Class 5A blog: No. 1 Ware County scores big win ... Roundup of top games

High school football
High school football

Credit: For the AJC

Credit: For the AJC

The seniors at No. 1-ranked Ware County finally won their Border War.

The Gators scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and beat No. 6 Coffee 24-14 on Friday in the Region 1 opener for both teams. It was Ware’s first win over Coffee since 2016.

“Our kids played out of their minds,” Ware County coach Jason Strickland said. “It was just a great high school football game between two great programs.”

Coffee scored first on A.J. Wilkerson’s touchdown run and it took Ware County a couple series to get its offensive legs.

“Once Thomas (Castellanos, Ware quarterback) got used to what they were doing, he came to the sideline and said there were four or five plays that he was most comfortable win,” Strickland said. “So those are the ones we mostly ran.”

Coffee made some defensive adjustments to take away the outside and scored late in the third quarter to take a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter. That’s when Castellanos took over, leading the Gators on a long scoring drive to take the lead and engineering another one late in the game to secure the victory.

Castellanos ran for one touchdown and threw for two others in the win.

Wayne County knocks off No. 10 Veterans: Wayne County, which began the season in the top 10, knocked off No. 10 Veterans 10-7. Wayne County broke a two-game losing streak by kicking a late field goal to hand Veterans its third loss in a row.

No. 2 Blessed Trinity rolls: The Titans (3-0) got five touchdowns from Justice Haynes to overcome a 14-0 deficit. Two of the scores came in the fourth quarter to break open a 21-21 tie. The Titans had not played in a month and the inactivity was evident with four turnovers. Blessed Trinity plays at No. 4 Cartersville next week.

No. 4 Cartersville routs Hiram: The Purple Hurricanes (6-1) rolled to a 51-26 win. Cartersville’s offense got two touchdowns from Sam Phillips and Quante Jennings, while Brittan Walker scored on a pick-six.

No. 7 Ola improves to 6-0. The Mustangs took a 31-7 halftime lead and rolled over Union Grove 38-28.

No. 9 St. Pius runs past Lithonia: St. Pius (5-1, 3-0) got three touchdowns from fullback Jack Graham, who rushed 18 times for 101 yards, and whipped Lithonia 42-12 on Thursday. The Golden Lions ran for 303 yards and five touchdowns. Jack Tchienchou scored on a 17-yard pick-six on the first play of the game and scored on a 72 yard run. Shug Bentley set up Graham’s first touchdowns with an interception.

In other games around the state:

Robinson passes Clarke to big win: Quarterback Will Robinson threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in Clarke Central’s 30-7 win over Walnut Grove. Robinson connected for scores with Justin Hodges, Nono Mack and Sean Leahy. Walker Bradberry completed the scoring with a 40-yard field goal.

Woodland ends drought against Stockbridge: Woodland (5-1) scored an emotional 34-28 overtime against Stockbridge. It was the first time the Wolfpack had defeated its neighbor in nine tries. Woodland scored three times in a wild fourth quarter, kept Stockbridge out of the end zone in overtime and scored the winning touchdown.

Cass bounces back to beat Woodland-Cartersville: The Colonels (6-1) rebounded from last week’s thumping against Cartersville to defeat Woodland 28-9 and move one step closer to securing a spot in the playoffs. Devin Henderson threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Cass.

Harris County gets important win: The Tigers ended a two-game losing streak and solidified its playoff standing with a 28-21 win over Northgate. Harris County (4-2) overcame a 14-0 deficit to win the game.

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