Class 2A blog: In brief — Haralson County makes rankings debut

No. 2 Fitzgerald beats Early County Monday; Dade County matches win total of past 3 seasons combined

With their 42-14 win over the then-No. 5 Callaway Cavaliers in their Region 5 opener, the Haralson County Rebels debut in the rankings at No. 9. The Rebels (6-1, 1-0) were playing on the road with Callaway favored by a touchdown, according to Maxwell’s Projections.

It’s the second year in a row the Rebels have beaten the Cavs (4-2, 0-1), who fall drop out of the rankings for the first time since 2015.

(Read the Week 8 recap here.)

The Rebels opened the game with three quick scores to take a 21-0 lead with five minutes to go in the first quarter. After Clay Hyatt’s 53-yard rushing touchdown opened the game’s scoring two minutes in, Jerrod Rodriguez intercepted Callaway on the ensuing drive, giving the Rebels possession at the Callaway 42. Hyatt later rushed for a 1-yard score to make it 14-0 with six minutes left in the first. The Rebels recovered a fumble on Callaway’s next possession at the Cavs 29 and, less than a minute later, Hyatt rushed for another touchdown, this from 34 yards to make it 21-0.

After a Callaway turnover-on-downs, the Rebels engineered a 10-minute, 15-play drive that ended with another Hyatt 1-yard score to give them a 28-0 lead they’d take into halftime.

“It was a really big momentum swing because it just kind of took some life out of them,” said Rebels coach Scott Peavey. “We had a huge crowd and our fans were dominating the energy for sure.”

The Cavs opened the second half on a 14-0 run to cut the lead in half, but the Rebels responded with a Jojo Chandler 25-yard rushing score with seven minutes left in the game, then tacked on another with four minutes left — Hyatt’s fifth rushing touchdown, from 3 yards out.

The Rebels are playing for their first region title in a program history that dates to 1968. They close the regular season with Temple on Friday, followed by Heard County (Oct. 22) and Bremen (Nov. 5).

For more from Peavey, listen to Ep. 34 of The Class 2A Blogcast here. Also, the Rebels’ Week 8, which also included the loss of longtime coach Frank Vohun, 74, will be chronicled in this week’s high school football feature, which will run online Thursday and in print Friday.

Here are the latest rankings, with each team’s previous ranking and record in parenthesis.

1. (1) Rabun County (6-1)

2. (2) Fitzgerald (5-1)

3. (3) Thomasville (6-1)

4. (4) Bleckley County (7-0)

5. (6) Jeff Davis (7-0)

6. (7) Northeast (5-1)

7. (8) Dodge County (4-2)

8. (9) Putnam County (7-0)

9. (NR) Haralson County (6-1)

10. (10) Washington County (3-2)

Out: No. 5 Callaway

In brief

Region 1:

  • In a game played Monday, the No. 2 Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane beat the Early County Bobcats 22-0. The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 8, but was moved due to inclement weather. Both teams play Friday, with the Purple Hurricane (6-1, 2-0) traveling to Worth County (3-4, 0-2), and the Bobcats (2-4, 0-2) hosting Berrien (3-3, 1-1).
  • The Thomasville Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) turned in a highlight-worthy performance in their 42-7 win over Worth County.

Region 2:

  • No team in 2A has given up fewer points per game than Jeff Davis (5.2), according to GHSF Daily. The Yellow Jackets are 7-0, 2-0, after beating Vidalia 26-7.

Region 3:

  • Travion Solomon was recently named Macon Touchdown Club Back of the Week for his three-touchdown performance in a 27-23 comeback win over Washington County in Week 7. The Raiders beat Southwest 48-6 to improve to 5-1, 2-0.

Region 4:

  • The Westside Patriots beat Butler 33-0 for their second shutout of a region opponent and third overall this season. Their performance on the offensive line was highlighted by GHSF Daily this week. The Patriots are 5-2, 3-1 under first-year coach Lee Hutto and looking to qualify for the playoffs a second year in a row.
  • The Laney Wildcats are 5-2, 3-1 after beating Josey 8-2. AugBball has highlights. They’re playing for their first winning season since 2015, and first playoff appearance since 2016.

Region 5:

  • The Heard County Braves beat the Temple Tigers 49-20 in their region opener, improving to 4-3. They’re on bye next week, then host No. 9 Haralson County (6-1, 1-0).

Region 6:

  • Prep Sports Nation featured Washington coach Justin Rivers, who talked about the Bulldogs’ 20-6 win over Therrell. The Bulldogs are 3-2, 2-2 in a three-way tie with Pace Academy (2-4, 2-2) and Towers (2-4, 2-2) for fourth place.
  • The South Atlanta Hornets are 5-1, 4-0 after beating Towers 55-20 on Thursday. It was another monster night for Keyjaun Brown, who rushed for 259 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
  • The Columbia Eagles are 6-1, 5-0 after beating McNair 57-0 on Thursday. According to stats provided by DeKalb Schools sports information director Mark Brock, the Eagles allowed just 30 yards rushing and 10 passing, and had 16 tackles for a loss.

Region 7:

  • The Dade County Wolverines improved to 5-1, 2-0 after edging Model, 20-17 in overtime. WTVC has highlights. The Wolverines have as many wins this season as the past three combined (5-27). They’re off to their best start since 2015, when they finished 6-5 for their last winning season and playoff appearance.

Region 8:

  • GPB’s “Football Fridays in Georgia” podcast recently had Rabun County Wildcats coach Jaybo Shaw as a guest. During the podcast, Shaw said Riverside Military (1-4, 0-1) canceled its game against the Wildcats (6-1), who have yet to play a region opponent. The Wildcats open at Banks County (1-5, 0-1) on Friday.

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