Here’s what went down Friday night.
No. 5 Irwin upsets No. 1 Clinch?
On first glance, it appears as if No. 5 Irwin County’s 21-7 win over No. 1 Clinch County was an “upset.” But maybe not. Irwin (3-1, 1-0 in Region 2) is the defending region champion and Friday night’s victory may make Irwin the only team in the state that has victories this season over the last two state champions in their classification. Clinch won the public school title in 2015, and Irwin defeated last year’s champion, Macon County, 36-28, back on Sept. 1. Friday night, in front of its home crowd in Ocilla, Irwin’s young team gutted out a win with an 80-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive that ate up five minutes of clock and gave Irwin a 21-7 lead. “Our O-line is growing up,” Irwin head coach Buddy Nobles said of a unit with three starters that are either a junior or a sophomore, similar to the make-up of the entire team. “We’re still so young, but we have a great staff and our kids are starting to grow up and believe we can win games against great teams like Clinch.” We’ll have more on Irwin’s big win in Tuesday’s blog.
Public Region 2 the toughest in Class A?
This league of south Georgia teams makes a strong case for toughest region in the classification. Half of the teams – four of eight – are ranked. Friday night, while No. 1 Clinch and No. 5 Irwin were slugging it out in Ocilla, No. 8 Turner County defeated Telfair County, 20-7, and No. 10 Charlton County improved to 3-0 with a 40-0 win over Atkinson County.
Manchester, Mt. Zion-Carroll title contenders, too
Once again, Class A public is loaded. The aforementioned “gang of four” in Region 2 (Clinch, Irwin, Turner and Charlton) and defending champion No. 3 Macon County (3-1) are all threats to play in Mercedes Benz Stadium. But don’t forget about two teams that are still undefeated. No. 2 Manchester (4-0) pulled away from Class AA Jordan late to claim a 37-19 win in Columbus, while No. 7 Mt. Zion-Carroll (4-0) dominated North Cobb Christian 37-0, as Kareem Walker ran for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns and Cole Beasley ran for 53 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Mount de Sales gets big win
While two of the “Big 3” former Georgia Independent Schools Association stalwarts from Macon – No. 5 Tattnall Square and No. 9 Stratford Academy – have enjoyed success since joining the big boys in 2014, Mount de Sales has struggled. The Cavaliers were just 10-20 in the Georgia High Schools Association entering this season. But they may have picked up the signature win they needed to jump start the program on Friday. Trailing 3-0 at Aquinas heading into the fourth quarter, Mount de Sales scored 14 points to grab a 14-3 win on the strength of power running by sophomore RB/LB Josiah “Jo-Jo” Cotton. His 194 yards on 21 carries set up the two touchdown runs in the final period – a short keeper by sophomore QB/DB Dexter Williams and a 25-yarder by senior RB/DB Adrian Hardwick. The Cavs will get a week off before hosting their Macon rivals on consecutive weekends – Stratford on Sept. 29 and Tattnall on Oct. 6.
27 and counting for ELCA
The Cleveland Indians’ 20-plus game winning streak came to an end at 22 Friday night, after a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. But the Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 20-plus game roll is still rolling. The Chargers (5-0, 1-0 in Region 5), ranked No. 1 in the private school poll, won their 27th game in a row Friday, 49-0 over Holy Innocents’. Junior QB Brayden Rush ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns. It has been nearly two years (Sept. 25, 2015) since ELCA last tasted defeat, a 20-10 loss at Class AAAA Woodward Academy. The Chargers are going for their eighth consecutive region title and their third straight state title.
No. 3 (Private) Wesleyan 42, Our Lady of Mercy 7
No. 4 (Private) Mount Paran Christian 56, Kings Ridge 14
No. 5 (Private) Tattnall Square 47, Pacelli 0
No. 6 (Private) Calvary Day 55, Montgomery County 25
No. 8 (Private) Fellowship Christian 35, St. Francis 20
Darlington 50, Gordon Lee 17