Observations from highest class: Grayson, Colquitt stand out
The second weekend of the high school football season is in the books. Here are five observations from Class AAAAAAA.
Grayson is looking pretty good
This column asserted in preseason that the highest classification didn’t have a super team this year, unlike any since about 2010. Well, maybe Grayson can still be all that. The Rams are ranked in the top 10 of about four national polls largely because of a junior class that has several major D-I prospects, many who have waited their turn to bigger roles. They look solid in beating Hoover 35-26 on Friday. Hoover is a 10-time Alabama state champion that was ranked No. 9 nationally by USA Today. Particularly impressive was QB D.J. Irons, who was 14-of-21 passing for 211 yards. The replacement for Chase Brice, now at Clemson, Irons threw a 71-yard TD pass to Kenyon Jackson that put the game away in the fourth quarter.
So is Colquitt County
The Packers, ranked No. 2, are young like Grayson. They beat Vista Murrieta of California 26-7. Daijun Edwards, a sophomore with all sorts of potential, rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Vista Murrieta was ranked as the No. 21 team overall in California by MaxPreps. Colquitt’s defense has looked really good under new coordinator Mo Dixon, the former Walton head coach and North Gwinnett defensive coordinator. Colquitt is allowing 123.5 yards per game against two pretty good opponents (Norcross the other). Opposing offenses have scored just one touchdown.
Westlake loses opener
Westlake, a semifinalist last season, is generally the most unpredictable program in the classification the past few seasons. They returned six first-team all-region players (eight counting specialists) and was ranked based on that. They were No. 6 entering the Hughes game on Saturday but lost 13-6. Westlake also lost to Hughes last season and started 1-3, only to win nine straight and defeated Lowndes in the quarterfinals. Maybe they’ll do it again.
Now that was ridiculous
Lowndes beat the International School of Broward County 56-0. Lowndes returned four interceptions and a kickoff for touchdowns – all in the first quarter – during which the Vikings built a 48-0 lead. Lowndes also scored two safeties. International School was held to minus 64-yards rushing, minus-60 yards total, and no first downs. Weather mercifully ended the contest early. International School will visit Georgia again on Sept. 22 when it faces … Grayson.
Walton gets ‘most improved’
Walton is 2-0 after a 42-35 victory over Brookwood. Walton also beat North Gwinnett 31-28 in the opener. Walton was 0-2 this time a year ago, having been shelled hard by Norcross and Brookwood and finished 4-6, its second losing season in three. AJC Super 11 pick Dominick Blaylock, who missed the opener with a leg injury, had seven receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. Austin Kirksey was 16-of-22 passing for 262 yards.