FRIDAY NIGHT SCORES
Banks County 12 - Jackson
The Leopards' defense was able to hold off
Jackson County in the final minutes of the game to take the win
in season opener. Seth Brownlee scored Banks' first touchdown
on a less than one yard run in the second quarter. The Panthers
also scored in the second quarter off Brandon Shields' one-yard
run. Banks County scored the winning touchdown with seven minutes
to go in the game. Quarterback Bill Krause ran the ball in from
seven yards out to put Banks up 12-7. A strong defensive stance
helped the Leopards hold off Jackson County late to take the
Pigskin teams set to begin Friday
Area teams to start at home. All three of Jackson County's high
school football teams will open the 2001 season Friday at home,
and all three games are set for an 8 p.m. kickoff.
Panthers look for two in a row over Banks
The Jackson County Panthers will open their third year under
head coach Greg Lowe Friday, when the Leopards of Banks County
come calling to Panther Field in Jefferson.
Lowe said earlier this week that a win Friday is crucial to his
team's efforts in 2001.
"It's essential. It's the opening ball game, and it's the
first opener we've had at home since I've been here. We need
to have all our supporters come out from all different parts
of the county."
Those supporters will find a financial break awaiting them at
the ticket booth Friday night. Jackson County has begun offering
season tickets at a rate of $20 for adults and $12 for students.
The tickets will be available at the gate Friday night, and may
also be purchased during business hours at the high school office.
Season tickets are valid for all home varsity, junior-varsity
and freshman football games. They will not be honored during
East Jackson and West Jackson middle school games.
Single-game tickets are $5 for varsity and $3 for sub-varsity
Friday will be South Jackson Elementary and Benton Elementary
school nights at Panther Field. Students from the two schools
will be recognized before the game, and will be entered in a
contest to determine the ball girl or ball boy for the night.
As for the Leopards, Lowe said he's unsure what his opponent
will bring to Friday's matchup.
"There's not a real good answer," Lowe said when asked
how well Banks County would match up against the Panthers. "They've
got a new coaching staff. I've met coach Moore and talked with
him, and he seems to be a fine fellow. I think he'll do a good
job there. We've seen them on film in their scrimmages. They're
real similar to us. They run the Wing-T, and a 4-3 defense."
The Panthers' 4-3 defense held Jefferson in check during last
week's scrimmage at Memorial Stadium, and the offense put in
a good performance as well.
Quarterback Jerrod Glass completed several passes, including
a pair of 20-yarders to Harlan Doremus and Chris McGeary. Travis
Parks added some solid rushing yardage to the cause.
"Our quarterbacks are improving every day," Lowe said
of the passing game. "Our linemen are doing a good job of
giving them time to sit back there and look around."
Jackson County found the end zone late in the scrimmage, with
Andy Crawford punching through for the score after a solid drive.
"Our defense played lights out," Lowe said. "Our
kids made a few mistakes, but it's hard to be real critical because
they were making plays. We had some execution problems on offense
as well. We'll tighten things down a little bit this week."
Dragons look to clip Eagles' wings
Across town at Jefferson, head coach Bob Gurley and his Dragons
will host the Eagles of Athens Christian School Friday at Memorial
Stadium. The Eagles lost to Apalachee 21-0 in both teams' season-opener
"We're expecting them to be a lot better this week than
they were last week," Gurley said of ACS. "They had
some kids who were playing in their first varsity football game;
they won't be quite as nervous this week."
Like Lowe, Gurley said fan support was critical to his team's
"I hope we have a big crowd for the home opener," Gurley
said. "The kids have worked really hard, and they deserve
Admission at Memorial Stadium is $6.
GURLEY ON SCRIMMAGE
Gurley said that his team needs to improve in a couple of areas
this week, given what he saw in last week's scrimmage with Jackson
County. Even so, he said the Dragons did several things well.
"I thought it was a fairly even scrimmage. Both teams had
good points and bad points. Our defense was able to hang in there
against their size better than I thought we'd be able to. Offensively,
they gave us a little trouble, especially in pass protection,
with their size.
"We blocked the run good at times, and at times we'd make
a mistake. We didn't maintain long enough in certain areas, and
we hit the wrong hole somtimes, but overall we did pretty well."
Ben Songer's kicking game was also a plus, according to Gurley.
"He kicked it pretty solid," the coach said of his
place-kicker's 42-yard field goal. "If he can continue to
improve and hit those things, it will definitely be a plus for
us during the season. That's one thing we really haven't had
a lot in the past.
Let the pigskin
Leopards to take on Panthers Friday. The beginning of football
season only happens once each year. And for Banks County, it
will happen on Friday.
"I'm real excited and I'm looking forward to the first game,"
said head coach Greg Moore.
Friday night's game will be Moore's first as a Leopard.
"The kids have responded real well to me and the rest of
the new coaches," Moore said. "Everybody has been making
me feel right at home."
The Leopards have spent the past several weeks readying for their
first game. Their weeks of practice in the blistering heat will
finally be put to a test Friday.
"We've been practicing for six weeks," Moore said.
"The kids have been going at it real hard."
Banks County will be squaring off against Jackson County in Jefferson
for their season opener. The Panthers, who went 1-9 last year
and beat Banks 20-6, bring a wealth of size and strength to the
field this year.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Greg Lowe, Jackson
is predicted to improve on its 1-29 record over the past three
"They are very big, very strong and well coached,"
Moore said. "I'm concerned about how big and strong Jackson
is, but I think we're ready."
This week's game won't be Moore's first experience coaching against
Lowe. When Moore was at Habersham Central, he helped coach his
team against Jackson County.
Moore was also an assistant coach opposite Lowe during Lowe's
coaching stint at North Gwinnett.
"I've got a good idea of what they're doing," Moore
said. "He's a good coach and he does a good job working
with the players he's got."
And Lowe does have players to work with. The Panthers return
several key starters from last year's team, including quarterback
The Leopards will also be battling the injury of their senior
starting center and nose guard Kevin Hall. Hall succumbed to
a torn MCL during practice two weeks ago. Moore lists Hall as
doubtful to play in Friday night's game and tentative after that.
But Moore said his team is enthused and ready to start the season.
"Everyone is excited," he said. "They're ready
to get in there and get their feet wet."
Tigers To Start 2001 Season Against Young Franklin Team. If experience
is the best teacher, then Friday's season opener against Franklin
County will be day one of class for a host of Tiger players.
Thirteen Commerce players will be making their first starts,
with the offensive backfield having the most new faces.
The Tigers will start their fourth different quarterback in as
many years when Rob Brown goes under center while the starting
backfield has only a combined three carries between them.
Needless to say, Friday will be a chance for the defending Class
A state champions to answer some questions.
"We're still in the learning process," Coach Steve
Savage said. "We're still trying to see if we have folks
in the right spot and if we need to move some people around."
But the Tigers won't be the only ones featuring a young group.
The Franklin program is taking some baby steps now after nearly
two decades of stability.
Gone is Jeff Davis, the Lions' head coach of 19 years who resigned
after a 7-5 playoff campaign in 2000.
The head man now is Bobby McAllister, who guided AAAA Worth County
to a 37-24 mark in five seasons at the Ram helm. McAllister will
be trying to fill the shoes of Franklin County's winningest coach
with the departure of Davis, who compiled a 109-96-1 record during
his tenure in Carnesville.
In addition to a new coach, Franklin County, like Commerce, is
an underclassmen-laden outfit. According to McAllister, of his
22 starters, only six are seniors.
Given the team's youth, things still remain unsettled for 8-AAA
school - particularly at quarterback. McAllister said the team
might have to employ a two-quarterback system and speculated
that the starter for the matchup against the Tigers probably
wouldn't be named until game day,
The head coach said his young team couldn't have been given a
tougher assignment in opening up with the Tigers, adding the
team "will find out a lot about themselves" in the
"They'll be ole Commerce," McAllister said. "Savage
always has them ready. They'll be sound. It's as tough an opener
as you could have."
Savage has similar respect for the Franklin team.
"Franklin always fields a tough team," the coach said.
"It's going to be a tough contest."
McAllister said his squad, which sports 54 players, would give
multiple looks offensively, but would lean toward the run.
Though who will run the offense has yet to be determined, McAllister
said either Tyler Evanson or Derek Eastwood would get the starting
Defensively, Franklin will also employ multiple set ups.
McAllister said the defensive unit would be anchored by linebacker
John Osley, defensive back Amanzo Grant and lineman Scotty Pittman.
The opener will be the 16th matchup between the schools dating
back to 1964 with Commerce holding a commanding 12-3 edge in
the series and a 6-1 mark at Tiger Stadium.
Though the series is nearly three decades old, the nearby opponents
have only recently played each other on a consistent basis, meeting
every year since 1996 and eight times in the past 14 seasons.
Franklin County hasn't beaten Commerce since 1996, when the Lions
topped the Tigers 35-13 in Carnesville.
Raiders hope to rebound Friday from season-opening loss. Madison
County's hopes of perfection took a heavyweight punch to the
chin in a Friday loss to South Forsyth. Now the Raiders are eager
to offer a counterpunch.
Madison County will travel to Apalachee Friday at 8 p.m. in a
rematch of last year's 35-0 Raider win.
Apalachee, which downed Athens Christian last week, is in its
second year of existence and Raider head coach Tom Hybl said
his squad should expect a better team than last year's 1-9 Wildcats.
"Apalachee looks much improved over last year," said
Hybl. "They've got all their kids coming back and they have
a skilled kid at quarterback."
Second-year Apalachee coach Brian Moore agreed that his team
is better than last year.
"I think we've improved some," said Moore. "How
much better we are than last year I don't know."
The coach said approximately 45 guys will dress out for the Wildcats
Friday. This includes 22 sophomores, 15 juniors and six seniors.
"Our weakness is that we're very young," said Moore.
"But even though we're young, we got a lot of young kids,
mostly sophomores, who played a lot last year. We're young, but
we've got a lot of experience."
Apalachee's top players include sophomore quarterback Mike Odie,
who was 5-for-9 for 104 yards versus Athens Christian last week.
Other Wildcat standouts are Bobby Duncan, running back; and David
Moore said Madison County will provide a significant challenge.
"Madison County seems just like last year," said Moore.
"They're very physical. They have two good backs that we
better tackle or they'll do some damage to you. Defensively,
they're well coached."
2001 Madison County football schedule
DATE OPPONENT PLACE TIME
Aug. 24 South Forsyth home L 17-0
Aug. 31 Apalachee home 8 p.m.
Sept. 7 Jackson Co. home 8 p.m.
Sept. 14 North Hall away 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 Jefferson away 8 p.m.
Sept. 28 Warren Co. home 8 p.m.
Oct. 5 Union Grove home 8 p.m.
Oct. 12 Open
Oct. 19 Wesleyan away 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 Union Grove away 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 Athens Christian home 8 p.m.