The Player of the Year Watch includes the state’s leading rusher (Chauncey Williams), passer (Montez Crowe) and receiver (Rashod Bateman) for the first time.
It also includes some players who are bearing down on history.
At his current season’s pace, Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville will need just two more games to break the state record for passing yards in a career.
Crowe is on pace to break the state record for passing yards in a season if his team can go three rounds deep in the playoffs.
Dameon Pierce of Bainbridge needs 30 rushing yards to reach 6,000 for his career.
The POY Watch is designed to be a fun look at some of the best players. Players naturally will drift in and out, and that should not be taken as a critique of their season. It is an honor to appear in the POW Watch even for a single week.
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville: Lawrence was 16-of-23 passing for 308 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-6 victory over Central of Carrollton. For the season, the Clemson commit is 91-of-128 (.711) for 1,846 yards and 20 touchdowns with one interception. Lawrence needs 609 yards and 20 touchdown passes to break the Georgia career records of 13,077 and 159 held by Deshaun Watson. Cartersville is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA.
2. QB Michael Barrett, Lowndes: Barrett was 13-of-19 passing for 281 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-6 victory over Ware County. He rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. For the season, Barrett is 47-of-70 passing for 741 yards and nine touchdowns with one interception. He has rushed for 495 yards and eight touchdowns on 58 carries (8.5 ypc). He has played minimally in the second halves of games because of blowouts and running clocks. In 2016, Barrett passed for more than 2,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,000. Barrett has offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee, among others. Lowndes is averaging 52.3 points per game and is ranked No. 2 in AAAAAAA.
3. DL Adam Anderson, Rome: Anderson forced a fumble and had seven tackles – two solo, two sacks, two tackles for losses and one assist – in a 45-24 victory over Carrollton. For the season, Anderson has 30 tackles, 12 for losses, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. He is the consensus No. 2 OLB prospect nationally. Rome is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA.
4. QB Justin Fields, Harrison: Fields’ team did not play last week. On the season, Fields is 58-of-96 passing for 974 yards and 12 touchdowns with one interception. He has rushed for 575 yards and 10 touchdowns on 76 carries. Fields is the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country. Harrison is 3-2 and ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAAA.
5. QB Bailey Fisher, Rabun County: Fisher was 17-of-23 passing for 273 yards in a 45-7 victory over Banks County. For the season, Fisher is 74-of-108 (.685) for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has rushed for 392 yards on 70 carries. Fisher passed for more than 2,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 last season. Undersized, Fisher has Division II offers. Rabun County is ranked No. 4 in Class AA.
6. WR Rashod Bateman, Tift County: Bateman had three receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown in a 35-14 victory over Fitzgerald. For the season, Bateman has 38 catches for a state-leading 898 yards (23.6 ypc) and 12 touchdowns in Tift’s 7-0 start. Bateman has at least one TD reception in every game. Bateman is committed to Minnesota. Tift is ranked No. 9 in Class AAAAAAA.
7. RB Chauncey Williams, Meadowcreek: Williams rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries in a 48-7 victory over Berkmar. For the season, Williams has rushed for a state-leading 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns on 129 carries (10.9 ypc). He has three catches for 83 yards. He has 20 touchdowns overall, one on a kickoff return. Meadowcreek is 6-0 for the first time in school history.
8. QB Montez Crowe, Troup: Crowe was 20-of-29 passing for 525 yards and eight touchdowns in a 71-16 victory over then-No. 8 Sandy Creek in a Region 5-AAAA game. The 525 yards rank eighth all-time for a single game. The eight touchdowns are tied for second. For the season, Crowe is 102-of-152 (.671) for a state-leading 2,205 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Crowe has one offer, from Morgan State. Troup is 6-0 and ranked No. 8 in Class AAAA. That’s Troup’s highest ranking since 2005.
9. RB Dameon Pierce, Bainbridge: Pierce rushed for 298 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in a 41-27 loss to Rickards, Fla. On the season, Pierce has rushed for 1,314 yards and 21 touchdowns. Pierce needs 30 yards to reach 6,000 rushing for his career. A top-200 national recruit, Pierce is committed to Florida. Bainbridge is 4-2 and unranked.
10. RB Zion Custis, Lovejoy: Custis rushed for 261 yards and five touchdowns on just 10 carries in a 44-19 victory over Mount Zion of Jonesboro. For the season, Custis has rushed for a Class AAAAAA-leading 1,174 yards on 112 carries (10.5 ypc) with 18 touchdowns. Custis is getting a range of recruiting interest from Oregon State to East Carolina to Dartmouth. Lovejoy is 4-3.
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