Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Coaches handle tricky situation at end of game

  • 10:38 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by David Purdum

Two coaching staffs did a good job preventing a tricky situation from escalating at the end of Griffin’s 27-6 win over Jonesboro on Saturday.

Jonesboro tested the defending-champion Bears early on, before fading in the second half. Leading by three touchdowns, Griffin was taking a knee to run out the final seconds. The Bears are a shotgun team and took the final snap out of the shotgun. The quarterback caught the snap but didn’t kneel immediately, and Jonesboro defenders rushed in to make sure he went down. Griffin’s players didn’t like the contact with their quarterback. According to both coaches, there [More]

Class AAAA rewind: Marist’s domination; Sandy Creek record-breaker; Columbia surging

  • 8:32 am Saturday, September 27th, 2014 by David Purdum

–Marist has recorded three straight shutouts, outscoring opponents 146-0 during that stretch. The War Eagles jumped out to a 30-0 lead in the first quarter against Redan on Friday and cruised to a 60-0 win. Griffin King and Spencer Taylor each scored two touchdowns in the first half.

–Record-breaking: Sandy Creek running back Eric Swinney became the program’s all-time leading rusher in the Patriots’ 24-17 win over Auburn (Ala.) on Friday night. Swinney rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown and now has 3,660 yards for his career. He surpassed Philip Hyde’s previous mark of 3,522 yards in the win.

–Carrollton held Banneker [More]

Friday night high school football preview: Class AAAA

  • 1:27 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by David Purdum

A look at this week’s action:

–No. 5 Cartersville makes its debut in Region 7-AAAA Friday in a road test against undefeated Gilmer. The Purple Hurricanes (2-1) are led by quarterback tandem Miller Forristall and Trevor Lawrence and are averaging 31 points per game. Gilmer (3-0) is allowing only 8.5 points per game, but has beaten Cartersville only once in 20 meetings, 7-6 in 1979, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

-Locust Grove looks to build off last week’s dramatic comeback win, when the Wildcats (3-1) open Region 4-AAAA play tonight at home against surprising Walnut Grove (3-1). Locust [More]

Story behind a remarkable high school football comeback

  • 8:59 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by David Purdum

In 2012, Locust Grove overcame a 31-0 second-quarter deficit to beat Dutchtown 41-37. At the time, Locust Grove coach Clint Satterfield called that game the greatest comeback in school history.

That was before last week’s comeback against Mount Zion.

“I don’t know now,” Satterfield said.

The Wildcats trailed Mount Zion by 18 points with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. They rallied back, behind a key special teams play and a big turnover, to force overtime and won in the third OT.

But that’s only part of the story.

Satterfield was notified around 2 p.m., Friday, just hours before the game, that his starting [More]

Class AAAA roundup: 4th-quarter comeback, Holyfield strikes

  • 9:35 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by David Purdum

–Locust Grove rallied back from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Mt. Zion, Jonesboro, 52-46, in double overtime. Champ Leddon and Demontea Smith scored touchdowns during the late rally, and Voshon Ramcharan’s field game forced overtime. Smith scored again in overtime, and Caleb Huntley punched in the winning touchdown in the second overtime for the Wildcats.

–Woodward Academy star running back Elijah Holyfield returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and scored three more times, including a 69-yard touchdown run, in the War Eagles’ 57-0 win over Clarkston. Holyfield, the son of boxing great Evander Holyfield, finished with 124 yards on [More]

High school football Class AAAA preview: No. 1 Buford back in action

  • 11:16 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by David Purdum

Stacked with next-level prospects, No. 1 Buford’s defense is loaded. But Wolves coach Jess Simpson has a different description.

“Inconsistent,” Simpson said when asked to describe his defense in one word. “We string a few plays together and look really, really good; then, it’s high school football, and we mess up.”

The Wolves haven’t messed up much in racing out to a 3-0 start. Opponents are averaging only 107.3 yards of offense.

Buford opens its first season in Region 8-AAAA tonight at home against White County (2-1). Buford has won 18 straight regular-season games. This will be the third meeting between the two [More]

Controversial lightning delay fuels local rivalry

  • 7:37 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by David Purdum

Lightning definitely struck Friday night near Mary Persons High School, but when? That’s the question fueling a controversy between two Georgia high school football rivals.

Trailing Mary Persons 29-27 on a stormy Friday night, Lamar County was lining up for a potential tying two-point conversion late in the third quarter when officials detected lightning and halted play. The game never resumed and Mary Persons was declared the winner.

Lamar County coach Jamie Abrams sent a letter of protest Monday to the Georgia High School Association. The GHSA responded by citing Rule 1 Section 1 Article 11 of the National Federation of State [More]

Big Friday night for Class AAAA running backs

  • 10:57 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by David Purdum

–Woodward Academy’s Elijah Holyfield rushed for 283 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries, but the War Eagles came up one point short in a dramatic 21-20 loss to Lovett on Friday. Woodward Academy stormed back from a 21-0 deficit and looked to send the game into overtime after Jes Sutherland’s touchdown pass to Joshua Johnson with 33 seconds to play. But the potential tying extra point was blocked, sending the War Eagles to their fifth consecutive loss to Lovett.

–Westover’s Qundez Carter rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns on only 11 carries in the Patriots’ 31-10 win over [More]

Friday night preview: Sneaky good games highlight Class AAAA slate

  • 10:30 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by David Purdum

After two seasons in AAAAA, Whitewater has gotten off to a 2-0 start in AAAA this season. The Wildcats host 2-0 East Coweta tonight.

Senior quarter Jay Ashley, a third-year starter, leads a Whitewater attack that’s averaged 38.5 points in openings wins over Starr’s Mill and Banneker. A track athlete, Ashley is in his third season orchestrating the Wildcats’ fast-paced, “Auburn-style” attack. Ashley led the Whitewater to two straight trips to the AAAAA playoffs in 2012 and 2013.

“Jay’s a pretty good punter as well as a quarterback,” coach Amos McCreary said. “He led us to a win over Creekside and into [More]

Georgia high school football: Class AAAA notebook

  • 4:54 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by David Purdum

A versatile eight-man front featuring defensive tackle Andre Hadley is behind the Cairo Syrupmakers’ impressive 2-0 start.

Hadley has 5 ½ sacks through two games, a big tally for a defensive tackle. The Syrupmakers shut out Thomasville, 14-0, in Week 1 and followed it up with a 13-7 win over Bainbridge.

Allen, a senior being looked at Kennesaw State, is not the only one receiving praise from Syrupmakers coach Tom Fallaw. Senior linebacker Marcus Gaines, junior defensive end Malik Taylor and senior defensive end Trivorick Hardy have all make big plays on a defense that returned seven starters from last season.

Fallaw also [More]