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Today, we will recap all five games of the 2013 Metro PCS
Corky Kell Classic. Also, we reveal our 
football rankings after the 
first week of games.

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In This Issue
Football Rankings
Corky Kell Results
Walton-Peachtree Ridge
North Gwinnett-Camden
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
How many consecutive games had Colquitt County lost in the Dome prior to Saturday's win?
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!
Saturday's Answer:
15 players in last year's Corky Kell Classic signed with SEC schools. 




1. North Gwinnett

2. Colquitt County

3. McEachern

4. Lowndes

5. North Cobb

6. Norcross

7. Mill Creek

8. Peachtree Ridge

9. Lovejoy

10. Marietta



1. Gainesville

2. Northside-WR

3. Thomas Co. Central

4. Tucker

5. Kell

6. Stephenson

7. Flowery Branch

8. M.L. King

9. Ware County

10. Warner Robins


Class AAAA

1.  Sandy Creek

2.  Burke Co.

3.  Carrollton

4.  Cairo

5.  Marist

6.  Griffin

7.  Statesboro

8.  Westside-Macon

9.  Stockbridge

10. Monroe Area


Class AAA

1.  Buford

2.  Peach Co.

3.  Thomson

4.  Carver-Columbus

5.  St. Pius X

6.  Cartersville

7.  North Hall

8.  Washington Co.

9.  Blessed Trinity

10. Jefferson County


Class AA

1.  Calhoun

2.  Brooks Co.

3.  GAC

4.  Lamar Co.

5.  Jefferson

6. Cook

7.  Fitzgerald

8.  Washington-Wilkes

9.  Lovett

10. Vidalia


Class A-Private

1.  ELCA

2.  George Walton Academy

3.  Prince Ave. Christian

4.  Landmark Christian

5.  Brookstone

6. Savannah Christian

7.  First Presbyterian

8.  Darlington

9.  Athens Academy

10. Holy Innocents'


Class A-Public

1.  Lincoln Co.

2.  Wilcox Co.

3.  Irwin Co.

4.  Wilkinson Co.

5. Seminole Co.

6. Marion Co.

7. Miller Co.

8. Charlton Co.

9. Dooly Co.

10. Clinch Co.





Kell 26, Chattahoochee 16


Peachtree Ridge 23, Walton 17


Colquitt County 21, Grayson 6


North Gwinnett 34, Camden County 14


McEachern 31, Brookwood 10



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Monday, August 26, 2013

By Sean Conway

Burris lifts Kell past Chattahoochee 



When the Kell Longhorns and the Chattahochee Cougars began the first game of the 2013 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic in the Georgia Dome shortly after 9:00 Saturday morning, neither offense needed a wake-up call.

Sonny Kennedy

The Chattahoochee offense marched down the field on its opening drive in a methodical fashion behind a precision passing game led by senior quarterback Tasleem "Taz" Wilson.


Senior running back/defensive back Kieron Ashley finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown run to the left side. Kell needed less than 10 seconds to tie the score. On its first play from scrimmage, senior Matt McGuigan found senior wide receiver/cornerback Julian Burris on a tunnel screen. 


Burris sprinted past the Chattahoochee defense for a touchdown. Kell missed the point after. Afterwards when asked how long the first play from scrimmage had been scripted Kell head coach Derek Cook replied, "About four seconds before we ran out there [for the start of the one-play drive)."


Wilson took over where he left off directing the Hooch offense to the Kell 30-yard line before senior kicker Adam Abdelaoui bombed a field goal from 47 yards out to make the score 10-6 Chattahoochee. Then, the offensive adrenaline must have worn off for both squads because both offenses began to sputter.


Just as it appeared the teams would head to halftime without scoring again, Cook decided to roll the dice. Cook called for a timeout with 1:28 remaining and go for it on fourth down and nine yards to go. McGuigan rewarded his coach's gamble by connecting with senior wide receiver Errol Breaux on post pattern for a 39-yard touchdown. Burris for good measure then intercepted a Wilson pass to end a would-be scoring drive for Chattahoochee. Chattahoochee coach Mike Owens probably wished Burris had not returned from the locker room for the second half. 


Burris took the opening kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown. Less than 15 seconds into the third quarter, Burris helped extend Kell's lead to 20-10. Wilson got back to work running plays with the passing game that Abdellaoui converted into field goals of 31 and 47 yards.


As the game moved into the fourth quarter both offenses began to sputter trading interceptions, one each by Ashley and senior Avery Ward of Chattahoochee. Senior Derrick White also intercepted a pass for Kell. McGuigan led the Longhorns on one more drive to seal the contest. He extended the drive on a pass to Breaux for a critical third-down conversion. From there, the Longhorns pounded the ball toward Chattahoochee's end zone before senior running back Jay Moxey finished the scoring with a 5-yard run with just 1:36 remaining in the game. The play of Kell's offensive line on that final scoring drive and throughout the game really impressed Cook.


"I'm really proud of our offensive and defensive lines. I challenged them before the game and told them that they would be responsible for our success all this year." 


Burris totaled 231 all-purpose yards, notching stats running the football and returning punts in addition to receiving and kickoffs. Wilson accumulated a combined 193 yards passing and rushing. While Burris was happy with his big day, he wanted just a little bit more. Afterwards he said, "Being able to score two touchdowns felt great, but I wish I could have got even one more."



By Brian Jones

Ellis leads Lions past Walton



After suffering a 4-6 season in 2012, Peachtree Ridge needed to get off on the right foot in 2013. The Lions did just that Saturday when they beat Walton 23-17 in the second game of the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic.

It looked like the Lions were going to suffer another loss in the

Sonny Kennedy

Kell Classic as they were down 14-3 early in the first quarter. But thanks to running back Jordan Ellis, who rushed for 125 yards and one touchdown, as well as costly penalties by Walton, the Lions rallied for a 23-17 win.


"It's a big win," Lions head coach Mark Fleetwood said. "It's a big win for the community and everybody. We're excited."


The Lions got things started on the opening kickoff as Myron Burton returned it 75 yards. That led to a 29-yard field goal by Evan Pantels to put the Lions up by three.


Walton was able to answer on the ensuing drive, going 10 plays and 68 yards, and it ended with a Price Wilson 14-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Gibson go up by four.


The Raiders were able to increase their lead to 14-3 with 4:16 left in the first quarter when Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jordan McCray.


The first quarter ended with Peachtree Ridge imposing their will, as quarterback Chance Thrasher threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Burton to cut the Walton lead to four.


Things were quiet most of the second quarter until Walton kicker Christian Lucas kicked a 32-yard field goal to increase the lead to seven at 17-10.

The Lions ended the first half with momentum as they scored six points in the final two minutes. After Lucas's 32-yard field goal, Pantels nailed a 35-yarder to cut the Walton lead to seven. Peacthree Ridge got the ball back when Wilson's pass was intercepted by Dru Moody with 16 seconds left in the half. That led to a Pantels 53-yard field goal to cut the Raiders lead to one at halftime.


"I just don't think we were settled down on both sides of the ball," Fleetwood said. "We were excited. We just had to stick to what we've been doing and not panic."


They did just that in the second half. The Lions' defense settled down and did not allow Wilson and the Walton offense get anything going. At the same time, the Raiders hurt themselves all game, committing 10 penalties for 81 yards.


The Lions' offense came up big late in the third quarter when Ellis ran for a 6-yard score. Ellis was also big for the Lions in the fourth quarter as the offense burned six minutes off the clock and gave the Raiders little chance of making a comeback. Walton did have a strong performance from sophomore running back K.K. Brooks who rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries. Wilson also was solid, going 14-of-27 for 170 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.


With the win, the Lions improve to 1-0. They will have their home opener Friday when they take on Parkview. Walton drops to 0-1 and have lost three straight games dating back to last year. The Raiders will look to get their first win of 2013 next Friday when they face Hillgrove at McEachern in the Battle of the Big Chicken.





By Stephen Black

Motivated Packers sprint past Rams



Colquitt County wanted this one badly. The Packers had not had much success in the Georgia Dome lately and felt they owed Grayson for a 2011 semifinals loss. Coach Rush Propst made sure his team was ready for this one and it was, winning 21-6 in the third game of the 2013 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic.

Sonny Kennedy


"We put a lot of work into this game," said Propst. "We knew that we'd lost here five straight times in the Dome. It was important to us to get started off right."


"We're going to enjoy this one. For our kids and our community, this one was important."


After looking sluggish last year in a narrow loss to North Gwinnett, Colquitt County came out on fire Saturday. The Packers grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first period, as Michael Sutton returned an interception 28 yards for a score in the game's first minute, then the offense drove 80 yards in nine plays before scoring on a six-yard pass from Daniel Mobley to Kiel Pollard.

It was a rude wake-up call for a young Grayson squad, which returned just one starter off last year's team. The inexperience Rams turned the ball over four times and committed seven penalties in a sloppy game for both sides.


"We pretty much gave the game away with turnovers, (incorrect) alignments and all the little mistakes we made" said Grayson coach Mickey Conn. "We made a lot of mistakes, which is expected with a first-year team."


Colquitt County, meanwhile, were called for seven penatlies totaling 90 yards and also had four turnovers. But the Packers were sparked by Sutton, a senior defensive back, who had a third-quarter interception that led to another Packers touchdown in addition to his pick-6. Quarterback Daniel Mobley was 14-of-27 for 173 yards and a touchdown, while running back Sihiem King added 23 carries for 117 yards and a two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.


Grayson did not get on the board until the Packers had taken a 21-0 lead.

Defensive lineman Jamiyus Pittman, an Ole Miss commitment, led a physical Packers defense with 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Pittman said after the game he had never seen his teammates quite like this before.


"This was the most intense I've ever seen our football team," said Pittman. "I could tell everybody wanted it. ... I feel pretty good about the rest of the season."


The Packers will have little time to think about this win. Propst's team is on the road next week to Hoover (Ala.) where it will face one of the top high school programs in the nation, one that Propst himself helped build. But the former reality television star wants his team to enjoy Saturday's win.


"Obviously, we've got a big game next week, a nationally-televised game with Hoover," said Propst. "But we're going to enjoy this one. I told our kids, this is the game we have to win. The one next week against Hoover is more important to me, but to our kids and our community, this one was more important."


While each of Propst's Colquitt teams have made the semifinals since 2009, he thinks this one is different.


"What I like about this group, I've had some talented kids now, don't get me wrong, but this one's got something special to them," he said. "This is the 100th-year edition of this team, my 25th year as a head coach. This could be a special year, I really believe that."


Score Atlanta ranked the Packers' schedule as the toughest in Class AAAAAA this year, and there are plenty of opportunities for Propst's latest edition to prove just how special it is.



By Craig Sager II

Bulldogs dominate Camden County



Camden County found the endzone first in Game 4 of the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic, but after Antonio Wimbush's 37-yard touchdown run, there was little left for the Wildcats to cheer for.

Terance Johnson

The Bulldogs answered the early Camden lead with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Sphire to a slanting Nate Brown, and continued to pile on points with an array of weapons. North Gwinnett earned a 34-14 win Saturday.


Running back C.J. Leggett gave North Gwinnett the 14-7 lead by bulldozing into the endzone from seven yards out on a designed direct-snap trick play. The senior running back left the game in the 3rd quarter after cramping, but managed to tally 140 yards off 23 carries and the score prior to being sidelined.


Brown finished with a game-high two touchdowns, four receptions and 74 receiving yards. Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Caleb Scott and Jaye Stackhouse each added three receptions in the game. North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire is aware of the favorable matchups that his deep and talented receiving corps is creating for his offense.


"We can go 2 by 2 (formations) and have (two receiving) threats on both sides," said Sphire. "You've got inside receivers, you can close them as tight ends and you can open them up because they are athletic enough to be in the slot. That's kind of unique. We haven't had that for the last few years to be able to be this multiple, formation wise."


While North Gwinnett attacked Camden's defense from all directions, the Wildcats struggled finding a rhythm in its run-first playbook against first-year coordinator Robert Andrew's unit. The Wildcats finished the game with 247 yards rushing, but were 1-for-6 passing for one total yard. Dante Sawyer had eight tackles including two tackles for a loss, and disrupted the line of scrimmage. Avery Elford and Bobby Young were also run-stoppers and each recorded seven tackles.

Offensively, it was North Gwinnett's young linemen who were able to win at the point of attack.


"I was very pleased in an opening game to have continuity on the offensive line that we did," said Sphire. "I thought they were very physical at how they played tonight. "


North Gwinnett had 22 first downs compared to Camden County's nine. The Wildcats' second touchdown was on Harrison Poole's 60-yard run in the 2nd quarter. Poole had a solid game for the Wildcats with 12 carries for 136 yards.


Camden County head coach Welton Coffey will have six days to regroup before facing Baker County (Fla.) on Aug. 30. Coffey stepped in for former Camden County head coach Jeff Herron this offseason and will have to address the 11 penalties (113 yards) his team committed against the Bulldogs.


Sphire is hoping to continue finding the same level of success moving forward that his team struck in the 2013 season opener.


"Tonight I was real pleased with our kicking game, our defense was really sound and flew to the football and our offensive line played well as a group," said Sphire. "When you've got all three of those things going on you have a chance to have a really good game. These guys [Our team] were chomping at the bit to play a real opponent and in a real game that really mattered and through all the phases that we had in place to prepare for this season, they were flat out ready to play."


North Gwinnett's next challenge will be at Grayson on Aug. 30.






By Stephen Black

Indians outclass Brookwood in penalty-filled nightcap



McEachern has one of the more athletic and experienced teams in the state this year and it showed in the Indians' 31-10 demolition of a proud Brookwood squad in the nightcap of the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome.

Sonny Kennedy


After an opening drive by Brookwood that netted a 3-0 lead, No. 4 McEachern took over and scored the next 24 points of the game in a little less than two full quarters. An electric 90-yard scoring run by running back 


Taj Griffin punctuated the Indians' surge, but coach Kyle Hockman's defense may have been the key to McEachern's victory.


"Right now, the core of our team is the nine or 10 returning starters on defense," said Hockman. "And they played that way. Obviously, we have some great skill guys on offense, but we're inexperienced up front. But our defense just did an outstanding job."


Coming into the game, Brookwood coach Mark Crews' goal was to keep the ball away from McEachern's dynamic playmakers on offense. But that task proved to be too tall, as two key injuries and the Indians' tough defense prevented Brookwood from establishing a sustainable ground game.


"It's hard to move the football when we lost both of our backs, our fullback and our tailback (to injuries)," said Crews. "So we were sort of knitting and stitching our offense back together."


Normally a powerful running team, Brookwood was held to 70 yards on the ground while McEachern rolled up 323, including 239 in the first half. Griffin finished with 154 rushing yards while quarterback Ty Clemons totaled 109 on the ground with an 11-yard score of his own. He also passed for 67 yards.


One of the more disappointing aspects of the game was the consistent penalties called on both teams, which combined for 23 flags for a total of 189 yards. Hockman thinks discipline is one thing his team can work on before its next game, which was less than six days away at the end of Saturday's contest.


"I don't know if (the penalties) were us or the officials. We'll have to look at that, but we just want to play a clean game and a smooth, smart game all the way around," he said. "I think we got a lot better from our scrimmage to tonight, and we're going to get better from tonight to next week."


The Indians host Lassiter Friday in the Battle of the Big Chicken, one of two games to be played at McEachern. The other will be Hilgrove vs. Walton. The short turnaround presents a challenge to the Indians' preparations this week.


"We'll probably back off just a little bit more early in the week and try to have just one real hard, physical practice, but we got a few guys banged up," he said. "We'll be a little tired, banged up, but Lassiter hasn't played yet, so I think it'll all offset."


Crews came away impressed with the team from west Cobb he had just seen.


"Athletically, they're as good as anybody we've played against," he said. "Their defense has got some big ol' guys on there, their offense is awfully talented as far as team speed and that kind of thing, so they're a good football team."


Crews' Broncos have the week off before traveling to No. 7 Mill Creek.



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