Five things opening week taught us about Class AAAA
After Week 1 in Class AAAA, 18 teams stand at 1-0, 18 teams sit at 0-1 and the remaining 16 schools wait patiently for this Friday night to finally kick off their seasons. Week 1 proved to be a useful metric for showcasing the depth of Class AAAA’s top teams, rather than staging the upset-packed weeks we’re more likely to see as the season progresses. Nonetheless, here is what Week 1 did teach us.
1.Cartersville has another star: In Friday night’s battle of state champions between Cartersville and Allatoona, it wasn’t Cartersville’s 30-14 victory or the three touchdown passes and 249 passing yards out of five-star junior Trevor Lawrence that came by a surprise. Instead, senior transfer Avery Showell stole the show by making the debut of all debuts. Showell got the Purple Hurricanes on the board with a 46-yard touchdown catch and then added four sacks, a forced fumble and a safety on the defensive side of the ball. This performance shows us that head coach Joey King and the staff had a plan in place to maximize the Wake Forest commit’s skill set and it shows us that Showell has clearly bought in to what the Purple Hurricanes are preaching.
2. Woodward Academy hasn’t skipped a beat either: Without taking anything away from Cartersville’s impressive showing against Allatoona, Woodward Academy proved just how hotly contested Cartersville’s bid for a title repeat will be. The War Eagles scored a 36-17 victory over Westminster on Friday as quarterback Ryan Glover and running back Tahj Gary accounted for all five of Woodward Academy’s touchdowns. Glover scored on two short rushes in the first and second quarters and Gary scored on an 11-yard run in the second quarter and added touchdown runs of four yards and one yard in the fourth. Gary finished with 93 yards rushing on 15 carries, and Glover was an efficient 15-of-20 passing for 252 yards.
3.The touchdown machine is back: Jefferson running back Colby Wood got the Dragons going right away as they dismantled Gwinnett County’s Discovery High School 48-0 on Friday. Wood is the reigning AJC Class AAA Player of the Year after running for 32 touchdowns a year ago with one touchdown reception. Wood found the end zone twice in the first quarter on Friday and matched last year’s receiving touchdown total by hauling in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Moore in the second quarter. Wood took 13 carries for 120 yards, returned a punt 57 yards and caught three passes for 66 yards. Wood’s snaps were also limited as the Dragons already led 34-0 by the half and he watched his teammates close out the game in the second half.
4.Class AAAA measures up: Across the state, Class AAAA schools did more than compete with teams outside of the classification. One of the most dominant cross-classification victories came in Pickens’ 49-19 win over Class AAAAAA’s Chattahoochee. Pickens 6-foot-6 quarterback Jacob Brumby only needed five completions off of his six attempts to rack up 143 yards and two touchdowns through the air. A Pickens rushing attack that took 48 attempts for 356 rushing yards opened up the passing game. Defensively, Pickens tallied five sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
5. The tables have turned: Blessed Trinity held an 0-5 all-time record against St. Pius before the 2013 season finally saw the Titans find the win column with a 21-20 thrilling home win. Fast forward to this past Friday’s matchup between the two metro private schools, and it was Blessed Trinity celebrating a 22-18 win as St. Pius walked off the field losers for the fourth straight meeting. Blessed Trinity sophomore running back Steele Chambers was dominant, taking 20 carries for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Brooks Hosea added a critical 50-yard field goal in the victory.