Class A Blog: Week 2 recap

Here is a look at what went down in Week 2:

PAC, Philo bounce back

After a loss at Private No. 4 Calvary Day last week, Private No. 6 Prince Avenue Christian (1-1) and new starting QB Aaron Philo bounced back in record-setting fashion. Philo, a sophomore, threw for 557 yards, tossed four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in a 59-18 rout over Christian Academy of Knoxville (TN), which competes in Tennessee’s second largest classification in of private schools. Philo’s performance eclipsed that of last year’s starter, Brock Vandagriff, now at Georgia, who threw for 525 yards in a 62-57 loss in the second round of the state playoffs to eventual state champion Eagle’s Landing Christian.

ELCA still No. 2 despite loss

Strength of schedule matters. Eagle’s Landing Christian (0-2) was ranked as the Private No. 2 in pre season, and remains there after the Chargers suffered their second consecutive loss of the young season over the weekend. This time ELCA fell at Class 5A No. 2 Ware County, 52-28. The Chargers were supposed to play a much easier foe in Heritage-Newnan, but that game was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols at Heritage. At the same time, Ware’s game against Bartram Trail of Florida was canceled for the same reason, so both teams decided to play instead of taking the week off. In Week 1, ELCA dropped a tight one at Class 5A No. 10 Woodward Academy, 17-14.

Strength of schedule matters Part II: Defending public champ Irwin stays No. 1 despite loss

Preseason Public No. 1 and defending state champion Irwin County remains atop the rankings despite an 18-15 loss to Class 2A No. 3 Fitzgerald. Irwin trailed 7-6 at the half despite outgaining the Purple Hurricanes by a whopping margin of 193-1 in first half yardage. Fitzgerald got its points off a 73-yard fumble recovery touchdown and Irwin County’s touchdown was a 1-yard Cody Soliday touchdown run. Irwin County went up 12-7 in the third quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Soliday to Malachi Hadden and added a field goal to increase the lead to 15-7 with 5:34 left in the game. Fitzgerald answered with a 23-yard touchdown run and converted the game-tying two-point conversion to force overtime. Irwin County came up empty on the first possession of overtime following two unsportsmanlike penalties and Fitzgerald closed out the victory with a game-winning field goal.

Whitefield Academy moves up, moves Darlington out of top 10

Whitefield Academy (2-0) moved up from Private No. 9 to No. 6 with a 14-13 win at Darlington (0-2), which knocked the Tigers out of the top 10. Junior RB/LB Caleb LaVallee scored both Wolfpack touchdowns, the second with just under four minutes to play on a 42-yard run, provided the winning points for Whitefield. Wolfpack head coach Coleman Joiner calls LaVallee “the best player in single-A private.”

Bowdon, Pelham make big moves in top 10

Bowdon (2-0) moved from Public No. 10 to No. 6, while Pelham (2-0) advanced from No. 8 to No. 5 with big wins over the weekend. Bowdon won the 75th meeting with west Georgia rival Class 2A Bremen, 32-28, in a matchup that dates back to 1936. The Red Devils were led by junior QB Robert McNeal who completed 10 of 18 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns, while running for 89 yards on 15 carries, including a touchdown. Seniors Tanner Langley and Andrew Hopson had big nights as well. RB/LB Langley, caught five passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns while recording five tackles on defense, while WR/DB Hopson caught three passes for 105 yards and two scores, and grabbed an interception. Bowdon’s win knocked Bremen (1-1) out of the Class 2A top 10. Meanwhile, Pelham picked up its first win over southwest Georgia neighbor Early County (1-1) in 50 years, 26-21. The Hornets had lost the last five consecutive games to the Bobcats, including a 35-21 decision last year at Early County.