Trojan nailbiter comes down to missed point-after
by Chase Wallace
MDJ Sports Correspondent
September 21, 2013 02:18 AM | 3144 views | 20 20 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lassiter’s Bryce Washington, left, sees his chance as Cherokee’s Blace Brown mishandles a punt return Friday. Up 35-7 at one point of the first half, the Trojans withstood the Warriors’ feverish rally — and their 612 yards of total offense — to win following a missed point-after. 
<BR>Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
Lassiter’s Bryce Washington, left, sees his chance as Cherokee’s Blace Brown mishandles a punt return Friday. Up 35-7 at one point of the first half, the Trojans withstood the Warriors’ feverish rally — and their 612 yards of total offense — to win following a missed point-after.
Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
MARIETTA — Behind 612 yards of total offense and four second-half touchdowns, Cherokee stormed back from a 35-7 deficit to score what looked to be the game-tying touchdown with 42 seconds to play.

But Obie Brannon’s extra-point skimmed just under the crossbar, and Lassiter escaped with a 42-41 victory Friday in the teams’ Region 5AAAAAA opener at Frank Fillmann Stadium.

“We hung in there and got the win,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “We’re 1-0 in the region and that was the main thing we needed to accomplish. It wasn’t always pretty, and give (Cherokee coach Josh) Shaw and that team credit for a lot of that, but we’ll take it and we’re glad to be 1-0 in the region.”

The missed point-after came after a 5-yard delay of game penalty — a mistake Shaw put on his shoulders as he second-guessed himself on going for a potential game-winning 2-point conversion with momentum heavily on the Warriors’ sideline.

“I had myself convinced to go for two, and that is on me,” Shaw said. “We had nothing to lose and should have gone for two. That was completely my fault. But I am so proud of my kids, regardless.

“We went into halftime down 35-14 and talked about not giving up. That’s exactly what we did. Our kids persevered and laid it all on the line.”

Cherokee (2-2, 0-1) struck first when quarterback Spencer Ashley found a wide-open Blake Johnston for an 82-yard score that gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 6:34 to play in the opening quarter.

The high-powered Trojan offense responded with five unanswered touchdowns, including four in a highlight-filled second quarter.

Oris Lawhorn tied the game at 7-all, running three yards around right end late in the second quarter. The Trojans (2-2) took a 14-7 lead on the opening play of the second quarter when Will Anderson found Quincy Perdue deep down the left sideline.

The senior receiver, who finished the night with 112 yards from the air, made a leaping catch at the 20-yard line, broke a tackle at the 15 and juked one last defender at the 10 before crossing the goal line with 14:45 to play in the second quarter.

Anderson hooked up with Cole Taylor for a 57-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 21-7, Perdue scored from 21 yards out on a reverse to give the Trojans a 28-7 lead, and Anderson hit a wide-open Duby Nwalubi for a 43-yard touchdown pass to cap the Trojans’ 28-point second quarter.

Ashley, who was 22-of-32 for four touchdowns and 455 yards, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Blace Brown in the waning seconds of the second quarter. Brannon hit the extra point for Cherokee to send the game into halftime 35-14.

Cherokee scored in the third quarter on a 67-yard screen pass from Ashley to Brittain Brown, then again on a 2-yard run by Johnston that cut Lassiter’s advantage to 35-28.

The Trojans extended their lead to 42-28 on a 1-yard plunge by Corey John, before Ashley hit Andrew Harris in the end zone from 16 yards out with 4:36 to play, then again from 13 yards out with 42 seconds left.

Blace Brown led all receivers with 12 catches for 175 yards. Johnston ran for 78 yards on 20 carries and had 90 yards receiving on two receptions.

Anderson led the Lassiter offense to 476 total yards of their own, completing 27 of 40 passes for 346 yards and three touchdown passes.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 02, 2013
pnm50 - very well said also!

Thanks for the stats-hopefully that will give some people a different perspective...look at Lassiter's own Hutson Mason...pretty sure he's been his 4th season at much has he played?

Mr. Hunt, Mr. Kaminski, Trojan2017, slim065...

Still waiting to hear what determined who should be the starter...
September 28, 2013
Wow, this discussion has become fairly heated. Seems like a lot of people are throwing around accusations from both sides, so the truth usually settles in the middle.

Whatever the "truth" is, the entire "recruiting" issue in HS sports is always going to be there. And from my understanding, as long as the coaches from a given school do not initiate contact or promise things there is nothing illegal going on. It seems that when a lot of transfers/move-ins happen it is because of parents talking amongst themselves or see a better overall experience for their children somewhere else.

Seems a couple of schools are always singled out for this, but it goes on everywhere and would take a very, very large budget to investigate every claim made...whether true or made up. Overall, I think a lot of things said in these types of situations is better left off the internet.
September 29, 2013
My bad for saying "coach brings in".

Not trying to throw out accusations.

The purpose of high school sports is not to give athletes exposure to college scouts.

The means by which Will Anderson came to Lassiter is not the point.

It's heated because a group of kids, who have played football together for years, have been forced into a position with a new QB (however he got there) who didn't earn his right to be there and, in my opinion, hasn't proven himself since he got there.

The other point is how it was determined that Anderson should be the starting QB...there was not a "competition"...Aarons had almost no play time in pre-season, started against Sprayberry only because Anderson had a concussion-regardless of what you think about Sprayberry, it was the best game Lassiter has played so far. (And they won.)

I posted on Friday asking for someone to say what the competition was that determined Anderson should be the starter...nothing.

Also asked what was the best game overall for Lassiter...nothing.

Did anyone else notice there weren't any comments after the game at Woodstock?

Not trying to blame it all on Anderson, but there's no CHEMISTRY when he's quarterback. Just like in any relationship-you can't make that and you can't force it-no matter how much you want to.

And I'm not the only one saying it-if you read all the other posts. Even the students are chanting for Aarons-you think that doesn't affect the psyche of a 17 or 18 year old boy?
October 01, 2013
Well said @Panning! No one said anything last week because there was nothing to talk was an ugly game and really only four players got to play offensively...with a tidit to a few others. It doesn't seem to be so much about winning or losing, but how individual stats look. One can have great stats and still lose the game!

And right you are, again, there are other young men that HAVE worked hard and were pushed aside. I was brought up that for each child that is placed, one child is displaced and I guess you just have to be on that "displaced" side a few times not to care who hears it and from what source...sad.

@slim065 you are right, wish it could be left off of the internet, but buy doing so condones the act. Something should be done about it and it IS all around, but when parents are so consumed with their child's play time and the push to get scholarships it DOES become personal. What happens to these kids in the future? Let them have the love of the game, the leadership and team-building skills and friendship that will take them much further that just football. Coaches should be promoting all of their athletes for many and varied colleges. Believe it or not, some kids just want to play; they don't care if it's D1 or Juco. Consider the following statistic and then look up pro athletes and "where are they now?"

From the NCAA Web site:

Approximately 5.8 percent, or less than one in 17 of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution.

Approximately one in 50, or 1.8 percent of NCAA senior football players will get drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team.

Eight in 10,000, or approximately 0.08 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will eventually be drafted by an NFL team.
Greg Hunt
September 25, 2013 absolutely don't have a clue as to what you are speaking about. Will Anderson made the decision with his parents to move into the Lassiter district...PERIOD. Coach Irwin did not even know who Will was until he was approached by the family and informed that they would be moving to get Will more exposure. Will knew that Eddie was graduating and would have a better opportunity than he would have otherwise at Wesleyan. They were told that Will would have to earn the position and it would not be given to him.

You should be ashamed of yourself
September 27, 2013
Greg, I wish you knew what you were talking about, and I don't say that with arrogance. You were obviously not privy to the open quarterbacks' tryouts back in December where coaches watched/graded out 3 quarterbacks from the press box. Please don't be fooled. The real truth is that the Lassiter community can thank "Big Brother Eddie" for creating this culture. I feel fortunate that I do not have a son playing in that program. It is a shame what goes on, but be assured that the programs that conduct themselves in this manner will eventually be served what they have sowed. Another point, look at the number of recruits from all nearby programs...not just division 1. You will be surprised at the programs that push their kids to college recruits regardless of wins and losses. It's sad that so many have bought into it. Best of luck. I mean it. I have family there.
September 27, 2013
I'm not ashamed.

I never said Lassiter wasn't a good school..

We could exchange insults and argue facts and opinions forever. So I will leave you with two questions that I honestly want you to answer.

The purpose of high school sports is not to give athletes exposure to college scouts. The education system is messed up enough without kids changing schools because they like something at another school.

It might be a different story if Anderson had actually beat out Aarons for the starting position.

Question 1: What was the competition that determined Anderson should be the starter?

If you have watched all 4 games, close the stat book.

Question 2: What was the best game so far in terms of the whole team and how they played together?
Tim's Friend
September 27, 2013
Mr Hunt,

You're a nice guy and I like your family but you are misinformed on this situation.
September 27, 2013
@ Greg Hunt...not really sure YOU know what YOU are talking about! "Will" knew that Eddie was graduating...stupid...EVERYONE knew that Eddie was graduating. I think that one of the small newspapers in Gwinnett even commented on what seemed like a shady deal. This is what I wrote after the Kelll game:

hopefully you have been to the games to see both QBs. Football is like a game of chess, besides being able to throw the ball a long distance, you have to be able to hit the receiver, go through progressions and run the ball. It was obvious to me that the team looked more confident and under Aarons' leadership. You are right it was just one game, but it WAS a win. Anderson has had two games, both for losses and doesn't seem to see the field the way Aarons does (great TD at the end of the McEachern game).

Exactly, what DOES make a player? Aarons has been in the LHS program since 6th grade, went 6-1 in JV last season, and wasn't given the opportunity to play varsity while Eddie Printz was there...he was the LHS legacy QB until "something strange" happened. You'd sell your house and rent in a different district your senior year under what circumstances? Most teenagers would never agree to that! Is it happening all over? Yes, but that doesn't make it right and it discourages the other athletes that have been waiting for an opportunity. If adults were able to put themselves in the place of these young people, and parallel these high school situations into your own workplace (your boss gives your job to his nephew, even though you have been there, worked hard, paid your dues and the rest of the office likes you), how would you feel. Sad thing is that these kids are learning these lessons when they are supposed to be learning the game. Now not only are they not learning, they are not being taught...why should coaches teach the game when people are "moving" into the district? Sad situation.

Will has yet to prove himself no matter what the stats show. Add the game against Cherokee as a win...embarrassment...
Erik Kaminski
September 24, 2013
I see a lot if speculation being posted below. If you have gone to Coach Irwin and Will's family directly to get your information and they have verified the information you posted, then I would personally like to hear more about it. If you haven't done that and you're accusing both parties of recruitment without any facts, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Lassiter's academics and athletic success speaks for itself, and kids WANT to come here. If kids have quit because they weren't playing, then more than likely they were out worked or out played for their position. Lassiter gets more exposure than Weslyan so Will coming here seems like a legit move to me. I love in the North Cobb area, but Lassiter offers a better overall experience for my son so I drive him daily. There is nothing illegal about that.
Private Eyes
September 25, 2013
No one cares about you coming to Lassiter for the experience. Your son isn't taking anyone's position. Hahaha
Kaminiski, Maybe???
September 27, 2013
You say that now Mr. Kaminski, but it will be very interesting how you'll feel when your son has put in the time, dedication, and hard work only to be benched by the better, more equipped, 6 foot plus athlete when he is fighting for a true varsity spot. Will the grass be greener then??
I will
September 27, 2013
I would love to share with you what I know to be truth. I will admit that I have not talked to the families personally, but I do have first hand knowledge of how this came about. It won't change until Dr. ralph retires and someone with guts willing to take it on gets the job. When that happens, Lassiter and Kell will want to hide under a rock. Hang tight. I have a strong suspicion it's coming.
September 27, 2013
Private eyes, Wonder how he'll feel when he figures out that exposure isn't limited to Lassiter High School and that Lassiter does a poor job pushing their kids that aren't D1? I also wonder how he'll feel when 5'2 corners are replaced by God Given abilities that can jump with the 6'3 receivers coming out of programs all over the state??
September 27, 2013
@Erik Kaminski - have verified more than you'll ever much of the truth do YOU know. See comment above @Greg Hunt! It is not illegal, but it does push some morality buttons!
September 22, 2013
New category created just for, loss, tie, and didn't lose...

This will be the season known as,"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature".

Should have let things progress naturally. Instead, you get a head coach who makes a deal with the devil...Brings in a kid across two counties to be the starting varsity QB, just so he can be seen by college scouts.

Every time there's a loss, Erwin blames everyone, including himself, instead of acknowledging whatever deal he made to bring in Will Anderson. Apparently this is all kosher with Erwin's principal. (Nothing personal against Anderson-I'm sure he's a good kid, although hopefully he would have some say in transferring schools in the middle of his junior year.)

Bottom line...this isn 't right. Some of these kids will never play football again after high school-not even counting the ones who have quit the team in the past several months. Most of these boys have played together for nearly 10 years. They are being robbed of what should be the best year or two of their teenage years because of a few selfish adults.

I hope more parents step forward and hold those responsible accountable.
Chris R
September 23, 2013
I agree with you 100% Panning. I guess we see true colors this season. The worst part of the situation was always saying there is a QB competition. Laughable.

-1 for Lassiter Coaches

September 27, 2013
@Panning, you really don't have a clue. Kids are quitting our football team because in addition to the East Cobb Baseball pressure, now we've got lacrosse coaches telling them to quit. Lacrosse club coaches are telling them to quit football to concentrate on lacrosse. What a joke. They are quitting football because it's hard work and lacrosse is not. No one is making them lift weights any more. Why can't these boys see that they can do both sports. One of them will form lifelong bonds and they'll play in front of a few thousand people. The other sport is composed of mostly a bunch of elitist brats and their only fans are their parents. A hundred or so people show up at those games. Yawn.
L Trojan Fan
September 21, 2013
It's better to be lucky rather than good. Lassiter escaped this game with a win. They will need to get a lot better to make play offs this year.

I still don't know why they cannot play a complete game.
Your answer
September 23, 2013
Offensive Coordinator.
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