After updating the weekly stats, there are nine quarterbacks who have already thrown for 1,000 or more yards compared to only three runners who have run for 1,000. Ten years ago those numbers would be reversed. Twenty-five years ago, the county may not have seen a 1,000-yard passer until the end of the regular season.
While there are no passers who are going to threaten Hutson Mason’s single-season record of 4,560 yards, the county is currently on pace to have four 2,000-yard passers — which would equal the most in any season (2011) — and as many as 15 quarterbacks eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau. That would break the previous best season of 11 (2010, 2012).
It continues a trend in Cobb County where 1,000-yard passers may outrank 1,000-yard rushers. Right now, there are 10 runners who could reach the 1,000-yard mark. Ironically, that would be an improvement over recent years.
While the county has had runners like Walton’s Tyren Jones, Allatoona’s Miles Jones and Walker’s Evan Kasian roll up 2,000-yard seasons recently, it seems like the running game has taken a back seat.
In 2010, Cobb had eight 1,000-yard rushers. In 2011, that number dropped to six, and last year it was only nine.
Some of that argument falls in the new spread offenses, that have been introduced into the county. Teams have turned the running game into short swing passes in the flat, which allow the backs and receivers to get the ball in space. If those players then make one or two guys miss, a simple 4- or 5-yard run becomes a 70-yard touchdown.
Of course there are the players that can throw the ball and run it.
McEachern’s Ty Clemons (1,003 rush yards, 905 pass) and Osborne’s Craig Robinson (767, 1,012) are in a position to pass 1,000 yards in the air and on the ground. They would be the first pair to accomplish the feat since Pope’s Holland Frost and Hillgrove’s Gage Henry did it in 2010.
Three weeks from now, teams will be lining up for the opening round of the playoffs. Over the last few years, Cobb County has gotten into the habit of sending 11 or 12 teams into the postseason. If the season ended today, the 2013 class would include 10.
Based on the current standings on gasports.com, these are the likely first-round matchups:
Class AAAAAA Region 4
No. 1 North Cobb vs. Luella. Winner to face either Colquitt County or Newnan.
No. 2 McEachern vs. Alcovy. Winner to face either Camden County or Westlake.
No. 3 Hillgrove at Newton. Winner to face either Langston Hughes or Valdosta.
No. 4 Harrison at Lovejoy. Winner to face either East Coweta or Lowndes.
We get to find out exactly how good Harrison is over the next three weeks. The Hoyas play Hillgrove, McEachern and Marietta and may need to win two of three to secure a playoff spot. If they slip up, the Blue Devils will have a chance to take that spot from them.
No. 1 Etowah vs. Peachtree Ridge. Winner to face either Grayson or West Forsyth
No. 2 Lassiter vs. Collins Hill. Winner to face either Archer or Lambert.
No. 3 Walton at Norcross. Winner to face either Alpharetta or Brookwood.
No. 4 Milton at North Gwinnett. Winner to face either South Forsyth or Dacula.
This region is still wide-open. Lassiter and Walton still have to play Etowah. Milton, Roswell and Cherokee all are tied for the No. 4 seed. The Warriors play Roswell tonight and Milton next week.
Class AAAAA Region 5/7
No. 1 North Paulding vs. No. 4 Pope. Winner to face either Flowery Branch or M.L. King.
No. 2 South Paulding vs. No. 3 Sequoyah. Winner to face either Gainesville or Mays.
No. 3 Allatoona at No. 2 Creekview. Winner to face either Tucker or Loganville.
No. 4 East Paulding at No. 1 Kell. Winner to face either Stephenson or Clarke Central.
If Pope wants to make the playoffs, the Greyhounds likely need to beat Riverwood tonight to get them in the proper position.
Allatoona has North Paulding and East Paulding the last two weeks of the season. Win both of those and the Buccaneers win Region 5AAAAA. Lose both and they will limp in as the No. 4 seed.
Currently, Mount Paran Christian is No. 6 in the Class A power rankings and would face No. 11 George Walton Academy.
The key for the Eagles is to win the region championship. Region winners get seeded at the top of the tournament bracket. Tonight’s game against Mount Pisgah Christian will go a long way to accomplishing that goal.
Whitefield Academy is No. 19 and Walker is No. 24. The top 16 teams will qualify for the playoffs.