Area Sports...

OCTOBER 6, 2004

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
(1-4)

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. L 0-17
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
(2-4)

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
(4-1)

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 W 29-12
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

Banks to host Lumpkin for homecoming game
Banks County will host the Lumpkin County Indians Friday, October 8, for homecoming. The game will begin at 7:30.
Lumpkin County is 1-5, having defeated Gilmer county in a non-region game. The Lumpkin County team has faced some of the toughest competitors in the 8-AA region, recording losses against Wesleyan, East Hall, Buford and Dawson County.
The Indians and Leopards have met for four years. Lumpkin County is leading the series 4-0. The largest margin of victory came over the 2003 Leopards with a score of 41-8.
After hosting Lumpkin County, the Leopards travel to Buford on October 15. A game against East Hall will be played in Homer on October 22. The regular season will end in Dawsonville on October 29 when the Leopards take on the Dawson County maroon and gold Tigers.


Panther trailblazers finish in top three
The Jackson County cross country team continued its push through the regular season at Banks County over the weekend.
The boys’ team fared the better of the two teams competing Saturday, with the Panthers finishing in third place in the six-team meet. Jackson County’s 98 points trailed only Lumpkin County (40) and first place North Hall (21) on the day.
Dustin LaBarge (21:19) was the top Panther runner on the day, finishing 11th out of 80 runners.
Perhaps most impressive about the Panthers in the meet, as well as this season, is the high number of runners competing on the boys’ squad compared to last season. Head coach Bob Roller’s squad has seen a steady improvement in times as the season has worn on and he stated he is hopeful that the team will continue to mature.
Jeremiah Boozer (21:19, 16th) and Jose Flores (22:19, 20th) were solid, as were Andy Shirley (22:58, 24th) and Kyle Redd (23:22, 27th).
On the girls’ side, Lady Panther leader Christina Nowak (27:01) took seventh out of 53 runners. She was followed by Danielle Prunchak (28:11, 12th), Ashley Kitchens (30:30, 25th), Diana Flores (32:07, 34th) and Brittany Massey (33:02, 38th).
Overall the Lady Panthers did not fare particularly well on the day, finishing last out of the six teams with 116 points.
North Hall won the meet with 44 points to earn the sweep on the day. Madison County was second with 65 points followed by host Banks County (84), Lumpkin County (87), and Rabun County (97).


A Late Post-Season Push?
CHS Has “Must-Win” Scenarios To Close Out Regular Season
The objective is not hard from here on out if the Tiger softball team wants to keep alive its hopes of playing on into late October.
Four spots to the state sectionals tournament, which starts Oct. 22, are available. Two region games remain for Commerce. As of Monday, the Tigers were in fifth place in the region standings.
“These games are must-wins,” Commerce head coach Pam Canup said Monday, prior to her team’s region rematch with Rabun Gap this past Tuesday. Results of the game with the Eagles — which Commerce blasted 18-1 in the first meeting — weren’t available.
The team plays Social Circle Thursday on the road and Athens Christian at home Tuesday, both of which beat Commerce in the first half of the region season. The Tigers also have a non-region rematch with North Oconee today (Wednesday).
Though the year has had its up and down moments, Canup feels its within her team’s grasp to close out the region slate with the wins it needs to reach the playoffs.
“I think so,” she said. “They’re totally in their own control. “
Ultimately, the coach feels the Tigers’ postseason fortunes will all come down to how they swing the bats.
“We worked on a lot of hitting (Monday) — trying to get it going,” she said. “I think it’s all going to come down to who’s hitting well. If we’re not hitting well, then we’ll struggle.”
Post-season or not, Canup said that this fall has been a strong campaign from which to build. The coach points out that the team’s younger players have received a wealth of experience with five-to-six freshmen standing to earn letters this year.
“I think we’ve had some younger players get some playing time that’s going to really payoff for them in the future.”
Of course, playing on into the state tournament in the program’s first year would be even better.
“I think it would mean the world to them,” Canup said of the team. “I think a lot of things were against us at the beginning


Dragons hope to bounce back at Towns County
Despite a heartbreaking loss last week to No. 9 Athens Academy, the Jefferson football team is not out of the Region 8-A title race. But they need to take care of business this Friday night at Towns County. A victory in Hiawassee would wrap up a third-consecutive playoff appearance since Jefferson head coach Bill Navas arrived on campus in 2002.
The Indians (1-5, 0-1 in Region 8-A) come in to the contest reeling on the heels of a 40-16 thumping at the hands of Social Circle last week. The game was a tough one for Towns County, especially on defense.
Something that Indian head coach Gary Bell said he hopes his squad is able to correct by Friday is what was a suspect run defense against Social Circle.
Not improving in that phase of the game against the No. 10 Dragons (5-1, 0-1) could prove costly when the two teams meet. Jefferson, which is known for a Wing-T running game, is averaging 250 yards per outing on the ground this season.
The Indians allowed 264 yards to just one Social Circle runner alone last week on just eight carries. Overall they gave up a total of 443 yards of offense for the game, were outgained by 221 yards at the half, and allowed two Redskin backs to go over the 100-yard mark on the night.
If that trend continues this week, Bell noted that it will be hard for his team to pick up its first region win of the year.
That said, Jefferson is not without its problems to work out as well.
Although they led a talented Athens Academy team for much of last Friday night, the Dragons were hurt by the big play on defense (via a 64-yard Spartan touchdown pass) and overall in the area of penalties. Jefferson was penalized for a total of 60 yards against the Spartans, an area of their game that has been a thorn in their side all season.
A Sept. 17 game at Oglethorpe County was the poorest showing penalty-wise this season. During that contest, the Dragons were flaged for a season-high 115 yards. Despite the errors on that night though, they still came away with a 30-0 win. The same was not the case against Academy.
Another area the Jefferson squad will look to improve on Friday is how their offense plays once it’s in the red zone. Against the Spartans the Dragon offense sputtered near the goal line on a key possession and had to settle for a 21-yard field goal early on. That failure to punch the ball in, along with a botched extra-point attempt, were two of the deciding plays against the Spartans.


Madison County upends defending region champions with late score
Touchdown, two-point conversion lift upstart Raiders to big win
Yes, it was one touchdown, one two-point conversion, one win. But it was so much more than that, too.
When Jamey Rice broke across the goal line from three yards out at the 2:56 mark, and Jarrod Owens followed with a two-point conversion pass to Garrett Hochstetler, the Madison County side of the field erupted with a flurry of high fives, handshakes, hugs and hollers.
The 8-7 takedown of the defending Region 8-AAAA champions on the first night of October marked one of the finest moments for the Raiders ever on their home field.
And when the 5-1 squad gathered on the gridiron after the game, their coach, Randell Owens, game ball in hand, told them that they were on to something special.
“You’ve laid the foundation,” he said to a pumped up Raider team, before adding that the fight was far from over this season. He told the squad that with two more wins in their final four games, the Raiders could secure themselves a spot in the state playoffs.
The coach told the team to relish the win, but to be prepared to work once practice resumed. He held up a football and said he’d like to give each and every player a game ball for their performance Friday, but added that at $54 a pop, that wouldn’t be affordable.
“I may find a way to sneak one to Jamey Rice when no one’s looking though,” he joked with the crowd.
Rice, who led the Raiders with 13 carries for 57 yards and two receptions for 41 yards, said the win was totally satisfying.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve had so far in my high school career,” said Rice. “I’ve never been so pumped.”
He added: “We’ve got something special. We’ve got guys who have been playing together since they were real little. It’s great when everything comes together and works out.”
Lineman Blake Austin said the win was truly significant.
“When he (Hochstetler) caught that pass (on the two-point conversion), it was just amazing,” said Austin. “It was a huge win.”
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.

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