By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
High school football previews: Week 4
Placeholder Image

Hancock Central at Buford

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

Coaches: Buford, Jess Simpson; Hancock Central, Zachary Harris

Records: Buford (2-0), Hancock Central (2-0)

Key players: Buford, TE Isaac Nauta (6-3, 240 So.); RB Joshua Thomas (5-11, 200 Jr.); LB Korie Rogers (6-3, 215 Sr.). Hancock Central, OL/DL Derrian Meminger (6-3, 260 Sr.); RB/WR/KR Markel Jones (5-7, 155 Sr.); QB/DB Montkevious Fluellen (5-7, 170 Jr.)

Outlook: Buford has left quite the impression early in the season. The Wolves are just a week removed from a dominating performance on both sides of the ball and a 38-14 win against defending Class AAAAA champion Gainesville. Buford’s Thomas has emerged as its leading back with 140 yards against the Red Elephants, and is up to 185 yards (9.3 per attempt) on the season.

Nothing has changed with Buford’s offense as it has averaged 310 yards per game on the ground and an additional 120 passing.

Hancock Central, which lost 43-0 last season to Buford, is led by the offensive production of Fluellen (316 total yards). He has accounted for seven touchdowns in its first two wins of the season. Jones is the Bulldogs’ big-play threat with five catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Hancock Central has averaged 360 yards per game offensively in lopsided wins against Randolph-Clay and East Laurens.

Cedar Shoals at Flowery Branch

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch

Coaches: Cedar Shoals, Chris Davis; Flowery Branch, Chris Griffin

Records: Cedar Shoals (0-2), Flowery Branch (0-2)

Key players: Cedar Shoals, RB Adrian Washington (6-0, 215 Sr.); QB Darius Jordan (5-10, 140 Sr.); WR Breshawrd Cooper (5-6, 140 Sr.). Flowery Branch, QB Jackson McDonald (6-0, 180 Sr.); OL Andrew Miles (6-5, 280 Sr.); WR/KR A’lencio Graham (5-11, 175 Sr.).

Outlook: Flowery Branch opens region play against Cedar Shoals tonight looking to turn around a rough 0-2 start to the season. The Falcons went down this road just a year ago, and still ended up winning eight consecutive games to finish 8-2 in the regular season, winning their first-ever Region 8-AAAAA title.

With that in mind, Flowery Branch is far from out of the count. It demonstrated some positives on offense in last Friday’s 35-21 loss to West Forsyth, racking up 354 yards against a Class AAAAAA team with plenty of size up front. The Falcons also enjoyed a solid breakout game from freshman running back Jeremiah Goss, who rushed for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns and appears to the team’s feature runner going forward.

Cedar Shoals is also off to an 0-2 start after suffering a 27-19 loss to Elbert County last Friday.

It was the Jaguars’ first loss to the Blue Devils since 1972. The Athens-based team is led by running back Adrian Washington, who has an offer from Auburn and interest from several other Division-I teams, including nearby Georgia.

Winder-Barrow at Gainesville

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: City Park Stadium

Coaches: Gainesville, Bruce Miller; Winder-Barrow David Wagner

Records: Gainesville (1-1), Winder-Barrow (1-1)

Key players: Gainesville, QB Deshaun Watson (6-3, 190 Sr.); LB Devan Stringer (5-11, 195 Sr.); WR Rodney Lackey (5-10, 165 Jr.). Winder-Barrow, S Bradyn Randall (6-2, 185 Jr.); WR Markesio Anderson (6-3, 210 Sr.); RB Chandon Sullivan (6-0, 180 Sr.)

Outlook: Gainesville has a bitter taste in its mouth following a 38-14 loss to Buford at home last week. Now, the Red Elephants return to City Park Stadium to host Winder-Barrow, a program that won a total of one game in the three previous seasons.

This year, the Bulldoggs are 1-1, defeating Jackson County 26-21 on week 1 before falling to Monroe Area 40-14 last week.

The Red Elephants should have no problem in this game, having beat the Bulldoggs 69-0 a season ago, behind Watson’s seven touchdown passes in the first half.

Johnson at North Murray

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: North Murray Stadium, Chatsworth

Coaches: Johnson, Jason Roquemore; North Murray, David Gann

Records: Johnson (1-2), North Murray (0-2)

Key players: Johnson, RB/S Luis Hernandez (6-1, 185 Sr.); OL/DL Devan McClay (6-3, 245 Sr.); RB/DL Jesse Griggs (5-9, 210 Jr.). North Murray, QB Hinton McConkey (5-10, 160 Jr.); RB/LB John Chastain (6-0, 225 Sr.); OL/DL Jordan Ray (6-3, 290 Sr.)

Outlook: The first three weeks of Johnson’s season has been nothing short of a see-saw ride, with the Knights being pulled between both sides of lopsided contests.

They were shut out 35-0 by West Hall in Week 1, only to turn around a week later and rout Oglethorpe County 34-8. Last Friday, they struggled against a stout North Hall defense that limited their production and cruised to a 63-6 win.

Now back on the road this week against Class AAA foe North Murray, Johnson hopes the pattern swings back in its favor before its in-county bout with East Hall next week. The Knights are looking to avenge a 27-13 loss to the Mountaineers from a year ago.

North Murray is still looking for its first win this season. The Mountaineers were edged 30-26 by Dade County last week, when they gave up a 48-yard touchdown run on a fake punt with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

West Hall at Lumpkin County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega

Coaches: West Hall, Tony Lotti; Lumpkin County, Brad Waggoner

Records: West Hall (1-1), Lumpkin County (0-2)

Key players: West Hall, TE/DE Hunter Atkinson (6-6, 250 Sr.); RB/DL Antonio Pittman (5-9, 225 Sr.); QB Zach English (5-10, 180 Sr.). Lumpkin County, RB/S Gunner Wood (5-10, 170 Jr.); QB/P Daniel McCrary (6-1, 175 Sr.); WR/DB Jonathan Gilreath (6-2, 190 Sr.)

Outlook: An emotionally-charged West Hall team heads up to Dahlonega aiming to finish its final non-region game with a more positive outcome.

Last Friday, the Spartans fell behind 15-14 in the fourth quarter after Chestatee successfully converted a two-point attempt for the lead, then watched as a game-winning field goal attempt went wide left with 15 seconds remaining in the game. It also didn’t help that the team was dealing with the hardship of a career-ending injury sustained by one of its players at a practice earlier in the week.

Through two games, West Hall has looked like one of the area’s most improved teams, having outscored its opponents 49-15. The Spartans have quickly established the identities of their leaders for the season, as seniors Zach English, Antonio Pittman and Hunter Atkinson have all enjoy solid performances early in the year.

Lumpkin County needs a quick turnaround if it wants to pick up its first win against surging West Hall. The Indians suffered a 31-0 loss to White County last Friday, and have been outscored 58-13 with a 830 yards allowed through two games.

East Hall at East Jackson

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Eagles Stadium, Commerce

Coaches: East Hall, Bryan Gray; East Jackson, Gary Hughes Sr.

Records: East Hall (1-1, 0-1 Region 7-AAA); East Jackson (1-1)

Key players: East Hall, QB Devin Watson (5-11, 173 Jr.); LB Jorge Hernandez (6-3, 230 Sr.); WR/DB Milton Whelchel (5-9, 170 Sr.). East Jackson, RB/QB/LB Austin Beauchamp (6-1, 205 Sr.); RB/DB Deangelo Moore (5-9, 170 Sr.); OL/DL Justin Akin (6-1, 260 Sr.).

Outlook: The Vikings hope to be fresh after a bye week to prepare for its final two non-region games before play in Region 7-AAA begins.

East Hall scored 48 in its last outing against Chattooga on Aug. 30. The Vikings still have two non-region outings remaining as a result of its region season-opener against Dawson County on Aug. 23 in Gainesville.

Meanwhile, East Jackson is already off to a positive start this season. The Eagles won their season opener against Banks County on Aug. 30, before playing falling to Commerce 19-7 last Friday.

East Jackson opens Region 8-AAA play against winless Jackson County on Sept. 20 in Commerce.

Georgia Military at Riverside Military

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Maginnis Field

Coaches: Riverside Military, Gary Downs; Georgia Military, Steven Simpson

Records: Riverside Military (0-1), Georgia Military (1-1)

Key players: Riverside Military, RB/CB Raleigh Beougher (5-9, 165 Jr.); QB Avery Cagle (6-4, 200 Sr.); LB John-Mark MacFarlane (5-10, 190 Sr.). Georgia Military, CB Markel Jones (5-6, 132 Sr.); WR/CB Rkarche Griffin (5-6, 161 Sr.); QB Tyler MacCartee (Jr.).

Outlook: Riverside Military is looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the third straight season. Last year, the Eagles started 0-6, which included a 24-0 loss to Georgia Military in Milledgeville.
Georgia Military is 1-1 this season, with a 28-7 win over Glascock County last week. TheBulldogs lost to Harlem, 28-7, in Week 1.

Riverside Military lost to Whitfield Academy 26-24 last week, but saw Raleigh Beoughner finish with eight catches for 120 yards receiving and a rushing touchdown.

Beoughner is proof that the Eagles’ new spread-style offense is capable of moving the football down the field and scoring points. Defensively, the Eagles showed their improvement from 2012, which saw them allow 33.3 points per game.

Tonight’s game is Riverside’s home opener.

Commerce at Banks County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Leopards Stadium, Homer

Coaches: Commerce, Michael Brown; Banks County, Biff Parson

Records: Commerce (1-1), Banks County (0-2)

Key players: Commerce, QB Drew Whitfield (5-9, 175 Sr.); RB/LB Chance McClure (6-1, 215 Sr.); TE/DL Tony Patman (6-3, 255 Sr.). Banks County, RB/DB Wes Faulkner (5-9, 165 Sr.); WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell (5-10, 155 Jr.); OL/DL Trent Cape (5-10, 200 Jr.).

Outlook: Commerce picked up its first win last Friday behind a proficient ground game. Against East Jackson, the Tigers rushed for all 211 yards of their offense, which was enough to compensate for four turnovers.

Whitfield led Commerce against East Jackson with 82 rushing yards. On defense, Brevin Knox is the Tigers’ leader with 12 stops.

Meanwhile, it has been a slow start for Banks County with losses in non-region play against East Jackson and Athens Christian.

Forsyth Central at Dawson County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville

Coaches: Forsyth Central, Shane Williamson; Dawson County, Jeff Lee

Records: Forsyth Central (0-2), Dawson County (2-1, 1-0 Region 7-AAA)

Key players: Forsyth Central, LB Victor Peppers (Jr.); K Anel Ramic (Sr.). Dawson County, WR/DB Jackson Putnam (6-1, 180 Sr.); OL Eli Brown (6-1, 265 Sr.); LB/RB Keaton Toal (6-1, 225 Sr.).

Outlook: After a great start to the season, Dawson County was handed a minor setback with a 31-0 loss against Class AAAAAA’s North Forsyth. However, any lingering negative feelings from that game need not last long with the Tigers set to open Region 7-AAA play in its next outing on Sept. 27 against North Hall at The Brickyard.

For Forsyth Central, its been a rough go so far with lopsided losses in its first two games against North Forsyth (31-0) and South Forsyth (38-10). The Bulldogs played their first two games without suspended wide receiver Jeremiah Jones, who was All-Region in 7-AAAAA after 17 catches for 351 yards and six touchdowns in 2012.

White County at Fannin County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: White County Stadium, Cleveland

Coaches: White County, Bill Ballard; Fannin County, Greg Chambers

Records: White County (2-0), Fannin County (1-1)

Key players: White County, LB/RB Dalton Whitfield (6-3, 230 Sr.); Rover/WR Will Flowers (5-11, 180 Sr.); DB/WR Coley Loudermilk (5-11, 180 Sr.). Fannin County, QB Trevor Stone (6-0, 205 Sr.), RB/CB Jacob Greer (5-8, 160 Jr.), WR Dominik Leben (6-0, 150 So.)

Outlook: White County opens Region 7-AAA action hoping to maintain the spark that has catapulted the Warriors to a 2-0 record in dominant fashion to start the season.

They’ve made quick work of both opponents thus far, outscoring them 66-14. They notched their first shutout of the season last Friday by rolling past Lumpkin County 31-0.

A win tonight would give White County its second straight 3-0 start.

Fannin County enters the game having survived a 43-35 shootout against Union County last Friday in Blue Ridge. The offensive surge is a major improvement on the Rebels’ 22-0 loss to Gilmer two weeks ago.

Jackson County at Athens Christian

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Eagle Field, Athens

Coaches: Jackson County, Benji Harrison; Athens Christian, Steve Brooks

Records: Jackson County (0-2), Athens Christian (1-1)

Key players: Jackson County, WR Xavier Harper (6-0, 185 Sr.); WR Ben Brissey (6-3, 195 Sr.); LB Evan Breakspear (6-0, 210 Sr.). Athens Christian, WR/CB Levi Cummings (6-1, 180 Sr.); QB/CB Brett Branton (6-1, 170 Sr.); WR/FS Kyle Sartain (5-11, 160 Jr.)

Outlook: After making the playoffs in 2012, Jackson County is off to a rough start in 2013. The Panthers are 0-2, losing their season opener to Winder-Barrow, 26-21, and last week to Jefferson, 49-0.

Now, the Panthers go on the road to face Athens Christian, a Class A opponent that enters with a 1-1 record. Athens Christian beat Banks County 38-7 last week after falling to Landmark Christian on week 1.

Jackson County will try to get its first win of the season with its talented, quick receiving corps, which was shut down last week against the Dragons.

Athens Christian plays nearly every key on both sides of the football, so fatigue against the larger Panthers could be a factor for the Eagles.

A loss for Jackson County could be detrimental. The Panthers would be 0-3 heading into a rivalry game against East Jackson, which will also serve as the Region 8-AAA opener for both teams.

Habersham Central at Collins Hill

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Fahring Field, Suwanee

Coaches: Habersham Central, Michael Pollock; Collins Hill, Kevin Reach

Records: Habersham Central (0-2), Collins Hill (2-0)

Key players: Habersham Central, RB Sydnee Mulligan (5-9, 192 Sr.); WR Gunner Hedden (6-0, 156 Sr.); QB Logan Gosnell (5-11, 200 Sr.). Collins Hill, QB Tyler Herman (6-3, 198 Sr.); RB Tyler Henderson (5-9, 172 Sr.); WR/DB Quentin Jones (5-10, 175 Sr.).

Outlook: Collins Hill is off to the school’s first 2-0 start since 2009, after wins over Central Gwinnett (22-0) and Dacula (21-13). Tonight, the Eagles open Region 7-AAAAAA play against a winless Habersham Central.

The Raiders are off to a second straight 0-2 start, following losses to White County (35-14) and Stephens County (49-14). The Raiders are the only team in Region 7-AAAAAA that is not located in Gwinnett County and has a disadvantage when it comes to depth. The Raiders were 1-9 a year ago, with their lone win coming against Meadowcreek, a program riding a current 50-game losing streak.

The Raiders lost to the Eagles 52-0 last season at home, and face stopping an Eagles team that features a lot of speed and a talented senior class, which includes the Herman triplets, one of whom is the starting quarterback.


Rabun County at Towns County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee

Coaches: Rabun County, Lee Shaw; Towns County, Blair Harrison

Records: Towns County (0-3), Rabun County (1-0)

Key players: Towns County, QB Jackson Noblet (5-10, 205 Sr.); OL/DL Jaryd Gurley (6-2, 303 Sr.); WR/DB Cruz Shook (5-7, 170 Jr.). Rabun County, QB Hunter Sims (Fr.); WR Alden Wright (So.); WR/DB Charlie Woerner (6-4, 205 So.).

Outlook: Towns County is off to an 0-3 start this season, losing each contest by an average of 27.3 points per game.

In each of the last two games, the Indians have surrendered 40 or more points, including last week when Fellowship Christian won 49-14.

Rabun County is in its second season under former Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw. The Wildcats are 1-0 this season, beating Hayesville (N.C.) 55-7 last week.

Earlier this season, Hayesville beat Towns County 20-0 in a rain-shortened game.

Rabun County is led by wide receiver and defensive back Charlie Woerner, who is already receiving Division II offers.

Union County at Andrews (N.C.)

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Andrews, N.C.

Coaches: Union County, Brian Allison; Andrews, Avery Cutshaw

Records: Union County (1-1), Andrews (0-3)

Key players: Union County, WR/DB Robert Prunier (5-9, 175 Jr.); WR Jacob Rogers (6-3, 185 Jr.); OL/DL Luther Jones (6-0, 290 Sr.). Andrews, QB Lamar Raynard (6-6, 192 Sr.); RB D.J. Hill (5-11, 200 Jr.); FS Dre’ Thomasson (6-0, 182 Sr.).

Outlook: Union County is 1-1 this season following a 41-14 win over Towns County and a 43-34 loss to Fannin County last week.

This week, the Panthers face their only out-of-state competition when they visit the winless Andrews (N.C.) Wildcats.

The Wildcats are allowing 33.6 points per game this season, while Union County is averaging 38 points per game.

A win for the Panthers will give them great momentum heading into next week’s Region 8-AA opener at Washington-Wilkes.

Regional events