Area Sports...

November 7, 2001


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Dragons can't capitalize on three turnovers
A week after dropping their seventh straight game to rival Commerce, the Jefferson Dragons will travel to Wesleyan Friday for a game that will determine the final two state playoff spots from Region 8-A.
The Jefferson defense came out strong against Commerce, swarming quarterback Rob Brown and running back Lamar Daniels and forcing the Tigers to punt after three plays netted only three yards.
Dragon quarterback Kyle Potts hit Ryan Gurley in Tiger territory for a first down on third-and-eight, but the drive stalled after a penalty.
Daniels and the Tiger offense went to work from there, and drove to the Jefferson 28 before fumbling the ball away. Jefferson's Chris Seibert recovered.
Jefferson was held to little gain, and went three-and-out.
Brown responded by leading his team on a 53-yard march to score from one yard out with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
The Dragons tried to return the favor, moving 30 yards to the Commerce 35 when Ben Songer was called on to try a 52-yard field goal on fourth and long. The kick was on the mark, but fell just a few feet shy of the crossbar.
Commerce drove the field and threatened to score again before Gurley intercepted a pass from Brown on the Dragon five-yard line with 23 seconds left in the half. Potts took a knee to send the game to intermission.
The Tiger defense rose to the occassion in the second half, stifling the Jefferson offense that had already been weak in the first half. Potts hit Gurley on three straight slant patterns to start, but again the drive stalled.
Brantley Gilbert picked Brown off moments later, but the Tigers sacked Potts to end yet another drive.
The two teams swapped punts before Daniels capped a 73- yard drive with a score to make it 14-0. Jefferson was held in check for the remaining 6:30, and the Tigers took the win.
The Tigers ran more than twice as much time off the clock as Jefferson, and held the ball for all but two minutes and 24 seconds in the fourth quarter. Throughout the final frame, Brown would look to the sideline for a signal from Tiger head coach Steve Savage before snapping the ball.
"You never know how a game will play itself out," Commerce head coach Steve Savage said of his team's win. "We just adapted as the game went on and I thought we played well except for a few plays..We did what we had to do to win."



The drought has ended
Leopards come from behind to take second win.
Mix in a few explosive offensive plays, add a pinch of strong second-half defense, pour in the full moon, and you've got the Leopards' sweet victory concoction.
"It felt good to score," head coach Greg Moore said. "The kids worked hard and deserved it. I kept telling them that if they keep working hard and not give up, good things will happen, and it paid off."
Banks County beat 8-AA opponent Rabun County last week, taking a 21-14 win. And it couldn't have happened at a better time.
The Leopards' win came on their final home game. It was senior night. And Banks snapped a seven-game losing skid and a six-game shutout streak.
The Leopards gained 291 yards of total offense, 158 on the ground and 133 in the air.
Banks County found the endzone for the first time in six weeks late in the first quarter.
The Leopards moved the ball 65 yards on seven plays for the score. Bill Krause ate up the majority of that yardage, taking a screen from Tyson Baxter 44 yards.
Four plays later, Baxter tossed the ball to Alex Cruce, who ran the ball six yards for the score. David Creasy nailed his first PAT since the second game of the season, tying the game at 7-7.
Rabun got the ball back and preceeded to march down the field, pushing just inside the Leopards' 10 yard line. But on third-and-four, Cory Williams pushed through the offensive line to take the Wildcats' quarterback down on the 13 yard line.
Rabun County was forced to try for the extra point, which sailed wide left.
Banks punted on its next possession, and the Wildcats were able to take the ball 52 yards on four plays to go ahead 14-7.
Cory Bolton took the ensuing kickoff down to Rabun's 41 yard line. And the Leopards mounted another deep drive, this time eating up yards on the ground. Banks County moved down inside the five yard line before fumbling the ball to the Wildcats.
But the Leopards were able to hold Rabun County to go into the half down 14-7.
Banks County all but shut down the Rabun offense in the second half, giving up only 78 yards.
"Rabun County did some good things in the first half," Moore said. "We made some adjustments on defense and the offense got some big plays in the second half."
The Wildcats got the opening kickoff of the second half, driving all the way to Banks' 21 yard line. The Wildcats lined up for another field goal, and again the kick sailed wide left, giving Banks the ball.
"It gave us a boost," Moore said.
After the missed field goal, Rabun County wouldn't move the ball more than nine yards in any one drive the rest of the game.
The two teams swapped possessions before the Leopards final got the ball back on their own 31 yard line with less than 30 seconds in the third quarter.
Banks County mixed in the run and the pass to push the ball down to the Wildcats 15 yard line.
After three two straight incomplete passes, the Leopards found themselves fourth-and-seven from the 12.
Krause lined up in the shotgun beside Bolton. Bolton took the mis-directed snap and looked to run right, pitching the ball to Krause as he was hit by a defender.
Krause scrambled out and somehow managed to threw the ball into the endzone. Baxter jumped between several defenders to pull down Banks' second touchdown. Creasy nailed the PAT to tie the game at 14-14 with 8:22 left to play.
The Leopards forced the Wildcats to punt on their next possession, taking control of the ball on their own 17 yard line with slightly more than six minutes to play.
Banks County pushed down to Rabun's 48 yard line, facing a third-and-five play. Baxter took the snap and hit Krause on a screen. Krause took the ball in for the score. The PAT put the Leopards ahead 21-14 with less than two minutes to play.
Banks defense stepped up to force the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs. The Leopards held on, downing the ball twice and taking a delay of game penalty to run the remaining few seconds off the clock and close out their home season with a win.
The win was Moore's first at home and his first region victory.





Elder 8th, Parr 18th in state cross country meet
For the first time ever, Jackson County Comprehensive High School was represented by two runners in last weekend's boys' state cross country championships, and both finished among the top 20.
Daniel Elder finished eighth in Class AAA, with a time of 17 minutes, 46 seconds. Senior Kelly Parr was 18th, at 18:30.
"What it really came down to was the heat," Panther cross country coach Bob Roller said. "The heat really got hold of Kelly, and didn't Daniel. It was blistering hot. There were boys and girls dropping out like flies in the Class AAA races."
Roller said the unseasonable heat affected all classes, but more so Class AAA.
"As soon as it was over, the sun went behind the clouds. It was just unmercifully hot for this time of year, after all the cool weather we'd had. At the region meet, it was so cool, and then the state meet was extremely hot; the kids just weren't really ready for it."
Parr ran the course's first mile in 5:20 and was in third before the heat slowed him on the second mile. The heat may have actually helped Elder, who took advantage of his opponents' slower second-mile times to pass Parr and 12 other runners before the finish.
"Kelly has been our team leader all year," Roller continued. "While I'm sure he's disappointed with his finish, we're not disappointed with his effort. He gave all he had all this year. Daniel really put in a lot of miles this summer, too, and that's what makes you get better."
Of the five runners who bested Elder in the region meet, only two finished ahead of him in the state meet.
All of Region 8-AAA fared well in the state meet. Five of the top 10 and 12 of the top 25 runners were from 8-AAA schools.
Westminster took the team championship, with Monroe Area second.
As for 2002, Roller said the Panther boys should be able to hold their own in Region 8-AAAA.
"We've got to stop thinking like a Class AAA school," Roller said, referring to Jackson County's impending move to Class AAAA next year. "We finished fourth this year [in Region 8-AAA], and our region times would have put us about fourth or fifth in Region 8-AAAA, so we'll be fine. We've got almost everybody coming back."

Manhandling the competition
Raiders overpower Eagles 49-6. Madison County's lopsided Friday win took place on the gridiron, but was perhaps decided months earlier in the weight room.
"I thought that was a case of our off-season work showing itself on the football field," said Raider head coach Tom Hybl about his team's 49-6 win over Athens Christian. "We looked bigger, faster and stronger (than the Eagles). I have had seniors doing what I've been asking for four years and it showed itself. We dominated the line."
No doubt, the Raiders pushed the Eagles off the ball all night long as 12 Raider runners tallied 444 yards on 56 carries (7.9 yards per carry), including seven touchdowns.
The Raiders jumped on top early Friday, with Tony Freeman putting Madison County on the scoreboard with a 31-yard run with 7:36 to go in the first quarter. Tony Tittle snagged an Eagle pass just over a minute later and Richard Stowers rumbled 26 yards to the Athens Christian 23. Stowers carried the ball in from one yard out with 2:29 to go in the opening period and Scott Dills' PAT put the Raiders up 14-0. Danté Montgomery broke loose early in the second period for a 24-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion pass from Jonathan Pou to Tittle to put the Raiders up 22-0.
Athens Christian answered with a 25-yard touchdown pass that cut the Raider lead to 22-6 with 5:48 left in the second quarter.
But the Eagles' cheers were short-lived. Freeman, who led the Raiders with 190 yards on just 14 carries, broke free for a 47-yard gain to the Eagle one-yard line less than a minute later, carrying the ball in for his second of three touchdowns on the night - all in the first half. Madison County led 29-6 with just over a minute left in the half when Freeman again sprinted 30 yards for a touchdown.
The Raiders headed to the locker room with a commanding 35-6 advantage. And while reserves played much of the second half, Madison County continued to extend its lead.
The Raiders' B.J. Johnson powered the running attack early in the third quarter, picking up a couple of first downs on a 54-yard drive and carrying the ball in from one yard out, putting the Raiders up 42-6.
Madison County's Kalan Mason caused a fumble midway through the fourth quarter, which Dills returned to the Eagle 29. Kenyatta Faust bulldozed his way to the Eagle one-yard line, before J.J. Brueshaber carried the ball in for the final score.
Hybl praised several players, including Freeman, who along with leading the team in rushing, tallied the most tackles - 12 in all (5 solo, seven assists). The coach said Stephen Tippins and Tony Tittle played solid games on defense. He said Robert Geiger played well on the line, that Stowers and Johnson ran the ball hard and that Anthony Tilton did a good job replacing T.C. Ledford at inside linebacker after Ledford went down early with a wrist injury.
The Raiders' final game is set for Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at North Hall.
Hybl said he expects Kevin Cash and Chris Wiley to be back from injuries for the season finale against a Trojan team that Hybl says is a "much better team than they've been." He said North Hall's new coach is a South Georgia guy who replaced the old Trojan style of razzle-dazzle for old-fashioned, smash-mouth, wing T play.


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LOCAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

  Banks County
  (2-7-0)
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 0-28
10/5 GAC 0-48
10/12 at Apalachee 0-30
10/19 Lumpkin Co. 0-20
10/26 at Union Co. 0-35
11/2 Rabun Co. 21-18
11/9 at White Co. -

  Commerce
  (5-3-0)
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 13-12
10/5 at Ath Acad 7-34
10/12 Wash-Wilkes 26-49
10/26 Wesleyan 24-15
11/2 at Jefferson 14-0
11/9 Buford -
11/16  Morgan Co. -

  Jackson County
  (1-7-0)
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 3-51
10/5 at Eastside 7-47
10/12 Loganville 0-47
10/19 at Franklin 21-14
10/26 Winder-Barrow 0-35
11/2 Stephens Co 3-34
11/9 at Monroe Area -
 11/16 at Elbert Co.  -

  Jefferson
  (4-4-0)
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 21-28
10/5 Oglethorpe Co 21-6
10/12 Lndmrk Christ 23-14
10/26 at Buford 0-41
11/2 Commerce 0-14
11/9 at Wesleyan -
 11/16  at Johns-G'ville  -

  Madison County
  (8-1-0)
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 14-7
10/5 Union Grove 35-6
10/19 at Wesleyan 14-0
10/26 at Union Grove 14-10
11/2 Athens Christian 49-6
11/16 at N. Hall  -


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