Region 1 battles highlight ‘the weekend that was’

Sonny Kennedy

Region 1-AAAAAA play got off to a flying start this weekend as Tift County, Camden County and Colquitt County all picked up huge wins. While Colquitt County’s 37-7 win over Lowndes may have been the most dominant, Camden County’s win over Valdosta cemented the Wildcats’ as one of the top contender’s for the region title. And what can you say about coach John Reid’s Tift County bunch, which improved to 4-1 after a wild 32-29 win over Coffee. After a 2-8 season in 2012, the Blue Devils has already doubled last year’s win total. Tift plays at Colquitt next week for a chance to really make some noise. Meanwhile, Lowndes has a chance to redeem itself after the shellacking by Colquitt with a game at Brunswick. Camden County travels to Coffee for another tough test while Valdosta has the week off prior to the latest edition of the Winnersville Classic.


-South Paulding enjoyed an epic overtime win over Allatoona Friday night in Douglasville. The visiting Bucs took a 28-14 halftime lead behind two touchdowns by Elite Junior Josh Bettistea and seemed on their way to another high-scoring win. But the Spartans rallied furiously in the second half behind QB Chandler Burks, a Kennesaw State commitment who totaled 395 yards passing and six total scores (4 passing, 2 rushing). The Spartans’ female kicker (profiled HERE in the AJC), Brittany Havenner, made six extra points in the game. As we wrote in our Upset Alert column Friday, South Paulding would challenge the Bucs. With the win, South Paulding looks like the favorite going forward in Region 5-AAAAA.


-Don’t count Blessed Trinity out yet. The Titans’ 27-17 win over Woodward Academy got them over .500 for the first time all year and could not have come at a better time. The War Eagles are one of BT’s biggest rivals, and are certainly one of the stronger teams in Region 6-AAA. With improving programs like Towers and Decatur appearing on the schedule later on, not to mention region-favorite St. Pius X, the Titans desperately needed a win over Woodward to get them in playoff position.


-Leroy Ryals is doing a great job at Thomasville just five games into his new head coaching gig after spending seven seasons at Clarke Central. The Bulldogs have won three of four after getting blown out in the season-opener by Thomas County Central. They won a huge region battle with perennial-power Cook Friday 21-14 and put themselves in solid position for the playoffs. However, clashes with region rivals like Brooks County, Fitzgerald and Berrien remain on the docket, so there is work to be done to clinch a postseason berth, but Ryals’ squad looks ready to take on that challenge.


-I put Monroe Area on Upset Alert Friday, but the Purple Hurricanes responded defiantly with a convincing 56-28 in over previously-unbeaten Lanier. While the Longhorns are still a young program on the rise, Monroe Area is “the truth” right now. QB Stanton Truitt, an Auburn commitment, has the ability to lead Monroe Area deep into the playoffs at this point. Like Gainesville with QB Deshaun Watson last season, if a team’s offense can score almost at will, it essentially becomes unbeatable. I fully expect coach Matthew Fligg’s team to advance deep into the playoffs come November due to Truitt and the Purple Hurricanes offense.

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