ECI gets early start on weekend, Stratford-Twiggs battle in The Pit

As much of the southeastern portion of the state braces for Hurricane Matthew, Emanuel County Institute blew through Wheeler County, 55-0 on Thursday night. The win for the Bulldogs (7-0, 3-0 in Region 3-Division B) keeps them atop the sub region and makes them the front runner for the sub region championship and a date with the Division A champ on Nov. 4. Wheeler County (5-2, 2-1) had been off to its best start since 2003.

In another Thursday contest in the Region 3-Division B, Jenkins County moved to 4-2, 1-1 with a 36-30 win over Johnson County (4-3, 1-2) in two overtimes.

Here’s a look at the rest of the top games of the weekend:

No. 6 (Private) Stratford Academy (4-1, 1-0 in Region 7-Division A) at No. 9 (Public) Twiggs County (4-1, 1-0). Stratford Academy is primarily a running team that uses a running back-by-committee approach, but senior Russell Mole has emerged as a threat. Mole had 210 yards and four TDs (runs of 43, 21, 50 and 39 yards) in a 41-14 victory over Mount de Sales last week, and he had 95 yards in a 36-19 win over Atkinson County on Sept. 9. Twiggs County runs the ball most of the time, too, and the Cobras are led by senior Ja’mon Height, who has rushed for 878 yards on 117 carries. Height ran for 223 yards on 23 carries in a 29-17 victory over First Presbyterian last week and had 283 yards in a win over Northeast of Macon on Sept. 9. Twiggs County has its highest ranking since 2010. This is Twiggs County’s fifth game out of six in which the opponent was undefeated, ranked or both coming into the game, and the Cobras play 5-0 Tattnall Square next week. Stratford Academy’s only loss came against third-ranked Landmark Christian on Sept. 2. Twiggs County lost to Cambridge Christian, the No. 1-ranked team in Florida’s Class 2A.

No. 5 (Private) Calvary Day (5-0, 1-0 in Region 3-Div. A) at Savannah Country Day (4-1, 1-0). This one will be interesting. Aside from the fact that the teams are tied for the early subregion lead, Savannah Country Day is waiting to hear if senior QB/DB Sal Calderon will be able to suit up for them this season, after playing his first three years at Calvary Day. Calderon enrolled in SCD last month after leaving Calvary Day instead of facing discipline for allegedly violating a team rule. The next scheduled opportunity to request a hardship from the Georgia High School Association is Oct. 11. Meanwhile, SCD is off to its best start since 2010 when the Hornets finished 6-4. They have not advanced to the state playoffs since 2009. Calvary Day has not missed a beat since Calderon left the team after the third game of the season, which was a 32-13 win over Aquinas. He had two touchdowns in that game. In the Cavaliers’ two wins since then they outscored their opponents (Montgomery County and Claxton) 86-7. Calvary Day has won the last six meetings against SCD, including a 28-0 victory last season.

Other games of note:

George Walton Academy at Athens Christian
Brookstone at Marion County
Mount de Sales at Tattnall Square Academy


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