By Gabriel Stovall
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — For some, the first unofficial week of Friday Night Lights was halted by Friday night lightening.
While a handful of schools across the Southern Crescent stepped onto the field for the first time to compete in scrimmages, lightening strikes and which threatened thunderstorms that never fully developed, caused several delays.
Eagle’s Landing’s scrimmage against Cedar Grove actually got called off after just two plays, as the teams were ordered off the field three times.
The game likely won’t be rescheduled.
Locust Grove played host to cross-county foe Luella, and experienced several lightening delays of its own. But it didn’t stop the special ring ceremony commemorating Locust Grove’s Class AAAA state baseball championship.
Lovejoy traveled to Woodland and the teams persevered through two weather stoppages, ending with a 21-17 Wildcat win over the Wolfpack in what turned out to be a fairly entertaining and competitive game once the weather cleared up.
Senior quarterback Reid Larson showed nice touch on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Wallace Corker on a bit of a fade route that gave Woodland a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Lovejoy struck back when Marquese Taylor stepped in front of a Larson throw and took the pick 40 yards back for a score just before halftime. Taylor would score again later on a 15-yard scoring grab and Woodland running back Kareem Rogers added another touchdown for the Wolfpack before both squads played out the brunt of the fourth quarter with their JV squads in.
The Wildcats will kick off their season in earnest on Friday August 19 when they travel to East Coweta. The Indians went 8-3 last year and were a playoff team.
Woodland, after posting back-to-back 7-3 campaigns in coach Steve Davenport’s first two seasons at the helm — an unprecedented feat in the Wolfpack program — will open at Union Grove on August 19 before traveling to Valdosta and Tri-Cities in the next two weeks.
The Wolfpack look particularly strong on defense with highly touted corner Yusuf Corker highlighting the back four, and defensive tackle JayQuan Coles anchoring the defensive line.
Coles showed glimpses Friday night of the dominance that has him regarded as one of the more highly sought after defensive linemen in the Southern Crescent area, particularly when he burst through the line and de-cleated a Lovejoy ball carrier early in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Lovejoy will look to highlight 5-foot-8, 170 pound three-star prospect Zion Custis — who sat out Friday’s scrimmage — at tailback and Taylor at wide receiver in an offense that will be led by a pair of sophomore quarterbacks after the transfer of 2015 starter Hajj-Malik Williams to Hapeville Charter.