Where are they now?

Former Vikings meet when Mercer hosts Berry

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Former Newnan High standout Tray Matthews makes a tackle against South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw during Georgia's recent victory over the Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs host North Texas on Saturday following a bye week. 

When Mercer University and Berry College meet for the first time on the football field this Saturday in a matchup of a revived program in Macon and a brand new venture in Rome, it will also provide an opportunity for a reunion of Northgate High School teammates on either side of the ball.

Coming off a 100-yard rushing effort in Mercer's season opener, running back Payton Usher leads the Pioneer Football League with averages of 106.5 yards on the ground and 164.5 all-purpose yards per game over a 2-0 start.

The former Viking standout, who earned Times-Herald co-Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2011 is among at least four former Coweta County high school standouts that expects to take part in Saturday's game joining current teammate Lendell Arnold (Newnan), a defensive back for the Bears.

Mirroring Usher this week on Berry's starting defense will be former Northgate defensive back Andrew Brady, who has six tackles for his new set of Vikings, who are out to a 1-1 start in their first season of college football.

Berry picked up its first win by defeating the LaGrange College JV squad 37-27 in a game played at The Darlington School in Rome. The program debuted in a 37-0 loss at home to Maryville, Tenn., with Brady making three tackles in the loss.

Mercer, meanwhile, improved to 2-0 last Saturday with a 61-0 blowout win over Warner following a two-week layoff. The Bears opened the season at home with a 40-37 comeback win over first-year program Reinhardt, led by longtime East Coweta High head coach Danny Cronic.

Usher finished with 98 yards on 12 carries against Warner to go with an 11-yard pass reception. Arnold added two tackles in the victory.

Also seeing action this year at Berry has been freshman linebacker Edwin Rivera.

MATTHEWS PREPARES FOR SECOND START AT UGA: Despite missing almost all of preseason camp to injury, former Newnan High star safety Tray Matthews enters Saturday's game for Georgia against North Texas following an off week, having started games against top-10 ranked lineups in Clemson and South Carolina to open the season.

Matthews feels he's gotten some of the first-game jitters out of his system.

He made eight tackles in Georgia's loss to Clemson and just four assists in the home opening win over South Carolina while getting exposed as a true freshman in both games.

'Going out there I was hyped, I was tensing up. I was like, it's my first game I don't wanna mess up on TV. That's kind of the reason I don't think I played as fast as I can,' Matthews told Macon Telegraph beat writer Seth Emerson. 'I don't want to mess up.

I'm on the big screen, if I mess up they'll be like: Dang, Tray Matthews did this, he did that. But now I've made my mistakes, I'm ready to go out and play my game.'

A less hyped contest this week against North Texas (2-1), a 12:21 p.m. kickoff and Georgia's first game not on ESPN this season, may provide a chance for Matthews to focus and relax.

Facyson off to fast start at Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech true freshman Brandon Facyson is off to a fast start in his college football career.

The Northgate graduate had two interceptions last week in the team's game against East Carolina.

'He is a baller,' Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer told the Roanoke Times.

Facyson had interceptions in the first and third quarters en route to the 15-10 win.

The Northgate graduate nearly added a third.

'My hand grazed the ball,' he said. 'He actually got it off, but next time, I am coming after it.'

Hutcheson, Savannah State head into Miami as heavy underdogs: Former East Coweta quarterback Zach Hutcheson joins Savannah State University during a trip to Miami to play the 16thranked Hurricanes. The team enters at 1-2 following a 27-20 win over Fort Valley State.

In two games, Hutcheson is 15 of 32 for 178 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He did not play in the win over Fort Valley.

Local players seeing action at West Georgia: Former Newnan Cougar Adam Strakose has seen action in one game for the West Georgia. The senior linebacker has made four tackles, including two solos.

East Coweta graduate Zach Fore has played in two games this season for West Georgia, and has been in on four tackles.

East Coweta's David Singleton has started his redshirt freshman year with the Wolves, with two tackles.




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