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In only one quarter of play, Gainesville junior quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 4 of 6 passes for 85 yards, including a long pass to sophomore Rodney Lackey for a gain of 25, in a scrimmage Friday against Creekview in Canton. Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said that play swung the momentum of the game early in a 39-7 win for the Red Elephants.
At running back, Michael Byrd (four carries, 35 yards) and Jay Gaudlock (4-45) led the way. Senior Caleb Hayman had five catches for Gainesville, which opens the regular season against West Forsyth on Aug. 30 at City Park Stadium.
Miller said the best part of the game was getting ample playing time for as many players as possible.
“I thought we played well on both sides of the ball,” Miller said. “I was happy with how the kids played, and it gave us a good overview going into the regular season.”
WEST HALL 21, WALNUT GROVE 7: Cameron Johnson scored for the Spartans on a 30-yard run, and Keith McCroan hauled in a pass from Zach English that went for a gain of 40 yards on Friday in Oakwood. Spartans coach Tony Lotti said that the second half was used to work on practicing different situations, and the teams didn’t keep the score after halftime.
On defense, Hunter Atkinson and McCroan each had a pair of sacks for West Hall, which opens the season against Johnson on Friday in the Battle of Oakwood at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
“I’m pleased with our effort and attitude we played with tonight,” Lotti said. “We’ve got a long way to go still, but I felt like the scrimmage went well.”
AMHERST COUNTY (Va.) 33, NORTH HALL 25: The Trojans built a 10-0 lead through the first quarter and ran the ball for 229 yards on the night in Amherst, Va. T.J. Tate led North Hall with eight carries for 85 yards, and Kevin Christmas carried the ball 10 times for 61 yards.
Leading 10-0 after the first quarter, North Hall had a botched snap on a punt attempt in the end zone, which was recovered for a score by Amherst County, a two-time Virginia state champion since 2007.
“I thought we played very well against a team with some very good skill players,” North Hall coach Bob Christmas said.
North Hall opens the season on Aug. 31 against Chestatee at War Eagle Stadium.
MOUNT PISGAH 10, LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 7: Jackson Strickland scored for the Lions on a 30-yard run in Alpharetta, and Carter Pinson was Lakeview Academy’s leading rusher with 70 yards.
Lakeview Academy coach Matthew Gruhn said there’s plenty of room for his team to improve from the scrimmage, but was impressed with the way his defense performed.
The Lions open the season against Fellowship Christian on Aug. 31 in Gainesville.
ATHENS ACADEMY 28, JACKSON COUNTY 0: Panthers running back Dustin Scott carried the ball 18 times for 90 yards in Watkinsville. Xavier Harper added eight catches for 70 yards for Jackson County.
Despite the score, first-year Panthers coach Benji Harrison said it was a productive scrimmage outing and he was able to get a look at quite a few players.
“I thought we did some good stuff,” Harrison said. “We just need to learn to finish drives and not give up the big plays.”
Jackson County opens the season against Class AAAAA’s Winder-Barrow at Panthers Stadium on Aug. 31 in Jefferson.