Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

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]

Friday rewind in Class AAAA: Buford QB update; Griffin, Marist, Woodward Academy impress

  • 8:29 am Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by David Purdum

Class AAAA No. 1 Buford won its 28th consecutive game by knocking McEachern of AAAAAA. The Wolves’ David Curry batted down a pass in the end zone in the final seconds to help Buford prevail over its second straight opponent from the state’s largest classification.

Buford QB Luke Humphrey left Friday’s win over McEachern in the third quarter with what Director of Football Operations Justin Johnson described as severe cramping. Johnson said in an email that he expects Humphrey to be back when the Wolves open Region 8-AAAA play against White County in two weeks. Buford is off this week.

Sophomore Mic [More]

St. Pius plan for Holyfield: ‘Sneak a 13th man on field;’ McEachern-Buford and more

  • 10:39 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by David Purdum

For the third straight week, the St. Pius X Golden Lions will face one of the state’s best running backs in Woodward Academy star Elijah Holyfield. The Lions travel to Woodward Academy on Friday.

The son of boxing great Evander Holyfield, Elijah scored seven touchdowns last week in a win over Decatur.

“He looks like Herschel Walker in that red jersey and silver pants. That’s what he looks like to me,” St. Pius coach Paul Standard said of Holyfield. “I’m going to try to sneak a 13th and 14th guy onto the field so we can stop him.”

The Lions gave up 148 [More]

Carrollton coach remains confident, despite 0-2 start; GIF of Chubb’s run

  • 5:19 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by David Purdum

The Carrollton Trojans are 0-2 for the first time since 1977. If new coach Ed Dudley is worried, he does a good job of hiding it over the phone.

Dudley inherited a roster that graduated 16 starters, including a bevy of high-profile recruits, off of last season’s team that reached the AAAA state championship game. There’s been significant adjustment to the schemes, as well.

“Complete change,” said Dudley in a Tuesday phone interview. “We went from a 5-2 base defense to a 3-3 stacks scheme defensively. Then, on offense we went from the Delaware wing-T to Nevada’s pistol spread offense. We’re about [More]

Woodward Academy’s Elijah Holyfield scores 7 touchdowns

  • 12:01 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by David Purdum

Woodward Academy star Elijah Holyfield, son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, scored seven touchdowns in the War Eagles’ 45-13 win over Decatur on Friday. Holyfield returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a score then added six touchdown runs. He finished with 147 yards rushing.

Friday night notes

–No. 1 Buford has yet to allow a point. The Wolves mauled Berkmar of Class AAAAAA, 56-0, on Friday.

–Perennial power Carrollton is 0-2 for the first time since 1977. The Trojans lost to Newnan in dramatic fashion, their second straight loss to open new coach Ed Dudley’s tenure. With the game tied, [More]