Great Atlanta Bash: Team Previews

The Inaugural Great Atlanta Bash is bringing a triple-header to Georgia State Stadium this Saturday. The three-game lineup features six Atlanta schools that are going to be taking on region opponents on game day. Here are previews of each of the teams with some of the major storylines to follow into kickoff.


When Washington meets South Atlanta at the Great Atlanta Bash, it will be the 15th meeting between the programs and the Bulldogs will look to add to the 13-1 margin in the series. The programs have met in each of the last three seasons and in 2016, Washington won 27-19. In 2017, South Atlanta won its first-ever game against Washington, 19-0. Last season, the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 30-0 victory. This season has proved a challenge for Washington as its 0-3 and coming off a closely contested loss to Grady 19-18 on September 6. It opened its season with a 20-7 loss to Douglass and then fell to Class AAAAAA Glynn Academy 52-7. Junior Monye Jones, a 6-foot-2, 171-pound quarterback, is 40-of-70 passing for 548 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions. Jones has 18 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Armani Tookes has eight catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Vachon Raye, a 5-11, 165-pound senior wideout, has 14 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown. Ronnie West, a 5-11, 160-pound junior, has three receptions for 22 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Mahlon West, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior corner back leads with 21 solo tackles and three assists. His seven tackles for loss leads the team. West has one interception and one forced fumble. Junior outside linebacker Maurice Edwards has 11 solo tackles and eight assists. Isaiah Waller, William Royalston and Jacorey Long each have 10 tackles.


The Hornets have spent the past two weeks dismantling higher-classed competition with its triple-option offense led by quarterback 6-foot-1, 165-pound sophomore John Lawton. After a loss to Class AAAA Central-Carroll in Week 1, the Hornets beat Class AAAA Druid Hills 54-0 and Class AAAAA Clarkston 55-6. Through three games, South Atlanta has three players with over 100 rushing yards. Quarterback John Lawton has 29 rushed for 198 yards and a touchdown. Keyjuan Brown, a 5-8, 175-pound freshman, has 13 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Adarian Bean, a 5-7, 145-pound junior back, has rushed for 120 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Lawton is 7-of-32 passing for 107 yards and four touchdowns. Ricky Lee, a 5-9, 160-pound freshman, is the most productive receiver with two catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also a backup quarterback who is 3-of-5 passing for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Pete Boyd, a senior cornerback and receiver, has three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jeremy Griffin, a 5-9, 160-pound running back, has one reception, a 30-yard touchdown. Kahlil Franklin, a 5-10, 155-pound senior receiver, has three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jalin Young, a 5-8, 170-pounder, has one catch for a 26-yard touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, senior middle linebacker Jonovan White leads in tackles with 17.5 total with 10 solo and 15 assisted tackles. Ricky Lee has eight solo tackles, three assisted tackles and two interceptions. Franklin Kahlil has six solo, six assisted tackles and one interception. Johnthan Hughley, a 6-6, 220-pounder, adds five solo, five assisted tackles with one sack.


Jackson will enter region play at the Great Atlanta Bash when it takes on Carver in the 13th meeting between the two 6-AAAAA programs. The teams have split the series 6-6 but Carver has won the past five contests including a 27-15 victory last year. Jackson opened its season against Class AAAAAA then-No. 4 Valdosta where it lost 55-7. The Jaguars rebounded in the ensuing weeks with victories over AA programs Therrell 21-20 and KIPP 42-0. Senior Charles Daniel leads the offense and is 39-of-68 passing for 392 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound quarterback also leads the rushing stats with 144 yards on 27 carries. Senior Jimmy Fields, a 5-9, 185-pound running back, has 31 carries for 81 yards and three touchdowns. DeShane London Jr., a 6-foot, 190-pound senior, has six carries for 26 yards and one touchdown. London also doubles as a linebacker and leads the team in tackles with eight solo tackles, four assisted, three tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. Junior Raveon Moore, a 6-2, 225-pound receiver, has 11 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 12.45 yards per catch and 45.67 receiving yards per game. Marques Neal, a 5-10, 160-pound senior, has six catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 13.83 yards per reception. Jaquavious Hines, a 5-11, 190-pound senior, has eight catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jeremiah Rowe, a 5-9, 165-pound receiver, has four catches for 39 yards and one touchdown. Junior Chris Newby, a 6-foot, 270-pound nose guard, has four solo tackles and six assists.


Carver Atlanta head coach Darren Myles has led the Panthers program for the last 15 seasons, and it is this familiarity shared with Myles and his staff that has helped a young roster excel this season. The roster may feature a lot of underclassmen, but the Panthers’ backfield features one of the state’s most accomplished running backs in Ja’quavious Marks. The Class of 2020 Mississippi State commit is off to a prolific start to this season. He took 18 carries for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the 32-11 win over Arabia Mountain to open the season, followed it with 270 yards and four touchdowns off just 10 carries in a 50-14 win over Spalding and then had 207 yards and two touchdowns off of 25 touches in last week’s 34-20 loss to Stockbridge. The Panthers were outscored 20-6 in the second half of their loss and coach Myles has emphasized to his team the importance of putting together a complete effort and competing for four quarters. Last year, Carver experienced a 41-0 loss to Stockbridge the week before facing off with Maynard Jackson, so there will not be a shortage of confidence. Sophomore Amari Jones quarterbacks the offense with sophomore Kiontae Strozier and freshman Deandre Buchannon providing speedy targets at the wide receiver position. In addition to offense, Strozier stars in the Carver secondary with Tobias Fletcher. Carver’s defense showcases a lot of speed and coach Myles has been pleased with the level of physicality and mental toughness that his team has shown this early into the season.


New Manchester is the only participating program in the bash that is not a member of the Atlanta Public School system and resides in Douglas County. The Jaguars are led by head coach Cedric Johnson, who just recently took the role. Originally, former Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley had come to the program, but Whitley left open a vacancy this summer when he was hired to be a cornerbacks coach at Georgia Southern. Johnson, who previously served as a defensive coordinator was promoted and hired to be head coach. New Manchester opened its season with a 7-6 loss to Pace Academy and then closed out its non-region schedule with a 28-16 win over Lithia Springs. The Jaguars faced Creekside this Monday after the originally scheduled Friday game was pushed back due to weather, and they were handed a 41-26 loss. The last time New Manchester reached the playoffs was in 2014 and the program is looking to build off last year’s 2-8 finish. Offensively, senior quarterback Caleb Lowery went an efficient 3-of-4 passing for 45 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Lithia Springs. Against Creekside, however, the passing game struggled and Lowery completed just nine of 23 attempts for 87 yards. One of the keys for New Manchester will be generating the run game and junior Teondre Carter has been the go-to back for the Jags. Carter has accumulated 404 rushing yards of of 45 carries and has scored a team-high four rushing touchdowns. Defensively, seniors Isaiah Thomas and Jaden Coleman are the leading tacklers.


The Mays Raiders followed up a 17-12 loss to Kell in the Metro by T-Mobile Corky Kell Classic with a 49-21 win over Carver (AL) in the Cam Newton C1N Classic and a 20-13 win over Hughes this past Friday. Head coach Niketa Battle has been pleased with how this year’s team has started after coming off a 6-5 finish in 2018.  Senior quarterback Andrew Banks has gotten off to a strong start his first season under center for the Raiders. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound passer has provided Battle’s RPO offensive scheme with a physical running presence. In addition to Banks’ ability as a runner, Mays has the experience of Tyree Nelson in the backfield. Out wide, Tavarious Carswell and Zaire Thorton are type targets as well as defensive end and Georgia-Tech commit Jaquari Wiggles, who can provide a 6-foot-4, 240-pound option at tight end. Defensively, Mays has a scrappy linebacking corps that has helped set early into this season.


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