Brenton Martin has already proven he can lead the team as the Blue Devils’ new quarterback, and he is considered one of the breakout performers of the 2013 high school football season in Cobb County.
Martin is currently eighth in Cobb County with 740 yards passing and 11 touchdowns after his first five games.
Martin and the Blue Devils (3-2, 1-2) are still in the mix to perform well in Region 4AAAAAA with winnable games coming up against Kennesaw Mountain at home, Campbell on the road and South Cobb at home.
In Martin’s starting debut against Newnan, he completed 13 of 17 passes for 249 yards and five touchdowns.
“He’s progressed well and he’s got a pretty high celling, which is an accomplishment, not a criticism,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “Even though he was doing well statistically, he was still uncomfortable out there. Even though he hasn’t had the stats as he did in Game 1, he’s getting better.”
Martin and Hillgrove’s Elijah Ironside are two of several newcomers who have had stellar seasons so far.
Ironside is back to fulltime starting quarterback status for Hillgrove this year and already has passed for 1,021 yards and 18 touchdowns.
More comfortable in being a scrambling quarterback over the last couple of seasons, Ironside has transformed into a solid passer by spending countless hours during the offseason throwing the ball with his current receivers.
Justin Denton and Omar Black have been his top two targets this year and he will rely on both of them tonight when the Hawks (5-0, 3-0) host North Cobb (4-1, 3-0) in a critical 4AAAAAA game.
Ironside will have to be aware of North Cobb cornerback Latrell Gibbs, whose job is to shut down the oppositions top wide receivers. Gibbs had four interceptions on the year, which ties the county lead, with all of them coming two weeks ago in a 46-14 win over Harrison. Two were being returned for touchdowns.
In east Cobb, there has hardly been any mention of K.K. Brooks replacing all-state running back Tyren Jones, now playing at Alabama. It was cornerback D.J. Smith, who was slated to take over when he replaced the injured Jones in the backfield late last season.
Brooks, only a sophomore, proved himself right away and has 776 yards on 159 carries and nine touchdowns. His best game came in a 28-13 win against North Cobb when he had 39 carries for 214 and three touchdowns.
“We felt like he had a great future there and needed D.J. in the secondary,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “D.J could have been a great tailback, but K.K. has a great future there and has handled things well.”
Kell (6-0, 1-0 in Region 7AAAAA (B)) would not be having a perfect season had it not been for the playmaking of Julian Burris at receiver and defensive lineman Keith Hampton.
Hampton is leading the county with 89 tackles and also has three sacks.
After missing the majority of last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, Burris caught 19 passes this year for 454 yards and four touchdowns. Kell coach Derek Cook said teams are becoming aware of him, which opens up the possibility of Errol Breaux or Jay Moxey having big games.
Other players having breakout seasons are Mount Paran Christian receiver Emoni Williams, Campbell’s Gaiyon Reavish, Allatoona’s Scott Roembke and the Longhorns’ Austin Meaut.
Williams has been lighting up Class A defenses with the Eagles. He is Cobb County’s third leading receiver after not having played football for more than three years. He has caught 22 passes for 492 yards and seven touchdowns. Williams has also rushed for 302 yards and three more scores.
Reavish, the Spartans’ senior linebacker, is second in the county with 81 tackles -- 43 solo.
Roembke is a first-year starter and has made a name for himself in the defensive backfield. He has recorded 40 tackles and is the county co-leader with four interceptions.
Meaut, a senior linebacker for the Longhorns, is third in the county with 7 1/2 sacks.