Area Sports...

September 26, 2001


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Raiders defeat Dragons, 14-11
Madison County shut down Jefferson's high-powered offense in a 14-11 road win Friday night.
Raider defenders snagged four interceptions from Dragon quarterback Kyle Potts, with Raider sophomore Kevin Cash returning the team's first interception approximately 75 yards for a touchdown.
That score came 10:14 to go in the second quarter and the play proved to be the tone-setter for the evening. Potts dropped back for a screen pass into the right flats, but Cash read the play well, stepping up to grab the ball and racing in for the lengthy score.
"We had four picks and that's the first time that's happened since I've been here," said Raider head coach Tom Hybl. "That doesn't happen very often. To allow those folks only a field goal and a touchdown is good. We showed improvement on defense."
The touchdown stole the momentum from the Dragons, who held on to the ball for approximately seven minutes prior to the turnover, driving deep into Raider territory after starting on their own 13-yard line. The drive included a fake punt for a first down on the Madison County 35.
Jefferson moved the ball into Raider territory on their next drive. But Madison County's Jonathan Pou picked off a Dragon pass at the nine-yard line to end the scoring threat.
Moments later, with his team facing fourth and one on its own 19, Hybl chose to go for a first down. But the Dragon defense stopped the Raiders and the Dragons and took over on downs at the Madison County 18.
Jefferson ran three plays and kicked a 30-yard field goal to cut the Raider lead to 7-3.
Madison County misplayed the ensuing kickoff and started on its own four-yard line. After a short punt, Jefferson started on Madison County's 33-yard line with 2:32 to go in the half. But Pou grabbed his second Potts pass of the evening on the Raider goal line. The half ended with Madison County up 7-3.
Madison County added to the lead late in the third quarter when leading rusher Tony Freeman, who led the Raiders with 116 yards on 18 carries, broke loose on runs of 33 and 11 yards, before scoring on a 23-yard jaunt.
Jefferson answered early in the fourth quarter as Courtney Wiley moved the Dragons down the field on the ground. Potts scored on a quarterback keeper, then threw a pass to Blake Gooch for the two-point conversion to cut the score to 14-11 with just under 11 minutes to go in the game.
Gooch then recovered a Raider fumble with 6:59 left on the Dragon 27.
But Jefferson gave the ball right back as B.J. Johnson held on to a Potts pass despite wearing a cast on his left arm. The Raiders pounded out four first downs on the ground to run out the clock and secure the win.
Richard Stowers also broke the century mark in rushing yards, carrying the ball 24 times for 108 yards.
Overall, Jefferson had 10 first downs while the Raiders had 13. Jefferson rushed 118 yard - 97 yards under Madison County's total. However, Jefferson passed for 92 yards, to Madison County's 19. The Dragons completed seven out of 18 passes.
Jefferson was penalized six times for 40 yards.
"I was disappointed in the scoreboard," said head coach Bob Gurley. "The kids were playing extremely hard. I knew that the team that made the most mistakes would probably lose. But we have made a lot of improvement since last year."
Jefferson will play Social Circle on Friday. Gurley said, "We'll be playing a team that's a lot different than any other team. We'll need a lot of skills and team speed, and we'll have to play a good ball game to win."
The game will be in Social Circle at 7:30 p.m.




Banks to take on East Hall
With the region schedule coming into full swing, winning is imperative for the Leopards.
"Every game from here on out is important," head football coach Greg Moore said. "We're not playing real good right now, but we're playing real hard. We're just going to stick to our game plan and try to get better."
The Leopards (1-2, 0-1) head back onto the road this weekend, taking on the Vikings of East Hall (1-2, 0-1). Moore is 1-0 on the road so far with Banks County.
The Leopards are currently tied with East Hall, Apalachee and Rabun County with an 0-1 record in Region 8-AA.
The Vikings are coming off a 21-11 defeat at the hands of White County last week. East Hall also fell 31-0 to Gainesville the previous week, while topping North Hall 10-7 the opening week of the season.
"They're down a little bit, but East Hall always has good athletes," Moore said.
Friday night's game will be homecoming for East Hall. Despite losing in their last two contests, the Vikings will likely be fired up for the homecoming game with Banks.
Moore said East Hall runs a varied offense set with speed in the backfield.
"They've got on the most multiple offenses I've seen," he said. "They run about 8,000 different formations."


Panthers to host Hart County Bulldogs
The Panthers will be playing Hart County on Friday at Panther Stadium after missing one game and having a week off.
The Georgia High School Association canceled all high school football games the Friday following the tragedy of September 11 and the Panthers happened to have Friday the 21st off.
Now will be the time to strap on the gear, overcome the restlessness of a two-week layoff, forget about the 0-2 record and take on the 3-0, 1-0 8-AAA Hart County Bulldogs.
Coach Greg Lowe said that having two games off in a row is "unprecedented in high school football. We've had three weeks of practice without playing a game."
Lowe said that Hart County is a "fine football team. They have a whole lot of speed and we'll have to play hard and see what happens."
Last week Hart County defeated Stephens County 35-7. "They sure handled Stephens County," Lowe remarked.
The Friday game against Hart County at Panther Stadium will be at 8 p.m.



Tiger Softball Team Nearing Area Tourney Time
Coaches talk about peaking at the right time and no time would be better for the Commerce Tigers (9-14) than next week during the Area Four tournament.
Wins now are of dire importance to the squad as it heads into the event looking to grab a pass to the state tournament as the top four teams in the area will advance.
The event will be held at the Jackson County Recreation Department October 3, 4 and 6.
And according to head softball coach Donny Drew, chances are solid that the team will extend their season.
"I think that we've got a good chance to be one of the top four, but I'm not sure if that's because we're that good or the teams in the middle of the area on down aren't as strong as they've been in the past," he said.
As of press time, the seedings for the event weren't yet determined, but Drew speculated Monday that a pair of wins over Warren County Tuesday (results weren't available) would shore up a third seeding in the tournament.
If that is the case, then the Tigers would play at 4:30 p.m. against the sixth seed October 3.
Drew said that Jefferson would probably be the top seed while Buford would be second. If Commerce grabs the third spot, then Rabun Gap, Lincoln County and Warren County should round out the rest of the field.
However, the team will have to fare better in the area tournament that it did in a recent double header against Buford. Drew said his team didn't show that they were ready for postseason in the pair of losses to the Wolves.
"We didn't like it the other day," Drew said of his team's 16-5 and 10-8 setbacks. "We played like we were somewhat intimidated."
The team did however have a spark the other day, outscoring the Red Devils 22-1 at home two pick up two wins.


Raiders earn state bid as season area champs
MCHS pitcher Lyndsey Barnette follows back-to-back no-hitters with a one-hitter.
The Madison County Raider softball team earned a ticket to the fast-pitch state tournament last week, clinching the Area 8-AAA regular season title.
The Raiders, 22-5 overall and 12-0 in the area, will host the 8-AAA tournament next week, hoping to repeat as tournament champions. The Raiders will take the field Tuesday at 8 p.m. versus the winner of the number 4 vs. number 5 seed matchup. Those seedings had yet to be determined as of press time.
Along with the regular season area championship comes a number one seed in the state sectional tournament set for Oct. 13 in Morgan County.
Madison County will travel to Morgan County next Saturday at 11 a.m. in the state sectionals, hoping to win two before they lose two and earn a trip to the state finals in Columbus. Madison County earned a fourth-place finish in last year's Class AAA tournament, though most of this year's squad was playing JV ball in 2000.
"These girls have really stepped up," said Raider coach Doug Kesler. "Few people would have thought we'd be 22-5 after losing the group we lost last year. But these girls get all the credit for being willing to work hard and learn and respond."
Like last year, Madison County has baffled opponents on the mound. Raider standout Lyndsey Barnette, one of last year's top players, has battled injuries this season, but she appears to be back in top form, hurling two straight no-hitters against Stephens County, Sept. 10, and Jackson County, Sept. 20, and a one-hit, 12-strikeout performance in a Tuesday night 8-0 win over Hart County. She has surrendered just one hit in her last 22 innings pitched.
"She's getting closer (to 100 percent)," said Kesler of Barnette. "We're trying to get her into shape for the tournament."
Barnette helped Madison County edge the Panthers 1-0 Thursday. Laura Baird provided the final inning heroics for Madison County, driving home Sarah Owen, who had reached on a bunt single, then stolen second. Baird fouled off three pitches with two strikes before knocking the ball between shortstop and third base drive home the winning run.
That win followed a one-hit performance by Sarah Tippins in a 10-0 win over Elbert County last Tuesday. Amanda Lewis, Candace Shubert, Brandi Robertson and Tippins each had two hits versus Elbert.
Against Hart County, Johnson was 3-for-3 with an RBI; Barnette was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs; Brandi Robertson was 3-for-4 and Candace Shubert was 2-for-3.

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LOCAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

  Banks County
  (1-2-0)
Date Opponent Score
8/31 at JCCHS 12-7
9/7 Jefferson 7-35
9/21 Dawson Co. 0-28
9/28 at East Hall -
10/5 GAC -
10/12 at Apalachee -
10/19 Lumpkin Co. -
10/26 at Union Co. -
11/2 Rabun Co. -
11/9 at White Co. -

  Commerce
  (2-1-0)
Date Opponent Score
8/31 Franklin Co 29-13
9/7 at Forsyth Ctrl 14-35
9/14 Morgan Co ppd.
9/21 at Walhalla, SC 35-24
9/28 at Lincoln Co -
10/5 at Ath Acad -
10/12 Wash-Wilkes -
10/26 Wesleyan -
10/2 at Jefferson -
10/9 Buford -

  Jackson County
  (0-2-0)
Date Opponent Score
8/31 Banks Co 7-12
9/7 at Madison Co 7-35
9/14 at Elbert Co ppd.
9/28 Hart -
10/5 at Eastside -
10/12 Loganville -
10/19 at Franklin -
10/26 Winder-Barrow -
11/2 Stephens Co -
11/9 at Monroe Area -

  Jefferson
  (2-1-0)
Date Opponent Score
8/31 Athens Christian 40-6
9/7 at Banks Co 35-7
9/14 at Johns-G'ville ppd.
9/21 Madison Co 11-14
9/28 at Social Circle -
10/5 Oglethorpe Co -
10/12 Lndmrk Christ -
10/26 at Buford -
11/2 Commerce -
11/9 at Wesleyan -

  Madison County
  (3-1-0)
Date Opponent Score
8/24 South Forsyth 0-17
9/1 Apalachee 36-3
9/7 Jackson Co 35-7
9/14 at North Hall ppd.
9/21 at Jefferson 14-11
9/28 Warren Co -
10/5 Union Grove -
10/19 at Wesleyan -
10/26 at Union Grove -
11/2 Athens Christian -


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