Posted: 3:21 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014
By Brent Holloway
Remember a few days ago when we asked if there was room at the top in Class AA? Well, for the second straight week, one of the top-ranked teams in the classification has fallen.
Last Friday, it was expected: either No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian or then-No. 3 Benedictine had to lose. This week, the outcome was less predictable, as defending state champs Lovett had its 10-game winning streak snapped in a 13-10 loss to rival Westminster.
The hero for the Wildcats, who now compete in Class AAA, was Cole Haverty, a Division-I lacrosse prospect. The senior running back/defensive back picked off a Lovett pass in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, then scored the game-winning touchdown (Westminster’s only TD) on a 23-yard pass from Rankin Wooley with a little over two minutes remaining.
Lovett could have its hands full again next week, as the Lions take on Marist (No. 4 Class AAAA).
Sophomore QB starts strong
GAC has been tested in back to back weeks to open the season. Both the Spartans and their sophomore quarterback Davis Mills have passed with ease —literally.
Through two games, Mills has nearly eclipsed 500 passing yards and has thrown for six touchdowns. He led GAC to a 28-10 win over North Oconee on Friday with over 220 passing yards with three scores through the air and one on the ground.
Breakout for Black
Vidalia quarterback Jordan Black seems to be adjusting nicely to his new role. The senior, who led the team in receiving last year and earned a preseason All-State nod as an athlete, led Indians to a 30-17 win over West Laurens on Friday with 169 rushing yards, 123 passing yards and four total TDs.
It’s always dangerous to look too far ahead, but right now it looks to me like the stage is set for a Vidalia-Benedictine showdown in mid-October that could decide Region 2-AA. No. 4 Benedictine won 28-0 and claimed the region title last year.
No. 8 Brooks County and No. 10 Dublin shook off opening-week losses to teams from higher classifications and scored their first wins of the season Friday over Class A teams.
Brooks County was trounced 31-6 by Ware County (No. 5, AAAAA) last week, but rebounded with a 28-8 win over Clinch County on Friday. Dublin, which took a 22-13 loss to Laney last week, knocked off Johnson County 41-13.
Off the radar in 8-AA
It may not mean anything in the long run, but Union County’s 57-14 win over Towns County raised my eyebrows. Granted, Towns County has been a struggling program for a long time, but Union County, coming off its first playoff appearance since 2001, is well-positioned to challenge for a top-two spot in 8-AA this year.
No. 5 Washington-Wilkes, which handled rival Lincoln County 36-10 on Friday, is the presumptive favorite by a pretty wide margin in the region. But with Jefferson now in AAA, there’s no clear leader for the No. 2 spot.
Keep an eye on the Panthers. Junior quarterback Joseph Mancuso can sling it — seriously, he might be the best-kept QB secret in AA — and he’s got some weapons at his disposal. The question for Union County will be on the defensive side of the ball.
Ask, and ye shall receive*
*sometimes, you know, within reason
Reader Larry F. wanted us to pay a little more attention to B.E.S.T. Academy, and we aim to please.
The Eagles nearly stunned the state in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs last year, falling to Carver-Columbus in four overtimes. This year they’re in AA and Friday night they scored some revenge against former region foe Callaway, gutting out a 14-7 win.
I’ll be interested to see how the Eagles fare next week against Central-Carrollton, a team which defeated preseason No. 8 Bowdon 34-0 last week. If B.E.S.T. wins that one, we could have another contender in Region 6-AA.
Name to know here: Deshawn Waller. The Eagles’ jack of all skill positions topped 1,500 rushing yards last year and is a D-I prospect.
So who’d I miss? What stood out to you in Week 2, and what should I be writing about next week?
See y’all again Tuesday a.m.