Week 1 is in the books, and already there’s a shift in the AJC’s Class AA Top 10. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets lost their No. 10 ranking after suffering a 34-26 loss to Cedartown, an unranked AAAA school that hasn’t had a winning season since 2013. The Jackets’ loss paved the way for the Thomasville Bulldogs to enter the rankings, surging past a few teams to debut at No. 7 thanks to a 37-8 win over Cairo, a team that was ranked No. 9 in AAAA heading into opening week.
There was no movement in the top 6. Fitzgerald keeps it’s No. 3 raking after a narrow 25-22 loss to No. 2 Hapeville Charter, the team it eliminated from the playoffs last season. Top-ranked Benedictine, No. 4 Screven County and No. 6 Callaway each scored double-digit victories and No. 5 Rabun County didn’t play.
Thomasville’s impressive win bumped Pepperrell, Brooks County and Jefferson County back a spot, as they round out the top 10 at Nos. 7-10, respectively. Both Brooks County and Jefferson County posted double-digit wins and Pepperell had the week off.
Here’s a glimpse at the updated rankings, with the previous week’s rankings in parenthesis:
1. (1) Benedictine (1-0)
2. (2) Hapeville Charter (1-0)
3. (3) Fitzgerald (0-1)
4. (4) Screven County (1-0)
5. (5) Rabun County (0-0)
6. (6) Callaway (1-0)
7. (NR) Thomasville (1-0)
8. (7) Pepperell (0-0)
9. (8) Brooks County (1-0)
10. (9) Jefferson County (1-0)
- Although Benedictine dominated Glynn Academy Terrors with a 33-8 win, the Cadets can’t dance like the Terrors. Glynn Academy lineman showed off his dance skills with a move titled “The Worm.” Great form and flawless execution of The Worm — the only problem is he wasn’t on a dance floor. He was on the field in the middle of a football game and in that context, he looked like a complete dolt.
- The Cadets’ first score of the season came off a 70-yard fumble recover returned for a touchdown by senior cornerback Dennis Bailey.
- Here’s WJCL’s full highlights of the Benedictine game.
- Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane quarterback James Graham had his dual-threat skills on display with this long run and this one for a score against Hapeville Charter.
- Hapeville quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams answered Graham with a scoring run of his own, picking up where he left off after a strong season in 2016.
- Hapeville would win the game by coming up big on special teams, blocking what would have been the game-tying field goal.
- One more highlight from Hapeville, here’s Georgia commit Chris Smith breaking up a pass attempt.
- Swainsboro won a 23-21 thriller over Jackson. Here are the highlights.
- Thomasville’s Carl Blackmore set a school record with a 53-yard field goal in the Bulldogs’ win over Cairo.
- Social Circle is in the running for Fox 5’s High5Sports Team of the Week honors after its 42-13 win over Johnson. Voting runs through 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
- They didn’t win their opener and they’re not ranked, but keep an eye on the Douglass Astros. They finished 8-4 last year and reached the playoffs for the first time in a decade, advancing tho the second round, and on Friday they nearly beat AAA’s No. 3 Calhoun, coming up just short in a 17-14 loss. Calhoun beat them 28-0 last season.
- The Spencer Greenwave Owls open their season on Friday against Carver-Columbus. Here’s a season preview of the team from the Ledger-Enquirer.
- No. 4 Screven County beat Bluffton — South Carolina’s No. 3 team in AAA heading into the game — by a score of 45-20. The game can be watched in full here. WSAV has the highlights.
- Toombs County hung tough to top East Laurens 10-8 in the Erk Russell Classic. Toombs Now has the complete coverage.
- Jordan senior DB Quinten Duke and Spencer senior linebacker Davonte Webster were named to the Ledger-Enquirer’s 2017 Dandy Dozen, the preseason list of the area’s top players.
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