Riverside Military Academy’s defense stole the show on Friday night in Roswell as J.J. McCalston, Tarik Holmes and Chris Howard combined to lead the Eagles to a 20-10 victory against Fellowship Christian.
McCalston caught a pair of interceptions for Riverside Military, and Holmes returned an interception for a touchdown to give the Eagles the lead.
Howard notched 12 tackles with four tackles for a loss in addition to his touchdown reception for Riverside Military.
Hunter Sims threw two touchdown passes for the Eagles, and Mahlik Faulk added 100 yards of rushing offense.
Riverside Military has a bye next Friday night before travelling to Hapeville Charter on Sept. 12 in College Park.
COMMERCE 28, BANKS COUNTY 21: Cole Chancey pushed the Tigers to a win with 15 carries for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns in a close matchup on Friday in Commerce.
Chancey scored on a 9-yard run early in the game before giving Commerce the win with a 14-yard run in the fourth.
Will Thomas added 56 yards on 15 carries for Commerce.
Banks County almost came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter as the Leopards recovered a Commerce fumble. However, on fourth-and-6 at the 12-yard line, Commerce’s J’Varius Wood intercepted the Banks County pass to save the win.
Jesse Underhile opened the scoring in the game with a 55-yard interception return for a Commerce touchdown. Grant Mayberry also scored for the Tigers.
The teams were tied 14-14 at the half from a pair of scores by Banks County’s Trevae Cain. He scored on 8- and 3-yard runs in the first half and tied the game at 21 in the second half on a 20-yard run.
Cain paced the Leopards’ offense with nine carries for 71 yards and three scores.
Commerce plays host to Hebron Christian Academy next week, while Banks County visits Johnson.
BUFORD 56, BERKMAR 0: In typical Buford fashion, seven different names appeared on the scoring sheet during Friday night’s game in Buford.
As the game’s leading rusher, Xavier Gantt opened the scoring on a 2-yard run after he returned the opening kickoff to midfield just two plays prior. He finished with 45 yards on two carries for the Wolves.
Steven Reese then caught a 19-yard scoring pass from Luke Humphrey. Humphrey finished with the best statistical night for Buford, going 6-of-7 for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Josh Thomas was the only Buford player to score more than once, with touchdown runs of 1- and 5-yards.
Brandon Mangram, Martin Mangram, Jay Mays and Avery Turner also scored for the Wolves.
Buford finished with 392 total offensive yards, compared to Berkmar’s 26.
The Wolves play host to McEachern next Friday in Buford.
MADISON COUNTY 27, JACKSON COUNTY 21: The Red Raiders scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to overcome Jackson County on Friday in Jefferson.
The Panthers’ offense turned the ball over five times, with the last being a fumble returned 38 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
Madison County scored first, making the score 7-0 in the first quarter before Antonio Strickland returned a punt 35 yards for Jackson County, then fumbled. However, instead of a Red Raider picking it up, teammate Jorge Monzon scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Jacob Lewis and a 1-yard run by Malik Tuck gave Jackson County a 21-7 lead.
Strickland racked up 112 receiving yards as well as two interceptions, and a blocked field goal.
Madison County was led by the quarterback duo of Ethan South and Cade Hancock. South had 77 rushing yards with two touchdowns and went 2-for-2 for 24 yards. Hancock went 4-for-9 for 62 yards.
Jackson County plays host to White County next Friday in Jefferson.
EAST HALL 20, WESLEYAN 13: The Vikings battled their way to an ugly win in the season opener on Friday in Peachtree Corners.
East Hall visits Pickens next Friday in Jasper.
PICKENS 42, WHITE COUNTY 34: The Warriors fell in a tight battle on Friday in Cleveland.
White County visits Jackson County on Friday in Jefferson.
RABUN COUNTY 23, HABERSHAM CENTRAL 14: The Raiders fell in a close season-opener on Friday in Tiger.
Habersham Central opens region play next Friday in Duluth as they visit Northview for their first glimpse of Region 6-AAAAAA.
UNION COUNTY 57, TOWNS COUNTY 14: The Panthers stormed their way to a win in the season opener on Friday in Hiawassee.
Union County visits Lumpkin County next Friday in Dahlonega, while Towns County visits Mount Vernon Presbyterian in a Saturday game next week in Atlanta.