Top games: Locust Grove makes it case

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

locust-groveSince the school opened in 2009, the Locust Grove football program has been on a steady uphill climb. Once coach Clint Satterfield had things established, the Wildcats made the playoffs with six wins in 2013, then won eight in 2014 and nine in 2015.

This year the Wildcats got pushed up into Class AAAAA but have shown no signs of regressing. More will be revealed this week when they travel to No. 6-ranked Jones County on Friday night for the Region 4 opener.

“It’s going to be a test,” Satterfield said. “We scrimmaged them last year and the atmosphere down there is unbelievable.”

Locust Grove (2-0) has a senior-heavy team led by an excellent group of skill position players.

Running back Caleb Huntley has rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Huntley (6-0, 215) has verbally committed to Western Kentucky and has other offers. Satterfield believes Huntley can play for an SEC team.

Champ Leddon is a slotback and kick returner who has caught six passes for a 21.2-yard average and four touchdowns. He’s carried the ball six times for 81 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown.

Defensive back Joah Curry has four interceptions, including a pick-six against Warner Robins. Curry is the starting center fielder on the state champion baseball team.

Jones County (1-1) bounced back from its season-opening loss to Lee County by thumping Washington County. The Greyhounds did not play last week.

Jones has an outstanding offense led by quarterback Bradley Hunnicutt, a three-year starter with a 19-5 record. Hunnicutt (5-11, 180) is the trigger man for the fast-paced quick-strike attack that doesn’t mind getting in a run-and-gun shootout. Hunnicutt entered the season with 5,126 yards and 39 touchdowns and has already added 270 yards and another TD. Hunnicutt missed the second game with a high ankle sprain, but has had two weeks to heal and is expected to play.

Jones also features an all-state receiver in Nick Singleton. He averages 17.6 yards on nine catches and one touchdown.

“We look at it as whether we’re going to be able to slow them down and stop their offense,” Satterfield said. “We’ll know early if we can slow them down.”

Other games to watch this week include:

No. 10 Grady at No. 7 Ware County: Grady coach Earthwind Moreland and Ware County defensive coordinator Michael Youngblood were teammates and defensive starters at Georgia Southern. Ware head coach Franklin Stephens also played at Southern. After Grady lost in the second round last year at Thomson, Moreland wanted a tough pre-region road trip and called his friends. This will be Grady’s first game played below Macon since 1949 (Savannah).

“It wasn’t a good showing on our behalf,” Moreland said, referring to last year’s loss at Thomson. “We wanted to make sure going forward we were prepared. So in the regular season, we wanted to take on a game that had a playoff-type atmosphere so if we got back in that situation it wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory.’’

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

No. 8 Rome at No. 5 Kell: Kell (1-1) brings a balanced attack to the table, with quarterback John Lampley leading the way. The senior has thrown for 280 yards and rushed for 162 yards. Jared Hill is dangerous as a receiver and returner for the Longhorns. Rome (1-1) got its offense cranked up last week in a 54-12 win over Drew, but the Wolves are equally tough on defense. This is the first meeting between the two schools and the opening game in Region 7, widely considered to be the best in Class AAAAA.

Upson-Lee at Griffin (Thursday): Upson-Lee (2-0) will take a shot at slowing down Griffin (2-0), which has scored at least 50 points in each of its first two games. Griffin quarterback Tylan Morton threw four touchdown passes and ran for another in last week’s 51-0 win over LaGrange. The series resumes after a two-year break. Griffin leads it 14-2 and has won the last five meetings.

Dacula at Arabia Mountain at Adams Stadium (Saturday): Arabia Mountain (3-0) steps up into a higher weight division to host Class AAAAAAA Dacula. Arabia Mountain is led by quarterback Samad Noble, running back Brandon Snowball and receivers Michael Miller and Silas Butler. This is the first meeting between the two teams.

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