Game: Alpharetta Raiders (6-2, 6-0) at Johns Creek Gladiators (7-1, 6-0)
Date: Nov. 1
Last meeting: Johns Creek 32, Alpharetta 6 (Oct. 26, 2018)
All-time series: Alpharetta leads 4-3
With only two weeks left in the prep football regular season, local programs are placing themselves in a prime position to compete for region titles and placement in the state playoffs with games taking place Nov. 1.
Alpharetta has staked its claim with a six-game winning streak including a 28-12 home victory over Northview in Region 7AAAAAA play Oct. 25. The victory also improved its region record to 6-0 on the season.
The Titans led 6-0 at halftime but the Raiders responded in the second half. Quarterback Will Gerdes threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns with his main target being Kevin Howard who had 104 receiving yards and a TD catch. Kristofer Thomas returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter 80 yards for a touchdown and also notched a team-high 11 tackles. Breon Smith had 10 tackles and Tre Anderson returned an interception for a touchdown as well for Alpharetta.
“Northview had a great game plan,” Raiders coach Jacob Nichols said. “Offensively, they converted several third downs and controlled the clock in the first half. Our offense got off to a slow start which included a couple of three-and-outs and a turnover. We made the necessary adjustments at the half. This win was a great one for our program. It punched our ticket to the region championship this week at Johns Creek, and guarantees us a first-round home playoff game. This will be another huge week for us as we prepare for a very talented Johns Creek football team.”
Johns Creek is also 6-0 in region play after its 37-17 win at Centennial Oct. 25. The Gladiators had 558 yards of total offense led by Dalton Pearson who finished the night with 164 receiving yards and three touchdowns. John Stegenga intercepted a pass, earned a sack and forced a fumble for Johns Creek’s defense.
Staying in the region, Cambridge kept themselves in playoff contention with a 59-21 at Pope Oct. 25.
“Our kids deserve all the credit, they played extremely well in all phases of the game,” Bears coach Craig Bennett said. “Our offense had a balance of a few big plays as well as some really good sustained drives. I think we scored on every possession in the first half. Our defense played a really good, physical game. Pope’s offense is always very physical and we talked about matching their physicality. Our quarterback Zach Harris had an outstanding night, as well as Phillip Michael Collins. Our entire defense played really good and did their jobs all night.”
Next up for Cambridge will be a home game against Alpharetta Nov. 8.
Centennial visits North Atlanta this week seeking its first win of the season. The Knights have won all three previous meetings including a 70-42 victory in the 2018 contest.
Rounding out Region 7AAAAAA action will be Chattahoochee hosting Dunwoody. The Cougars look to rebound from its 44-15 home loss to Alpharetta Oct. 18. Chattahoochee leads the all-time series to Dunwoody 3-2 but fell in the 2018 contest 23-14.
Roswell picked up a crucial Region 4AAAAAAA home win over Walton 14-7 in overtime on Oct. 25. Ethan Nation’s eight-yard touchdown run in the second quarter gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead. The Raiders tied the score later in the quarter on Zak Rozsman’s three-yard TD run. Roswell won the contest with a touchdown in its first overtime session. D’Aire Griffin had eight tackles and two pass breakups while teammate Walter Clark posted a team-high 13 tackles for the Hornets’ defense.
“It was a huge win for the team and the program,” Roswell coach Matt Kemper said. “I’m very proud of our kids’ effort. We played very strong on defense and held down a very explosive Walton team for the majority of the game. Will Troutman was his usual very solid self and Evan Plunkett stepped in for an injured Doneiko Slaughter and had an outstanding game. Offensively we did not capitalize on a couple of opportunities, but played physical all night. The offense was paced by John Copenhaver and Marquis Willis. Michael Fitzgerald made a few very clutch catches that kept the chains moving.”
Next up for the Hornets is a road trip to region foe Woodstock. A victory would put Roswell in a prime position to host a first-round playoff game and keep region title hopes alive as it is one of four teams in the region alongside Cherokee, Etowah and Walton with only one region loss. The Hornets lead the lifetime series over the Wolverines 10-3 including a 34-14 victory in 2018.
Milton stayed undefeated in Region 5AAAAAAA play after its 37-7 win at Forsyth Central Oct. 25. The Eagles outgained the Bulldogs 454-184 in total yardage and scored the first 21 points of the contest. Devin Farrell’s 16-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter gave Milton the 7-0 lead. The quarterback finished the night with a game-high 276 total yards. Ahmed Junearick, who had a game-high 124 rushing yards, increased Milton’s lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter on a one-yard TD run. The Eagles took a 21-0 lead later in the quarter on Farrell’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jake Walter.
The defending Class 7A state champions visit Lambert in their next contest. Milton has won all three previous meetings against Lambert, earning a 57-7 victory in 2018.
Blessed Trinity, the defending Class 4A state champion, also kept its region record intact with a 59-15 home win on Oct. 25. The Titans led 35-0 at halftime in the dominant performance. Blessed Trinity visits Marist on Friday in a battle of undefeated programs in Region 7AAAA play. The Titans lead the lifetime series 3-1 including a 10-7 victory in 2018.
Wesleyan improved to 6-2 on the season with its 45-7 victory at Landmark Christian in Region 5A action Oct. 25. JC French threw for 275 yards with four touchdowns in the victory. Micah Smith had a big evening with four catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns on offense and returned an interception 63 yards for a TD as well. The Wolves took command of the contest with 28 points in the third quarter. Wesleyan hosts region opponent Strong Rock Christian in its next contest and has won all three previous meetings including a 52-13 victory in 2018.
St. Francis earned its fifth win of the year Oct. 25 with a 42-25 home victory against Mount Paran in Region 6A action. Josh Gil had 310 total yards and four touchdowns, three rushing and one passing, in the win. Zay Wadsworth caught seven passes for 164 yards and a touchdown for the Knights. Defensively, Gianna Dorsey posted a team-high 11 tackles and Brandon Strozier had nine with two interceptions for St. Francis’ defense. Next up is a trip to region opponent King’s Ridge.
“It was a big win for our program,” St. Francis coach Frank Barden said. “Our players prepared hard and played hard Friday night. We will have to go back to work this week to get ready for a good King’s Ridge Team and also continue trying to make our team better each week.”
King’s Ridge dropped its region contest at Pinecrest Academy 55-0 on Oct. 25. The Tigers lead the lifetime series over St. Francis 5-4 but dropped the 2018 contest 21-7.
Fellowship Christian stayed undefeated on the season with its 55-14 win at Mount Pisgah Oct. 25. Murphy Reeves rushed for a team-high 165 yards and a touchdown while teammate Bryce Paul found the end zone twice on the ground in the victory.The Paladins rushed for 441 yards in the contest as a team. Jayven Hall had a team-high 10 tackles and an interception for the Paladins’ defense.
Fellowship hosts Whitefield Academy for first place in the region in its next contest. The Paladins trail the lifetime series 7-4 but won the 2018 contest 44-42.
Mount Pisgah visits Walker in its next game. The Patriots have won five of its seven contests against the Wolverines, earning a 35-14 victory in 2018.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Volleyball Championship has reached the semifinals with three teams still vying for a championship.
Blessed Trinity in the Class 4A semis after a 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-13) home win over Heritage (Catoosa) on Oct. 26. Alyssa Parodi and McKenna Nelson each had 10 kills for the Titans who are the top seed from Region 7AAAA. Ashlynn Barnes and Ainsley Hartman each had 14 assists and teammate Abbie Granson posted a team-high 12 digs for Blessed Trinity. The Titans visited Sandy Creek in the semis on Oct. 29.
Alpharetta reached the Class 6A semifinals with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-9, 25-16) home win over Harrison on Oct. 26. Evoni Lemons posted a team-high 16 kills and Olivia Glaze had 10 in the victory. Nina Williams and Hailey Easterly each had four blocks. Lemons also notched 13 digs for a double-double. Mackenzie Konz amassed a team-high 22 digs while Emily Hodston had 37 assists for the Raiders.
“Harrison is a great team and coached really well,” Alpharetta coach Grace Fossier said. “We knew we had to give it our all to make it through. This truly was a team win, everyone mattered, even players that didn't get to see court time that day, with preparation in the days before the match.” The Raiders, who are the top seed from Region 7AAAAAA, visited Allatoona in the semis on Oct. 29.
Roswell is also the semifinals after its 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-13) road win against Brookwood Oct. 26 in the Class 7A tournament. Mariah Haislip had a team-high 15 kills and Kennya Sykes posted seven in the victory. Leann Dostie had a team-high 12 digs and broke the program’s record for the most in a career during the contest. Graham Hills dished out a team-high 31 assists and Quincy Morin served four aces.
“During the match, we stayed in control on our side of the court throughout all three sets,” Hornets coach Naomi Kirk said. “We pressed them on serve and really attacked their serve receive to keep them out of system. We focused on defense on their primary areas of attack to defend out court.” Roswell, the fourth seed from Region 4AAAAAAA, visited Walton in the semis on Oct. 29.