Central Gwinnett 28, South Gwinnett 24: South Gwinnett had the first lead of the game after a recovered fumble on a sack by Justin Mascoll led to a field goal, but Central Gwinnett quarterback Jarren Williams responded with two touchdowns and 152 passing yards in the first quarter. A 20-yard run by South Gwinnett’s Myles Barnum cut the lead to 21-10, and the Comets built on the momentum in the third quarter. They held South Gwinnett scoreless and quarterback Treyvon Woodson ran for a 15-yard touchdown in the third, but Central scored on its first drive of the fourth quarter and managed to hold on to win 28-24. Williams had 301 yards passing and three touchdowns, two of which were caught by Jallah Zeze, and Khmari Thompson added 143 yards receiving.
Etowah 23, Campbell 0: Etowah opened its season by shutting out visiting Campbell. The Eagles led just 3-0 after one quarter but extended their advantage to 16-0 at halftime. A scoreless third quarter for both teams all but ended Campbell’s hopes before Etowah added a late touchdown to wrap up the win. Sean Hopper kicked three field goals for the home team, providing the first quarter’s only points before adding two more in the second. The Eagles also got a 30-yard touchdown run from Tyler Maddox, and they put the final points on the scoreboard via a touchdown pass from Patrick Ferris to Jackson Sisk. Cole Bracken had an interception in the defense’s dominant performance.
Lassiter 45, Johns Creek 21: Lassiter led the whole game and pulled away from host Johns Creek around halftime en route to a convincing season-opening win. Christian Jackson set the tone early with an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Trojans defense scored again in the third quarter when Chad Goddard returned a fumble 97 yards to the end zone. The Lassiter offense had four different players rush for touchdowns: Chase Branch, Tristan Decker, Bradley Riopelle and Austin Coyne. Ethan Laudato added a 38-yard field goal for the visiting team. Johns Creek pulled to within 21-14 midway through the second quarter before Lassiter scored 17 straight points.
Marietta 52, Wheeler 0: Harrison Bailey threw touchdown passes to Ramel Keyton, Aric Gilbert and Taji Johnson, and Rashad Torrence and James Maddux had short rushing scores for touchdowns as host Marietta won its opener in a blowout. Bailey and Kobe Stewart also scored on two-point conversions. The Blue Devils also got a safety on defense. Marietta led 36-0 at the half.
Milton 31, Alpharetta 9: Milton’s defense allowed just three field goals while the offense thrived in the second half to push the Eagles past Alpharetta. Hayden Harrison got the scoring started for Milton in the first quarter with a 27-yard field goal but then the offense stalled. In the third quarter, Milton found rhythm as Syaire Waters scored on a 5-yard rush and Soloman Vanhorse added another 5-yard rush to extend the lead. Quarterback Jordan Yates then found a crease and snuck in for a touchdown, and Joe Charleston put the game away with a 15-yard sweep.
North Paulding 27, South Paulding 0: North Paulding’s Ross Malmgren led the way as the Wolfpack moved past South Paulding in the season opener. In the first quarter, Malmgren connected with Brian Mitchell for a 35-yard touchdown and Jackson Gravely added the extra point. In the second quarter, Malmgren found Mitchell again, this time on a 17-yard pass and Brock Travelstead added the extra point. Gravely added field goals of 42 and 32 yards in the third quarter to push the lead to 20-0. In the final quarter, running back Lucas Mays put the exclamation point on the win with a 25-yard run.
Collins Hill 48, Shiloh 12: Collins Hill dominated on the road. The Eagles went up 3-0 on a field goal early, and quarterback Jon-Michael Findlay had a big game, throwing touchdown passes to Peyton Woulard and Justin Daughtry. Kaleb Cook also threw a touchdown pass to Eric Gonzalez.
West Forsyth 31, Woodstock 14: Shawn Cahill earned his first victory at West Forsyth as the Wolverines defeated Woodstock. West Forsyth’s defense took the ball away four times, allowing the Wolverine offense to take control of the game. The Wolverines got interceptions from Abe Camara, Jake Cummings, Ryan Wnek and Cade Vela. Zack Burns led the offense with rushing touchdowns of 4 and 5 yards. Burns connected with Blake Snee on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Bryce Jones added a 47-yard field goal and Saxby Waxer tacked on the final score with a 21-yard run to put away the game.
Lanier 33, Northview 24: Lanier exploded for 20 fourth-quarter points to overcome Northview in a wild season-opener. Zach Calzada tossed each of his two touchdown passes in the second half to lead the Longhorns’ comeback effort. Northview never trailed during the first three quarters, as Colton McDaniel threw three touchdown passes, one to Kane Siebold and a pair to Mac Bolton. The second McDaniel-to-Siebold touchdown regained the lead for the Titans at 24-20 early in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns, however, scored 13 points in the final 3:25. They capped off the comeback with two long touchdown runs by Kevonte Polk (41 yards) and Larry Harper (25 yards). Tywon Reaves also had a short scoring run for Lanier, and Michael Owen added a 28-yard field goal for Northview.
Lovejoy 41, East Coweta 21:Lovejoy won its season opener at home against East Coweta. Quarterback Jordan Huntington was 9-of-12 passing for 150 yards to go with 70 rushing yards. Zion Custis had 34 carries for 233 yards and six rushing touchdowns.
Harrison 44, East Paulding 14:
Visiting Harrison rushed for 234 yards and passed for 228 yards as a team. Hoyas quarterback Justin Fields was 11-of-19 passing with four touchdowns and accounted for two rushing touchdowns to go with 151 rushing yards. The Hoyas defense also picked up a safety. Steven Peterson had 157 yards receiving. East Paulding rushed for just 64 yards in the game.
McIntosh 28, Decatur 3: McIntosh got two interceptions and a forced fumble from Deandrew Wade, overpowering Decatur on the defensive side of the ball. Their strong defensive stands allowed the Chiefs’ potent offense more time with the ball and they took control early and put away the game. Dane Kinamon led the way passing for two touchdowns and rushing for one. Kinamon connected with Bradley Ector and Ryan Cate each for a touchdown. Ector also added a rushing touchdown. Decatur converted a 42-yard field goal in the win.
Cartersville 35, Allatoona 14: All five of Cartersville’s touchdowns were accounted for by either Rico Frye or Trevor Lawrence–or both–as the Hurricanes cruised past host Allatoona. The two teams found themselves tied at 7-7 following one quarter, but Cartersville promptly reeled off 28 unanswered points. Frye scored four touchdowns for the Hurricanes–three on the ground and on a 39-yard reception from Lawrence. J’Kobe Orr also had a touchdown catch, a 19-yarder for Lawrence that gave Cartersville a 35-7 lead late in the third quarter. Allatoona quarterback Dante Marshall threw a 21-yard scoring strike to Asante Das in the opening frame before adding a one-yard keeper for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Fellowship Christian 47, Atkinson County 14: Fellowship Christian scored four touchdowns in the third quarter, the last one with two seconds remaining in the period. The Paladins led 14-0 after the first quarter but just 21-14 at halftime. Cameron Gill caught two touchdown passes, one from Hunter McMickle and the other from Brooks Bryant. Merrick Haigler scored on runs of 71 yards and 3 yards, and James Milhollin rushed for a touchdown and caught one from Bryant. Freshman Lawson Haigler scored on a rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Mount Pisgah Christian 49, Holy Innocents’ 35: After three ties and multiple lead changes during the first half, Mount Pisgah Christian managed to hold off Holy Innocents’ in the second half. The Patriots built a 27-20 lead at halftime and maintained control when Connor Norwood picked off a pass to halt a Holy Innocents’ drive. Mount Pisgah scored again for a double-digit advantage and the Golden Bears never again got closer than seven points. The Patriots sealed the deal with two long scoring strikes from Jacob Cendoya to David Woodward.
Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 21, Eagle’s Landing 14: ELCA took an early 7-0 lead from a Nate McCollum touchdown from 4 yards out and then added two touchdowns in the second quarter to pad the lead. The Chargers then held on through a scoreless halftime to move past Eagle’s Landing. McCollum added another short rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Jordan Jakes added to the lead with a 40-yard reception from sophomore quarterback Brayden Rush. Eagle’s Landing cut into the lead with a 50-yard touchdown pass and a 20-yard fumble return for a score but the game was out of reach.
Wesleyan 63, Therrell 14: Wesleyan’s defense forced a couple of early turnovers, including a blocked punt by Daniel Sullivan, and the Wolves capitalized on Therrell’s mistakes. They scored on all but one of the seven first-half drives they started inside the Panthers 35-yard line and were comfortable enough with a 56-8 halftime lead to pull quarterback Banks Ramsey for the second half. Ramsey threw for four touchdowns in the first half to four different receivers (Stewart Stamper, Tommy Tremble, Billy Stepp and Zach Peterson) and ran for another. Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen was especially impressed with the work of linemen Josh Payne, Davis Moreland and Sam Dudley, who had four solo tackles and assisted on three more.