Class 4A Blog: Starr’s Mill to close non-region slate Friday night ahead of Region 4 gauntlet

Credit: AJC Sports

Credit: AJC Sports

Starr’s Mill has made an early impression in its Class 4A debut with a 2-0 start, which were both victories against higer classifications. The Panthers opened the year with a 27-17 home win over Class 7A East Coweta and then scored a 19-0 road win over Northgate this past Friday. Now, head coach Chad Phillips will close out non-region play this Friday against Luella before the team rests on a bye week. Region play will pick up on Sept. 6 and Starr’s Mill will be taking on a star-powered Region 4 that has seen several teams earn top 10 recognition already with Troup, Trinity Christian, Whitewater and LaGrange.

Phillips will be featured on the Georgia Prep Sports: Drive for the GHSA State Title podcast Wednesday at 12 pm and that interview will air for free right HERE.

The Panthers are among the 15 teams within Class 4A that carry 2-0 records into this weekend and are one of the four remaining Region 4 teams that have gotten off to a similar fast pace. Troup opened up a 22-0 lead in the first quarter and closed out the half leading 36-14 in its 49-21 win over Hardaway Thursday night. The Tigers improve to 2-0 and are in a stacked Region 4 with rival LaGrange—who posted a big 56-28 victory over Northside-Columbus. LaGrange previously defeated Smiths Station (AL) 49-20 and is therefore putting up 52.5 ppg through its first two outings. The Grangers are coached by Matt Napier, a former Callaway offensive coordinator and brother of University of Florida head coach Billy Napier. They took a 21-20 lead into the half before outscoring Northside 35-8 in the second half and 21-0 in the fourth quarter.

The other big winner this season was undoubtedly Cedartown, which was able to rack up a 47-7 win over Callaway last Friday night. Cedartown was 0-2 all-time against Callaway before Friday’s dominant 47-7 victory in their first meeting since the 2015 season. The Bulldogs had six different players rush for touchdowns and quarterback Reece Tanner connected with Harlem Diamond for a 56-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Taidji Neal (1-yard), Tae Harris (38), Patrick Gardner (2), Xavier Hargrove (5), Isaiah Johnson (6) and Jaquaveon Price (30) provided Cedartown’s six touchdown runs and put the Bulldogs up 47-0 before Jaquavious Whitfield scored a 3-yard Callaway touchdown with two minutes left to put the Cavaliers on the board.

Pace Academy survived a back-and-forth 21-19 thriller on the road to pick up its first-ever victory over Westminster. The visiting Knights led 6-3 at halftime before a wild third quarter ensued. They extended their advantage to 12-3 on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Conner Phelan to Cooper Williams, but Westminster stormed ahead 16-12 on a 70-yard strike from John Collier to Henry Chartrand and a 1-yard run by Quinton Ezzard. Pace Academy promptly answered with a 4-yard touchdown run by George Little late in the third quarter. The Wildcats pulled to within 21-19 on a fourth-quarter field goal from Josh Brockman, but their final drive that initially had them in range for a potential game-winning field goal eventually went backward and the Knights held on for the win.

Defending state champion Benedictine took a 500-mile trip south to Miami to take on Florida powerhouse Christopher Columbus and fell short 41-15. Benedictine’s Luke Kromenhoek and Zayquan Bryan connected for a first-quarter touchdown to tie the game against Christopher Columbus before the host Explorers pulled away on a 28-2 run. Columbus quarterback Alberto Mendoza threw touchdown passes to Jose Leon and Ahmere Foster in the opening frame, and Sed Irvin Jr added rushing scores in the second and third quarters. Leon found the end zone again in the fourth, and after a Na’Seir Samuel touchdown for Benedictine, Speedy Bandy provided the final points of the game on the ground.

On Saturday, Riverdale played Class 3A runner-up Carver-Atlanta close until the Panthers ran away for a 44-24 victory in the second half in the fourth Annual Great Atlanta Bash. The Raiders led 12-8 following a three-yard touchdown run by Autavius Ison with 2:03 left in the half, but Carver outlasted them in the scorching Saturday heat at Henderson Stadium. Here’s a look below of all of this week’s results.



Shaw 2-0

Bainbridge 1-1

Cairo 1-1

Hardaway 0-2

Westover 0-2

Thursday, Aug. 25

Troup 49, Hardaway 21

Shaw 48, Kendrick 8

Friday, Aug. 26

Bainbridge 24, Coffee 21

Cairo 28, Monroe 3

Sumter County 26, Westover 21


Howard 2-0

Spalding 1-1

Westside 2-0

Perry 0-1

West Laurens 1-0

Baldwin 0-2

Griffin 0-2

Friday, Aug. 25

Putnam County 23, Baldwin 14

Veterans 49, Griffin 31

Howard 46, Central-Macon 19

Houston County 57, Perry 56

Mary Persons 41, Spalding 21

West Laurens 14, Dodge County 12

Westside-Macon 55, Southwest 19


Benedictine (1-1)

Burke County (2-0)

New Hampstead (2-0)

Wayne County (1-1)

Islands (0-2)

Southeast Bulloch (0-2)

Friday, Aug. 26

Christopher Columbus (FL) 41, Benedictine 15

Burke County 28, Effingham County 10

Savannah Christian 69, Islands 6

New Hampstead 44, Windsor Forest 7

Brooks County 39, Wayne County 25

Saturday, Aug. 27

Statesboro 56, Southeast Bulloch 14


Riverdale 1-1, 1-0

LaGrange 2-0

Starr’s Mill 2-0

Troup 2-0

Whitewater 2-0

Fayette Co. 0-2

Trinity Chr. 0-2

North Clayton 1-1, 0-1

Thursday, Aug. 25

Troup 49, Hardaway 21

Friday, Aug. 26

Mundy’s Mill 26, Fayette County 0

LaGrange 56, Northside-Columbus 28

North Clayton 21, KIPP Atlanta 20

Starr’s Mill 19, Northgate 0

Fellowship Christian 23, Trinity Christian 19

Whitewater 33, Union Grove 15

Saturday, Aug. 27

Carver-Atlanta 44, Riverdale 24


Hampton 2-0

McDonough 1-0

Pace Academy 2-0

Stockbridge 1-1

Woodland 1-1

Lovett 0-2

Luella 0-2

Mt. Zion 0-1

Friday, Aug. 26

Hampton 56, McIntosh 48

Greater Atlanta Christian 23, Lovett 19

Ola 42, Luella 14

Pace Academy 21, Westminster 19

Colquitt County 29, Stockbridge 0

Columbia 26, Woodland-Stockbridge 21


Westminster 1-1

Hapeville 0-2

Holy Innocents’1-1

Miller Grove 1-1

SW DeKalb 0-2

Stephenson 0-1

Clarkston 0-1

Druid Hills 1-0

Stone Mountain 0-2

Thursday, Aug. 25

Clarkston vs. Berkmar 21, Clarkston 12

Druid Hills 21, McNair 20

Miller Grove 24, Maynard Jackson 7

Redan 34, Stone Mountain 6

Friday, Aug. 26

Lee County 37, Hapeville Charter 0

Holy Innocents’ 42, Riverwood 0

Tucker 31, SW DeKalb 29

Pace Academy 21, Westminster 19

Saturday, Aug. 27

Stephenson vs. Hialeah (FL) (CANCELLED)


Cedartown 2-0

Central-Carroll 2-0

Heritage-Catoosa 2-0

Northwest Whitfield 2-0

Sonoraville 1-1

Southeast Whitfield 2-0

Friday, Aug. 26

Cedartown 47, Callaway 7

Central-Carroll 35, Bowdon 14

Heritage-Catoosa 24, East Hamilton 9

Northwest Whitfield 35, Coahulla Creek 31

Darlington 45, Sonoraville 22

Southeast Whitfield 34, Gordon Central 21


East Hall 1-0

Madison County 1-1

North Oconee 1-0

Walnut Grove 1-0

East Forsyth 2-0

Cedar Shoals 0-2

Cherokee Bluff 0-2

Chestatee 0-1

North Hall 0-1

Johnson 0-2

Seckinger 0-2

Friday, Aug. 26

Monroe Area 58, Cedar Shoals 13

Adairsville 51, Cherokee Bluff 50 OT

East Forsyth 48, Seckinger 0

West Hall 23, Johnson-Gainesville 7

Elbert County 48, Madison County 34