Jones loses, then wins … Warner Robins, Clarke prevail
The big surprise in Class AAAAA this week was that there were no surprises. Now, with the non-region schedules completed for most teams, the games begin to mean it for real.
The target for most teams in the state is No. 1-ranked Buford, which knocked off its third straight out-of-state opponent on Friday. The Wolves defeated the International School of Broward from Hollywood, Fla., 48-8, and enter the start of Region 8 play with the biggest target on it.
Two ranked teams were beaten on Friday, but those losses came to opponents from a larger classification. No. 5 Thomas County Central lost to Lee County and No. 6 Arabia Mountain lost to East Coweta, both teams from Class AAAAAAA.
All the other ranked teams were victorious: No. 3 Carrollton, No. 4 Kell, No. 7 Griffin, No. 8 Rome and No. 10 Grady. Not playing this week: No. 2 Stockbridge and No. 9 Ware County.
Jones County forfeits, then wins: Jones County learned this week it had to forfeit its Aug. 26 win over Washington County because it used two ineligible players. The Greyhounds then beat Eagle’s Landing 44-28 to pick up the victory it had given away. Jones is now 2-3 overall, but its 1-1 record in Region 4 is not affected.
First win for Warner Robins: First-year Warner Robins coach Mike Chastain got his elusive first win on Friday when the Demons beat West Laurens 10-6. The catalyst for Warner Robins was quarterback Dalton Hedden, who threw for 145 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 60 yards.
Clarke Central prevails in Classic City Championship: The Gladiators made it 10 straight against their Athens rival, winning 38-12 to give first-year coach David Perno the victory. Quarterback Jack Mangel played well for the Gladiators, connecting with Rico Arnold for a score. Clarke also got a back-breaking 47-yard pick-six from JaQuarus Grant just before the end of the first half.
Griffin offense keeps rolling: The Bears topped 50 for the fourth time in five games, beating Whitewater 51-21. Griffin got a pair of touchdowns on punt returns from Malik Route and Dedrick Tyus was an excellent replacement for running back Santo Dunn.
Rome wins homecoming: The Wolves came back from an off week to whip Paulding County 51-10. Jalynn Sikes rushed 15 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Jamious Griffin scored on a blocked punt and a run. The Rome defense did not allow a yard in the first half and wound up giving up 106.
Riverdale wins Region 3 opener: The Raiders intercepted three passes and recovered a pair of fumbles in a 23-7 win over McIntosh on Thursday night. Two picks came from Jaeden Douglass and another came from Deon Andrews, who took it 70 yards to the house. The Riverdale offense was led by quarterback Joseph Cambridge, who threw for 180 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 79 and one touchdown.