GISA "old guard" no match for JMA; Baldwin edges Waco; Dawgs fall on the road
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George Walton – 0
John Milledge – 48
After playing the previous 10-12 years in the GHSA, many of the "old guard" of the GISA returned to the private school ranks in 2022. Those teams included Tattnall Square, Stratford, FPD, Mt. de Sales and George Walton.
Would JMA, winners of three straight GISA Class AAA state championships, still be able to dominate the GISA ranks with all of the "old guard" returning?That was much of the chatter during the off-season.
Well, the Trojans passed the first test with flying colors, absolutely dominating George Walton in the home opener on Log Cabin Road. The Bulldogs managed a mere one first down and 1o total yards of offense in the first half, while JMA amassed 14 first downs and 273 total yards.
For the game, JMA outgained the Bulldogs 418-37.
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Bud Veal, the crown prince of the pick-6, recorded yet another interception return for a touchdown on Friday night, while also hauling in a 10-yard scoring pass from Briggs Eady. Eady also connected on a first-half touchdown pass to tight end Baylen Zielenski.
The score was 27-0 at halftime. The Trojans have now outscored their first three opponents of the season by a combined 138-14, an average of 46-5. JMA ran its overall winning streak to 39.
Baldwin – 35
Washington Co. – 28
SANDERSVILLE –In football, winning is the best cure for what ails you.
The Braves found that winning feeling on Friday night over in Dairy Lane country. Both teams entered the game looking for their first win of the season, as this definitely isn't your father or older brother's Washington County football program.
Baldwin's star running back Micah Welch actually got the start at quarterback and essentially operated as a wildcat quarterback. The Braves' unorthodox and unexpected offense certainly worked, as Baldwin scored touchdowns on two-of-its-first plays from scrimmage. Welch cruised into the end zone from 35 yards out to give the Braves an early 14-0 lead. Regular quarterback Solomon Burney eventually took over the controls, though.
The game was supposed to be a running back showdown between Welch and Waco's Dontavious Braswell, a South Carolina Gamecock verbal commit. Braswell did not play, however, which allowed Welch to steal the show.
After having few running lanes and little daylight in the first three games, Welch exploded on Friday night, rushing for more than 200 yards. Welch barreled into the end zone from four yards out with around 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter, staking Baldwin to a 35-21 lead. Few things have been easy for Baldwin this year, however, and Waco's Morgan Jones took the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Baldwin then went three-and-out and attempted a punt, which was blocked.
In the end, however, the Braves (1-3) held on to crack the win column.
Now, it's on to GHSA Region 2-AAAA play, which begins next Friday night in Milledgeville vs. Spalding. This year's new-look region consists of Baldwin, Spalding, Howard, Perry, West Lauren, Westside (Macon) and Griffin.
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GMC Prep – 2
Washington-Wilkes – 14
WASHINGTON, GA. –The Dawgs' offense struggled against the Tigers, who entered the game ranked ninth in GHSA Class A Division II.
Now GMC must regroup in time for the Military Bowl against Riverside Military next Friday night at Davenport Field. After that, the Dawgs (0-4) will begin GHSA Region 5-A Division II play on the road at Johnson County.
This year's new-look region consists of GMC, Johnson County, Wilkinson County, Hancock Central, Glascock County and Twiggs County.