Posted: Monday, September 17th 2012 at 2:52pm
5 things: What we learned from Week 3 of high school football
By Morgan Lee Editor
Gainesville's Rodney Lackey runs for a touchdown in Friday night's win over Winder-Barrow in Winder. / photo: David Weikel
Here's a look at five things we learned from Week 3 of the high school football season...
1. Flowery Branch’s offense is just fine, thank you.
If there were any concerns about Flowery Branch’s spread attack after the Falcons’ 0-2 start, they were erased on Friday, as the Branch Boys put together a “get right” performance in their 45-27 defeat of Cedar Shoals. Flowery Branch rolled up 578 yards in the win, including 397 yards rushing. Perhaps most impressively, junior quarterback Jackson McDonald showed he is more than capable of excelling in one of the premier spots in north Georgia, rushing for 148 yards, passing for 181 and compiling five total touchdowns -- the kind of production that has typified Falcons signal callers of the past decade. We suspected that Flowery Branch was prepped for a resurgence when the Region 8-AAAAA schedule began, and, while there are still improvements to be made, don’t be surprised to see the Falcons start flying high again.
2. White County may have the perfect option at quarterback.
Speaking of signal callers, White County has found a very good one in Will Brock. The senior has played a huge role in the Warriors’ charge into 2012 -- which includes, at 3-0, White County’s best start since 1975. Brock was responsible for all five scores in Friday night’s 35-28 defeat of Fannin County, as he finished with 42 yards rushing and four touchdowns and passing for 107 yards and the Warriors' other score. Brock has shown he can put his head down and pick up tough yards and big yards in the run game and also burn opposing defenses in the pass game -- a key for any quarterback in the triple option if he wants to keep foes from loading up to stop the ground attack. It will be interesting to see how Brock, and the Warriors, continue their development in the second year under head coach Bill Ballard.
3. Jefferson is growing in confidence, ability.
Before the season even started, Jefferson faced some issues, as the Dragons had to replace four of their top five linemen while also suffering some injuries top key players. And after a season-opening loss to Commerce, it looked as though Jefferson might be in rebuilding mode after scoring just seven points. In fact that was nowhere near the truth. The Dragons have rebounded from the opening night setback with a vengeance, and, as we witnessed on Friday, coach T McFerrin’s staff has put Jefferson back on the road to the top in Region 8-AA. Senior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs is a big reason for that, as the polished passer can also put his size to good use in the ground game when necessary. After two straight wins -- including last week’s comeback at North Hall -- the Dragons are starting to breathe fire again.
4. The Tigers are back on top of their game.
5. The Spartans have a dangerous look to their attack.
Despite starting 0-2, West Hall’s offense looked like it could be ready to put things together behind starting quarterback Zach English. That indeed proved the case in Week 3, especially in the second half, as the Spartans scored three unanswered touchdowns in a 27-11 defeat of Lumpkin County. English spread the ball around, with three different receivers catching touchdown passes in the win. He finished the game 7 of 15 for 157 yards. The Spartans face their first region battle this week at Banks County, and English’s success will be a key for West Hall’s overall success.
Honorable mention: Don’t look now, but Gainesville’s offense may be at its best.
Gainesville football has had a plethora of weapons at the hub of its spread attack for years, but this year’s team may have the most depth of any previous Gainesville squad. Everyone knows about standout quarterback Deshaun Watson, but the junior also has plenty of talent to deliver the ball to, including receivers Tray Harrison, Lahius Leverette, Caleb Hayman, Rodney Lackey and Orrin Ragland, as well as running backs Jay Gaudlock and Michael Byrd. Nine different Red Elephants caught passes in Friday’s win over Winder-Barrow.
AREA PREP FOOTBALL SCORES, Sept. 14
Buford 43, Hancock Central 0
Collins Hill 52, Habersham Central 0
Commerce 28, Banks County 14
Dawson County 48, Forsyth Central 29
East Hall 50, East Jackson 20
Flowery Branch 45, Cedar Shoals 27
Gainesville 69, Winder-Barrow 0
Georgia Military 24, Riverside Military 0
Jackson County 39, Athens Christian 21
Jefferson 27, North Hall 21
Mill Creek 49, Mountain View 0
Norcross 24, North Gwinnett 14
North Forsyth 28, Cherokee 12
North Murray 27, Johnson 13
Rabun County 45, Towns County 7
Stephens County 49, Hart County 39
Union County 40, Andrews, N.C. 14
West Hall 27, Lumpkin County 11
White County 35, Fannin County 28
AREA PREP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE, Sept. 21
Apalachee at Gainesville -- Radio: 1240 AM
Loganville at Flowery Branch -- Radio: 550 AM
Johnson at East Hall -- Radio: 102.9 FM
Lumpkin County at Monroe Area
Walnut Grove at Stephens County
West Hall at Banks County
Winder-Barrow at Salem
Eastside at Chestatee
Blessed Trinity at White County
East Jackson at Jackson County
Rabun County at Commerce
Riverside Military at Washington-Wilkes
Lakeview Academy at Pinecrest Academy
Rabun Gap at Towns County
Chattahoochee at North Forsyth
Habersham Central at Mountain View
Mill Creek at Peachtree Ridge
North Gwinnett at Meadowcreek
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