Prep Football: Game Capsule Briefs for Friday's gamesBy CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Below is a listing of game capsule briefs for tonight's area football games.
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., at Garland Shoemake Stadium
Radio: 92.5 FM The Bear (also streaming online www.925fmthebear.com)
Rankings: Lovejoy is ranked No. 9 in the Georgia High School Football Daily Class AAAAAA poll.
Last week: East Coweta lost 31-7 last Thursday at Sandy Creek. Lovejoy defeated Alpharetta (1-2) at Twelve Oaks Stadium 43-24.
Series History: East Coweta leads 10-4.
Last Meeting: East Coweta won 38-6 in 2009 at Twelve Oaks.
The Skinny: After facing Class AAAA’s top team in Sandy Creek, East Coweta now faces a ranked Class AAAAAA lineup in Lovejoy that has equally thrived while making a jump from Class AAAA after reaching the state quarterfinals.
Game Balls: Senior Nigel Gay added his second interception of the season while also catching four passes for 86 yards against Sandy Creek. Gay, who had to play JV last year due to eligibility requirements regarding a change of address, has already been a big addition to the lineup at both receiver and in the secondary. “He’s real quiet, but he plays the game of football like you’re supposed to,” said head coach Clint Wade. “I’d pay to watch him play.”
Players to watch: Lovejoy — 15 QB Alejandro Bennefield, Sr. (6-3, 220), 22 RB Travis Custis, Sr. (6-0, 215), 32 DE/TE Veion Robinson, Sr. (6-2, 205), 8 TE/DE A.J. Jackson, Sr. (6-6, 245), 6 WR JuMichael Ramos, Sr. (6-3, 200), 11 WR Preston Williams, So. (6-4, 195), 51 C Randy Robinson, So. (6-1 295), 75 T Justin Brown Jr. (6-2, 295),1 3 S El Malik Roberson El, Sr. (6-0, 185) 2 CB Cinwon Whitehead Sr. (5-10, 175), 1 Tyrell Brown, Sr. (5-10, 190), 30 LB Eugene Fuller, Sr. (6-0, 220), S 21 Montrell Custis, SO. (5-11, 180), 40 NT Nathaniel Norwood, Sr. (6-0, 220). .... East Coweta — 2 QB Bryce Ingram, Jr. (21-47, 282 pass yds, TD, 2 INT; 97 yds rush, 2 TDs), 3 RB/DB Dee Godfrey, Sr. (229 yds, 3 TDs), 5 RB Weylin Orr (73 yards), Jr., 15 WR/S Markel Boston, Jr. (26 tackles; 3 rec, 31 yds), 4 WR/CB Nigel Gay, Sr. (7 rec, 118 yds; 15 tackles, 2 INT), 75 RT Zack Harness, Sr. (6-3, 270), LT 74 Anfernee Burks, Sr. (6-0, 290), OL Qua Fuller, Jr. (6-2, 270), 80 DE/TE Cliffton Strong, Sr. (14 tackles), R Jemarcus Godfrey (32 tackles), 54 DL Tristan Mann, So. (16 tackles), 38 DL Tyler Brown, Sr. (20 tackles), 20 LB Jay McKnight, Jr. (18 tackles), 36 LB Nick Fraser (14 tackles), 31 K Spencer Smith, Sr. (5-5 PAT, 2-4 FGs).
When Lovejoy Has the Ball: No doubt East Coweta’s gameplan for tonight includes limiting the number of Wildcat possessions. Their offense is a two-headed monster that combines a 300-pound front line blocking for 1,800-yard rusher Travis Custis, who has committed to Georgia Tech and had already eclipsed single-season records held at the high school by another former Yellow Jacket, Tashard Choice. Should the Indians begin to succeed at plugging the run, Lovejoy has the arm of 6-3 Bennefield and last year’s entire receiving corps to throw the ball deep. Massive 6-6 tight end A.J. Jackson caught three touchdowns in last year’s state playoffs and will be tough to cover. Expect East Coweta’s revamped secondary — a bright spot so far this season — to have to be on top of things if the Indians are to keep things close.
When East Coweta Has the Ball: The Indians moved the ball well during the first half in last week’s game against Sandy Creek and had a chance to tie the game on a first-half drive that ended at the goal-line with some not so favorable results. East Coweta will have to mix things up again this week. Expect some power-running plays to be added to tonight’s offensive playbook tonight using an off-balanced line, an asset that the Indians have used over the past few seasons in goal-line situations. Tonight you might see it at anytime when needed. Senior tailback Dee Godfrey, who was nursing a sore ankle this week in practice, should be 100-percent and Weylin Orr should also receive his share of carries with hopes of slowing Lovejoy down.
The Wildcats will crowd opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage, so it’ll be essential for guys like Boston, Gay and fellow wideout Wyatt Potter to make their first move count on routes to create separation. Quarterback Bryce Ingram, who has struggled a bit with his timing, will have to be better at get the ball away in a hurry while also avoiding throws into double coverage.
Notes: East Coweta was held to 82 yards rushing against Sandy Creek on 31 carries. Gemmel was 10 of 21 for 170 yards passing and a touchdown to Wyatt Potter, his first of his career. Linebacker Jay McKnight suffered a hairline fracture in his hand last week and finished the game. He will continue to play with his hand in a cast this week. At least four Indian players are expected out this week, however, including defensive lineman Chris Burton (15 tackles), which will hamper the Indians’ depth. The Indians defense finished with four sacks last week (Clifton Strong, Burton, Jemarcus Godfrey and Tristan Mann).
Northgate Vikings (1-2) vs. Ola Mustangs (1-2)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Ola High School, McDonough
Series History: Northgate leads 2-0
Last meeting: Northgate 42-14 (2011)
Last Week: Northgate 29, North Clayton 8. McIntosh 14, Ola 6.
The Skinny: The Northgate Vikings appeared to get back on track last week with a 29-8 victory over North Clayton as it rolled up 293 yards of total offense, moving the first down sticks 17 times to pick up their first win of the year. It’s been a rough week for the Vikings has they try to deal with the death of long-time trainer Dale Krach. For Ola, it will be a chance to end a two-game losing streak that saw the Mustangs drop the contest by a combined 15 points. Ola has had to deal with its own heartache this year after 15-year old football player Jason Tyler Holland died from the heart attack that was the result of a genetic birth deficit.
Game Balls: Coming off an ankle injury, senior tailback Michael Willis rushed for 102 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns that gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. On defense, senior tackle DeAndre Johnson dominated while posting seven tackles including six solo hits, as well as a pass breakup.
Players to Watch: Northgate (Stats vs. North Clayton) — QB Josh Harrison, Sr. (3-for-7, 43 yards), RB Michael Willis, Sr. (102 yds rush, 2 TDs) WR/CB Brandon Facyson, Sr. (2 rec., 28 yards; tackle); DT DeAndre Johnson, Sr. (7 tackles, pass breakup); DL Sean Spencer, Sr. (4 tackles, 2 for loss); S Torres Johnson, Jr. (31 yds rush, TD, 3 tackles); CB Aaron Stargell, Sr. (3 tackles); OL Chase Smith, Sr. (6-0, 220); OL Dustin Foley, Sr. (6-0, 210); LB Ryan Fagerstrom, Sr. (8 tackles, 1 for loss), DE Blake McCollum, Sr. (6-0, 200); LB Connor Usher, Sr. (10 tackles, 1 for loss, sack) .... Ola— ATH CJ Carr (SR, 6-1, 190); ATH Jojo Spann (SR, 5-11, 190); OLB Jimmy Carman (SR, 6-3, 210) FB Coy Waters (SR, 5-10, 170); CB Connor Schlottman (JR, 5-9, 180); DL Keanu Houston (SR, 6-1, 240); DL D’andre Frazier (SR, 5-10, 200); ATH Ryan Crawford (SR, 6-0, 200).
When Northgate has the ball: The Vikings might be waiting for running back Benton Washington to return from a preseason injury, but there are a host of players who have stepped up for head coach Tommy Walburn’s team. T.J. Womack, who didn’t switch to running back until the second game of the season leads the team with 155 yards and a touchdown. Michael Willis rushed for over 100 yards in last week’s win. Quarterback Josh Harrison hasn’t thrown too much this year, but proved he could move the ball through the air last week when he hit Torres Johnson and Brandon Faycson on back-top-back first down passes.
When Ola has the ball: Look for the Mustangs to run their offense out the veer, a form of the triple-option. Jo Jo Spann is the Mustangs’ leading rusher. The senior enters the game having scored touchdowns in all three of the Mustangs ‘ games so far this season. A week ago, he also blocked a kick and returned if for a score. Quarterback C.J Carr also has some other options including getting the ball to fullback Coy Waters.
Trinity Christian Lions (2-1) at Flint River Wildcats (2-2)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., at The Den, Woodbury,
Last Week: Trinity Christian defeated Dominion Christian 42-0 at home; Flint River defeated Dawson Street, 47-22
Series History: Flint River leads 1-0.
Last Meeting: Flint River defeated Trinity Christian 28-6 on Aug. 19, 2011. It was Trinity’s first game in the GISA.
The Skinny: Fresh off a 42-0 rout of Dominion Christian, Trinity has a chance to eclipse last year’s win total, avenge last year’s loss at home to Flint River and more importantly continue to make steady progress while preparing for Region 2-AAA play.
Game Balls: While the Lions offensive line gets an assist, a trio of Trinity running backs helped rack up well over 300 yards in last week’s victory. In his first major action on offense, senior fullback Drew Gibson led the way with 159 yards and four touchdowns including a 34-yard score. Senior Jay Warner also went over 100 yards last week and junior Dontarious Snelling had more than 80 yards rushing. Trinity’s defense picked up a pair of turnovers including interception by Avery Braxton.
Players to Watch: Trinity Christian — 4 QB Connor Adams, Sr. (5-8 passing, 28 yds rushing), 7 RB Jay Warner, Sr. (220 yds rushing, 3 TDs, 23 rec. yds), 1 RB/S Donterrious Snelling, Jr. (107 yards rush, TD; 39 rec; 183 return yards, 2TDs), 35 FB/LB Drew Gibson, Sr. (159 yds. rush, 4 TDs), 11 FB/LB Edwin Rivera (52 yds rush, 12 tackles); 24 DL/P/K Cody Houser (32.8 yd. avg, 7-9 PAT). 10 CB Avery Braxton (INT vs. Dominion) 12 DL Joe Hogan (Forced fumble vs. Dominion), 8 S Daniel Shoates, Jr. .... Flint River — QB Seth Short, Jr. (6-2, 190), RB Will Couch, Jr. (5-7, 170), WR Russell Durand (2 TDs vs. Dawson Street), G Skylar Young, Sr. (5-11, 270), G Greg Stewart, Sr. (6-0, 220), RB Caleb Harker, Sr. (5-10, 170), G Chase Tyson, Jr. (6-0, 200), LB Kyle Dufresne, Jr. (5-10, 180).
When Trinity Christian Has the Ball: The Lions got a chance to show off its running game last week behind a trio of backs with unique abilities. The 210-pound Gibson bullied his way for four touchdowns and nearly 200 yards while Warner and Snelling showed off their speed and elusiveness. Expect Trinity to try and continue that trend tonight, especially to keep the ball out of the hands of Flint River’s top-three athletes — Short, Couch and Harker.
When Flint River Has the Ball: For the second consecutive week, Trinity’s defense faces a team that likes to spread the field. Last week finished 9 of 14 for 119 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Durand. But the Wildcats showed equal balance on the ground with Couch and Harker combining for 151 yards rushing, 92 of which came from Couch, a big-play threat who contributed a 79-yard touchdown run the previous week in a loss at Valwood.
It’s been feast or famine for Flint River so far, having fallen to former Region 2-AA foes Valwood and The Heritage School. Both teams scored an average of 49 points in the Wildcats’ two losses while scoring only 14.