FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Trojans cruise per usual; Baldwin outclasses Waco; Dawgs come up short
John Milledge – 34
George Walton – 7
MONROE – Nothing lasts forever, and times certainly have changed.
It wasn't too long when George Walton owned JMA on the football field, winning seven consecutive games in the rivalry between 2000 and 2009, many of them in dominating fashion.
These days, however, it's the Trojans who are the big bully on the block, blowing out the Bulldogs for a section straight year on Friday night. Last season's game was even less competitive, with JMA winning 48-0 on Log Cabin Road. In other words, the Trojans have won their last two games against George Walton by a combined score of 82-7.
Next up for J.T. Wall's guys is a four-hour bus ride to St. Simons Island, where JMA will face Frederica Academy next Friday night. Some JMA fans might just make an entire weekend out of it.
Despite the distance, the two teams sort of have become rivals in recent years. An interesting piece of trivia, Frederica actually was the last team to hand JMA a loss, way back in the 2018 GISA state championship game. The Trojans then got some sweet revenge in the 2020 state title game, blasting the Knight 49-0.
JMA hasn't lost a game since that 2018 state title game against Frederica, a span of 1,743 days.
Washington Co. – 10
Baldwin – 20
Another big home crowd at Braves Stadium enjoyed a Baldwin victory against its old rival from across the river.
Quarterback Lamar Pounds, in his first season as the full-time starter, got the scoring started, hitting senior wide receiver Jaylen Boone on a picture-perfect touchdown pass in the back corner of the endzone. Pounds then hooked up with senior speedster Armontae Palmer on a short pass, and Palmer did the rest, breaking two tackles and outrunning the Waco secondary into the end zone on a long catch-and-run.
Baldwin defenders Charvez Driskell and Omarion Fraley get a breather in between possessions in the third quarter of Friday night's win over Waco. Driskell, Fraley and the rest of the Baldwin D limited the Golden Hawks to 12 first downs.
Star tailback Micah Welch, a Colorado Buffaloes commit, was bottled up for the first three quarters before exploding in the fourth. Welch unofficially finished with 136 rushing yards, and it would've been closer to 200, but a spectacular run, one in which Welch spun out of traffic, hit the sideline and outraced the Golden Hawk defense into the endzone, was called back by a penalty on Baldwin.
Speaking of penalties, there were a total of 32 of them. Waco actually had three touchdowns called back by penalty in a span of four plays in the second quarter. That allowed Baldwin to take a 12-3 lead into halftime.
Baldwin has now defeated Waco two straight years, and with the victory the Braves narrowed its all-time record against the Golden Hawks to 21-22-2. The series dates back to 1958.
The Braves are now 3-1 and get a bye next Friday before opening region play on Sept. 22 at Spalding County. The GHSA 2-AAAA game of the year is shaping up to be Baldwin vs. Perry, which will be on Sept. 29 at Braves Stadium. Perry is enjoying its golden age in football and has won three straight region titles. The Panthers last week blasted Jones County 54-21.
Washington-Wilkes – 47
GMC Prep – 14
The Dawgs were back at Davenport Field on Friday night, tangling with the Tigers from Washington.
The game was tied 7-7 in the early going before the Tigers eventually pulled away.
GMC (0-4) travels to Riverside Military next Friday night for the annual Military Bowl. It will be GMC's best chance yet to pick up a victory. The Eagles, who haven't won a game since early September 2021, were outscored in their first two games of this season by a combined score of 114-14. GMC won last year's Military Bowl in Milledgeville 54-12.