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Georgia High School Football Daily-11/28/12

November 28, 2012
By Calvin Scandrett of Lamar County Trojans

POY Watch

Lamb, Watson are the players to beat

Every state player of the year in Georgia since 1986 has played on a team that has reached at least the quarterfinals in the state playoffs.

Taylor Lamb
Taylor Lamb
has passed for 2,801 yards for Calhoun. 
(MaxPreps photo)

All but six have played on state championship teams.


Does that mean players on teams that have been eliminated have no chance at the award? Not necessarily. It happened in 1985 (Billy Ray of Dunwoody) and 1984 (Keith Henderson of Cartersville).


But it's safe to say that those still playing are better positioned.


Here is our updated Player of the Year Watch:


Up arrow 1. QB Taylor Lamb, Calhoun: Lamb is 224-of-328 passing for 2,801 yards and 30 touchdowns with five interceptions for the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA. He has scored nine touchdowns while rushing for 302 yards on 56 carries. Lamb has committed to Middle Tennessee.


Up arrow 2. QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson is 234-of-335 passing for 3,053 yards and 41 touchdowns. He has rushed for 1,117 yards and 19 touchdowns. His team is 9-3. Watson has committed to Clemson as a junior.


Up arrow 3. RB Jacorey Lewis, Mill Creek: Lewis has rushed for 2,157 yards on 251 carries and scored 30 touchdowns. He has rushed for 612 yards in two playoff games despite sitting out most of the second half last week in a 56-21 victory over Brookwood. His team is 9-3. A junior, Lewis is uncommitted.


4. QB Donquell Green, Burke County: Green has rushed for 1,626 yards and 31 touchdowns and completed 79 of 115 passes for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception. Burke is 11-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA.


Up arrow 5. RB Alvin Kamara, Norcross: Kamara has rushed for 1,784 yards and 23 touchdowns on 217 carries. His team is the only unbeaten team in Class AAAAAA at 12-0. Kamara, the top-rated running back in Georgia according to some, is uncommitted.


Up arrow 6. RB Travis Custis, Lovejoy: Custis has rushed for 1,629 yard on 199 carries and scored 30 touchdowns for an 11-1 team that is one of three region champions left in the Class AAAAAA draw. Custis has committed to Georgia Tech.


7. RB Chris Jordan, Thomson: Jordan has rushed for 1,970 yards and 20 touchdowns on 221 carries for a team that is 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. Jordan has committed to Georgia Southern.


Up arrow 8. QB Malcolm Parrish, Brooks County: Parrish has thrown for 2,856 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also has rushed for almost 700 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. Brooks County is 12-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class AA.


Up arrow 9. DB/WR/RB Vonn Bell, Ridgeland: Bell has rushed for 922 yards on 67 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. He has caught 14 passes for 517 yards and six touchdowns. He has made 62 solo tackles on defense and intercepted three passes. His team is 11-1. A preseason AJC Super 11 pick, Bell is uncommitted.


Up arrow 10. QB Makail Grace, Wilcox County: Grace is 182-of-299 passing for 2,702 yards and 25 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He has rushed for 736 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on 139 carries. Grace has played only 10 games. Wilcox County is 9-2. Grace is uncommitted.


Others to watch: QB Michael Haynes, North Gwinnett; DL Montravius Adams, Dooly County; QB Tyler Queen, North Cobb; WR Demarcus Robinson, Peach County; RB/CB J.J. Green, Camden County

Playoff Preview: Class AAAA Quarterfinals

South Effingham at Monroe Area

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Purple Pit, Monroe

Records, rankings: South Effingham is 8-4, the No. 4 seed from Region 3-AAAA and unranked; Monroe is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 8-AAAA and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Monroe Area has two 1,000-yard rushers in junior RB Kwan Brooks (1,769 yards, 18 touchdowns) and QB Stanton Truitt (1,245, 16 TDs). Both average more than 11 yards per carry. Truitt, who has missed four games with injuries, has thrown for 810 yards. 2. South Effingham RB Josh Mercer, who has committed to N.C. State, is perhaps the most overshadowed major college prospect still playing. He has rushed for 1,476 yards and scored 29 touchdowns. He has run for 111 and 130 yards and scored five touchdowns in two playoff games. RB Cordaro Leverett has five 100-yard rushing games and 991 yards on the season. 3. The winner of this game will be playing in its first state semifinal. Monroe Area, which has played football since the 1920s, lost quarterfinal games in 1969 and 2010. South Effingham, which opened in 1996, had never won a playoff game until this season. South Effingham and Colquitt County (AAAAAA) are the only No. 4 seeds still playing. Only 12 fourth seeds have made the semifinals since 1996, when the state playoffs were expanded to 32 teams.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Monroe Area by 8

Winner plays: Burke County/Sandy Creek winner


Burke County at Sandy Creek

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone

Records, rankings: Burke County is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 3-AAAA and ranked No. 3; Sandy Creek is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from 5-AAAA and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Burke County QB Donquell Green has scored a touchdown in every game and had at least one run from scrimmage of more than 25 yards in every game except one. That was the 35-7 victory over Perry in the first round, when he ran a kickoff back 98 yards for a score. 2. Sandy Creek sophomore RB Eric Swinney has rushed for 148 and 147 yards in the first two rounds. He has scored 18 touchdowns on the season, at least one in each of the past 10 games. But Sandy Creek also passes very well with junior QB Cole Garvin (123-190, 2,087 yards), senior WR Demarre Kitt (53 catches, 881 yards) and junior WR Kyle Wilson (32-566). 3. A coin flip decided the home team in this game, per GHSA rules when two same-seeded teams play. Sandy Creek has won 31 consecutive home games, 10 in the playoffs. Burke County has won only one road game in the playoffs since 1997.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Sandy Creek by 9

Winner plays: South Effingham/Monroe Area winner


Mary Persons at Ridgeland

When, where:7:30 p.m. Friday, Bowers and Painter Field, Rossville

Records, rankings: Mary Persons is 10-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AAAA and unranked; Ridgeland is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAA and ranked No. 9.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Mary Persons has two special athletes worth watching closely. Junior ATH Akebren Ralls has returned two punts for touchdowns, returned two fumbles for touchdowns, caught two touchdown passes, blocked two punts, intercepted six passes and forced four fumbles. RB Nick Davis has rushed for 1,352 yards and nine touchdowns. He also plays a little defense and has 23 tackles. Davis was fourth in the 100 meters at the Class AAA track and field meet last spring. 2. Ridgeland RB Darrell Bridges has rushed for 1,919 yards and 33 touchdowns. ATH Vonn Bell has 922 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 67 carries (13.8 ypc). He also has 14 catches for 517 yards and leads the team with 63 solo tackles. 3. Mary Persons beat Cairo 3-0 in overtime in the second round. That is believed to have been the first scoreless playoff game through regulation since 1996, when Crawford County beat Mount Zion of Carroll County 7-0 in overtime. Mary Persons advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. It will be Ridgeland's first quarterfinal.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Ridgeland by 14

Winner plays: Marist/Stockbridge winner


Marist at Stockbridge

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium, Stockbridge

Records, rankings: Marist is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AAAA and ranked No. 2; Stockbridge is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 4-AAAA and ranked No. 4.

Last meeting: Marist won 28-17 in the 1995 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Marist QB Myles Willis, who has committed to Boston College, passes fewer than 10 times a game, but he has rushed for 1,038 yards and 16 touchdowns. DL Greg Taboada, who has committed to Stanford, has five sacks and 18 other tackles for losses. He has seven tackles in the backfield in the first two rounds of the playoffs. 2. Stockbridge QB Trenton Early has passed for 1,157 yards without throwing an interception. He has rushed for 544 yards. RB Malik Bryan has rushed for 1,100 yards. 3. A coin flip decided the home team in this game, per GHSA rules when two same-seeded teams play. Stockbridge, which has never won a playoff game on the road, was pleased with the result. Marist is 48-3 in home playoff games under coach Alan Chadwick.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Marist by 7

Winner plays: Mary Persons/Ridgeland winner

Maxwell Ratings

Here are this week's state rankings as determined by the Maxwell Ratings. Below, we give you the top 25 overall teams. To see all 412 football-playing schools in Georgia and how they rank in their classification, click here.



1. Norcross (100.31)

2. North Gwinnett (93.17)

3. Grayson (87.54)

4. Camden County (87.14)

5. South Gwinnett (82.98)

6. Northside, Warner Robins (81.18)

7. Lovejoy (80.81)

8. Sandy Creek (80.58)

9. Parkview (80.28)

10. Mill Creek (80.23)

11. Colquitt County (80.05)

12. Lassiter (78.34)

13. North Cobb (77.24)

14. West Forsyth (76.73)

15. Lowndes (76.59)

16. M.L. King (75.82)

17. Calhoun (75.65)

18. McEachern (74.79)

19. Brookwood (74.22)

20. Thomson (73.41)

21. Burke County (73.12)

22. Valdosta (72.6)

23. East Paulding (71.52)

24. Johns Creek (71.48)

25. Archer (71.37)

Postseason Awards

All-state nominations wanted

GHSF Daily coordinates the selection of the annual all-state football teams for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They will be published after the state championship games.


Coaches are encouraged to begin nominating players this week. Nominations should include:




Year in school




Statistics and other supporting information


E-mail nominations to GHSFdaily@bellsouth.net


Seeking all-region teams

GHSF Daily will publish any all-region team that it receives. GHSF Daily encourages those selecting and providing all-region teams to include each player's year in school (i.e., Sr., Jr., So., Fr.). All-region players who are recognized as underclassmen have a better chance of being recruited and getting recognition on preseason all-area or all-state teams in 2013.

Invitation To Coaches

Salute to Georgia High School Football Reception

All GHSA-affiliated football head coaches are invited to attend the 2012 Salute to Georgia High School Football Reception, presented by Russell Athletic. The event will take place on Dec. 15 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Atlanta Falcons Owners Club at the Georgia Dome.


With the first state championship game on that Saturday kicking off at the new start time of 11:30 a.m., the event has been changed from a luncheon to a reception. The invitation allows coaches and a guest to enjoy a meal and mingle with fellow coaches as well as the 2012 Classification Coaches of the Year, Warrick Dunn Captain in the Community honorees and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Additionally, prizes will be awarded for commitment to the sport of football.


The Atlanta Falcons will offer to the first 100 coaches to RSVP for the reception the opportunity to receive two tickets to the Falcons-Buccaneers game on Dec. 30 at the Georgia Dome. Make sure to mention the tickets when you RSVP, and Mia Scott will follow up with a confirmation of attendance and tickets.


For coaches staying in Atlanta, the following hotels within six blocks of the Georgia Dome are recommended: Omni at CNN Center, 404-659-0000; Embassy Suites, 404-223-2300; Residence Inn by Marriott, 404-522-0950; and Quality Hotel, 404-524-7991.


RSVP by Dec. 3 by calling 404-367-2243 or e-mailing Scott at mscott@falcons.nfl.com.

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On The Web


In This Issue
POY Watch: Lamb, Watson are the players to beat
Playoff Preview: Class AAAA Quarterfinals
Maxwell Ratings
Postseason Awards
List: Career passing leaders
Trivia: Gwinnett County passing record
Playoff Scores, Pairings
All-Region Teams: 2-A
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Passing leaders

Career records for passing yards in three metro Atlanta counties were broken this season by Cedar Grove's Johnathon McCrary (DeKalb), Lassiter's Eddie Printz (Cobb) and Central Gwinnett's Eman Westmoreland (Gwinnett). Here is how they rank among those who have thrown for more than 7,500 yards in their careers, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Let us know if there are any that are not included.


9,062 - Zach Stanford (Metter) 2001-04

9,025 - Johnathon McCrary (Cedar Grove) 2009-12

8,798 - Jonquel Dawson (Martin Luther King) 2008-2011

8,751 - Eddie Printz (Lassiter) 2009-12

8,427 - Drew Little (Henry County) 2005-08

8,392 - *DeShaun Watson (Gainesville) 2010-12

8,281 - Fabian Walker (Americus) 1996-98

8,265 - Hutson Mason (Lassiter) 2007-09

8,226 - Cedric Johnson (Americus) 2001-04

8,043 - Nick Marshall (Wilcox County) 2007-2010

7,782 - Eman Westmoreland (Central Gwinnett (2009-12)

7,655 - Dwight Dasher (Charlton County) 2003-06

7,568 - Caleb Horvath (Chattahoochee Co.) 2006-08


*Still active


Eddie Printz broke the Cobb County record for career passing yards that was held by Hutson Mason. Johnathon McCrary broke the DeKalb career passing record held by Jonquel Dawson. Whose Gwinnett County passing record did Eman Westmoreland of Central Gwinnett break this season? (Answer Thursday)


Answer to Tuesday's question: The seven schools that T. McFerrin has led to the quarterfinals are Jefferson (2012), South Gwinnett (1998, 2003), Elbert County (1991, 1995, 1996), Tucker (1989), Peachtree (1976, 1980, 1981, 1982), Forest Park (1971) and Lithonia (1969).

Playoff Scores, Pairings



Second round

Lovejoy 36, Marietta 15

North Gwinnett 28, Grayson 10

North Cobb 42, Hughes 14

Mill Creek 56, Brookwood 21

Camden Co. 34, East Coweta 14

Norcross 27, South Gwinnett 7

Colquitt Co. 26, Newnan 23

Parkview 26, West Forsyth 23



North Gwinnett at Lovejoy

Mill Creek at North Cobb

Norcross at Camden Co.

Colquitt Co. at Parkview



Second round

Northside 45, Thomas Co. Central 17

Tucker 40, North Paulding 21

Ware Co. 20, Union Grove 13

Stephenson 35, East Paulding 6

Harris Co. 31, Warner Robins 21

Gainesville 61, Kell 42

Whitewater 34, Glynn Academy 27

Allatoona 20, M.L. King 19



Tucker at Northside, Warner Robins

Stephenson at Ware Co.

Gainesville at Harris Co.

Allatoona at Whitewater


Class AAAA

Second round

South Effingham 41, Westover 28

Monroe Area 21, Grady 20

Burke Co. 28, Monroe 6

Sandy Creek 35, Dalton 13

Mary Persons 3, Cairo 0

Ridgeland 41, LaGrange 34

Stockbridge 42, Wayne Co. 21

Marist 43, Carrollton 37



South Effingham at Monroe Area

Burke Co. at Sandy Creek

Mary Persons at Ridgeland

Marist at Stockbridge


Class AAA

Second round

Carver, Columbus 45, Rockmart 16

Buford 13, North Oconee 0

Thomson 35, Johnson, Savannah 19

Cartersville 24, Blessed Trinity 23

Peach Co. 43, Pierce Co. 15

North Hall 13, Morgan Co. 9

Washington Co. 28, Callaway 0

St. Pius 31, Hart Co. 15



Buford at Carver, Columbus

Thomson at Cartersville

Peach Co. at North Hall

Washington Co. at St. Pius


Class AA

Second round

Fitzgerald 52, Vidalia 20

Jefferson 35, Westminster 7

Early Co. 28, Screven Co. 7

GAC 52, Heard Co. 21

Brooks Co. 49, McIntosh Co. Acd. 21

Calhoun 34, Washington-Wilkes 7

Lamar Co. 24, Benedictine 21

Lovett 23, Manchester 0



Fitzgerald at Jefferson

Early Co. at Greater Atlanta Christian

Brooks Co. at Calhoun

Lamar Co. at Lovett


Class A (public)

First round

Lincoln Co. 21, Hancock Central 0

Wilkinson Co. 27, Miller Co. 26

Dooly Co. 19, Turner Co. 8

Seminole Co. 36, Commerce 7

Emanuel Co. Inst. 46, Gordon Lee 12

Trion 31, Irwin Co. 6

Marion Co. 31, Charlton Co. 12

Wilcox Co. 42, Greenville 14



Wilkinson Co. at Lincoln Co.

Dooly Co. at Seminole Co.

Trion at Emanuel Co. Institute

Marion Co. at Wilcox Co.


Class A (private)

First round

Athens Academy 17, Mt. Pisgah 13

Prince Avenue 42, Darlington 21

Landmark Christ. 10, Calvary Day 7

First Presbyterian 49, Brookstone 33

Walker 28, Athens Christian 7

George Walton 38, Aquinas 12

Sav. Christian 35, Holy Innocents' 17

ELCA 42, Our Lady of Mercy 14



Prince Avenue at Athens Academy

First Presbyterian at Landmark

George Walton Academy at Walker

Savannah Christian at ELCA



Class AAA


Deerfield-Windsor 24, Stratford 17

Heritage School 42, Westfield 10



Heritage School at Deerfield-Windsor


Class AA


Valwood 27, John Milledge 24

Westwood 40, Brentwood 28



Westwood at Valwood


Class A


Robert Toombs 14, Th. Jefferson 12

Frederica 39, Dawson Street Chr. 15



Robert Toombs at Frederica

All-Region Teams


Player of the year: QB Makail Grace, Wilcox County, Sr.

Offensive player of the year: WR Johnathan Howard, Wilcox County, Sr.

Offensive player of the year: QB Luke Soliday, Turner County, Sr.

Defensive player of the year: DL Abraham Freeman, Telfair County, Sr.

Special teams player of the year: P Trae Harrington, Charlton County, Jr.



QB - Javon Smith, Lanier County, Sr.

FB - Abraham Freeman, Telfair County, Sr.

RB - Rashan Mackey, Telfair County Sr.

RB - Ryan Peterson, Irwin County, Jr.

RB - Donte Studstill, Irwin County, Sr.

WR - Quan Hillmon, Turner County, So.

WR - C.J. Mainor, Charlton County, Jr.

WR - Curtis Nixon, Charlton County, So.

WR - Quin Tisdol, Wilcox County, So.

TE - Taylor Hughes, Irwin County, Sr.

C - Cam Morgan, Irwin County, So.

OL - George Barnes, Telfair County, Sr.

OL - K.J. Billingsley, Irwin County, Sr.

OL - Marquis Brown, Wilcox County, Sr.

OL - John West, Wilcox County, Sr.

OL - Tony Jenkins, Lanier County, Sr.



DL - D.J. Peterson, Irwin County, Jr.

DL - Michael Dasher, Charlton County, Fr.

DL - Johnny Dwight, Wilcox County, Jr.

DL - Will Gowen, Charlton County, Jr.

DL - Tony Jenkins, Lanier County, Sr.

DL - Chauncey Manac, Clinch County, Fr.

LB - Antuane Merritt, Irwin County, Jr.

LB - Kameon Peavy, Wilcox County, Jr.

LB - Ryan Young, Charlton County, Sr.

LB - Brent Wildes, Charlton County, Sr.

LB - Rusty Zirkle, Lanier County, Sr.

DB - Devin Jones, Charlton County, Sr.

DB - Curtis Nixon, Charlton County, So.

DB - Albert White, Telfair County, Sr.

DB - Jakyron Young, Irwin County, So.


Special teams

P - Austin Phillips, Irwin County, Jr.

PK - Joost Smits, Clinch County, Sr.

LS - Brent Wildes, Charlton County, Sr.

KR - Devin Jones, Charlton County, Sr.

PR - Jovan Smith, Lanier County, Sr.



Darren Myles of Carver and Alan Chadwick of Marist were named coaches of the year in Region 6-AAAA. That information was not included in Tuesday's all-region team for 6-AAAA.


Football recruiting fair to be held at Atlanta Technical College

The 2012 Fall Metro Atlanta College Football Recruiting Fair will be held at Atlanta Technical College on Dec. 4 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Dec. 5 (8 a.m.-noon). Colleges from across the country will be in attendance, looking for football players from the class of 2012 and 2013. Bring copies of your prospect sheet, player highlights, transcripts, and official test scores if applicable. NCAA and NAIA schools, junior colleges and prep schools will be in attendance. There are only 80 slots available for high schools. For more information, go to www.fresports.com or contact coach Ahmand Tinker (atinker@footballrecruitingexpos.com or 706-412-3556) or coach Tim Glanton (timglanton@footballrecruitingexpos.com or 404-429-6220).

About Us
GHSFD logoGeorgia High School Football Daily is a free e-mail newsletter produced
and owned by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye. Holcomb is a former lead high school football writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and co-founder of the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Saye is a 25-year veteran of the newspaper industry who has covered high school sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Athens Banner-Herald, Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and Gwinnett Daily News.

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