchdown giving Clarke Central a 27-3 lead later in the third quarter. Mangel and Nadarrius Smith each had rushing touchdowns against the Warriors.
Stockbridge (1-0) used a Gabe McKensize touchdown run, a short field goal and a stout defense to defeat Mays (0-1) 9-0 for the second consecutive season. It marked the first time Mays was shutout in 64 games.
Mill Creek (2-0) scored 31 unanswered points enroute to a 31-13 victory over class 6A Stephenson (0-2). The Hawks, who overcame a deficit for the second consecutive week (defeated McEachern in season opener after trailing), rushed for over 200 yards and four touchdowns as a team.
Cartersville (2-0) won their 32nd consecutive game with a 52-45 victory over Bartram Trail (FL) (0-1). Rico Frye rushed for a one-yard touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to break a 45-45 tie and give Cartersville the 52-45 lead. Bartram Trail moved to the Cartersville 11 yard line after a pass interference call in the end zone however on the next play Riley Smith’s pass was incomplete as time expired. Cartersville’s highly-touted quarterback Trevor Lawrence passed for over 400 yards with three touchdowns while Rico Frye rushed for over 125 yards and two touchdowns. Bartram Trail rotated Smith and Gatewood at quarterback most of the day. Gatewood passed for over 160 yards and a touchdown while rushing for over 115 yards.
Cedar Shoals (1-0) overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Discovery (0-2) for the second consecutive season 22-12. Trailing 12-7, Cedar Shoals’ Cameron Hudson returned a lateral for a touchdown for a 15-12 lead after a successful two-point conversion. The Jaguars sealed the deal with a 19-play drive capped by a Jephari Colbert 7-yard touchdown with just more than three minutes remaining in the game. Colbert rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars.
Other scores of interest:
Tucker (2-0) defeated Lakeside-Dekalb (0-2) 54-0; Tucker travels to Colquitt County this week.
Cedar Grove (2-0) defeated Southwest Dekalb (1-1) 37-7
North Gwinnett (1-1) defeated Milton (1-1) 31-28
Langston Hughes (2-0) defeated Westlake (0-1) 16-13; Langston Hughes is off this week before hosting Mays on Sept. 8th. Westlake will host Shiloh this week
Venice (FL) (1-0) defeated Camden County (1-1) 35-3; Camden County does not have a passing touchdown through two games this season in its new spread offense.
Redan (1-1) defeated Lithona (0-2) 18-9
Dutchtown (1-0) defeated Ola (1-1) 39-7
Central Gwinnett (2-0) defeated Dacula (0-1) 36-33
Valdosta (1-1) defeated Woodland-Stockbridge (1-1) 26-0; Woodland-Stockbridge travels to Tri-Cities this Saturday
Buford (2-0) defeated Melbourne Central Catholic (FL) (0-1) 34-17; Buford hosts International School of Broward (FL) this week
Lovejoy (2-0) defeated Mundy’s Mill (0-2) 33-14; Lovejoy faces Stockbridge this week at Tri-Cites on Saturday
The first annual Craig Sager Memorial Classic will be held November 18, 20 and 21 at Dacula High School. The tournament is in honor of the late sports broadcaster Craig Sager, who passed away in December of 2016 after battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Thursday morning the tournament field was announced by event co-founder and head Dacula boys basketball coach Dr. Russ Triaga.
Triaga along with Sager’s son Craig Sager II are the founders of the tournament.
Tournament seeding will be conducted by an independent panel of Coaches, Media and Player Evaluators. There are three non-active coaches on the panel with a combined 12 state championships who still reside in Georgia and follow Georgia high school basketball.
A total of 32 teams will participate, 16 each of boys and girls. Host Dacula along with Buford, Lakeside-Dekalb, Therrell and Walnut Grove will each have both boys and girls teams in the tournament field. 48 games will be played in total.
Below are the girls teams in the field.
Archer (GA 7A semifinalist), Walnut Grove, Grayson, Douglass-Atlanta, Dacula, North Gwinnett, Duluth, Columbia, Holy Innocents (GA 1A Private Runner Up), Valdosta, Hebron, Shiloh, Buford (GA 5A Champion), Lakeside-Dekalb, Therrell and West Forsyth
The boys field will feature non-Georgia teams from Alabama, Florida and New York. Below are the boys teams.
Dacula, Harrison, Harris County, John’s Creek, South Gwinnett, Johnson-Savannah, Osbourne, Northview, Owego Free Academy (NY), Walnut Grove, Hialeah (FL), Therrell, Lakeside-Dekalb, Buford (GA 5A Champion), Discovery and Carver-Montgomery (AL).
Dacula will utilize both gyms on their campus for the tournament with boys and girls games being played at the same time. Each day games will begin in both gyms at 10 am with the final games beginning each night at 8:30 pm. Triaga said talks were “in progress” for live broadcasting/streaming of the event.
Grayson fumbles on its opening possession inside the IMG twenty. IMG’s drive stalled due to penalties and punt to the Grayson fourteen. Grayson began its next drive late in the first quarter and finished it early in the second quarter with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Chase Brice to Jamyest Williams for a 7-0 lead with 10:28 remaining. Williams committed to South Carolina earlier in the afternoon.
IMG Academy answered the Grayson score with a 14-play 80-yard drive capped by a Kellen Mond 15-yard touchdown run tying the game 7-7 with 5:16 left.
Grayson fumbles on a high snap and handoff between Brice and Williams, IMG recovers with 2:14 left at the Grayson 41. Cooper Graham connected on a 37-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to give the Ascenders a 10-7 lead at halftime.
On the first play of the second half Mike Jones intercepted Brice on the Grayson 23. IMG had a 23-yard touchdown called back due to holding and then turned the ball over on downs with 10:04 in the third quarter.
Grayson turned the ball over on downs with another high snap on fourth down for a loss of 18 yards. IMG started on its own 49. Kellen Mond went over 100 yards rushing for the game on a 9-play 51-yard drive ending with his second rushing touchdown of the game from 2-yards out. IMG missed the extra point and leads 16-7 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.
Grayson goes three-and-out and punt near the end of the third quarter. IMG leads 16-7 at the end of the third quarter. Copper Graham connected on his second field goal, this one from 34-yards to give IMG a 19-7 lead with 9:47 left in the fourth quarter. IMG added another score on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Mond to Jhamon Ausbon for a 26-7 lead with 4:43 remaining which held for the final score.
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.
For North Marion (8-1; 2-0) it’s about bouncing back from their first loss of the season. There were a laundry list of issues for the Colts in last weeks loss at Hoover (AL). They were penalized 11 times for 65 yards, committed three turnovers, were 1-of-14 on third down, allowed season highs in points (38) and rushing yards (166 and five touchdowns) while scoring a season-low 14 points.
“After reviewing the film we are still upset with our performance but excited to polish the product for the next opponent, we are ready for whoever,” head coach Stephen Field said.
With the final week of the regular season here the Colts turn their attention to county foe Lake Weir (5-4; 0-4). The Hurricanes struggled in district 5-6A play this season and will miss the playoffs.
“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,” Field said.
North Marion will host district 5A-5 runner up Menendez (St. Augustine, FL) in the regional quarterfinals when the playoff begin November 13th.
“Menendez I’m sure is a great program but we are concerned with improving us, everything else will fall in place.”
Menendez (5-4; 3-2) closes it’s regular season against Matanzas (7-2; 3-2 District 6A-13).
The Hoover Bucs entered their out of state contest with North Marion (FL) with plenty on the line. The Bucs picked up eight points towards the tiebreaker and will finish as the Region 3 runner-up after a 38-14 victory over the visiting Colts.
North Marion got it started early on a 66 -yard touchdown pass from Caleb Seiler to Freddie Swain for a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter. From there Hoover used short fields, a strong running game with timely passing and third down conversions to to rip off 31 unanswered points to close the first half with a 31-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Chris Vacarella rushed for two touchdowns, CJ Sturdivant and Vonte Brackett scored on rushing touchdowns and Barret Pickering added a 27-yard field goal during Hoover’s explosion.
After a stagnant first half after the opening touchdown, the Colts offense came to live on their second possession of the third quarter by going 98 yards in 15 plays scoring on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Seiler to Swain to pull within 31-14 but would get no closer. Hoover added another rushing touchdown from Gailen Richardson early in the fourth quarter for the final 38-14 margin.
North Marion (8-1; 2-0) was lead by Justin Watkins 134 yards rushing on 25 totes while Swain finished with five receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns receiving.
Vonte Brackett finished with 77 yards rushing (71 in the first half) and Vacarella was 10-of-18 for 122 yards passing without a touchdown or interception.
Hoover was able to use the field position game to it’s advantage and went 6-of-7 in the red zone, a missed field goal on their third possession of the game was the only time the Buccaneers did not score int he red zone. North Marion was unable to convert on third downs throughout the night finishing 1-of-14.
Hoover will begin the Alabama 7A playoffs next Friday while North Marion will host Lake Weir to close their regular season in Florida before hosting the first round if the 5A Florida playoffs on November 13th.
Total Sports Coverage continues to strive towards providing you with high school football from across the southeastern United States. We are pleased to announce that we will have our traditional live audio only broadcast for the North Marion (FL) Colts against the Hoover (GA) Buccaneers on tonight Thursday October 29th.
This will feature our first game in the state of Alabama and our first game featuring teams from Alabama and Florida. In our seventh season, Total Sports Coverage continues to apply its mission statement…” Our quest is to bring premium sports broadcast to the internet covering the sports landscape that normally would not receive optimum coverage.”
North Marion will be playing its first-ever varsity football game outside of the state of Florida. Prior to this season, North Marion rarely played outside of the north central Florida area. The Colts opened their season at Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, FL) marking the farthest south the Colts had ever played a varsity football game. North Marion is 8-0; 2-0, 2015 District 6-5A champions and have made the playoffs the last 16 seasons, the last two under second-year head coach Stephen Field.
Hoover is nationally known and respected. Despite limping in to the contest winners of only 2 of its last 4, the Buccaneers are 7-2 and currently in a three-way tie for the runner-up spot in Region 3, which carries a first round home playoff game. Hoover has faced a team from Florida this season defeating 8A Manatee 42-21.
Our live broadcast coverage will begin at 7pm central time with kickoff following at 7:30pm. Catch all of the action here via your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
In Florida…North Marion (FL) defeated Gainesville 37-28 to improve to 5-0 this season. Jordan Woods and Sherman Jones each had fumble recoveries for touchdowns while Cameron Mackey, Caleb Seiler and Justin Watkins each had rushing touchdowns for the Colts.
The Colts played most of the game without standout receiver Freddie Swain. Swain suffered a shoulder injury early in the game and did not return. Head coach Stephen Field indicated Swain was “ok”.
Gainesville’s Caelan Christian passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another. Dock Luckie caught two touchdown pass for the Hurricanes in the loss.
North Marion will look to improve to 6-0 for the first time in school history next Friday when they face Eastside (0-4). Eastside feel 28-14 to Forest Friday night.
In South Carolina…Spartanburg (5-0) remained undefeated with a 55-7 victory over Riverside with another display of the depth of weapons they possess. Junior Eric Rice caught two touchdown passes and recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown for the Vikings. Tavien Feaster, Tavaris Scott and Ladarius Jones each caught touchdown passes from Austin Scott. Scott passed for over 400 yards with five touchdowns while MIke Murphy returned an interception for a touchdown.
Spartanburg (5-0; 1-0) will travel to rival Byrnes (5-0; 1-0) next Friday.
Byrnes remained undefeated by winning its region opener 28-23 over Boiling Springs 28-23. Micah Young connected with Jaylan Foster for the Rebels only passing touchdown of the night. Quez Mayes added a rushing touchdown however it was two fourth quarter rushing touchdowns by Steadman Rogers that sealed the victory. Rogers first touchdown run put Byrnes ahead 22-16 while his second extended the lead to 28-16 before Boiling Springs pulled to within five on a Mason Streater to Travalas Massey touchdown pass for the final margin.
In Georgia…Mill Creek improved to 5-0 for the first time in the school’s history with a 28-0 road win over North Gwinnett (2-3; 0-2). It marked the first time in school history the Hawks defeated the Bulldogs. Running back Daniel Laconte rushed for over 150 yards and three touchdowns while Cameron Turley connected with Miles Riley for a passing touchdown in the Hawks victory. Mill Creek’s defense recorded three interceptions.
North Gwinnett leads the all-time series 9-1 over Mill Creek.
Mill Creek (5-0; 2-0) will host an improved Meadowcreek next Friday. North Gwinnett was shutout for the first time since 2009 when Camden Camden defeated them 35-0 in the quarterfinals of the 5A playoffs. The Bulldogs will travel to Norcross (5-0; 2-0) next Friday.
Marion County’s (FL) longest running series continued last Friday night from Booster Stadium in Ocala, FL when the Vanguard Knights hosted their northern county neighbors, the North Marion Colts.
North Marion, ranked fourth in the 5A AP state poll and 19th in the FloridaHSFootball.com Sunshine State 25, got off to a quick 14-0 nothing lead as Caleb Seiler connected with James Mitchell and Justin Watkins for touchdown passes of 43 and 10 yards on the Colts first two possessions.
Vanguard would make it interesting on more than one occasion. After a 7-yard touchdown run by Alonzo Taylor, Vanguard forced North Marion to punt from its own end zone after a three-and-out. North Marion would botch the snap and give up a safety. On the ensuing possession Vanguard faced a fourth and goal for the two yard-line trailing 14-8. North Marion would keep Vanguard out of the endzone and the offense answered by going 98 yards in three plays to take a 21-8 lead on a 9-yard Justin Watkins touchdown run.
A late second quarter Vanguard touchdown made it 21-14 at the half.
In the second half, Vanguard score on a 47-yard screen pass from N’Kosi Perry to Alonzo Taylor to pull within 21-20 after another failed extra point- Vanguard was 0-of-5 on PATs in the game. That would be as close as Vanguard would get.
North Marion proceeded to score 21 unanswered points on a three-yard touchdown run by Cameron Mackey, 27-yard touchdown run by Watkins and 30-plus yard fumble return by defensive/offensive lineman Darius Carr in the third quarter to take a commanding 42-20 lead. Watkins finished with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Standout wide receiver Freddie Swain did not score a touchdown despite recording close to 100 yard receiving yards
Perry would connect with Darryn Lake on two late touchdown passes for Vanguard to make the final 42-32 score more respectable. Lake finished with three touchdown receptions (all from Perry).
The Colts (3-0) senior-laden defense was led by four-star recruit Jordan Woods, Desmond Carson and Khali Mitchell among others in an good defensive effort barring big plays by Vanguard (2-1).
North Marion won its third consecutive game in the series and lead the overall series 25-23. Vanguard dropped its eighth straight game against ranked opponents since 2012.
North Marion will host Pasco at Stan Toole Memorial Stadium Friday while Vanguard will travel to Lakewood.