Thrill is gone: Wide margins litter games
by Carlton D. White
September 09, 2012 01:09 AM | 1578 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, thrilling down-to-the-wire games highlighted Cobb County’s football schedule.

Anthony Price’s game-winning field goal sealed Walton’s victory over McEachern, Lassiter withstood Hillgrove’s 29 unanswered second-half points, South Cobb’s Stephon Masha scoring a last-minute game-winner against Westlake, and Kennesaw Mountain drove 80 yards for a score in the fourth quarter to rally over Sprayberry.

That was last week.

This week’s games were nothing like those.

Blowouts were the theme Friday as every game ended with a double-digit margin. The closest game was Pebblebrook’s 14-3 loss to Mountain View, while Whitefield Academy’s 41-0 win at Riverside Military proved to be the biggest point differential.

There were three shutouts Friday, and teams won by an average of 34-7.

One of those three shutouts was Wheeler’s 33-0 blanking of Pope. The Wildcats led 19-0 at halftime and added 14 more points in the third quarter to improve their record to 2-0 for the first time since 1997.

“It was exciting to see the offense move the ball well and the defense play tough,” Wheeler coach Mike Collins said. “I’m happy for the kids that had a chance to see all of their hard work in practice manifest itself on the field.

“I always thought that this team had big-play potential. Even in our (10-7) win over Sprayberry, we had some big plays that either didn’t work because of poor execution or they were called back because of penalties. It all seemed to come together Friday (against Pope), and I hope we can keep it going.”

Allatoona’s 36-0 final against Region 5AAAAA foe Paulding County — which put the Buccaneers at 2-0 for the third straight season — was also the score at halftime, and Whitefield jumped in front 21-0 at halftime and led 34-0 entering the fourth quarter against Riverside.

Lassiter held a 21-0 advantage against Sprayberry in the “Backyard Brawl” at Jim Frazier Stadium before the Yellow Jackets cut into the margin with a second-quarter field goal. The Trojans extended their lead with 28 unanswered points before giving up a Sprayberry touchdown in the final minute, resulting in a 49-10 final.

Alpharetta beat Harrison 38-9, and Campbell, which is 2-0 for the first time since 2007, topped Osborne 27-6.

Along with Pebblebrook’s loss, three other games finished with margins in the teens. South Cobb topped Douglas County 35-19, Kell defeated Woodstock 27-10 and Brookstone handed Mount Paran Christian a 24-6 setback.

Walker beat county rival North Cobb Christian 54-14.

“It’s all about execution,” first-year Walker coach John East said. “I was pleased with our offense, both our No. 1 and No. 2 guys, and we scored on defense.

“Our No. 1 goal is to have at least one more point than the other team at the end of the game. No. 2, we want to be the team managing the game. I tell my guys that we’re always looking for a five-score differential at some point. With a lead like that, you have a really good handle on how to manage the game. I don’t have any desire to run up the score, but a big lead allows me to manage the time on the clock and how we play our schemes.”

Walker’s 40-point win moved the program to 2-0 for the first time since 2009. The Wolverines, who led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-7 at halftime, scored a team-record 54 points in the victory.

“I think (54 points) just represents a jump in our numbers,” East said. “I saw a picture of last year’s team, and there were 30 players in that photo. We have 53 guys on the roster this season, so, 54 points, to me, means we have some depth and good players that are coming along.”
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