Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

AJC updates from the world of high school sports in metro Atlanta and Georgia

Offense rules: Hart Co. scores 72 … Waco’s Gray goes nuts … Calhoun, Peach roll

  • 9:36 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

The scoreboards were running hot among the ranked teams form Class AAA on Friday night.

Of the eight ranked teams that had a game this week, seven of them scored at least 35 points. The winning team averaged 42.5 points in those eight wins, with Hart County leading the way with 74 and Calhoun scoring 57.

It was that kind of week.

No. 9 Hart County led the way by putting a 74-12 whipping on winless Oglethorpe County. It was the most points ever scored by a Hart County team.

Hart (4-0) scored five times in the first quarter. It began when Sean Harper [More]

Is Oconee for real? … Elbert loses QB … Waco awaits first real test …

  • 8:23 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

There’s usually a mile-long list of complaints when a school gets a talented quarterback as a transfer. The complaints get louder when the new kid is pretty good and the team starts winning.

That’s not what happened at Oconee County.

That’s because the new kid is quarterback Zeb Noland, who transferred from Stephens County. But there are no complaints, because Zeb Noland came along when his father, Travis Noland, was hired as the head football coach in the spring.

Noland started as a sophomore at Stephens County, where his father coached for nine years, compiling a 73-30 record and eight trips to the [More]

Unbeaten West Hall among season’s pleasant surprises. Others are ….?

  • 9:12 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

The West Hall Spartans are one of the early surprise teams in Class AAA this season. Coach Tony Lotti’s team is off to its first 3-0 start since 2008. Plus, the Spartans have yet to allow a point in its first three games, something which no other AAA team can claim. West Hall has beaten Johnson 28-0, Chestatee 31-0 and North Hall 38-0 and is mindful of the days under Tim Marchman. The Spartans went 54-51-1 in his 10 season and opened the 2002 season with two shutouts en route to a 9-2 campaign, Marchman’s last. West Hall hadn’t been [More]

Islands gets first varsity win … West Hall whips rival … Calhoun on a roll … Adairsville dominates

  • 7:02 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Islands High of Savannah overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to earn the school’s first varsity win on Friday by beating New Hampstead 14-13.

Islands and New Hampstead both opened in 2012 and have played two seasons of junior varsity football. The win was the first for Islands (1-2), while New Hampstead (0-4) is still looking.

New Hampstead took a 13 lead at the half thanks to a 46-yard pass from Kareem Terry to Dearious Young and a 2-yard run from Nicklaus Pikramenos. The second score was set up via an interception by Michael Loftin.

But Islands got the momentum with a big 55-yard [More]

Elbert’s offense vs. Westminster’s defense … Jefferson’s rivalry … Ringgold vs. Adairsville

  • 8:29 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

In what is shaping up as a classic offense vs. defense game, No. 8 Westminster will see how good its defense is when it travels to the Granite Bowl in Elberton to play No. 6 Elbert County.

Elbert County (2-0) has totaled 77 points in two victories over schools from larger classifications. Elbert’s offense is led by junior quarterback Mecole Hardman, who already has a mailbag full of offers from big-time programs like Penn State and Tennessee after running for 1,672 yards a year ago, and running back Rantious Reed, who ran for 980 yards in 2013.

“They’re outstanding at every position,” [More]

No. 7 Ringgold has reloaded and continued its roll

  • 8:09 am Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

One of the biggest surprises of last year’s football season was Ringgold’s magical dance to the Class AAA semifinals. It took a road trip to Sandersville and a date with Washington County to end the Tigers’ dreams.

But guess what? They weren’t satisfied with that historic run of firsts – first time to win double-digit games, first time to win a playoff game, etc. The Tigers seem intent on improving on their accomplishments from 2013. So far Ringgold, ranked No. 7, has stayed on that path, although more will be known after it plays Adairsville on Friday night.

Ringgold lost 14 seniors, [More]

Friday roundup: Shirreffs has No. 5 Jefferson on roll

  • 9:45 am Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Jefferson is looking more and more like a state contender each week.

The Dragons won again on Friday, beating North Hall 48-8, to run its record to 3-0 for the first time since 2011.

No. 5 Jefferson has an outstanding quarterback in Evan Shirreffs, who threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns to avenge last year’s 41-34 loss to the Trojans. Shirreffs connected with T.J. Skelton for 130 yards and all three scores.

Shiffeffs’ older brother, Bryant, was the quarterback of the last team that began the season 3-0. He led the team to the state championship in 2012 [More]

Can Peach, WACO keep dominating rivals?

  • 9:08 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

There few series in the state that have been as lopsided as Peach County and Perry. The two next-door neighbor rivals will meet again on Friday in Perry, with the No. 6-ranked Trojans looking to continue their mastery.

Peach County leads the series 29-9 and has won the last six meetings. Perry’s last win was in 2007, a 48-28 victory that snapped a 13-game losing streak.

Peach County is coming off an impressive 19-0 win over Warner Robins, another neighboring rival. Keyshawn Lowe rushed for 114 yards and sophomore James Jacks ran for 126 yards in the opener. Quarterback Robert Allen threw [More]

Westminster kicks way into rankings

  • 8:00 am Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Has Westminster become the newest Cradle for Kickers?

Two years ago Harrison Butker was booming kicks out of the end zone and drilling every field goal attempt he tried. Butker was a great offensive weapon for the Wildcats and signed with Georgia Tech, where he’s been starting since his freshman season.

Now it looks like Trey Blasingame has signed up to be the next Butker. The senior kicked two field goals on Friday and booted four kickoffs out of the end zone as the Wildcats upset neighborhood rival Lovett 13-10. The victory was enough to get Westminster into the state rankings at [More]

Peach County, Westside, Calhoun answer questions

  • 8:05 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

If the season opener is any indication, it looks like No. 9 Peach County is in store for a bounce-back season.

Not that 8-4, the Trojans’ record in 2013, was horrible. It just wasn’t up to historic Peach County standards. So in the season opener Peach went out and knocked off Class AAAAA Warner Robins 19-0.

That righted a lot of wrongs from last year. Not only did it remove the bitter taste left by last year’s 54-21 drubbing by Warner Robins, it also signalled the defensive improvement for which coach Chad Campbell had craved.

While the defense was standing strong, the offense [More]