Class 4A Blog: Classification has strong showing Week 1

The opening week of the 2021 football season saw Class 4A perform much better than last year in terms of overall win percentage. The biggest headline from Friday occurred with No. 1 ranked Jefferson outclassing Class 2A No. 1 ranked Rabun County 22-13. This is a huge positive sign for the Dragons as their defense successfully throttled UGA-commit Gunner Stockton and the Wildcats to just 13 points. Head coach Gene Cathcart praised his linebacking corps this offseason and pointed out that all three starters were returning and they were able to make a big statement to open up the season. Commerce transfer and sophomore Sammy Brown also had a massive debut and led Jefferson with 157 rushing yards off 13 carries and a gamechanging 74-yard touchdown run.

Cedartown faced off with Class 7A Denmark for the first time in school history and won the cross-classification battle 7-3. The Bulldogs’ Patrick Gardner scored the lone touchdown of the night and Harlem Diamond, Jordan Johnson, and Xavier Hargrove all provided interceptions for the Bulldogs, who will host Rockmart next week.

Another significant outcome came with Troup’s 28-21 victory over Harris County. The Tigers lost this game a year ago and got off to an 0-3 start before getting hot and becoming a strong contender. This turnaround campaign was propelled by underclassman quarterback Taeo Todd and he is off to a strong start this season. In Friday’s win, Troup took a 14-0 second-quarter lead over Harris County when Todd ran a quarterback keeper 36 yards for a touchdown. Back-to-back Harris County scores tied the game early in the third, but Troup regained the lead on a pass from Todd to Dwartney Wortham. Harris County then tied the game again at the end of the quarter, and Todd again put Troup back out front when he connected with Presley McDaniel. An interception from CJ Sands sealed the win for the Tigers.

Ridgeland finished last season 1-7 and has already matched that win total after a 19-0 win over first-year program and Class 3A East Forsyth. Hapeville Charter was predictably outclassed by Class 7A state championship contender Milton 45-0 and Mays dropped its battle to Class 7A West Forsyth 52-6 on Wednesday in the Corky Kell Classic.

Fayette County domintated Midtown (formerly Grady) 67-0 at home—marking the highest output by the Tigers since 1997′s 68-13 win over McIntosh. Druid Hills also picked up a dominant victory with its 49-0 shutout over Stone Mountain and McDonough shutout ML King 34-0.

Baldwin continued the trend of great defense and big victories in its 42-6 win over Liberty County and LaGrange was a 24-6 winner over Upson-Lee. Stephenson defeated Lithonia 16-6 in what was Marcus Jelks’ head coaching debut with the Jaguars. Flowery Branch also represented Class 4A with a strong 21-14 victory over St. Pius and Carver-Columbus played very well in a 24-21 defeat to Class 6A powerhouse Lee County. Additionally, North Oconee dropped a competitive 35-28 loss to rival and Class 3A contender Oconee County