We are only three weeks into the season and the Class AAAA field is already producing incredible results that are shifting the storylines. Here are the five biggest things that were made apparent this past Friday Night.
*Woodward Academy has a balanced offense and its defense is lightyears ahead of where it was this past season. This comes after a 19-0 win over Westminster to open the season and a 35-7 win over Grady Week 2. The War Eagles showcased their tremendous potential again on both sides of the football in their 13-10 road win over Blessed Trinity this week. The win also snapped Blessed Trinity’s 23-game win streak. Kicker James Mayfield tied the game 10-10 with a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter and sent through the game-winning 43-yarder with just 10 seconds left on the clock. The result also marked the first-ever win for Woodward Academy in its four all-time meetings with the Titans. Woodward Academy quarterback Mike Wright put the War Eagles up 7-0 in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Alan Wright. Blessed Trinity evened it up with a 10-yard touchdown run by Justice Haynes for a 7-7 tie at halftime. The Titans grabbed their first lead of the game with 6:29 left in the third quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Aaron Werkheiser before the pair of makes by Mayfield. Mike Wright led Woodward Academy in both passing and rushing, compiling 218 yards and a score off 19-of-31 attempts and 49 yards on 15 carries. Alan Wright finished with seven catches for 88 yards and touchdown.
*Thomson is playing like the frontrunner in Region 3-AAAA. The Bulldogs opened up the season with a 26-0 win over North Augusta (SC) and then scored another shutout this Friday—defeating Eagle’s Landing 35-0. The program went 5-7 last year in Michael Youngblood’s first year at the helm. Thomson has a long and difficult non-region schedule ahead that will tell us even more about this year’s squad. They will host Clark Central this Friday night before games against Greater Atlanta Christian, Grovetown and Lee County lead them into region play.
*Flowery Branch is relying on the ground game and it is working. I was disappointed when the Falcons’ senior quarterback Elijah Gainey tore his ACL this preseason and I had my doubts about this year’s Flowery Branch offense without his leadership. Clearly, head coach Ben Hall and his staff have found a way to adapt. Through two games, the team is not only undefeated, but has won its two games by a combined 88-0. Their 50-0 win over East Hall to open the season was followed by their big 38-0 win at Clarke Central this Friday. Having to rely on the run game this heavily early in the season, could benefit the offense later on in the season as the build off their early success.
*Denmark is ready for the big times. The Danes were a brand new school last year and played the entire season with a roster that was made up of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. This year’s team is still young, but clearly the program has been built to compete amongst the top tier of Class AAAA with the amount of talented players leading this year’s group. Denmark has opened up the year 2-0 and has outscored its two opponents 104-0. This Friday, Denmark will host Class AAAAAAA’s Forsyth Central—a team they defeated 7-3 last year in the program’s first signature win.
*Kobe Hudson is going to put up astronomical numbers to conclude his incredible varsity career. The Troup quarterback is one of the state’s most exciting playmakers and he has been phenomenal through the Tigers’ first pair of games. Hudson has already thrown for 551 yards and eight touchdowns and has rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns. His 12 touchdowns through two games and current yardage pace would put him at close to 4,000 total yards from scrimmage by the end of the regular season.