Class AA blog: In brief — Jeff Davis looking to accomplishing something it hasn’t done in 20 years

For the second year in a row, the Heard County Braves have exited the rankings early in the season. With their 61-7 blowout loss at home to Hapeville Charter on Friday, they fell to 0-2 and, barring a drastic turnaround, they’ll likely be 0-3 next week after playing top-ranked Rockmart.

Last year, the Braves started the season ranked No. 2 but dropped two of their first three to Hapeville and Rockmart by a combined 66-3 to fall from the rankings. As has been extensively documented here, they wouldn’t lose again and claimed the first state title in program history. They would re-enter the rankings after their eighth game, when they beat then-No. 2 Callaway, 13-10. That win moved them from unranked all the way to No. 3.

It’s hard to envision a path for the young, reloading Braves back into the rankings this season, especially given the unlikelihood they beat Callaway again this year. 

Heard County’s exit from the rankings cleared a path for Fitzgerald to quickly return. Perhaps the pollsters had an itchy trigger finger to remove the Purple Hurricane so fast from their No. 3 ranking when they lost to a more-than formidable opponent in A-public’s top-ranked Clinch County. In any event, the Canes bounced back to shut out Dooly County 30-0. They take the Braves’ place in the rankings at No. 9 and, other than that, the rankings remain unchanged from last week.

For the Week 3 Friday night recap, go here.

Below is the new top 10. The number in parenthesis represents the previous week’s ranking.

1. (1) Rockmart (2-0)

2. (2) Hapeville Charter (1-1)

3. (3) Callaway (1-1)

4. (4) Dublin (2-0)

5. (5) Rabun County (2-0)

6. (6) Washington County (2-0)

7. (7) Brooks County (1-1)

8. (8) Swainsboro (1-1)

9. (NR) Fitzgerald (2-1)

10. (10) Dodge County (1-1)

Out: No. 9 Heard County

In brief:

  • The Social Circle Redskins took the field for a cause last week by raising awareness for childhood cancer. They also posted their first win of the season, 64-0, over Cross Keys. Jamie Walker has the game story for The Covington News.
  • Glynn Academy’s game at Groves was postponed with no makeup date announced thanks to the threat of Hurricane Dorian. Toombs County’s home game was cancelled, and it’s the second of the Bulldogs’ three games to be affected by weather.
  • Hapeville Charter assistant Kevin Pope is one of many in the GHSA community sending support to the Howard family, who were dealt a crushing tragedy.
  • WJCL has highlights from Vidalia’s exciting comeback win (1:51 mark) and Jeff Davis’ 53-0 win over East Laurens (3:44 mark).
  • Jeff Davis’ 53-0 win over East Laurens was the first shut out for the Yellow Jackets since 2014, when, on Sept. 19, they defeated Long County 24-0 as part of back-to-back shutouts — they beat Montgomery County 14-0 the week before. The Jackets, under third-year coach Lance Helton, are 3-0 and eyeing back-to-back postseason berths for the first time since 1998-99 — exactly twenty years ago. 
  • Vidalia scored 21 unanswered points to beat ECI, 24-21. Southeast Georgia Today has the writeup. 
  • Here’s Tank Bigsby capitalizing on a LaGrange turnover with a 5-yard touchdown run. He’d also punch in the 2-point conversion.
  • The West Georgia Football Podcast breaks down Callaway’s win over LaGrange.
  • WRBL opens its highlight segment with Callaway’s win over LaGrange.
  • The Berrien Rebels defeated Bacon County, 44-26, to move to 2-1 on the season. Ja’Marquis Johnson rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries and also threw for a touchdown. The Rebels are hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 in coach Tim Alligood’s second year.
  • Union County posted a 60-7 win over Towns County. Todd Forrest has the game story for NGN Sports.
  • Bleckley County rallied to defeat Telfair County, 28-21. The Royals are 2-1 and eyeing their first playoff berth since 2014.
  • The Douglass Astros appear to be the one team in 6-AA that could legitimately challenge Hapeville Charter for the No. 1 seed. They’re off to a 3-0 start after beating Towers 51-7. They’re already 1-0 in 6-A play, having beaten Washington 20-7 in the season opener. The Astros play Hapeville on Oct. 4 at Banneker.
  • Though Heard County fell hard to Hapeville Charter, The Arrow pointed out a silver lining in junior running back Alex Boyd’s 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
  • I’ll be writing an in-depth story later in the week that touches on this subject, but parents and adult fans must behave like adults, as GHSA executive director Dr. Robin Hines and NFHS executive director Karissa Niehoff wrote in a recent op-ed
  • WTXL has highlights from Brooks County’s loss to Clinch County (2:40 mark) and Thomasville’s loss to Colquitt County (3:24 mark).
  • The Temple Tigers went with an all-black uniform last week and it worked, as they beat Kendrick 35-0 for their first shutout since Sept. 1, 2017. They’re 2-0 and have already topped last year’s win total. Whether they can make noise in Region 5, where Callaway, Heard County, and Bremen also reside, remains to be seen.
  • The Pepperell Dragons notched their first win of the season, 34-20, over Pickens. Noah Syverson has a writeup for the Rome News-Tribune and RJ Casey has one for FYN.
  • Heard County’s lopsided defeat at the hands of Hapeville Charter ranks amongst the greatest ever for a defending state champion.
  • The AJC’s top performers for Week 3 include Callaway defensive end Anthony Elliot (16 tackles — five for losses — and 2.5 sacks); Jordan quarterback Kyntravious Giddens (335 passing  yards, four touchdowns); Pepperell quarterback Shannen White (9-of-13 passing for 121 yards two touchdowns; eight carries for 79 yards and one touchdown); South Atlanta athlete Pete Boyd (five touchdowns — three rushing, one receiving, one returning a punt — and 172 all-purpose yards). The offensive lines for Berrien and Jeff Davis earned “lines of distinction” honors.

Follow the AJC’s Class AA coverage on Twitter.

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