The 2014 pre-football season got underway last week (Week Zero), with all but one of our county teams taking the field, and based on the opening games, Columbia County fans have plenty to be excited about this season. Evans looked outstanding in a 41-0 shutout of Westside.
QB Matlin Marshall threw for more than 200 yards and accounted for three touchdowns for the Knights. Greenbrier wasted little time in getting their first win of the season, with a 34-0 victory over Harlem. In all fairness, Harlem is a Class AA opponent, but it is easy to see there is a lot of excitement about this year’s Pack Squad. RB Jamal Richard rambled for 197 yards, WR Warren Coombs looked sensational, and senior QB Adam Sasser showed flashes of emerging as one of the area’s top throwers this fall.
And, at North Augusta, Lakeside had some tough calls go against them in a hard fought 12-10 loss. First off, North Augusta has averaged 11 wins a year for the last 6 seasons, and Lakeside had a couple of huge plays called back. So, if I were a Panther fan, I would feel really good about the season.
And, in a game filled with college prospects, WR B.J. Raymond put on a show. He had 140 yards receiving despite a couple of call backs. Also, junior QB Nick Patterson, showed a lot of poise in rallying the Panthers back late in the game. Three of our teams are idle this week, but here are my picks for the teams in action.
Evans (1-0) Idle
Last Week: 41-0 win over Westside
The Knights play host to Northside Warner Robins on Sept. 5
Greenbrier (1-0 Idle
Last Week: Shutout Harlem 34-0
The Pack travel to Warner Robins on Sept. 5
Lakeside (0-1) Idle
Last Week: Lakeside lost a controversial game to North Augusta 12-10.
LHS is at Richmond Academy on Sept. 5
Grovetown (0-0) at Harlem (0-1)
Last Week: Harlem lost to Greenbrier 34-0
Last Meeting: Grovetown beat Harlem 36-0 in 2011 and leads the all-time series 2-0
Grovetown should be able to take care of business in this match up. They may not have a Jamal Richard or Warren Coombs, but they do have a size advantage up front that should make a big difference.
Also, keep an eye on junior Ben Jean emerging as one of the county’s top all around players this season.
Grovetown 27 Harlem 6
Augusta Christian (1-0) at Laurence Manning (10)
Last Week: ACS beat Augusta Prep 42-20 / LM beat Gray Collegiate Academy 55-7
Last Meeting: The Lions won a year ago 29-28
Augusta Christian struggled in the first half last week versus Augusta Prep, but the game was not as close as the final score made it appear. They held the Cavaliers to just five first downs, and Prep’s scores came on two defensive plays and a faked punt. That said, Laurence Manning is a much different team at home. Last season they were 2-4 on the road, but 6-1 at home, so I will give them a slight edge.
Laurence Manning 28 Augusta Christian 27
Augusta Prep (0-1) at Edmund Burke Academy (0-1)
Last Week: AP lost to Augusta Christian 42-20 / Burke lost to Briarwood Academy 6-0
Last Meeting: First ever meeting
Augusta Prep lost so much to graduation, but they showed a lot of fight last week versus Augusta Christian.
Edmund Burke struggled with mistakes and penalties a week ago. If they do that this week, the Cavaliers could get the surprise victory.
Augusta Prep 14 Edmund Burke 13