The updated Perfect Game HS Top 50 national rankings showed expected movement with Winder-Barrow being eliminated and Mill Creek advancing in the state playoffs.
North Gwinnett is now the highest ranked of seven Georgia teams coming in at No. 8 followed by Allatoona (No.14), Parkview (No. 17), Blessed Trinity (No.22), Pope (No. 33), Winder-Barrow (No. 40) while Mill Creek enters the rankings for the first time at No. 44.
Outside of Winder-Barrow’s 37-spot slide, Blessed Trinity slid nine spots after suffering a game 2 loss to Columbus however rebounded to win the series in three games to advance.
With Winder-Barrow out, Allatoona (31-3) and Pope (31-5) are the only remaining nationally ranked teams in class 6A. Allatoona swept Effingham County in the second round and will host a hot Johns Creek (20-12) team in the Elite 8. Pope swept last season’s 5A state champion Houston County to advance to face Dalton (24-8). Region 6-6A widely considered the toughest region in class 6A, has three of four teams remaining in the Elite 8 in Allatoona, Dalton and River Ridge.
North Gwinnett (32-2) and Parkview (30-4) would meet in the class 7A semifinals if each survive their Elite 8 matchups. North Gwinnett will travel to Hillgrove (25-10) while Parkview will host Woodstock (24-13). Mill Creek (31-5) is on the opposite of the bracket and will travel to North Paulding (23-10). Hillgrove is the lone remaining Cobb County team in class 7A after last season’s 6A state champion Walton fell to Mill Creek.
Blessed Trinity (31-4) will host West Laurens (23-10). The Titans have passed very tough tasks in the first two rounds of class 4A defeating Cartersville and Columbus.
Other Series of Note:
Class 3A’s top-ranked team Redan (25-9) continues to roll. The Raiders have won 16 straight game an advanced to the Elite 8 after sweeping Crisp County and will host Coahulla Creek. Redan has scored 12 or more runs in three of their four playoffs games so far. Coahulla Creek (24-9) was ranked tenth by the Georgia Dugout Preview rankings entering the playoffs and defeated No. 6 Pike County in the second round. Six of the top 10 in class 3A are in the quarterfinals with Calhoun and Lovett being the two unranked teams.
Roswell (5-0) continued its impressive defensive play this season shutting out its second straight opponent with a 17-0 victory over Milton. The Hornets have not allowed more than seven points (Buford in season opener) in a game this season. Sheldon Evans rushed for two touchdowns for the Hornets.
Mill Creek (6-0) pulled away from North Gwinnett (3-3) late in the second quarter and posted its second straight victory over the Bulldogs 44-17. Cameron Turley passed for three touchdowns and Cole Wroble rushed for a pair of touchdowns for the Hawks
Lowndes (6-1) racked up over 600 yards of total offense to defeat Ware County 56-35. Ware County (2-3) jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to see the Vikings roar back with a strong third quarter and cruise to victory.
Nolan Donley hit Demond Ellison on a 40-yard touchdown pass with less than thirty seconds remaining as Cherokee (3-3) knocked off Etowah (4-2) 28-21. Etowah’s Tyray Devezin rushed for two touchdowns in the loss.
Norcross (6-0) defeated Parkview (3-2) in the battle of quarterbacks committed to play collegiate baseball. Norcross’ Byron Radcliff passed for three touchdowns as the Blue Devils defeated Parkview for the seventh time in the last eight meetings 38-15.
Trailing 14-13 with less than five minutes remaining, Daetrich Harrington raced 55 yards for a touchdown as Alexander (5-0) defeated Northgate 21-14. Kyle Cater rushed for a touchdown for Northgate in defeat.
Lovejoy (4-3) defeated Mt. Zion-Jonesboro (2-4) 35-9. Lovejoy QB John Seter passed for three touchdowns as the Wildcats improved to 4-0 in region play with a 35-9 victory.
Camden County (2-4) picked up its second win of the season by displacing Forest Park 67-14. Camden County scored more than 17 points in a game for the first time this season. Forest Park (0-7; one loss by forfeit) scored a season-high 14 points, cracking the double digit mark for the first time this season. Forest Park head coach Dale Myers is a native of Kingsland, GA and former Camden County player.In his second second, Myers has yet to pick up a victory as Forest Park is now 0-16 under Myers. Forest Park has not won more than three games since a seven-win season in 2000 and have had eleven head coaches during that span.
Preston Taylor nailed a 39-yard field goal with one second remaining to give Newton (4-1-1) a 13-12 victory over South Gwinnett (4-2). South Gwinnett took a 12-10 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Dawson Newman with less than a minute remaining. Blake Brok rushed for Newton’s lone touchdown.
Leading 20-0 in the third quarter, Shaun Jolly returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown as Stephenson (3-3) defeated Jonesboro (0-6) 27-0.
Tucker (5-1) defeated Mundy’s Mill (1-5) 34-14. Tucker quarterback Xavier Sheppard passed for a pair of touchdowns in the victory.
Isaiah Green passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more as Langston Hughes (5-1) defeated Creekside 35-34. Creekside (4-2) scored with just over one minute remaining in the game however failed on the two-point conversion attempt.
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.
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).
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.
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.
J.J. Green raced 48-yards on the Wildcats first play of scrimmage for a touchdown to give Camden the early 7-0 lead. Green would later add another touchdown run for his 50th as a Camden County Wildcat, tying Brandon West for first in the schools all-time history. Green has scored 300 total points and is second behind Brandon West (304 points) by four points for most points scored in Camden County history. Antonio Wimbush added a 67-yard punt return touchdown while Brice Ramsey tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kalvarez Bessent in Camden’s 34-14 win over East Coweta. Bessent also added a touchdown run for the Wildcats. Camden County scored 20 unanswered points to open the second half to break open a tight game which was 14-7 at halftime. Camden will host Norcross in the quarterfinals next week.
Norcross’s Alvin Kamara ran for three touchdowns and piled up over 180 yards rushing as the Blue Devils defeated South Gwinnett for the second time this 2012 season 27-7 to advance to the quarterfinals against Camden County. Electric junior Myles Autry scored a touchdown via the run game for Norcross to open the scoring, the rest of the Norcross points were scored by Kamara. South Gwinnett’s touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from Jordan Ramsey to Bernard Robinson in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.
Lovejoy set the tone by taking a 7-0 lead after Arshard Jackson caught a touchdown pass on their way to a 36-15 win over Marietta. Marietta jumped on a Lovejoy mistake picking up a botched snap on a field goal attempt and Onterrio Lay returned it 60-plus yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, Marietta cashed in the two-point conversion and led for the only time 8-7. After that Lovejoy ripped off 29 unanswered points before Marietta added a late touchdown and Lovejoye punched their ticket to the quarterfinals against North Gwinnett. Lovejoy quarterback Alejandro Bennefield tossed 3 touchdown passes on the night and running back Travis Custis powered the Wildcat running game with 96 yards rushing on 23 carries and caught a touchdown pass. Jeff Murphy also had a touchdown reception and Brandon Davis returned an interceptions 105 yards for a touchdown for Lovejoy. Davis also has an 88-yard block field goal return and 90-yard interception return for a touchdown in the postseason. Marietta’s only offensive touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Anthony Jennings hit Tyree Harris on a 44-yard scoring pass. Lovejoy’s defense shutdown the explosive offensive attack of the Marietta Blue Devils all night recording multiple tackles for loss for in the game.
North Gwinnett took points however they could get them against a nationally-rated Grayson Ram defense to advance 28-10. North Gwinnett kicker Michael D’Angola kicked four field goals to give North Gwinnett a 12-3 lead into the third quarter. North Gwinnett’s defense would force four Grayson turnovers and the special teams would record a safety after a bad snap by Grayson. Dante Sawyer had a force fumble, recovered a fumble and had an interception for the Bulldogs defensively. Wideout Nate Brown tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Chad Scott for North Gwinnett’s only touchdown of the game on a reverse pass. Grayson’s Corey Schaffer caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Mill Creek’s Jacorey Lewis continued to pile up the yardage and touchdowns in his senior season. Lewis’ rushed for over 230 yards and with three touchdowns while Mill Creek scored touchdowns on their first eight possessions a 56-21 win over Brookwood. Brookwood defeated Mill Creek during the 2012 regular season 31-21. The 56 points given up by Brookwood were a school record. Mill Creek quarterback Daniel David passed for over 100 yards and a touchdown and rushed for three touchdowns on the night. Jamaal Cole led Brookwood with over 180 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Colquitt County survived a war with Newnan to adavance to the quarterfinals. John Boatwright scored on a 20-yard touchdown run with 1:38 remaining to lift Colquitt County to the 26-23 win. Colquitt County will travel to Parkview for the quarterfinals.
Parkview won its second consecutive overtime playoff game with a 26-23 win over West Forsyth. Justis Rosser, as he did last week, ended the game for Parkview with a 15-yard touchdown run to lift Parkview into the quarterfinals. Parkview quarterback Rob Youngblood passed for over 100 yards and hit Mac Marshall on a 37-yard touchdown pass for the visiting Panthers. The Panthers defense has been a staple of it all season coming form the rugged Region 8 held West Forsyth, who entered the game averaging 41.9 point per game, to only 23. Parkview will host Colquitt County in the quarterfinals.
North Cobb advanced to the quarterfinals behind the running of back J’Vonte Herrod who tallied five touchdowns on the evening for the Warriors in their 42-14 win over fourth-year program Langston Hughes. Latrell Gibbs returned a fumble on a kickoff 25-yards to account for the other North Cobb touchdown. Langston Hughes’ quarterback Kenny Moxey passed for two touchdowns hitting Keion Davis and Bingo Morton in the loss.
Coach Bob Sphire firmly pointed out the talent that Mill Creek had and when asked how he felt going into last Friday’s game against Mill Creek he said “We are just trying to have enough players to compete” .
Compete the North Gwinnett Bulldogs did and they used all the help that Mill Creek provided them plus that “talent”. North Gwinnett used four takeaways in the game and scored off all four of them.
After a scoreless first quarter the scoring picked up in the second quarter as the teams combined for 44 points in the second quarter. North Gwinnett was the owner of 30 of those points but not without Mill Creek putting the ball on the turf three times in the quarter and twice inside the final four minutes of the quarter.
The Bulldogs went on top with a field goal by Micheal D’Angola (2-2 on the day on FGAs) for a 3-0 lead. That lead would be quickly whipped out as Mill Creek’s Jacorey Lewis, who rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns, raced 71-yards on the Hawk’s second play of the ensuing possession for a 7-3 lead. North Gwinnett came right back scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Michael Haynes to Almonso Brown to re-take the lead 10-7.
Mill Creek, who has always shown a “never say die attitude” under Head Coach Shannon Jarvis, answered right back again when De’Vozea Felton raced and picked his way 52 yards for a touchdown and a 14-10 Mill Creek lead. That would be the Hawk’s last lead of the night.
North Gwinnett came back with an offense that has been labeled as needing a “playmaker” much of the season despite averaging 32.4 points per game coming in. Cam Lewis busted through several Mill Creek player en route to a 39-yard touchdown run that would give North Gwinnett the lead 17-14 with 1:42 remaining in the half.
For there things just got crazy as Mill Creek’s Felton fumbled on their next possession and North Gwinnett turned that into a touchdown on the next play when Haynes hit Scott in the left corner from 30 yards out and a 23-14 lead after a failed PAT attempt. On the ensuing kickoff Mill Creek would turn the ball over again on a fumble. North Gwinnett would line up again and cash in on the great field position closing it out with a Cam Lewis’ second touchdown run on the night for a 30-14 lead that they would take to the break.
In the third quarter Mill Creek began to show signs of not going away as Jacorey Lewis, no major offers, ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run followed by a Daniel David 15-yard touchdown run after a block punt gave the Hawks excellent field position at the North Gwinnett 31 and the fourth quarter began with North Gwinnett holding a 30-28 lead.
With the game still in the balance with a little less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth and Mill Creek, the biggest school in the state of Georgia with an enrollment up over 3,400, had a little piece of the momentum but were facing a third down and long on their own 16 -yard line. The Hawks went with a screen, problem was Junior defensive lineman Dante Sawyer, a converted running back who has offers from Ohio State and North Carolina, was not fooled as he batted the ball, caught it and raced ten yards for a North Gwinnett touchdown and a 40-28 Bulldog advantage and for all tense and purposes sealing the game.
Mill Creek showed fight driving to the North Gwinnett 11-yard line with less than four minutes remaining but North Gwinnett forced them to turn the ball over on downs ending any thoughts of a victory. North Gwinnett would stick the knife in a little deeper when Haynes hit Nate Brown for a 36-yard touchdown pass with less than thirty seconds remaining for the final margin 19-point margin of 47-28.
North Gwinnett’s Cam Lewis finished with 119 yards rushing and two touchdowns and quarterback Michael Haynes had 95 yards rushing while adding three touchdowns via the air.
North Gwinnett (5-1; 3-1) will face Habersham Central, who is new to Region 7-6A after Georgia’s reclassification this year, the lone non-Gwinnett County team in said region. Habersham Central (1-6; 1-4) bested lowly Meadowcreek (0-6: 0-4) 31-12 to earn their first ever Region 7-6A victory and first victory of the season. Mill Creek (4-3; 3-2) will travel to Duluth (2-4; 1-3), who was off this Friday, next week.
Gwinnett County (located in Georgia in the Metro Atlanta area) is home to the last two state champions at the highest level with Brookwood winning the crown in 2010 and Grayson in 2011.
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