Week 1 Friday Night Roundups


A slow start had Johns Creek facing a two-score deficit early in the second quarter of its Corky Kell matchup with the Gainesville Red Elephants, but by the final frame, only the lightning could stop the Gladiators; the game was delayed—and eventually called—with 9:27 remaining and a 26-10 Johns Creek advantage.

Gainesville’s Marquis Ross put the Red Elephants on the board with a 14-yard run following a successful conversion on 4th-and-short in Johns Creek territory, and teammate Giovanni Martinez added a 27-yard field goal before the end of the opening quarter. Johns Creek got its first points on a short run from Antonio Gilliam and knotted it up with McRae Ball’s 28-yarder, then took a 12-10 lead with 2:02 left in the half when Alex Cunningham came up with a 3rd-down sack and Terrian Williams blocked the ensuing punt for a safety out of the back of the end zone. Senior quarterback Kyle Durham connected with Brandon Palmer for a third-quarter score and found Josh Thompson in the fourth, who hauled in the pass and ran 50 yards down the sideline for the final points of the night.

Here is the PREP SCOREBOARD for this week. Follow the link to Todd Holcomb’s Friday Night Wrap.

See the rest of the roundups below.

Class 7A

Milton 45, Hapeville Charter 0

Creekside 19, Grayson 14

Colquitt County 28, Marietta 25

Colquitt County came back from a 12-0 deficit to start the game to defeat host Marietta, capitalizing on a number of Marietta mistakes and special-teams mishaps. Colquitt County pulled within two points, 18-16, at the 5:31 mark of the third quarter when Rickie Yates picked up a Marietta fumble for a short touchdown return, then the Packers tied the game when running back Charlie Pace took a direct snap and rushed for the two-point conversion. At the 2:57 mark of the third quarter, Pace blocked a Marietta punt deep in its territory and Quay McCoy recovered in the end zone to give the Packers a 25-18 lead. Colquitt took a 28-18 lead with 6:04 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard Brett Fitzgerald field goal. With 1:04 remaining, Marietta pulled to within three points on a 21-yard Tyler Hughes touchdown pass to Christian Mathis and a successful extra point, but Colquitt recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock. Marietta started strong with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Hughes to Cameron Perry on their first drive of the game. Just minutes later the Blue Devils got a 56-yard touchdown from Hughes to Camden Overton, as the tight end caught a short slant and broke two tackles on his way to the end zone. Colquitt County answered with a wide-receiver reverse to Ny Carr to pull within 10-7, but Marietta answered with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Hughes to Mathis to go up 18-7 at halftime. Marietta had its first two extra points blocked and was unsuccessful on a two-point try after its third touchdown.

Lambert 28, Centennial 3

Lambert held a 21-0 lead at the break in its season opener against Centennial thanks to a long touchdown reception by Ohio State-commit Kojo Antwi, a Harrison Peyton rushing score and a pick-six by senior cornerback Henry Reese, and quarterback James Tyre found the end zone in the second half for the Longhorns’ final points of the night.

Norcross 42, Hillgrove 30

The Norcross Blue Devils held on through a late Hillgrove rally to secure a 42-30 home victory in their season opener—and give Coach Keith Maloof his 200th career win. Norcross led 21-10 at the break, with Latavius Johnson, Christian Williams, and Jonahtan Mathis each finding the end zone and all 10 Hillgrove points coming off errant long snaps. Quarterback Javan Brown extended the Norcross lead early in the third with a 9-yard pass to Nakai Poole before back-to-back Hillgrove touchdowns—the latter of which was set up by Kyle McKinney’s 23-yard interception return to the Norcross 7-yard line—made it a one-score game (28-23). Brown then connected with Devin Edwards’ helmet, and the ball bounced into the arms of Tyson Jarrell, who ran it in 13 yards for the score. Edwards was able to haul in a TD reception of his own on the following drive for the Blue Devils’ final points of the night.

Alpharetta 35, Chattahoochee 0

Alpharetta started the new season with an impressive 35-0 win over Chattahoochee for a 1-0 record and the Raiders’ 10th-consecutive win over the Cougars. Quarterback Ben Guthrie played a near-perfect game, and even with the loss of 10 starters from last season, the Raiders defense was stifling under new defensive coordinator Devon Earl.

Class 6A

Buford 35, North Cobb 27

Newton 7, Hughes 6 OT

Host Hughes and Newton were tied 0-0 at the end of regulation. Hughes scored on the first possession of overtime, but the extra point was blocked. Newton answered on a busted play that sent quarterback Jevarra Martin scrambling before he found freshman Andrew Leslie in the end zone for the tying touchdown that set up the game-clinching point after.

River Ridge 35, Lassiter 16

Amehre Morrison’s 73-yard run put River Ridge on the board first in its home opener against visiting Lassiter, and the Knights maintained control through the end of the game thanks to a pair of second-half touchdown completions from Carson Lathem to Jackson Head. River Ridge will travel to Woodstock in Week 2.

Sequoyah 28, Woodstock 0

The Sequoyah Chiefs scored a touchdown in each quarter of their season opener against Woodstock for a 28-0 road win. Matthew Traynor and Jack Piskorz found the end zone in the first and second frames, respectively, and Traynor found Jackson Hancock in the third for another touchdown. Peyton Lucas provided the final points of the night in the fourth on a 75-yard run.

Rome 23, Rockmart 7

Rome recovered a fumble for a safety to go up 2-0 in the first quarter and sophomore quarterback Reece Fountain threw three touchdowns in the second frame to make it 23-0 at the break. Fountain’s first touchdown pass came on a 15-yard connection to Martavious Collins, and he connected with Martel Hight on touchdowns of 72 and 47 yards later in the second quarter. Rockmart avoided the shutout with Brent Washington’s 1-yard touchdown with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter.

Class 5A

Calhoun 42, Dalton 35

Calhoun lost Cole Speer early in the second quarter to a hand injury, but the star two-way player returned in the second half with a cast to provide a clutch interception in a back-and-forth battle against visiting Dalton. Speer also gave the Yellow Jackets their first points of the game, hauling in a touchdown pass from Christian Lewis after Tyson Greenwade’s 3-yard score on Dalton’s opening drive. Lewis’ long second-quarter TD run was bookended by a pair of scoring strikes by Catamount QB Brady Pendley to Luke Blanchard and Journey Boston for a 21-14 Dalton lead at the break. The game was tied again after Caden Williams took a 46-yard trip to the end zone, and after a 3-and-out by Dalton, Gage Leonard gave Calhoun its first lead of the game. Lewis extended the lead to 35-21 with the third Yellow Jacket score of the quarter before Greenwade’s second touchdown of the night, and Dalton then seemed poised to tie it up after recovering a muffed Calhoun kickoff in Yellow Jacket territory. Speer intercepted Pendley, however, and Leonard’s 10-yard run provided a cushion. Dalton managed to score once more on Pendley’s 13-yard, 4th-and-goal completion to Karim Page for the game’s final tally.

Cartersville 55, Morrow 0

No. 5 ranked Cartersville won its 10th-straight season opener in convincing fashion over host Morrow. The Purple Hurricanes built a 42-0 halftime lead with four safeties, three Malachi Jeffries touchdowns and a pair of Khristian Lando scores.

Class 4A

Cedartown 7, Denmark 3

Cedartown defeated host Denmark in a defensive battle in which the Bulldogs’ Patrick Gardner scored the lone touchdown of the night. Harlem Diamond, Jordan Johnson, and Xavier Hargrove all provided interceptions for the Bulldogs, who will host Rockmart next week.

Troup County 28, Harris County 21

Troup County took a 14-0 second-quarter lead over Harris County when Taeo Todd ran a quarterback keeper 36 yards for a touchdown. Back-to-back Harris County scores tied the game early in the third, but Troup County regained the lead on a pass from Todd to Dwartney Wortham. Harris County then tied the game again at the end of the quarter, and Todd again put Troup back out front when he connected with Presley McDaniel. An interception from CJ Sands sealed the win for the Tigers.

Class 3A

Westminster 17, Lovett 7

Oconee County 35, North Oconee 28

Quarterback Jacob Wright made some big plays to lead No. 3 ranked Oconee County to a 35-28 season-opening victory over North Oconee, including touchdown passes of 70 and 24 yards to Darius Johnson and a 40-yarder to Jake Johnson. After a back-and-forth first half, North Oconee tied the game (21-21) with 6:18 left in the third quarter before Oconee took control. CJ Jones capped a 51-yard drive with 3-yard run for a 28-21 lead, and Oconee pushed the lead to 35-21 on a touchdown pass from Johnson (off the handoff from Wright) to Dylan Manders Jr. North Oconee again made it a one-score game with a 3-yard touchdown run from Dominic Elder at the 4:19 mark in the fourth, but a final Warriors touchdown sealed the win.

Lipscomb (TN) 76, GAC 7

Class 3A No. 5 Greater Atlanta Christian was looking for a preseason test and it found it in Tennessee’s No. 2-ranked Lipscomb on the road. The Spartans trailed 14-0 in the second quarter before mustering its only scoring drive of the night. Lipscomb led 62-7 at the half.

Class 2A

Callaway 30, Opelika (AL) 21

Defending state champion Callaway broke a 21-21 tie with a 42-yard field goal by Blake Eubanks that came with just two seconds left in the game. Host Opelika attempted multiple laterals on the ensuing kickoff and Callaway’s Jarvis Parks recovered a loose ball in the endzone to lift the Cavs to a thrilling 30-21 victory.

Class A Public

Commerce 10, Banks County 0

Dreylan Martin ran in a 64-yard touchdown in the first quarter to put the Tigers ahead. Sophomore kicker and three-sport athlete Ivy Tolbert made history on the point after by being the first female in Commerce history to score for the Tigers. Tolbert’s historic night continued following a lightning delay with a 25-yard field goal that came with 1:26 left in the third quarter to mark the final tally.

Class A Private      

Calvary Day 21, Prince Avenue Christian 13

The Calvary Day Cavaliers held off Prince Avenue Christian for a hard-fought 21-13 victory in the season opener. Sophomore quarterback Jake Merklinger ran for a 5-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game, and Prince Avenue’s sophomore quarterback Aaron Philo answered with a short rushing score to end the first quarter. After a scoreless second, Calvary Day got third-quarter touchdowns from Donovan Johnson and a 43-yard screen pass from Merklinger to Michael Smith to take a 21-7 lead heading into the fourth. The Wolverines answered quickly in the fourth with a touchdown pass from Aaron Philo to Will Elrod but were unable to score again, and the Cavaliers intercepted Philo at the goal line with 15 seconds on the clock to seal the game.

Wesleyan 31, Mt. Pisgah 0

Wesleyan quarterback Jett Miller threw two touchdown passes for the host Wolves, who led 24-0 at halftime on the way to a shutout win. After a Brooks Sturgeon field goal gave Wesleyan a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, Byrne Ahrenkiel rushed for a touchdown at the 8:16 mark of the second quarter. Miller threw his first touchdown pass to Will Tucker with 3:40 left in the first half, set up by an interception by Baer Cole. Then Miller found Nick Schaller for a touchdown with 11 seconds left in the first half to give the Wolves the 24-0 lead at halftime. Tucker capped the scoring with a touchdown rush with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Whitefield Academy 13, Mt. Vernon 0

Whitefield Academy opened the 2021 season with a 13-0 shutout against Mount Vernon. Howard Allen broke off a 71-yard second-quarter touchdown run for the first points of the night (the PAT was blocked), and Ian Weihe caught a 54-yard touchdown pass to put the game away in the fourth. The strong defensive effort was led by three-star junior linebacker Caleb LaVallee, who recorded three sacks—including a strip-sack to seal the win.

Athens Christian 35, Walker 18

Senior Johne’ss Davis rushed for four touchdowns in the first half to give visiting Athens Christian a 28-12 lead and finished the game with 262 rushing yards off of 14 carries. Junior Navy Curry added another Eagles’ rushing touchdown in the second half to push the lead to 35-12 before Walker scored late in the final frame.

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