Some big games ahead in second week of football playoffs

Tue, 11/20/2007 - 12:20pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Matt Daniels TD pass Matt Daniels throws a touchdown pass in the Tigers' win over Baldwin. Photo/Ian Davis.

Fayette County Tigers (11-0) vs. Bainbridge Bearcats (8-3)

Last week: Fayette County defeated Baldwin 21-16, Bainbridge defeated Statesboro 28-14.

The march to the state championship continues for the Tigers, who are coming off their first playoff victory in school history. Fayette’s opponent this week, Bainbridge, actually has more losses (three) than Baldwin had (one) when it played the Tigers last week. But Fayette coach Tommy Webb doesn’t expect Bainbridge to be an easier opponent than Baldwin.

“All three of Bainbridge’s losses have come against quality teams,” Webb said. “It really doesn’t matter what their record is at this point in the season. Everybody you face in the playoffs is good.”

Bainbridge’s losses have come against three teams that have made the state playoffs.

Bainbridge’s top player is quarterback/safety Nick Williams, who has verbally committed to Georgia as a safety/linebacker. Williams is a dual-threat quarterback; he has completed 52 of 113 passes for 637 yards and eight touchdowns, with eight interceptions, and he has rushed for 411 yards and five touchdowns on 66 carries operating predominantly out of the shotgun in a spread offense.

Other top offensive players for Bainbridge are running back Rashard Russell, who has a team-high eight touchdowns, and wide receivers Melzie Johnson, Nic Sheppard and Chris Bush.

Fayette’s defense features two of the top defensive backs in the state in cornerback Brandon Boykin, who has verbally committed to Georgia, and safety Matt Daniels, who has verbally committed to Duke. Fayette’s other cornerback, Cuincy Carruthers, is talented, as well. Fayette’s linebackers — Devontae Partridge, Evan Reid, Darrin Fields, Shemar Fletcher and Edward Bexley — have stood out all season.

Quarterback Boykin, fullback Daniels and wingback Tim Pettaway have consistently provided Fayette’s option-based offense with big plays. All three can go the distance with the ball in their hands. Wide receiver Terrow Davis, tight end Barack Little and often-used backup quarterback Andrew Prosser give Fayette three more offensive weapons who have made a significant impact.

Bainbridge’s defense is led by two active linebackers, Brandon Thompson and Ramadon Jimoh-Osi, and fast cornerback Anthony Riley.
Fayette has outscored it opponents 312-101; Bainbridge has outscored its opponents 302-196.

Whitewater Wildcats (9-2) at Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets (11-0)

Last week: Whitewater defeated Lovejoy 23-21, Thomas County Central defeated Brunswick 44-13.
The long road trip to Thomasville won’t be easy for Whitewater, which plays an undefeated Thomas County Central team that has outscored it opponents 449-138.

“I would go out on a limb and say Thomas County Central is as good a team as there is in the state of Georgia,” Whitewater coach Amos McCreary said.

Thomas County Central’s offense, which has scored 40.8 points per game, is led by 230-pound running back Debrale Smiley, who will be the biggest, most powerful runner Whitewater has faced all season. Elusive quarterback P.J. Williams also is a running threat in Thomas County Central’s split-back veer offense. Linebackers Zac Mann and Ryan Hidalgo, defensive end Thomas Richard and cornerback Chris Asbury are the key players for a Whitewater defense that has allowed only 11 points per game.

Whitewater’s run-based Wing-T offense will attempt to control the ball and keep Thomas County Central’s high-scoring offense off the field. Quarterback David Byrd, coming off the best game of his career, a three-touchdown performance, fullback Collin Wooddy and wing back Thomas Frierson will look to find running room against Thomas County Central’s 4-3 defense, which has allowed only 12.5 points per game.

Whitewater has outscored its opponents 229-121.
Sandy Creek Patriots (7-4) at North Hall Trojans (11-0)

Last week: Sandy Creek defeated Hart County 23-8, North Hall defeated McNair 41-20.

North Hall has demolished its competition this season, outscoring its opponents 549-104. It has scored a whopping 49.9 points per game, and it has allowed only 9.5 points per game.

“North Hall has a great football program,” Creek coach Chip Walker said. “It will be another big challenge playing them, but at this point of the year, every team is a big challenge.”

The Trojans have one of the most talented backfields in the state. Quarterback Fabian Jackson, running backs Hunter and Dylan Wolf, and fullback Bobby Epps have made North Hall’s Wing-T offense near impossible to stop. Creek’s defense, which has allowed 14.1 points per game, has been stout all season. But linebackers Matt Solomon and Zack Hilton, defensive end Jeremy Holt and cornerbacks Josh Holt and Jordan Griffin, the leaders of Creek’s defense, have not played against a team that has as many offensive weapons as North Hall.

Creek’s offense might have to score points in bunches to keep up with North Hall. Quarterback Rio Johnson, his go-to wide receiver, Braxton Lane, and running backs Josh Williams and Ragion Neal, coming off a 182-yard rushing performance, are the top players for a Creek offense that has scored 24.5 points per game.

North Hall runs multiple fronts defensively, mixing eight-man looks with a 4-3 front.

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CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Fri, 11/23/2007 - 9:27am.

Fayette County has had the season of lifetime. I never could have dreamed of an undefeated season on my tiny little highschool team in South Georgia.

Give 'em hell boys!

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