|MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
|SPORTS SECTION - OCTOBER 6, 1999|
|1999 Local Football Schedules|
County hosts Riverside for homecoming
BY DREW BRANTLEY
Banks County will welcome Riverside this Friday night for the Leopards' homecoming game.
Bouncing back from a 45-0 loss to Buford is the primary focus for the team. Lively practices this week are proof that the team is moving on.
"It's easy to win," Leopard coach Rance Gillespie said. "When you win it's easy to come in on Monday and have the kind of practice we had. I think our guys have showed a lot to come back and put in that kind of effort."
This week's 7:30 p.m. game with Riverside will be Banks County's homecoming game. Having a week of hype is a concern for Gillespie.
"With it being homecoming, that's always another distraction," Gillespie said.
Down 35-0 to Buford at halftime, Banks County easily could have given up. But Gillespie said he was proud that the team yielded just 10 more points in a 45-0 loss.
"They fought their tails off in the second half," Gillespie said. "They only gave up one touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"I think it says so much about our group's character. It would have been easy to just roll over. But they didn't."
Buford (5-0, 3-0) has rebounded from a 4-6 year in 1998 to be one of the dominant teams in the state.
The Wolves have outscored their opponents 158-41 this season, including wins over Class A state runner-up Lincoln County and Class AAA team North Gwinnett.
The game with Buford put Banks County at the midway point of the season.
Senior Steven Cruce (L) and Mike Ivey (R) come up to make a tackle for Banks County against Buford. Photo by Adam Fouche
The Leopards have games remaining with Rabun County, Commerce, Jefferson and Union County.
Gillespie and the coaches set the same course for preparing for this week, a course no different than the first five weeks or the next five.
"On Saturday, I trade tapes with the team we're going to play," Gillespie said. "On Sunday, the coaches come in about 2 p.m. We look over the tapes until about 11 p.m. Monday we check to make sure everything we want to run this week will work. If we know that something can't work, we'll take it out. By Wednesday, we've got our game plan pretty much set."
This year, Riverside is 0-4 and 0-3 in in Region 8-A.
Towns County topped the Blue Devils 26-14. Rabun County won 40-0. Last Saturday, Jefferson beat Riverside 49-18.
The Blue Devils also have a 39-6 loss to non-region opponent Georgia Military College.
Riverside's scheduled non-region game with Christ School (N.C) was canceled, so the Blue Devils will play only nine games this season.
Last year, Riverside used Leopard turnovers in the second half to win 42-8 in Gainesville.
Banks County finishes season in 4th place in region
Banks County's softball team finished its season last week in the region tournament.
Entering the double-elimination tournament, Banks County was the fourth-place team in the region.
The Leopards opened with a 5-0 loss to eventual region champion Jefferson.
The team lost 12-9 to Dawson County in its second game. Dawson County scored six runs in the first inning, providing too much for Banks County to overcome.
"I thought we played pretty good defense, especially in the Jefferson game," coach Mike Gordon said. "I felt pretty good about holding them to five runs.
"We just couldn't put together groups of hits. We had some hits, but they were spread out. The key is to produce runs. And we didn't do that."
In the two games, Ashley Freeman led Banks County with five hits. Bree Whitlock added four hits on the day.
Michelle Snipes and Amanda Justus each had three hits.
Banks County finished as the fourth-place team out of nine region teams.
Jefferson and region runner-up Commerce will advance to the sectional tournament this weekend.
"Overall, we had a good season," Gordon said. "I think the two teams that are going on, Commerce and Jefferson, both hit the ball well throughout the tournament. That's what makes the difference in the postseason."
Banks County will hold a banquet for all fall sports teams later in the year.
Position Looms As CHS Hosts GAC Fri.
A year ago, Commerce topped Greater Atlanta Christian 27-19 in Norcross. The win gave Commerce a temporary hold on first place in the region, but locked in the Tigers for no worse than second after the regular season was finished.
GAC peaked late in the season to reach the semifinal game at the Georgia Dome.
This year, several key players have graduated from the Spartan squad. But the outcome of the game should be a factor in the playoff seeding against this year.
Just like last year, talent will arrive on both sides of the field.
Junior running back Zach Hawkins carries most of the rushing load, but is aided by senior fullback Jason Burrell.
Former Atlanta Falcon running back William Andrews' son Andy was one of the key seniors lost from last year's squad. But younger son freshman Micah Williams is also used out of the backfield by the Spartans.
GAC has four linemen who are near the 6'-200-pound mold.
New head coach Jimmy Chupp took over the reins from Jim Lofton this year.
Commerce Downs Dawson Co.
Early in the second quarter Dawson County scored to take a 7-6 lead over Commerce. At a glance, it seemed like a close game. But Commerce produced its first score on one play, while Dawson County used 24 plays on two long drives before putting up their touchdown. Commerce added 35 points, and allowed one touchdown by the junior varsity defense to win 41-14.
"Time of possession can be deceptive," Commerce coach Steve Savage said. "We had 15 snaps in the first half and had 21 points."
Commerce had eight drives in the game and scored six times. Time ran out in the first half to end one march. A fumble stopped the other deep in Dawson County territory.
Along the way, junior running back Monté Williams had 285 yards rushing on 18 carries for three touchdowns. He added a 39-yard pass reception from Michael Collins for another score. Williams' 324 total yards were good enough for second in school history. He now holds three of the top five single-game performances for the Tigers.
Collins added three receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns, while recording nine tackles on defense.
Senior quarterback Daniel Carder threw the three passes to Collins and added 43 yards rushing on six carries.
Tyson Brown and Eric Moore led Commerce in total tackles with 13 and 10, respectively.
Williams put the Tigers on the board on their first play from scrimmage with a 66-yard run around the left end. The kick went wide.
Dawson County countered with a 75-yard 13-play drive to score and take
the short-lived 7-6 lead.
Commerce junior Monté Williams gained 324 total yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers toppled Dawson County last Friday. This week, Commerce hosts Greater Atlanta Christian for a meeting of two teams unbeaten in Region 8-A.
Photo by Drew Brantley
Commerce used four plays to move 90 yards to retake the lead on a 26-yard pass from Carder to Collins. Williams added the two-point run to put Commerce up 14-7.
Commerce forced Dawson County to punt after three downs. Commerce then used eight plays to move 67 yards to the end zone. Williams ran in from six yards out to put Commerce up 21-7.
The second half opened with the same score and the ball in Commerce's hands. Five plays on offense produced another Carder-to-Collins passing
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play for a touchdown. This one was good for 29 yards.
Williams capped off a three-play 36-yard drive with a 35-yard run on Commerce's next possession.
Dawson moved quickly on its next drive against the Commerce JV players to cut the lead to 34-14. After a failed on-side kick attempt by Dawson County, Commerce went five plays for 47 yards, ending with a 39-yard pass from Collins to Williams.
Commerce ended the night with 490 yards on 43 plays compared to Dawson County's 278 on 56 plays.
CHS Softball Heads To Qualifier
BY DREW BRANTLEY
For the second straight year, Commerce High School's softball team will advance to the north sectional tournament.
Commerce took second place in the Region 8-A tournament last week to earn a spot in the state qualifying event.
Commerce beat Dawson County 12-0 in the first game of the region tournament.. Region champion Jefferson topped the Tigers 12-7 in the winner's bracket final.
Commerce rebounded to beat Dawson County in the loser's bracket final.
Jefferson claimed the region title 15-8 in the rematch.
Jefferson and Commerce will play in the sectional tournament this Saturday at Lanier Point in Gainesville. The top two teams from the four north regions will play a double-elimination tournament that is not played to completion.
Teams play until they win two games or lose two games.
The top four teams at sectional move on to the state tournament in Columbus Oct. 15-16.
Depending on their seeding in the sectional, state playoff teams are matched with the top four teams from the south regions, who also play their sectional Saturday in Tifton.
Region 5-A sends Crawford County, Commerce's opponent in the first sectional game, and Greenville, Jefferson's first foe.
Region 6-A champion Temple and runner-up Calhoun will also compete.
Washington-Wilkes was the 7-A champion and Glascock County was the runner-up.
South teams competing include: Irwin County, Wilcox County, Bryan County, Charlton County, Telfair County, Calhoun County, Echols County and Calvary Baptist
Lady Panthers take
two on chin
By Tim Thomas
In a surprising turn of events, the Jackson County Lady Panthers were eliminated from post-season play last Friday in their area tournament.
The North Hall Lady Trojans defeated Jackson County twice in the area tournament to end the Lady Panthers' season at 22-7. North Hall went on to take two games from West Hall to win the area tourney. Sandwiched in between the two Jackson County losses was a win over Winder-Barrow.
"We just didn't play our best when it counted," said coach Clarke Rainwater. The Lady Panthers had struggled on defense on and off during the season, and errors were a key factor in the two tournament losses.
Looking to next year, Rainwater will have to adjust to the loss of five of his top nine hitters, including team leader Krystal Britt. Britt led the Lady Panthers in at-bats, hits, batting average, on-base percentage, and doubles, and was third in RBIs and walks.
"When these kids graduate," said Rainwater, "it's almost like you're losing a member of your own family." The team will hold its awards banquet within the next two weeks.
Dragons rout Riverside,
By Tim Thomas
After a pair of big losses, the Jefferson Dragons needed a big win, and Riverside was an easy target. Jefferson improved its record to 3-2 Saturday with a 49-18 victory over the winless Blue Devils.
Coach Bob Gurley praised the team's defensive effort. Jefferson scored three defensive touchdowns.
"Our defense played better," said Gurley. "We had more intensity; we just got after it a lot better." The Dragon defense allowed Riverside only one first down during the first quarter, and 97 yards total offense for the entire game.
On the offensive side of the ball, Stephen Sims led the Dragons with 75 yards rushing on 10 carries. Sims scored three touchdowns, one off an interception return.
Sims started the scoring with a dash from four yards out with 7:30 left in the first quarter. After Riverside went 3-and-out, Jefferson drove 45 yards to score, with Sims running the ball in again. The big play of the drive was a 36-yard pass from Kyle Potts to Wes Massey. Ben Songer's PAT put Jefferson up 14-0 with 4:07 left in the first.
After the two teams swapped fumbles, the Jefferson defense went on a scoring rampage, with three touchdowns in 61 seconds.
Chris Bush started the frenzy by recovering a Riverside fumble in the end zone with 1:31 left in the quarter. On the following drive, Sims intercepted a pass and took it 35 yards for the score at 1:13. With 30 seconds left, Kyle Potts jumped on the scoring wagon, returning an interception 30 yards to put the Dragons up 35-0.
The second quarter closed shortly after Jefferson's sixth touchdown. Riverside had earlier put the ball through the uprights from 34 yards out, and the half ended with the Dragons up 42-3.
Jefferson fumbled the ball away in its own territory on the opening drive of the second half, and the Blue Devils responded by pushing the ball in on fourth and three, their second fourth-down conversion of the drive. The two-point conversion made the score 42-11.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Dragons turned in their worst possession of the game. Jefferson ran three plays from inside their own 10-yard line, one of them resulting in a fumble. On fourth down, the Dragons punted, and the ball rolled dead at the Jefferson 10. Riverside seized the opportunity and scored again. Another two-point conversion made the score 42-18.
Raiders fall short
in area tourney
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Madison County fell just short of the Area 8-AAA semifinals last week, ending their season at 24-8.
The Raiders topped Habersham Central and Central Gwinnett in the tournament at Oconee County but lost to Dacula and North Gwinnett.
"We were disappointed," said Raider coach Doug Kesler. "We felt we had opportunities to advance, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. We just committed too many errors (in the deciding game to North Gwinnett)."
Saturday's loss was the final game for two Madison County seniors - Tawana Moon and Lyndsay Weaver.
Madison County 16 Habersham Central 1
Madison County opened the area tournament with a blowout win over Habersham Central. The Raiders rallied for 12 first inning runs to put the game away before the bleacher seats were warm.
Renee Mathews scored the first run on a wild pitch; Shelley Bates drove in Heather Jones with a single; Amanda Lewis smacked a two-run single to make the score 4-0; Ashley Shubert drove in Sheena Mason with a bases loaded walk. Bates put the Raiders up 8-0 with a two-run double. Tawana Moon tagged a two-run single. Lewis and Lauren Stopcyznski closed out the first inning scoring with RBI singles.
Habersham Central picked up its lone run in the second on back to back doubles. Moon scored again in the third and Madison County went up 14-1 later that inning on an RBI fielder's choice by Lewis to drive in Mason. Madison County ended the game with one out in the fourth, thanks to the 15-run mercy rule. Bates followed back to back singles by Mathews and Jones with a two-run double down the left field line.
Lyndsey Barnette picked up the win for Madison County.
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