Brooks-Clinch, Stratford-Landmark, Irwin-Macon, and Mt. Paran-Bremen among weekend’s top games
Here’s a look at some of the top games of the weekend.
Also, keep in mind that the first official Class A Georgia High School Association/MaxPreps Power Ratings will be released on Tuesday. We’ll have the public and private lists here. Remember, starting this season the top 24 teams on each side make the state playoffs, not just the top 16.
No. 4 (Class AA) Brooks County (1-0) at No. 1 (Class A – Public) Clinch County (2-0).
(Preview courtesy of Georgia High School Football Daily) Clinch County ended a four-game losing streak to Brooks County last season when freshman QB Trezman Marshall rushed for 200 yards on 23 carries in a 33-20 win for the Panthers. Clinch, which entered unranked after a down (6-5) season, led in total yards 376-172. Brooks came in ranked No. 8. Marshall would miss five later games because of an injury and shared the QB position with Charles McClelland during Clinch’s run to a state title. Marshall now lines up mostly at linebacker, his likely college position. He’s second on the team with eight tackles. McClelland has rushed for 326 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. RB Shannon Young, who ran for 1,615 yards in 2015, has gone for 110 on 19. Clinch has completed only three of eight passes. Brooks County graduated 10 of its 11 all-region players, including 1-AA player of the year QB Damonte Jones (who beat out Fitzgerald’s J.D. King). The returner is RB Jonathan White, a junior. DB Jarrious Rhodes is probably Brooks’ next most-accomplished player. New QB Mac Perry scored the game-winner on a keeper in overtime in a 21-14 victory over Cook in the opener.
No. 5 (Private) Stratford Academy (1-0) at No. 7 (Private) Landmark Christian (1-0).(Preview courtesy of Georgia High School Football Daily) This is the first meeting between the two schools. Stratford Academy forced five turnovers (three fumbles, two interceptions) and held Savannah Country Day to 178 total yards (minus-3 rushing) in a 24-0 victory last week, according to the Macon Telegraph. The Eagles converted two of the fumbles into touchdowns, and Sammy Martin returned an interception 50 yards for another score. Landmark Christian’s Joey Blount rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns, was 10-for-19 passing for 104 yards and a TD, and had two interceptions in a 34-24 victory over B.E.S.T. Academy two weeks ago. Nick Toomer had a touchdown reception and two interceptions, and Lofton Tidwell rushed for 90 yards and two TDs and had 12 tackles. Stratford Academy is 16-9 since moving from the Georgia Independent School Association in 2014. Four of the losses came against Aquinas, including three last season when the Eagles reached the semifinals. Landmark Christian has a 16-7 record during that same stretch but has failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs.
No. 2 (Public) Macon County (1-0) at No. 6 (Public) Irwin County (1-1).
This is just the third meeting between the two schools, with both of the previous games coming in the state playoffs. Macon County won 13-7 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs in 2004, while Irwin County won 15-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class A state playoffs in 1997. Irwin eventually advanced to the title game, but were defeated by Manchester (28-7). Macon County opened its season last week by crushing Dooly County (0-2), 45-0, as quarterback K’hari Lane was threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns, three to Tre Brown. Irwin beat up on Class AA Berian in Week 1 (42-7), but fell last week to the No. 1 team in AA, Fitzgerald, 56-19. Irwin relies on RB/LB Jeremiah Ashley and QB Will Stephens.
Class AAA Bremen (0-1) at Mt. Paran Christian (1-1).
Mt. Paran fell out of the Top 10 this week after last week’s 14-7 loss to Fellowship Christian (2-0). The Eagles shut out Our Lady of Mercy in Week 1, 17-0. Bremen is trying to bounce back from a tough loss in Week 1 to its biggest west Georgia rival, Bowdon. The Blue Devils gave up a touchdown with: 31 seconds left in a 20-14 loss. MPC and Bremen have met only twice with Bremen winning both match ups – 21-14 in 2011 and 28-7 in 2010.
Other games of note:
Hebron Christian (1-0) at No. 3 (Public) Commerce (1-0)
Class AAA Crisp County (2-0) at Turner County (1-1)
Seminole County (1-0) at Class AA Early County (0-1)
First Presbyterian Day (1-0) at Brookstone (1-0)
Class AAAA LaFayette (1-1) at Gordon Lee (1-0)
Class AAAAAA Grovetown (1-1) at No. 8 (Public) Lincoln County
Hawkinsville (1-0) at Wilcox County (0-1)
Southwest-Macon (1-0) at No. 9 (Public) Manchester (2-0)
No. 4 (Private) Darlington (1-0) at Class AAAA Ridgeland (1-0)