Trojans get past turnovers, remain in region hunt
by Yousef Baig
MDJ Sports Correspondent
October 26, 2013 02:17 AM | 3124 views | 27 27 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lassiter quarterback Will Anderson carries the ball in Friday’s game at Wheeler. Anderson threw for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but three interceptions allowed the Wildcats to keep the score close.
Lassiter quarterback Will Anderson carries the ball in Friday’s game at Wheeler. Anderson threw for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but three interceptions allowed the Wildcats to keep the score close.
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MARIETTA — Lassiter survived a turnover-riddled matchup against Wheeler and hung on to win 35-28 and maintain control of its own destiny for the Region 5AAAAAA title.

The teams combined for 10 turnovers on the Wildcats’ homecoming night at Corky Kell Stadium. The Trojans were responsible for six of the giveaways.

“We really were our own worst enemy offensively,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “I’m proud we got a win, but certainly we can’t turn the ball over six times.”

Quarterback Will Anderson accounted for half of Lassiter’s turnovers, tossing three interceptions, to go along with his 214 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-28 passing.

The Trojans (6-3, 4-1) extended their lead to 19 on their first possession of the second half, after a 44-yard run by Mason Waters, who led the team with his 10 rushes for 111 yards.

Wheeler tailback Devontae Jackson scored from 10 yards out on the very next possession, though, notching the first offensive score of the night for the home team on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that cut the deficit to 12.

But neither team could find consistency as three turnovers and a blocked punt ended the next four drives.

Wheeler (2-6, 0-5) eventually broke the scoring drought, capitalizing on its good field position after the blocked punt, once Jacobi Green powered his way into the end zone from 1 yard out.

The game was delayed for almost 20 minutes midway through the fourth quarter, when Wheeler linebacker Quincye Price broke his right arm, according to Wheeler coach Mike Collins. On third down from the Lassiter 47-yard line, the Trojans’ Oris Lawhorn marched 6 yards before fumbling the ball and recovering it underneath a pileup, where Price suffered the injury.

After Price was taken from the field in an ambulance, Wheeler forced a punt, but quarterback Ryles Kirkland was sacked in his own end zone, all but ending the Wildcats’ chance at a comeback.

“It’s just been a really crazy, crazy season, and (Friday) was the epitome of it,” Mike Collins said. “I felt like a couple balls go our way, the game goes differently. … Our kids fought extremely, extremely hard on both sides. They grinded for four quarters. We just ran out of time.”

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Herschel Walker
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October 30, 2013
slim065 and Kaminski

STOP posting comments! You two are beyond clueless!!!

havetosay
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October 30, 2013
Didn't post a comment last week out of respect for the Aarons family.

After reading the comments posted here I feel some things need to be clarified...

This isn't just about Russell Aarons, his example has just been the most obvious. This is about talented kids who are either sitting on the bench or not getting an opportunity when they're on the field. This is a team with 11 players...not 2 or 3.

Erik Kaminski-

Lassiter is 5-3. I say Lassiter could easily be 7-1, if not undefeated had some different choices been made. I think that's where the reference to a change in staff was directed.

slim065-

Not sure if we watched the same Milton and Walton games...to say Milton got a beat-down is a joke. Milton basically didn't show up - and neither did their fans - found that very strange - have to wonder what's going on there.

The Walton game...they (Walton) basically went out at half-time and never came back. If Walton had played in the 2nd half like they did in the 1st, Lassiter would have lost.

Wheeler game...to say the QB struggled in one game - not accurate - he has struggled in every game.

If the adults making decisions - coaching staff, AD, principal had acted like adults at the beginning of the season, none of this discussion would have occurred.

What kind of example are those adults setting for the players when better players are sitting on the bench and/or not getting opportunities when they are in the game?

The ones who have outshined the adults are the players. They work year round, do their fundraisers (or extra workouts) and come back day after day, week after week, season after season - even when they are denied the opportunity to play.

Because they just want to PLAY!

I hope the players continue to act with such class after high school and aren't tarnished by this experience.

The "adults" need to follow the players' example!
CC native
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October 30, 2013
Not a Lassiter supporter but 31-3 is a beat down on the scoreboard, no matter how you try to spin it.

"Showing up" is part of playing the game; you can excuse every loss by every team simply by saying the winning team "showed up" and the losing team did not. You did it twice yourself.

In regard to the Milton fans- not much history or tradition there in the football program. Combine that with the fact the vast majority of the community moved there from someplace else and the result is dismal support in the stands. I've never witnessed an impressive crowd at a Milton football game like one would see at Marietta, McEachern or Walton.
Name Them
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October 31, 2013
What players are sitting on the bench that are better than the players in the game? I want specific examples: Give me #1) The names of both players and #2) the reason why one is better than the other. Please don't mention the #1 player at a position and compare him to a guy that doesn't play. Example: Quincy Purdue or Chris Murphy. If you're going to do this, use your head and find the player lowest on the depth chart at a given position and compare HIM to the home-grown product. I'm pretty sure "HE" will also be a home grown product. Lastly, to say Will struggled in all of his games shows that you have something personal against the kid. He played flawlessly against Milton, and Walton, and in the first half of the Cherokee game. You sure do state a lot of "what ifs" above concerning our record. If Walton played better, if Milton played better, etc. THEY DIDN'T! They played against ANOTHER TEAM called Lassiter than had a job to do, and they did it! We did shut Milton down....completely. We also lost to McEachern and Kell without complaint. The better team won those games in my opinion. The Woodstock loss is the only lose was an issue. We have 4 turnovers, 140 penalty yards, and a blocked punt. We still only lost by 1 point. If we protect the ball, I believe we can play with anybody in the state. Listen, we are all on the same team here. We all want to see Lassiter win. If you want to make a difference that badly, then become a coach and change things. Coaches at all level have to deal with this. Each parent has their own idea of how things should be different. The coaches don't care because you are just one of the 5000 people that has his/her own ideas about what changes should be made. I have changes I would make to the team too, but that's not my job. I'm better off supporting the guys who do this for a living. You're a painter trying to perform plumbing. It's out of your field. Another option, if you want to make a difference, is to start a group that will talk to the coaches, AD, principle, etc to try to make a change. That being said, you would have to do this OPENLY and everybody that has something negative to say always seems to hide behind a fake name. Interesting.... lie the Milton fans not showing up. What's REALLY going on here? Who are you? A rival coach, AD, or student? LOL.
Nameless101
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October 31, 2013
Some people just don't get it and, unfortunately, never will.

Apparently, winning is all that matters, at least to those in power.

You people talk circles around yourselves and rationalize everything...talk about speaking openly, make accusations about hiding behind fake names...and then what name do you post?

It's all just hypocrisy...believe what you want...think what you want...you want the truth? go talk to the players
whataboutqb
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October 29, 2013
Is Elijah Staley still going to Mississippi State? Is he graduating in December like his parents said or will he play basketball?
slim065
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October 28, 2013
Not making excuses. I look forward to seeing Aarons get his shot to lead the Trojans next year. Speaks loads of his character that he moved to/plays some WR to help the team this year. Tells me he is a pretty solid athlete as well.

There were no negative posts last week after the beat-down the Trojans gave Milton or the win over Walton, but the QB struggles against Wheeler and we are back to this???

People just need to drop it and support the team/school. Negative/inflammatory comments online are uncalled for.

Looking forward to these last 2 regular season games and then the playoffs.
Erik Kaminski
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October 29, 2013
Amen! The Aaron's family commented a few weeks ago asking people to stop mentioning Russell because it could take a toll on a young man. Please show enough respect to do so going forward. It amazes me that we are 6-3, and in very good position to win region yet somebody brought up the possibility of a new coaching staff. This are clearly the same type of person that thinks the Falcons will win the Super Bowl at the beginning of each year, and as soon as they fail to make a 4th down conversation asks for the coach to be fired. Will Anderson did have his struggles this week, but so did Peyton Manning. It happens people! Also, somebody mentioned Mason Waters being fragile. He was playing hurt. He couldn't cut like "Mason Waters" can, and took a big hit because of it. He'll be alright. My guess is a minor concussion. If we get back to protecting the ball, then we can play with anybody.
Support Free Speech
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October 29, 2013
Drop what? A kid getting hosed? Laughable. I guess you didn't notice Purdue wasn't in the game against wheeler. Quincy was the x factor in the Milton and Walton games. Not Anderson even though the coaches try to sell it. Aarons wouldn't have struggled against wheeler.

These comments are very necessary. I'm glad the MDJ allows for such discussion. It helps bring light to these bad situations. It's just a matter of time before the recruiting at Lassiter is brought into question. Or how about a player having to fund raise to pay coaches bonuses or they aren't allowed to participate in team activities. Or how about if you don't fund raise you have extra workouts?

slim065 you must be a coach because you try to sugarcoat the program. I tell you this. As long as the administration puts up with this nonsense nothing will change. In my opinion I believe the administration is only worried about gate revenue from winning games. It appears that doing the right thing isn't important at Lassiter. Let's see if the star receiver is back next week.

Thanks MDJ. If I went to the administration with my comments my son would be singled out.
slim065
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October 29, 2013
Not a coach or associated with anyone in the program/school. I did graduate from Lassiter almost a decade ago, so I enjoy seeing the school and all programs associated with it succeed. That is my connection to the school.

Yes, it is fine to vent and post concerns. But at the same time it only seems to happen after a bad loss like the Woodstock game or a bad performance by certain player(s). At this point in the season, these issues have been beat to death. At some point it is time to drop it/put it on the back burner/etc and let the season play out. Obviously, many things in many people's eyes have not been ideal/handled correctly/etc.

People need to act like adults and set a good example for the kids in the program/community and support them. The constant bickering/complaining online is going to set a bad example...even if there were poor examples (depending on a person's perspective) set prior to this nonsense that has gone on the past couple of months.

pnm50
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October 28, 2013
No Quincy Perdue, but believe it or not, Aarons has actually been in these football games in a receiving position...a QB in a receiving position...knows both positions? He wasn't thrown to one time (decently) in the Wheeler game and had two great receptions in the Milton game. Most of the time he's only used in the receiver position for blocking; when he is open, he's not seen??? Many more kids with talent sitting on the sidelines, what are the coaches thinking? It amazes me that so many players still come out, day after day! They deserve a lot of credit!
Luvofthegame
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October 29, 2013
I am also amazed and hear them talk about it. These kids love football. They play for the love of the game and not the coaches. With all the transfers that move in tell them to hide their phones.
Willard Scott
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October 28, 2013
P.S.

I could be wrong, and I apologize in advance if I am, but wasn't it a previous treasurer who was defending integrity a couple weeks ago?
Willard Scott
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October 28, 2013
Amen slim066!

Do you really think it's the egos that are too big? I was thinking more the bank account!

Perhaps a new staff is in order? Where is the AD and principal???
Possibilities
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October 28, 2013
@IMpossibilities

There is a third alternative besides throwing interceptions and running the ball.
Record Breakers
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October 27, 2013
I think this group will break the losing streak record at Wheeler. Keep doing what you are doing.

Staley carried this team.
aweightislifted
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October 27, 2013
Wheeler is a much better team without Staley and his parents causing disruptions on and off the field. They were just a break or two away from winning each of the last few games. Coach Collins and his staff and the current Wheeler Wildcats have earned the respect of the Wheeler faithful, as well as the entire community. I can't begin to imagine what a relief it was to eliminate the weight of that crew. Will Staley be graduating in December like his parents said in multiple press venues?
slim065
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October 26, 2013
Eeks, sounds like an ugly game all around. Hopefully it was just adjusting to the weather and they get everything ironed out for next week.

Also, good to see Waters had a very good game. Easing him back in after his injury, but he could be a definite force the next 3 years at RB for the Trojans.
Willard Scott
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October 26, 2013
Yes, I'm sure it was all about the weather!!!
fourfooteight
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October 28, 2013
Waters was carried off the field again. Great athlete but very fragile.
WideSide6
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October 26, 2013
Very poor showing by Lassiter. They tried to give the game away. The run game was so effective and they kept calling pass plays when the Lassiter QB was under throwing everything. He could have easily had five interceptions instead of three. The Lassiter Oline is the best I have seen on a high school team. RUN THE BALL
Possibilities
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October 26, 2013
There is another alternative in addition to running the ball.
missingplayers
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October 27, 2013
I think Lassiter was off this game because of discipline problems. Move ins were among the offenders so that hurts the Trojans when they're not available. Another reason the program should stick with the home grown players.
slim066
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October 27, 2013
Russell Aarons is a much better QB. He could use his feet to get out of trouble, extend plays and make first downs. Anderson was exposed Friday night when Purdue wasn't there to bail him out.
slim065
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October 28, 2013
Huh, how nice. Someone trying to post as a very similar name to mine. I am flattered...

Also, to Willard Scott, the weather could have been a reason for some poor throws, etc. Happens to pros all the time when they aren't used to the cooler/colder weather that first time out. Obviously with how sloppy the game was on both sides it was a combo of factors. Didn't intend to imply it was only weather that could have caused the TOs.
IMPossibilities
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October 28, 2013
@Possibilities we saw the alternative. INTERCEPTIONS
slim066
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October 28, 2013
@slim065 you are welcome. Stop making excuses. Aarons is a better QB. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Lassiter coaches couldn't make a change now if they wanted to because that would be admitting they were wrong. Egos are too big to let that happen. Aarons got hosed.
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