Area Sports...

SEPTEMBER 22, 2004

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
(1-3)

8/20 Ogle Co. W 30-27
9/3 Wesleyan L 0-42
9/10 Commerce L 13-40
9/17 GAC L 0-30
9/24 Rabun Co. 7:30
10/1 Union Co. 7:30
10/8 Lumpkin Co. 7:30
10/15 Buford 7:30
10/22 East Hall 7:30
10/29 Dawson Co. 7:30

COMMERCE
TIGERS
(2-3)

8/21 Trion W 36-27
8/27 @Frank Co L 21-28
9/3 Morgan Co L 27-41
9/10 @Banks Co W 40-13
9/17 Lincoln Co L 13-18
10/2 @North Oconee 7:00
Oct. 8 Social Circle 8:00
Oct. 15 @Jefferson 7:30
Oct. 22 Towns County 8:00
Oct. 29 @Athens Acad 7:30

JACKSON COUNTY PANTHERS
(1-4)

8/21 @ Cedar Shoals L 0-21
8/27 Winder-Barr L 14-21
9/3 @ Madison Co L 0-21
9/10 Hab. Central L 14-20
9/17 @ Eastside W 21-14
9/24 Rockdale Co. W 15-12
10/1 Loganville 7:30
10/15 @ Heritage 7:30
10/22 @ Salem 7:30
10/29 Clarke Central 7:30

JEFFERSON
DRAGONS
(5-0)

8/20 @ White Co. W 23-8
8/27 Warren Co. W 30-14
9/3 @ Lumpkin Co. W 28-0
9/10 Whitfield W 23-0
9/17 @ Oglet Co W 30-0
10/1 Athens Acad 7:30
10/8 @ Towns Co. 7:30
10/15 Commerce 7:30
10/22 @ N Oconee 7:30
10/29 Social Circle 7:30

MADISON COUNTY RED RAIDERS
(3-1)

8/20 @Frank Co W15-7
9/3 Jackson Co W 21-0
9/10 Eastside W 24-14
9/17 @Heritage L 0-23
9/24 @Lgnvile 7:30
10/1 Clrke Cent 7:30
10/8 @Hab. Cent 7:30
10/15 Salem 7:30
10/22 Rokdle Co. 7:30
10/29 @Cedar Shoals 7:30

Ivan moves game
Banks County uses Greater Atlanta Christian game to gain experience
Hurricane Ivan rescheduled games across the state, including what was scheduled to be a Friday night match-up between Banks County and Greater Atlanta Christian. The game was moved to Saturday night, September 18, and kick-off was at 6 p.m.
Ivan caused flooding, gusting wind and a few tornadoes Thursday and school cancellations across the state on Friday. Thousands were without power and water was standing on football fields. Because school was canceled Friday, the game had to be moved to Saturday per GHSA rules.
But, you couldn't tell a storm had been by on Saturday, it was a great day for football. The sun was shining and temperatures were in the mid-70's.
The game ended in a Spartan victory, but Banks County celebrated a little as well by being able to play several players, allowing them to gain experience against one of the best teams in the state.
"We played as many as we could get in," said Banks County head coach Greg Moore. "I hate to throw them in to the dogs this early, but they will grow from it, mature quicker."
Most of team had the opportunity to get on the field. Moore said players that impressed him on the field Saturday were: Chris McDuffie, full back, Ryan Reeves, line backer, Jay Harn, line backer, Chaz Elrod, quarter back, and LaDarius Jackson, running back.
"The ninth graders are really stepping up," Moore said.
While it is necessary for younger teammates to gain experience on the field, injuries and illness had a little to do with so many being on the field. Banks County had eight players out either injured or sick. John Payne, tight end, is still out with a shoulder injury and Jody Seabolt, defensive lineman, didn't play in the game because he was sick. "He's played well for us all year," Moore said about Seabolt.

THE GAME
The defense stepped it up in the second half, but with the score at 31-0 with over seven minutes left to play in the third quarter the damage was done and the Spartans won 31-0.
GAC came out strong scoring 21 points in the first quarter. A 48-yard field goal in the second brought the score to 24-0. Wayne Coker stopped GAC from scoring another in the second quarter when he recovered the ball in the Spartan end zone getting a touchback and earning Banks County the ball on the 20-yard line.
A strong GAC defense held Banks County to 32 yards in the first half. The Spartans had 196 total yards in the first half, 110 were passing yards. The Leopards had three attempts, one completion and one interception by halftime.
Jackson got another Banks County interception in the third quarter. Dexter Ledford sacked the quarterback for a loss in the third as well. Coker had 38 yards rushing. Jackson had three yards. McDuffie had four yards.
"Our kids didn't play well in the first quarter, but after that they came back and kept their heads up," Moore said about the team after the game. "We have to get stronger. GAC was physically stronger than us, that was our problem tonight."


Overtime triumph ends Jackson County’s
28-game losing streakJackson County football fans, players and coaches were able to breathe a sigh of relief Saturday night — they shed an infamous label too.
The Panthers outlasted host Eastside 21-14 for their first win in almost three years, and in the process rid themselves of the state’s longest losing streak of 28 games.
Quarterback Daniel Clark’s 1-yard plunge on the first overtime possession ended up being the difference after the Jackson County defense came up with the game-winning stand on the next series.
Eastside’s Marcus Johnson gained 10 yards to give the Eagles a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line on their overtime possession. Richard Hudson then lost his footing on the next play to put Eastside at second-and-goal from the 10 before Johnson was stopped after a 1-yard pick.
The Panther defense ended the streak after that, stopping Eagle quarterback Dustin Elliot as he tried to round the corner on third down, forcing him to double back, and then tracking him down for a 5-yard loss on the play. With one chance left to score, Elliot tried to find Tanner Holland, but Cartez Cook batted the ball away, giving Jackson County its first win since beating Frankin County on Oct. 19, 2001.
“The feeling was just unbelievable,” Clark said. “We had been so close, so many times...I felt like we finally learned how to win.”
The showing was indicative of the type of game Panther head coach Brent Brock has envisioned since his arrival in Jefferson in 2002. Using a ball-control offense, Jackson County managed to keep a dangerous Eastside triple-option offense off the field for much of the game. The Panthers snapped the ball for 78 plays and saw running back Bo Bonds set a career high and school record for carries in a game (39), while pounding out 132 yards rushing.
Conversely, Eastside standout Marcus Johnson was held well short of his total from last year when he ran for 234 yards and three scores in a win. The senior managed just 70 yards on 11 carries with one score Saturday. The Eagles only had the ball for 32 snaps on the night and of the eight series Eastside had in regulation, they went three-and-out five times, mustering just five first downs to Jackson County’s 21.
“It was really exciting,” said senior center Nick Thompson who was a freshman at JCCHS the last time a Panther team notched a win. “The first thing I thought of is that (the losing streak) is finally over...everybody was chanting ‘get another one,’ and ‘turn it around.’ It was great. I was really tired of reading about it.”
In the game-tying drive, Jackson County ran the ball 19 consecutive times, with Bonds touching the ball 12 times. The Panthers made six first downs on the drive, with three on third down and two on fourth-and-one plays. That pounding persistence was too much in for Eastside, which dropped their eighth straight game.
“It was a good game,” Eagle head coach Jeff Van Tone said. “It was hard fought and could’ve gone either way. We just couldn’t get it in. We had a penalty in overtime. We had a good play on our first play. Then the second play we just didn’t make anything on it. It was well-fought game, it could’ve gone either way.”
While Bonds was a big weapon on the night, several other Panthers also stepped up on offense. Sophomore Kevin Jarrells had 22 touches for 73 yards, while Clark found Jerry Johnson for the game’s first touchdown in the second quarter.
“It was a game for all cardiologists to get excited about because they were about to have to put some of us under, you know,” Brock said later. “In all fairness, personally (the losing streak) has been wearing me out, but mainly it’s just good to see the kids get that monkey off their backs.”
Jackson County took its initial drive in the first quarter and moved the ball 65 yards on 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. The drive concluded with a 21-yard Clark to Johnson pass. Seth Adams made the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
After Eastside went three-and-out, the Panthers went on a 10-play drive before the Eagles, with help of a holding penalty, held Jackson County and forced a punt.
After a 4-yard Bonds punt, Johnson took the pitch around the left corner and scampered 49 yards to the end zone breaking several tackles along the way with 51 seconds left in the first period. Lennon Harrison’s kick tied the game.
On the second play of the second quarter, the Eagles recovered a fumbled at the Jackson County 41-yard line. After Hudson’s long run put the ball on the 18, the Eagles ran two more running plays before Elliot connected with Hudson for a 14-yard touchdown strike with 10:03 left in the half to take a 14-7 lead.
However, from that point on, the Eagles went three-and-out their final two first- half possessions.
Eastside’s leading rusher entering the game, Myles Kilby, played a part in the wishbone offense but mysteriously never touched the ball on the night.


Bedeviled
CHS Has Two Weeks To Recover From Loss To Red Devils
During the summer, Commerce head coach Steve Savage pegged the Tigers’ impending schedule one of the most imposing that his program would face in recent memory.
Following an 18-13 loss over the weekend to another talented foe in No. 6 Lincoln County, the Tigers will finally get a break from an early-season grind that’s included three contests against ranked foes with an open date this Friday.
“I don’t know if they ever come at a good time,” Savage said of the off-night. “But for us, it probably comes at a good time.”
An Oct. 2 matchup — another Saturday game — with fledgling North Oconee follows the hiatus.
Savage said the team would use the two weeks leading up to that contest to refocus on conditioning and to re-evaluate things after a 2-3 start in which the Tigers have had second-half leads in all three setbacks.
“We’re not but a little bit away from winning those three games that we didn’t win,” he said. “We just can’t seem to put it away.”
That was the case in the latest test in Commerce’s non-region gauntlet with Lincoln County stopping the Tigers on a late drive in an another tightly contested affair with the powerhouse Red Devils.
“I think it was a good game for the fans to watch,” Savage said of the contest which was moved to Saturday to avoid wet conditions from Hurricane Ivan. “I don’t think there was anybody who didn’t enjoy it except us — (with) the final score. I thought we played harder than we’ve been playing and I thought we showed some things. And I thought they (Lincoln County) did what they had to do.”
Commerce proved opportunistic through three quarters in its second-straight setback to the Red Devils, converting two Lincoln County turnovers into 10 points. For the rest of the story see this weeks Commerce News.


Dragons 5-0 for first time in 24 years; enjoy bye Fri.
After picking up their fifth win of the season last Friday night, Jefferson (5-0) will enjoy a bye this week before opening up Region 8-A play at home against Athens Academy on Oct. 1.
The meeting could feature two unbeaten and ranked teams from Class A.
The No. 10 Dragons are on a roll of late, shuting out their last three opponents and outscoring them 81-0.
The No. 8 Spartans (4-0) will face No. 6 Lincoln County (4-1) this week before coming to Memorial Stadium.
The Red Devils are fresh off an 18-13 win at Commerce last weekend. Jefferson will continue to practice this week in anticipation of the meeting with the Spartans. Jefferson has not started 5-0 since 1980 when they finished 7-3 overall.


When MCHS and JCCHS get together, it’s a barn-burner
Legend has it that the phrase “barn-burner” stemmed from the story of a Dutchman — so irate with a rat problem — that he burned down his barn to get rid of the hated vermin.
It’s a safe bet that there will be no rats, flames or ill-tempered Dutchmen to be found Thursday at Jackson County’s home field, but given recent history, indications are that the Raiders softball team’s clash with the Panthers should be just that — a “barn-burner.”
Well, at least the modern definition as we’ve come to know it.
“It’s always a good game,” Raider head coach Doug Kesler. “They have a really good program over there. They’ll be well-prepared. Coach (Mark) Mahoney does an excellent job.”
The two rivals are set to square off again after a Sept. 2 meeting in which Madison County prevailed by one run.
Games like that 2-1 win by the Raiders four weeks ago have become the mark of the series lately — especially the last six meetings. In fact, Madison County holds a 4-2 advantage in that span with the games being decided by an aggregate 15-10 score.
And the schools being 26 miles apart doesn’t exactly hinder the competitive spirit.
“It’s sort of a natural rivalry being right next door,” Kesler said. “They’re usually the stiffest competition on our side (of the area). It’s been very equal the past couple of years.”
Since both schools joined 8-AAAA in 2002, the winner of this series has determined the number one seed out of the north sub-area for area tournament play.
And it’s the same scenario all over again this year.
At 5-0 in the sub-area, Madison County (15-4) is one game ahead of 4-1 Jackson County (14-4) in the 8-AAAA North standings — the one game difference, of course, being the Raiders’ close win over the Panthers at the beginning of the month.
Madison County played error-free softball that day while it got a strong pitching performance from Sarah Tippins to help propel it to a second-straight triumph over the Panthers. For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.

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