With the high school football season nearing its midpoint, a pair of Columbia County prep squads have found a groove, while two others are going back to the drawing board.
Cross Creek High School's Daniel Scott was slowed down by Harlem High School's Tae Dorsey (left) and Tim Camp during Friday's game. After a slow start, the Harlem Bulldogs bested the Razorbacks 29-14 for their first region win.
Photo by Michael Holahan
Last week, the Harlem High School team returned to the field with a vengeance and the Augusta Christian Schools Lions continued to roar while both the Evans and Greenbrier high squads are still seeking answers.
Columbia County's fifth prep football squad, Lakeside High School, was off last week. But the Panthers didn't rest, because Region 3-AAAA foe Statesboro, Ga., is coming to town Friday. The Blue Devils bring their Class AAAA No. 1 ranking to Panther Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis left Friday's game against Cross Creek with a sense of pride and relief.
Coming into the contest, he knew the Bulldogs would be facing a Razorback team that was better than its 1-2 record suggested. Another concern was the fact Harlem had not played since beating Aquinas on Sept. 7.
''I was worried that we would come in here a little rusty,'' Lewis said. ''Cross Creek is a much better team this year.''
While Harlem did start slowly, the Dogs managed to draw first blood late in the second quarter when quarterback Domonique Brown kept the option and went in from 15 yards out. Brown led his team in rushing, with 86 yards on 15 carries to help Harlem post a 29-14 win.
After Tae Dorsey ran the ball in from 16 yards out, Harlem held a commanding 14-0 third-quarter lead. Cross Creek would not relent though, and after trading scores with Harlem early in the fourth, the Razorbacks managed to pull within eight points.
''We had a little momentum going,'' Lewis said. ''I was afraid we had lost that.''
Any fear Lewis had of losing control of the game disappeared eight plays later, when Brown took the ball in from Cross Creek's 14 yardline on another option run. ''Every time they scored we answered; we had to or we wouldn't have won this football game,'' Lewis said.
With the win, Harlem (2-1-1, 1-0) notched its first region 3-AAA victory in the region opener for both teams. The Dogs have an open date this week and will return to action Oct. 13 against Laney.
Greenbrier High School's Ronney Busey was brought down by Hephzibah High School defenders during the third quarter of their match Friday. Greenbrier has yet to score a touchdown this season.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Lions on track
After opening the 2001 season with two close losses, Augusta Christian has settled into solid form. The Lions ran their win-streak to four with a 28-6 victory over Edmund Burke Academy on Friday night at Pride Valley.
Senior tailback Joel Whinghter rushed for 231 yards and four touchdowns to help the Lions pull away in the second half. AC had a 7-6 lead into halftime, but Whignther followed with scoring runs of 22, 44 and 21 yards.
During the game, Whinghter pushed his season rushing total over the 1,000-yard plateau. He now has rushed for 1,016 yards in six games.
The Augusta Christian defense also has played a role in the win-streak. The Lions lost several starters on the defensive side from last year's team, but the unit has started to come together. The Lions limited Edmund Burke to 180 yards of offense.
In order to post a fifth-straight win, Augusta Christian (4-2) will have to perform on offense and defense Friday night. The Lions travel to Macon, Ga., to play Stratford Academy, a perennial power in the Georgia Independent School Association. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.
Lovejoy earned its revenge Saturday, and then some, as the Wildcats crushed Evans 43-0. The Knights beat Lovejoy 14-10 last year at Blanchard Stadium - that Region 4-AAAAA (B) subregion victory sparked Evans to a state playoff berth and kept Lovejoy out of the postseason.
This time Evans traveled to Lovejoy, where the Knights moved the football relatively well, amassing 260 yards of offense. However, the Wildcats countered with 458 yards.
Lovejoy held a 16-0 lead at halftime then put the game away with a second-half scoring binge.
Evans has dropped to 0-4 and 0-1 in subregion play. The Knights will be at home Friday night (7:30 kickoff) against East Coweta, the defending subregion B champions. The Indians moved to 3-0 on the season with a 44-21 win over Fayette County last week.
Whenever the Greenbrier football team scores a touchdown at the Brierpatch, the haunting cry of a wolf blares from the loudspeakers.
On Friday night at Greenbrier, the only howls came from the Hephzibah Rebels, who blanked the Wolfpack 3-0 in a Region 3-AAAA battle.
Greenbrier (1-2, 0-1 in region play) has not scored a touchdown this season, and the Pack's offensive woes reached a peak against the Rebels. Hephzibah held the Pack to 85 yards of offense, including a paltry 29 yards in the second half.
''We just haven't executed like we're capable of executing,'' Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick said. ''We have pretty good effort, but we're not doing the right things at the right time.''
Hephzibah scored its only points on a field goal with 28 seconds remaining in the first half.
Greenbrier's defense did the job, as David Wietz, Nick Wandless, Latron Luke, Chad Hester and Scott Henchel roughed up the Rebels. But the Pack offense couldn't produce points.
The Pack had its opportunity in the fourth quarter, when Michael Walden recovered a fumbled punt at the Hephzibah 43 yardline. The threat ended with three incompletions and a fake punt, which was stuffed by the Rebels.
Things don't get any easier for Greenbrier this week, as the Pack travels to the Brickyard to take on the unbeaten Thomson Bulldogs. The Region 3-AAAA contest kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
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