The Labor Day weekend gave us an extra day to kind of put together a recap package of all the action from a busy four days of high school and college football in the area.
Each week has it’s own intrigue, even when there aren’t a ton of marquee games on the slate. And this week showed me something that I’ll let someone in the Southern Crescent Twittersphere articulate:
— Riverdale Baseball (@rrbaseball14) September 5, 2015
Now in all actuality, the game was not called. It was a long weather delay which apparently gave Lowndes — one of Georgia high school football’s bluebloods — an opportunity to recoup. But the performance was no less impressive, and perhaps indicative of a swing back to strength.
Lowndes went on to snatch the “W” from upstart Drew. But the close call did seem to send a message that’s close to confirming our friend from Riverdale High.
Check out some of these scores:
No. 5 Jonesboro 27, Westover 7
Lowndes 34, Drew 27
Mundy’s Mill 35, Central Gwinnett 20
Of course we know what Jonesboro was able to do last week at Sandy Creek. And with the Cardinals’ emergence, Mundy’s Mill’s steady — if under the radar — climb to perpetual relevance and Drew’s upstart nature, it definitely looks like some Clayton County programs are starting to help gradually turn the county back to a level of respectability that it maybe hasn’t had since the days of Bud Theodocion pacing the sidelines at Morrow and former Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward was catching pass at Forest Park.
To be sure, it’s a long climb back, and some of these traditional powers may not be as powerful as in years past, but Clayton County is certainly staking its claim that it can no longer be seen as a football also-ran.
Let’s Recap some of last week’s action:
JONESBORO at WESTOVER: Dare I say this game was bigger than the Sandy Creek win for the No. 5 Cardinals? Why? Well, simply because if the Cardinals look like world beaters in Tyrone and climb into the rankings after a win only to get beaten by an “okay” Westover team the next week, lots of luster would’ve been rubbed off of the Sandy Creek win. But there was no let down in Albany. Montralious Mosley broke loose for 181 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and Zerrick Cooper was an efficient 10-of-18 for 126 yards in the air. Next up? A big time showdown at the third annual FCA Gridiron Classic with 2-0 Eagle’s Landing. You might wanna be there.
HAMPTON at SANDY CREEK: This was simply an opportunity for the Patriots to get well and find some mojo again after the loss against Jonesboro. And the second-year Hampton High program was the perfect opponent for that to happen. Sandy Creek won it 49-6, and most of the starters were sitting before the half. Now the schedule gets tough with an undefeated Newnan squad coming into Tyrone Friday, then a showdown two weeks later against Auburn (Ala.) — the No. 13 squad in Alabama, according to MaxPreps — and at in-county foe Whitewater. Of course the October 23 game against Region 5-AAAA rival Woodward Academy is the one everybody’s circling. But the Patriots have plenty to get through before getting to that point.
EAGLE’S LANDING at SOUTHWEST MACON: If you’re sleeping on the Golden Eagles, it’s officially time to wake up. The biggest question in this one was what would senior phenom Antonio Gibson do for an encore? In the season opener against Union Grove, Gibson had 148 all purpose yards and a trio of touchdowns in the 39-21 win over the Wolverines. This past Friday he followed that up by tossing a touchdown pass and snagging a pick six in the Eagles’ 45-20 win over Southwest Macon. After the performance, on the very next day, he promptly received his first of what will no doubt be many college scholarship offers:
— TonYâ‘£â„¢ (@AntonioGibson14) September 2, 2015
Friday night’s game against the Eagles and the Cardinals should be epic.
CENTRAL GWINNETT at MUNDY’S MILL: At some point people need to stop being surprised when the Tigers win certain games against certain opponents. The unfortunate thing is many people figured Mundy’s Mill would lose to Central Gwinnett just because “Gwinnett” was in the opponents name. By now we should understand this: Greg Manior can coach. Mundy’s Mill can play smash mouth football with the best of them. And the Tigers will always keep a stable of good running backs on their roster. This year’s tailback tandem of Khalid Hylton and Marqarius Crutchfield — both seniors — could be one of the best running back duos in the area.
FAYETTE COUNTY at STARR’S MILL: Give the first ever “Goodrich Bowl” to Starr’s Mill and senior do-it-all Satchel Goodrich. Last week the Starr’s Mill receiver/defensive back talked of his matchup with Fayette County and his older brother Elijah who coaches outside linebackers at Fayette. AFter the 31-14 win, the bragging rights go to Satchel, but more importantly, Starr’s Mill is 2-0 for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Of course the 2010 squad was that 14-1 juggernaut that came a game short of a Class AAAA championship. Three of the next four games are against Dutchtown, Drew and McIntosh — the Forest Park tilt on September 18 will likely be an easy Starr’s Mill win — should give us a pretty good indication of just how far this year’s Starr’s Mill bunch can go.
BURKE COUNTY at GRIFFIN: I picked Griffin, but I’m not surprised that Burke County picked up the “W” on this one. Listen. I said in my football preview that Griffin is super young and super inexperienced, and might not be the best team in Spalding County this year. Some didn’t believe it, but the combination of the Bears’ 30-28 loss to a good Burke County squad, and Spalding’s 20-9 upset win at previously undefeated LaGrange is working to bare that preseason prediction out quite nicely. Griffin came into this one ranked No. 4, primarily because it’s Griffin. But after this one, I suspect the Bears will fall out of the Class AAAA rankings, and may not return unless some rapid maturation kicks in over the next few weeks.
So far so good. I’ve actually surprised myself. In Week 3 predictions, I went 6-2 in the games I gave analysis on, including picking the Spalding upset of LaGrange and Dutchtown’s win at Lovejoy — both Thursday games.
I came close to picking Drew over Lowndes, and if not for a rain delay, I might have been wishing I did. I whiffed on ELCA-GACA, as the Chargers took a 33-3 loss on the chin without starting quarterback D.J. Hammond III and several other key pieces nursing injury. However, I was 8-0 in the rest of my high school picks, but I missed badly picking the Georgia Southern upset over West Virginia.
I finished Week 3 14-2 in my Week 3 predictions, which gives me a 28-7 mark for the season. Easily my best start ever, although one Locust Grove coach was not impressed.
@GabrielStovall1 and I was worried when u picked us to win. Lol
— Coach Lee (@randylee14) September 7, 2015
I’ll be back with another prediction column on Wednesday, and we’ll pass out some more game balls on Twitter this week too, so if you’re not following @crescent_buzz on Twitter right now, do it!