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HS Football Previews: Week 2
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Jefferson at North Hall

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: The Brickyard

Coaches: Jefferson, Ben Hall; North Hall, Dave Bishop

Records: Jefferson (2-0); North Hall (0-0)

Key players: Jefferson, DB Tradd Porter (6-0, 180 Sr.); WR T.J. Skelton (6-2, 185 Sr.); QB Evan Shirreffs (6-5, 195 Sr.). North Hall, RB/DL Austin Perry (6-4, 220 Sr.); OL/DL Hayden Hughes (6-2, 230 Sr.); QB/DB Maddox Turner (5-9, 155 So.).

Outlook: The Dragons have jumped to a fast start to the season, beating its first two non-region opponents by a combined 91-20 margin. After a Week 1 bye, the Trojans are looking to build some momentum under the first-year Bishop. An opening-night 50-14 win against Rabun County set the tone for the Dragons. Senior running back Sammy Williams carried the ball 20 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman running back Colby Wood rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Evan Shirreffs passed for 220 yards and one touchdown. Last week, the running back tandem of Williams and Wood put up big numbers against Winder-Barrow. Williams had 22 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while Wood carried 16 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns. North Hall looks to gain valuable experience early with just one returning starter (Hughes) on both sides on the ball. The Trojans play a tough three-game stretch in non-region play. After tonight, North Hall faces former Region 7-AAA foe and 2013 playoff qualifier West Hall. Then on Sept. 19, the Trojans travel to West Georgia to face 2013 state finalist Carrollton.


Buford vs. McEachern

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

Coaches: Buford, Jess Simpson; McEachern, Kyle Hockman

Records: Buford (2-0); McEachern (0-1)

Key players: Buford, RB/LB Joshua Thomas (6-1, 210 Sr.); DE/TE Isaac Nauta (6-4, 245 Sr.); WR/DB David Curry (6-2, 195 Sr.). McEachern, OL Chuma Edoga (6-3, 281 Sr.); QB Bailey Hockman (6-2, 210 So.); RB Taj Griffin (5-9, 170 Sr.) .


Outlook: Top-ranked Buford will likely face its toughest matchup of the regular season with a home game against Class AAAAAA’s sixth-ranked Indians, who came up on the losing end of their opener against No. 9 North Gwinnett 52-49 on Aug. 23. So far, Class AAAA’s top-ranked Wolves have been absolutely dominating, winning its first two games by a combined 77-0 score. The Wolves, which are averaging 5.5 yards per rush, are led by Thomas with 87 yards and three touchdowns. Xavier Gantt is second for Buford rushing with 75 yards (7 per attempt). One of Buford’s most impressive numbers on the season is rushing yards — combining for 399, compared to only 21 combined by its two opponents. Curry and Austin Smith have both racked up 12 tackles on the season for the Wolves’ defensive unit. Only a sophomore and highly-recruited Division I prospect, Bailey Hockman threw for 302 yards and four scores in McEachern’s opener. Oregon-bound Griffin had three rushing scores for the Indians. After this non-region meeting, Buford has a bye before jumping into Region 8-AAAA play against White County on Sept. 19 in Buford.


White County at Jackson County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Panthers Stadium, Jefferson

Coaches: White County, Bill Ballard; Jackson County, Benji Harrison

Records: White County (0-1); Jackson County (0-1)

Key players: White County, DB/RB Maurice Sutton (6-0, 195 Sr.); OL/TE Sean Freeman (6-1, 220 Sr.); DL/OL/WR Tucker Cook (6-3, 195 Sr.). Jackson County, QB Jacob Lewis (6-1, 180 Sr.); WR/TE Adrian Parsons (6-4, 190 Sr.); LB Griffin McElvery (5-10, 185 Jr.).

Outlook: Both programs got off to a slow start but have time to rebound before the region schedule begins. White County is coming off a 42-34 non-region loss against Pickens, while Jackson County fell 27-21 in non-region play to open the season against Madison County on Aug. 29. Tonight’s matchup is the first between these two schools since 1993, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, a 27-0 win for the Panthers. With four previous meetings, the record is split 2-2 between the Panthers and Warriors.


Union County at Lumpkin County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega

Coaches: Union County, Brian Allison; Lumpkin County, Ty Maxwell

Records: Union County (0-0); Towns County (0-0)

Key players: Union County, QB Joseph Mancuso (6-3, 195 Jr.), LB/RB Chase Barnett (5-11, 190 Sr.); QB/DB Gunner Wood (5-10, 175 Sr.), RB/LB Zach Matthews (6-1, 190 So.), OL/DL Garrett Gray (5-10, 225 Sr.)

Outlook: Lumpkin County lost a defensive battle to Model, 15-8 in Week 0, despite a big night from sophomore running back Zach Matthews. The Indians will likely need a much better offensive output to keep pace with Union County, which demolished Towns County 57-14 in Week 1.


Dawson County vs. Gilmer

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Dawson County High, Dawsonville

Coaches: Dawson County, Jeff Lee; Gilmer, Wesley Tankersley

Records: Dawson County (0-1), Gilmer (1-0)

Key players: Dawson County, QB Zack Buchan (6-2, 180 Sr.), OL Corbin Thomas (5-9, 260 Sr.), WR Dalton Edwards (6-0, 170 Sr.)

Outlook: Dawson County’s first three games of the 2014 season are against non-region opponents from larger classifications. The Class AAA Tigers managed little more than a late touchdown in a 27-7 loss to Class AAAAA Forsyth Central in Week 1, and they could face similar struggles tonight against Class AAAA Gilmer. The Bobcats pounded Fannin County 41-7 in their season opener last week.


East Hall at Pickens

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Pickens County High School, Jasper

Coaches: East Hall, Bryan Gray; Pickens, Chris Parker

Records: East Hall (1-0), Pickens (1-0)

Key players: East Hall, QB/DB Devin Watson (5-11, 185 Sr.), DL Alan Silva (5-10, 240 Sr.), RB/WR Jacques Ash (5-11, 190 Sr.).

Outlook: East Hall rallied to beat Wesleyan 20-13 last week, but will face an even tougher Pickens squad tonight. The Dragons knocked off White County, East Hall’s former Region 7-AAA rival, 42-34 last week.


Banks County at Johnson

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood

Coaches: Banks County, Biff Parson; Johnson, Jason Roquemore

Records: Banks County (0-1); Johnson (0-2)

Key players: Banks, WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell (5-9, 165 Sr.), QB/RB Trevae Cain (6-0, 205 Jr.); Johnson, OL/DL Donyae Brown (5-11, 220 Sr.), QB Chase Sims (6-0, 190 Sr.)

Outlook: Banks County gave Commerce a test before falling 28-21 last week. The Leopards, looking for their first victory since Oct. 19, 2012, will have another chance to end their 14-game losing streak when they come to Oakwood tonight to face the Knights. Johnson has lost its first two games by a combined score of 59-3.


Habersham Central at Northview

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Northview High School, Johns Creek

Coaches: Habersham Central, Michael Pollock; Northview, Chad Davenport

Records: Habersham Central (0-1), Northview (1-0)

Key players: Habersham Central, QB Bennett Black (6-1, 185 Sr.), RB Michael Babers (5-10, 205 So.), WR/DE John David Herrin (6-2, 200 Sr.)

Outlook: Habersham Central gave Rabun County a test last week, but the 23-14 loss left the Raiders still searching for their first win since Oct. 12, 2012. Northview knows what it’s like to go through those kinds of struggles — the Titans went winless in 2008 and won only one game in 2010 — but the program has been on the rise in recent years. The Titans went 5-5 last season and hammered Duluth 42-7 in Week 1.


Towns County at Mount Vernon Presbyterian

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Atlanta

Coaches: Towns County, Bill Barnhart; Mount Vernon, Ryan Zimmerman

Records: Towns County (0-1), Mount Vernon (0-2)

Key players: Towns County, FB/DB Cruz Shook (5-9, 205 Sr.), OL/LB Kyle Davis (5-10, 210 Sr.), TE/DL Daulton Rogers (6-1, 200 Jr.)

Outlook: Someone will get their first win of the season when Towns County takes on Mount Vernon on Saturday. The Indians and Mustangs have had similarly difficult starts to the season, with Towns County suffering a blowout loss at the hand of Union County and Mount Vernon trying to recover from consecutive lopsided defeats.


Commerce vs. Hebron Christian Academy

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Commerce High School, Commerce

Coaches: Commerce, Mike Brown; Hebron Christian Academy, Kevin Shaffer

Records: Commerce (1-0), Hebron Christian Academy (2-0)

Key players: Banks, WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell (5-9, 165 Sr.), QB/RB Trevae Cain (6-0, 205 Jr.). Commerce, DL Derek Benoit (6-2, 240 Sr.), RB/DB Cole Chancey (5-10, 175 So.).

Outlook: Commerce’s warm-up is already over. The Tigers jump into region play tonight against Hebron Christian Academy. The Tigers trounced the Lions 48-12 last season, but Hebron is off to a strong start this year with early wins over East Jackson (35-15) and Mount Vernon (49-14).


Lakeview at St. Francis

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: St. Francis, Alpharetta

Coaches: Lakeview, Matthew Gruhn; St. Francis, Brennen Booth

Records: Lakeview (0-1); St. Francis (1-0)

Key players: Lakeview, QB/DB David Abee (6-1, 170, Sr.), OL/DL Kyle Larsen (6-1, 190), RB/DB/KR Tae Turner (5-10, 155, Jr.)

Outlook: Lakeview could have its hands full with St. Francis which won its opener 47-10 over Providence Christian last week.

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