High School Football
This weekend's games
MARIETTA BLUE DEVILS (0-2) AT NEWNAN COUGARS (1-0)
Friday 7:30 p.m. Drake Stadium
RADIO: Magic 98:1 FM
THE SKINNY: The Newnan Cougars will have a hard time recapturing the drama of last week’s victory on the road against Carrollton when Frankie Williams returned an interception 42-yards for a touchdown with a little more than two minutes left in the contest to give Newnan the 28-22 win. While riding that momentum into its home opener, Mari- etta tries to get on track following opening losses to Etowah (48-20) and Walton (38-26).
COACHES: Scott Burton is in his fifth year as head coach at Marietta after taking over for James Friday Richards, who coached the Blue Devils for 15 years. Newnan head coach Mike McDonald is in his sixth season as head coach of the Cougars and has led Newnan to the postseason every year.
LAST WEEK: Marietta lost to Walton 38-26. Newnan beat Carrollton 28-22.
SERIES RECORD: Newnan leads 6-5.
LAST MEETING: Marietta beat Newnan 52-21 on Aug. 23, 2013 at Drake Stadium.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
MARIETTA: 1 DE Rick Assinzo, Sr. (6-2, 205), 2 QB
Brenton Martin, Sr. (6-0, 170), 7 LB Korbin Miller (5-7, 170), 12 WR Maliek Marshall (5-10, 160), 20 RB KirVonte Benson, Sr. (5-9, 190), 38 K Ian Shannon, Sr. (6-4, 190), 40 DE Phillip Colburn, Sr. (5-10, 165).
NEWNAN: 1 WR Randell Arnold, Jr. (6 catches, 70 yds, TD), 2 LB Emmanuel Bridges, Jr. (4 tackles), 10 QB Bailey Bryant, Sr. (14 of 24, 157 yds, TD), 26 RB Darryel Hines, Jr. (5-7, 165), 28. RB Kelvin Khayyam, Sr. (5-9, 185), 29 CB Frankie Williams, Sr. (Intercep- tion return for TD), 39 RB/S JK Britt, Sr. (14 att, 83 yds TD; 8 tackles) 65 C David Quesinberry, Sr. (5-11, 190), OL/DL Christian Shellabarger, Sr. (6-1, 231)
WHEN NEWNAN HAS THE BALL: The Cougars showcased balance in last week’s opener, passing for 144 yards and rushing for 146 despite missing two of its five running backs. Newnan hopes to con- tinue those trends this week while spreading the ball around. With Britt, Khayyam and Damion Key dominating carries, the offense should benefit from the return of Marquis Hill, one of its fastest run- ning backs, as well as one of its top rushers from 2013, junior Darryel Hines. Both sat out last week’s opener. Marietta has struggled, at times, to keep opponents at bay, Etowah’s Raishod Devezin to run for 274 yards and five touchdowns two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Bryant competed 14 passes to four, with Rendell Arnold accounting for a team-high six catches. A 14-yard touchdown late in the first half may have been the biggest.
WHEN MARIETTA HAS THE BALL: Two key faces from last year’s win over Newnan remain to lead the Blue Devils’ offense. The Cougars will have to contain quarterback Brentson Martin and running back Kirvonte Benson. Martin threw for five touch- downs against the Cougars while Benson gained 144 yards.
WESTFIELD HORNETS (2-0) AT TRINITY CHRISTIAN LIONS (0-2)
Friday, 7:30 p.m. Lions Field
THE SKINNY: The two schools have drifted a bit among a level
of success since going toe-to-toe in the first round of the 2012 state playoffs in a game decided by a field goal. The one most resembles Trinity’s David, with a young roster still trying to find its feet, against Westfield’s Goliath, following the Perry school’s first ever GISA state championship under 300-plus game winner Ronnie Jones. Turnovers have been at the center of the Lions first two losses while the Hornets are coming off an impressive win over Valwood.
LAST WEEK: Westfield defeated Valwood (1-1) 41-24 at home; Trinity Christian lost at Flint River 35-6.
SERIES HISTORY: Westfield leads 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Westfield defeated Trinity 42-13 on Nov. 15, 2013 in the first round of the GISA Class AAA playoffs.
COACHES: Westfield’s Ronnie Jones is 307-111-3 overall in his 36th season; 195-65-3 in 22 seasons with the Hornets; Trinity’s Chris Hanson is 14-20 in four seasons.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Westfield — WR Giles Amos, Jr. (6-3, 200), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jr.
(6-1, 190), C Camron Washington, Sr. (5-11, 330), G Khory Holliday, Sr. (5-11, 230), T Dehmal Amrit, Sr (6-3, 310); DT Walker Davison, Sr. (6-0, 220); TE Cam Forrester, Sr. (6-1, 190); OLB Conner Cawthon, Sr. (5-11, 170)
Trinity Christian — 2 NT Will Townsend, Sr.; 5 RB Devin Colburn, Sr.; 8 WR/DB Christian Downs, Sr.; 11 WR Kasey McGinnis, Jr.; 12 QB Grant Hurston,Jr.;7DEJosephCotton,Jr.;45RobbyBlanchard,Sr.; S/FB46 Diego Henriquez, Sr.; OL/DL 66 Tyler Hood, Jr.
WHEN WESTFIELD HAS THE BALL: The Hornets have showcased their veteran leadership, which includes 14 returning starters split on both sides of the ball, by getting past Southland and Valwood in its first two games. Junior quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a big reason why after turning into a leader during last year’s championship season while running Jones’ wing-T. Fullback Josh Jenkins is also back while Reagan Waller is a threat in the return game
WHEN TRINITY HAS THE BALL: Three early turnovers that were turned into Flint River touchdowns immediately took the Lions out of last week’s game. In order to hang with the Hornets, they’ll have to avoid the same problems. With running back Devin Colburn ailing, it could be up to Hurston to carry the brunt of the rushing load in the wing-T while also trying to mix things up with three and four receiver sets. Every first down will be crucial to maintaining field position and keeping Westfield’s offense on the sidelines.
THE HERITAGE SCHOOL (0-2) AT TERRELL ACADEMY(2-0)
Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Dawson
THE SKINNY: Heritage is still trying to give head coach D.J. Clay his
first win as a head coach. The Hawks have had trouble getting their game on track the first two contests, losing a close one to Flint River 13-12 and then falling to John Milledge 56-19. They hit the road for the firsttimethisseasonagainst undefeatedTerrellAcademy.Thetwo teams both have had quarterback issues and are using backups.
LAST WEEK: Terrell Academy beat Southwest Georgia Academy 49-27. Heritage lost to John Milledge 56-19.
COACHES: Long-time GISA coaching legend Bill Murdock is in his 10th year as head coach at Terrell Academy and his 26th overall. He has a career record of 215-96-5. D.J. Clay is the coach at Heritage and is in his third game of his career and looking for his first win.
GAME BALLs: Peyton Henson completed 14 passes last week against a stout John Milledge defensive. Cole Jones also caught a 43-yard pass. Tristan Stoffle had an interception.
SERIES RECORD: First meeting
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
HERITAGE—1WRChazBankston,Sr.(6-1,180), 2RB/LBHamp Smith, So. (5-10,170) 8 QB Peyton Henson, Jr. (5-11, 170), 17 LB Tristan Stoffle, Sr. (Int), 21 RB Matt Burns, Jr. (5-9, 190), 23 RB/DB Parker Jones, Sr. (6-0, 210), 27 LB Trevor Sawyers, Sr. (5-9, 160), 44 OL/DL Trevor Henson,Sr.(6-2,220), 47C/LBJayMacke,So.(6-0,180),82TE/LBCole Jones,Jr. (6-4,210).
TERRELL ACADEMY—WR/RB Raleigh Carson (5-11, 168, Sr), QB Gabe Freeman (Sr), OL Bentley Griffiths (5-11, 185, Jr), OL Andrew Hatcher (5-11, 205, Jr), OL/DL Josh Gonzalez (6-1, 235, Sr), RB/MLB Logan Eubanks (5-9, 180, Sr).
WHEN HERITAGE HAS THE BALL: Despite looking for its first win of the season, Heritage has been able to move the ball on its first two opponents. Backup uarterback Peyton Henson is getting more comfortable running the offense since entering the lineup early in the first game of the season when starter Brad Macke went down with an injured shoulder. AlthoughtheHawksarearun-orientedfootball team, Henson has a strong arm and depth at receiver.
WHEN TERRELL HAS THE BALL: Like the Hawks, Terrell Academy has been plagued by injuries at quarterback. Dalton Todd is not expected to play against Heritage and senior Gable Freeman has been inserted into the lineup. Terrell likes to spread the offense and can throw the ball down field or hit their running backs coming out of the backfield. They can also grind it out thanks to a couple of quality run- ning backs in the form of Raleigh Carlson and Logan Eubanks.