DeKalb Teams in the State Rankings
Congratulations to the following DeKalb teams included in this week’s AJC state rankings: Tucker, #2 in Class AAAAA; Stephenson, #4 in Class AAAAA; M.L. King, #5 in Class AAAAA; Marist, #2 in Class AAAA; St. Pius, #4 in Class AAA
DeKalb County has four teams checking in on the Maxwell all-classification ratings published earlier this week on AJC.com. Making this week’s list of the Top 25 teams in Georgia across all classifications are Tucker (#5), M.L. King (#12), Stephenson (#15) and Marist (#23).
The Maxwell Ratings are based solely on results of previous games. Personnel changes from season to season are not considered. As a result, early-season rankings express a confidence level in each team based on recent season performances.
As the season progresses, the rankings rely more and more on this season’s results and less on previous seasons. As the playoffs approach, the rankings will reflect 2012 results exclusively.
This Week’s Games Involving DeKalb County Teams
Two DeKalb teams play in games this weekend in which both teams playing are ranked in the state polls. Marist (1-0), ranked #2/3 in Class AAAA plays at home against Thomas County Central (1-1), ranked #8 in Class AAAAA, while St. Pius (#4) plays host to North Oconee (#5) in a matchup of teams ranked in Class AAA.
Dunwoody vs. Lakeside
The first game of the double-header at Adams Stadium is the 21st meeting between Dunwoody and Lakeside. The game was moved from North DeKalb Stadium due to field conditions. The Vikings leads the series 11-8-1 but the Wildcats won last year, 42-10. (Note: Time and venue have changed for this contest. It's now slated for 5:15 a.m. at Adams Stadium.)
Thomas County Central at Marist
Thomas County Central has had a 100-yard rusher in each of its first two games. Deondre Cooksey ran for 110 in a 41-7 victory against Thomasville in the opener, and QB Adam Choice rushed for 133 yards (and passed for 153) in a 35-33 loss to Colquitt County last week.
Marist QB Myles Willis rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and threw a 27-yard TD pass to Gray King in a 30-13 victory against Clarke Central last week.
Marist's Alan Chadwick became the 11th coach to collect 300 wins in Georgia.
Thomas County and Marist played some classics in their six meetings from 1996 through 2003, with TCC winning five times. Three of the games were decided by one point (including one in overtime), and the most-lopsided game was an 18-point TCC victory. This will be the first time the teams have met on either's home field, with the previous six games being played at the Georgia Dome or Brookwood in the state semifinals or Corky Kell Classic.
North Oconee at St. Pius
North Oconee (0-0) starts its season with a pair of potent offensive weapons in senior QB Nick Colvin and sophomore RB Kawon Bryant. Last year, Colvin caught five TD passes, threw for another five, rushed for eight scores and had kickoff and punt returns for TDs, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. Bryant rushed for 1,026 yards and 15 touchdowns last year.
St. Pius (1-0) has a new starting quarterback and four new starters on the offensive line, but the Golden Lions still got their running game going last week in a 21-3 win over Westminster. St. Pius had 308 yards rushing, led by Ryan Braswell's 141 yards and two TDs.
North Oconee, playing its ninth season of football, broke the school record for victories in a season last year, going 11-1 and reaching the second round of the Class AA playoffs. St. Pius tied the school record for victories, going 12-1 and reaching the AAA quarterfinals in 2011.
Southwest DeKalb vs. M.L. King
The Southwest DeKalb Panthers and M.L. King Lions take the field at Hallford Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in what will be just the third meeting between two schools separated but only a few miles.
The Lions hold a 2-0 advantage in the series having won the only meetings in 2008 and 2009 including a tough 13-9 victory in 2009.
Both teams enter the big Region 6-AAAAA opener with 1-0 records following season opening road wins last week. The Lions downed Stockbridge 23-0 in their opener while the Panthers held Pebblebrook to minus-11 rushing yards and picked off three Falcon passes in winning by an identical 23-0 margin.
Chamblee vs. Druid Hills
Chamblee and Druid Hills meet for the 17th time this week at 8 PM Friday in the second game of an Adams Stadium double-header. It’s been a competitive series over the years with the Bulldogs holding a 13-12-1 lead.
The teams last met in 2007 in a game Chamblee won 53-13. The Bulldogs are 1-0 on the season following a convincing 38-6 win over Dunwoody last week while Druid Hills is also 1-0 coming off a 33-2 win over Clarkston.
Stephenson vs. Arabia Mountain
Stephenson had its season opener against Pensacola Pine Forest (FL) cancelled last week due to Hurricane Isaac. The Jaguars will now open their season Friday night with a first-time matchup with the Arabia Mountain Rams (1-0).
The Rams are off to a 1-0 start in their fourth season of play following a 40-0 win over Clarkston two weeks ago. The pair meets Friday at 8 p.m. in the nightcap of a Hallford Stadium double-header.
Here’s the complete game schedule for this week:
Friday, Sept. 7
Strong Rock Christian (1-0) vs. Clarkston (0-1), Hallford Stadium, 5:15 p.m.
Cedar Grove (0-2) vs. Douglass (0-1), Grady Stadium, 5:30 p.m.
Dunwoody (0-1) vs. Lakeside (0-1), Adams Stadium, 5:15 p.m.
Chamblee (1-0) vs. Druid Hills (1-0), Adams Stadium, 8 p.m.
North Oconee (0-0) at St. Pius (1-0), Hughes Spalding Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
McNair (1-0) vs. Columbia (1-0), Avondale Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Thomas County Central (1-1) at Marist (1-0), Maloof Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Washington (1-0) vs. Lithonia (0-2), Panthersville Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Redan (1-0) at Shiloh (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Therell (0-1) at Decatur (0-1), Decatur Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Stephenson (0-0) vs. Arabia Mountain (1-0), Hallford, 8 p.m.
Miller Grove (1-0) vs. Mays (0-1), Lakewood Stadium, 8 p.m.
Tucker (1-0) vs. North Atlanta (0-1), Grady Stadium, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 8
SW DeKalb (1-0) vs. M.L. King (1-0), Hallford Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Towers (0-1) vs. South Atlanta (1-0), Grady Stadium, 7 p.m.
Bye Week: Cross Keys (0-1), Stone Mountain (1-1)
I’m heading out of town for the weekend and won’t have a chance to post on Sunday with results of this week’s games. Enjoy the football this weekend and check back next Thursday for a preview of Week 4 action.
John Becker is a 30-year Atlanta resident, currently living in Virginia-Highland. John’s a freelance writer and an avid high school, college and pro football fan (much to the detriment of most other productive activities during the fall). As the Voice of Adams Stadium (public address announcer), John brings a unique perspective to his analysis of high school football in DeKalb County and he looks forward to sharing his insight with fans through his blog.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @JNBecker.