I’m pretty sure if Fox Creek had any inspirational quotes or messages posted around the locker room or weight room, they’ve surely been replaced by 8x10’s of a familiar face by now. Rarely do teams have courage personified in their own locker room as the Predators do in senior C.J. Williams. A couple of weeks ago Williams was scheduled for his first round of chemotherapy to treat a lump on his neck that he noticed after his team’s first game. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, better known by it’s first name, cancer. After arriving for treatment, Williams, was told that there had been a misdiagnosis and he’d be able to return to the game, and friends, that he cherishes so much. And return he did, garnering a crucial fourth-quarter interception against a driving Wagener-Salley squad, who owned the turnover battle in the first half before watching quarterback Marty Williams dominate the second half with touchdown runs of 69, 2 and 84 yards and get the 32-13 win at Lions Field.
In Columbia, Augusta Christian stayed undefeated on the year with a 27- 21 win over rival Ben Lippen. After a spirited performance from sophomore Thomas Banks that saw him score all the points for AC, and not just from the running back position (28 carries 161 yds. 3 TDs), but also on special teams with a 88 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. For a Lions team that has its share of upperclassmen playmakers, it’s got to be reassuring for Coach Keith Walton to have another viable option to go along with in their balanced attack.
Evans got back on the winning track with a 28-13 win over Glenn Hills. They have proven to be a very coachable, versatile bunch of gamers this year already. With starting running back Stephon Jacobs banged up with a shoulder injury, the Knights had senior receiver/defensive back Myles McDavid take snaps out of the “Wildcat” set, and got a defensive score—McDavid 60 yard fumble return for touchdown-- to go along with Eddie Johnson’s ultra-efficient (7/8 119 yards; 6 rushes for 65 yards) quarterback play. This group is making the most of their talent each and every week. They continue to find ways to stay in it and let their solid defense dictate the game. They remind me of Grovetown’s Boys Basketball team from last year. Their final record won’t be indicative of how well they played together and had to force square pegs in round holes at times.
To have only glanced at the score of the exciting Thursday night match up between Lakeside and North Augusta, you wouldn’t really have a clue as to how the game was played. In no time at all, a 14-14 tie quickly turned into a 38-22 defeat the worst way possible. It was a game completely decided by turnovers as North Augusta had six takeaways from Lakeside—really seven as Lakeside muffed a punt as well—and scored off those accordingly. Mark Weidenaar threw five interceptions, including two apiece to Devontez Rouse and Devon Grimes, who took one back for a touchdown, and never could get settled against the Yellow Jacket defense. The silver lining in this for Lakeside is in the play of running back Johnathon Long (113 yards rushing, including 79 in the first half), who emerged as a solid runner for the Panthers.
Games to Watch
Burke County @ Lowndes County-Friday 7:30
A favorite in AAA heads to a AAAAA powerhouse. Plain and simple, Burke County head coach Eric Parker will play anyone. Home or away.
Lakeside @ Northside-Warner Robbins- Saturday 7:30
Over the next two weeks, Lakeside (1-2) plays the #2 and #3 ranked teams in AAAA. The first opponent, #2 ranked Northside-Warner Robbins, is coming off a bye week. Gulp.
Thomson @ Washington County- Friday 7:30
Two weeks ago, Thomson proved they could win a shootout with a 57-39 win over Lakeside. WACO spent their bye week fuming over their close call with #3 ranked Statesboro (AAAA). Great match up between two Top-10 teams.
College/NFL Games to Watch
Coastal Carolina @ UGA- Saturday 1pm- Pay-per-view
The Dawgs are 0-2 for the first time since 1996 and look to get their first win of the year against the Chanticleers (SHON-ti-clears). Heading to Athens is the newfound CSRA Connection with junior QB Aramis Hillary-Strom Thurmond product, and sophomore WR Matt Hazel-former North Augusta Yellow Jacket. The two have shown great chemistry together-even hooking up for a 52-yard TD pass last week in a 20-3 win against Catawba.
Tennessee @ Florida- Saturday 3:30pm-CBS
Great rivalry. Plenty of offense in this one as the pro-style Gators looked primed to make a run at the SEC East division. Tennessee’s Tyler Bray (34-of-41 for 405 yards and four touchdowns against Cincinnati last week), leads his band of sophomore offensive studs (receivers Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter) to Gainesville looking to steal a win.
NFL- Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons-Sunday-8:20pm- NBC
If you don’t understand the significance of this game, I’ll defer to ATL native, T.I. for this one, ‘You don’t understand English, homeboy. I’m done talkin’.