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Crowell Impresses National Audience, Buford Seeks Revenge and More: Top Five Georgia High School Sports Stories

Once again the Georgia high school football scene provided a lot of action this weekend. Two teams were showcased on ESPN, one team that was thought as a perennial powerhouse in one classification is slipping and one game featured two coaches with 500 wins combined. As for the upcoming week, there is game that will shake up Class AAAA and another game will feature two heavyweights in AA. Without further ado, here are the top five high school stories in Georgia.

5. Marist edges SW DeKalb with last second field goal

This game between the two DeKalb County schools was more crucial than in years past because the loser of the game would be virtually eliminated from the region 6-AAAA title due to both teams losing to Tucker who is undefeated. This was also a game where the two head coaches had over 250 wins, which is a first in metro Atlanta football history.

Marist got the scoring started in the second quarter, as Gary King scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. The Panthers were able to bounce back thanks to an Andre Wilson 52-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Barnett 26 seconds later. SWD scored again in the third with a Toran Davis 7-yard touchdown run, but Marist was able to make a comeback in the fourth quarter to win 17-14. The play of the game had to be when Marist kicker Austin Hardin nailed a 59-yard field goal with three seconds left in the game to lift the War Eagles to victory.

4. What’s up with Newnan?

The Cougars of Newnan were looked as one of the teams to beat in AAAAA coming off a semifinal appearance last season. Despite losing the Ogletree brothers (Alec and Zander), they were considered as one of the top teams in AAAAA. Things have not gone according to plan, losing to Peachtree Ridge last week and to Woodstock last night.

So what’s been the problem? Head coach Mike McDonald said his team has not been able to put four quarters of football together all season long. They have struggled on offense and the defense has been put in some bad situations because the offense commits too many turnovers. They should be able to get a win streak going, as they will play Newton and Hughes the next two weeks, but with East Coweta and Stephenson not far behind, Newnan could be in some trouble.

3. Crowell continues to impress

Carver-Columbus and LaGrange played against each other Friday night and because of the prestige of both teams, the game was televised on ESPN 2. One of the other reasons ESPN 2 was there was to take a look at Carver running back Isaiah Crowell.

The senior running back did not disappoint fans, media members or scouts, running for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Crowell is considered the best recruit in Georgia and the best running back in the country. He has gotten offers from everywhere in the country, but if he goes to Georgia or Georgia Tech, think how good those teams would be with a player like Crowell.

2. Kell has tough test against Hiram.

The Kell Longhorns passed their first tough test this season by getting past Grayson in the Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome in their first game of the season. They will have a tougher test Friday when the take on Hiram who is ranked No. 7 in AAAA (Kell is ranked No. 6 in AAAA).

The Hornets of Hiram are coming off a season where they finished with an 11-1 record which is the best in school history. They are led by quarterback Jared McClain, running back Trey Wesley and linebacker Leon Brooks who had 18 tackles in the win against Paulding County last week.

Kell is off to their best start in school history with a 4-0 mark. They have a quarterback, Austin Petrik who is accurate and can run when called upon. But the player to watch for Kell is Brian Randolph who is one of the best safeties in the country. He is also pretty good at the running back spot so the Hiram defense as well as the offense should look out for Randloph every play.

1. Buford seeks revenge on Lovett

When Buford was on their way of winning their third consecutive state title in Class AA last season, they hit a minor road bump in the beginning of the year, losing to region rival Lovett 28-21 in the third game of the season.

This year the Wolves look to seek revenge on the Lions as they will get it on Friday night. Buford suffered another rare loss two weeks ago, as they lost to Carver-Columbus 14-0. If they were to lose Friday night, which could happen it would be the first time since 2004 the Wolves lost more than one game in a season.

When Lovett defeated Buford last season, it was relief off their shoulders because the Lions have had their problems with the Wolves in the past. In fact, Lovett could have won the state title in 2007, had it not been for Buford defeating the Wolves in the state title. I’m not sure who will win, but based the history of the two teams it should be a classic.  

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.