A.J. Sijiye, Chestatee: Carried the ball 17 times for 133 yards and three touchdowns in a double-overtime win against Eastside.
Terrick Ramsey, Commerce: Ran 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in a win over Rabun County.
Drew Whitfield, Commerce: Had 22 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Justin Curry, Flowery Branch: Rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Loganville.
Jackson McDonald, Flowery Branch: Passed for 128 yards and rushed 92 yards and three touchdowns.
Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Passed for 294 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 75 yards and two scores in a win against Apalachee.
Rodney Lackey, Gainesville: Had six catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Tray Harrison, Gainesville: Had a 23-yard touchdown run and a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Xavier Harper, Jackson County; Had five catches for 104 yards and three touchdowns in a win against East Jackson.
Kyle Daniel, Jackson County: Completed 12 of 16 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Daivon Ledford, Jackson County: Finished the game with 10 tackles.
Dustin Scott, Jackson County: Rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Ted Reynolds, Lakeview Academy: Threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 134 yards in a loss to Pinecrest Academy.
Trevor Price, Lakeview Academy: Combined for 133 yards of offense and a touchdown.
Isaiah Rowe, West Hall: Rushed 15 times for 102 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Banks County.
Antonio Pittman, West Hall: Rushed 12 times for 101 yards.
Will Brock, White County: Passed for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a loss to Blessed Trinity.
Compiled by Bill Murphy
With one big run, Chestatee senior running back Quan Clark epitomized his school-record rushing performance in a double-overtime win against Eastside on Friday at War Eagle Stadium. Late in the second quarter, Clark, who stands 6-foot and 185 pounds, shed three tackles at the line of scrimmage, avoided a linebacker’s dive at his legs, then ran free for a 58-yard touchdown.
“Quan’s a running back that hits the hole hard as a big back but also has breakaway speed,” said Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell.
Clark had moments like that all night for the War Eagles (2-1, 1-0 Region 8-AAAA). He had touchdown runs of 65 and 46 yards in the opening period and finished with a new school record 307 yards on 29 carries, 250 of those yards coming in the opening half of play. The previous Chestatee record for rushing yards in a game belonged to Ben Souther (271 yards in 2008), who is now playing at Mercer University in Macon.
For his efforts, Clark is The Times Player of the Week.
Clark’s big runs also served as what Luttrell described as a “counter punch” to two Eastside touchdowns. Early in the game, Chestatee led 7-0. Then the Eagles put up two quick touchdowns, one on a 70-yard kick off return and the other on a goal-line interception for a touchdown.
Then Clark went to work. First, he broke off a 65-yard scoring run to tie the game at 14-14.
After Eastside reclaimed the lead, Clark went for a 46-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the first quarter to tie the score again.
“It was just a back-and-forth game early on,” said Lutrell, who added that Clark has a great speed burst, and has been clocked recently at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The War Eagles finished the game with 616 yards of offense, thanks in part to A.J. Sijiye’s 116-yard rushing night. Chestatee managed to possess the ball for 35 minutes of the game, Luttrell said.
“It was a total team effort and we all pulled together,” Clark said. “I was very impressed with how our offensive line played.”
At first, Clark was surprised by the fact he broke 200 yards rushing, a rare single-game feat for a running back. Then he was told Saturday morning — by his mother, in fact — that he had crossed 300.
“It felt great to know I broke 300 yards,” Clark said. “I just said ‘wow.’”
With the school-record performance, Clark catapulted himself into the conversation as one of the top backs in school history, joining Souther (Mercer University), Jo Jo Sweet (LaGrange College) and Lane Vasser.
When he was in middle school, Clark was around Chestatee games when Souther and Sweet were playing. He never knew, at the time, that his name would be regarded in that same category.
“It’s really an honor,” Clark said.
Clark’s effort helped Chestatee throw itself into the conversation for top candidates to make a run this season in Region 8-AAAA. The War Eagles have another big game Friday with a trip to fifth-ranked Stephens County (4-0, 1-0), which is led by a Division I-prospect at running back, senior Chaz Thornton.
“We’re eager to see what we’re able to do,” Clark said. “We feel good right now, but can’t let it affect how we approach getting ready for the next game.”
He’s hoping to lead the War Eagles into the postseason, and hopefully, their first playoff win in school history.