Week 6 review: Coffee ascends to No. 1 for first time

Arabia Mountain's Kenneth Hollinger returns this interception 85 yards for a touchdown in its win over Locust Grove, Sept. 22, 2023

Credit: Mark Brock, DeKalb County Athletics

Credit: Mark Brock, DeKalb County Athletics

Arabia Mountain's Kenneth Hollinger returns this interception 85 yards for a touchdown in its win over Locust Grove, Sept. 22, 2023

The Coffee Trojans, who completed their non-region schedule with a perfect 5-0 record, have been elevated to the No. 1 position in the AJC rankings.

Coach Mike Coe’s team takes this week off before jumping into Region 1 competition against Bradwell Institute. There is a good chance the Trojans could end up meeting Ware County, which had been ranked No. 1 all season, for the region championship in the final week of the season.

Ware County, the 2022 state champions, retained its hold on the No. 1 spot after losing to Class 4A No. 1 Benedictine on Sept. 8, but dropped to No. 6 in the rankings after last week’s 35-21 loss to Class 4A No. 5 Bainbridge.

Coffee, a 21-0 winner over Richmond Hill last week, plays a fast-paced offense, which averages 70-plus snaps per game. Fred Brown has rushed for 827 yards and eight touchdowns and put up 212 yards and two touchdowns against Richmond Hill. Quarterback Trey Ross completed 11 of 13 passes for 120 yards.

The Trojans have been tough on defense, not allowing more than two touchdowns in a game and putting together back-to-back shutouts. Jyarius Carter leads with 28 tackles and Chris Reed is next with 21, including six tackles, two for loss, and one sack against Richmond Hill.

Coffee is ranked No. 1 in the state for the first time in school history.

Arabia Mountain cashes in early

Arabia Mountain continued its Revenge Tour by scoring four first-quarter touchdowns in a 41-16 win over Locust Grove. The Rams scored on their first two plays from scrimmage – a 77-yard touchdown pass from Solomon Washington to Daniel Ndukwe and a 35-yard pass from Washington to Alex Richard.

The Rams also got an 85-yard pick-six from Kenneth Hollinger, a 31-yard scoop-and-score by Ndukwe, a 60-yard kickoff return from Jordan Miller, and a 10-yard run from Jonathan Adeh Adimah

Arabia Mountain improved to 4-1 for only the second time in school history, the last coming in 2016. The Rams are off this week.

Tucker scores 41 … and loses

Jordan McCoy ran 24 times for 107 yards, caught three passes for 67 yards and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, but Tucker lost to Stephenson 48-41 in a non-region rivalry game. Jamar Graham completed 10 of 18 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. The Tigers (2-3) will open their Region 4 schedule on Friday against Decatur at Adams Stadium.

Eastside survives in 2 OTs

Eastside wasted a 20-0 lead, but survived for a 39-32 win over Flowery Branch in double-overtime. The Eagles kicked a field goal – one of three by freshman Johnathan Gomez -- in the first OT, scored on a 2-yard run by Anquez Cobb in the second OT and Marion Eubanks intercepted a pass to seal the victory.

Eastside’s Patrick Shaw completed 10 of 13 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. Jayden Barr ran 22 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns and Cobb rushed 18 times for 103 yards and one touchdown.

It is the 10th straight season that Eastside has won its region opener.

Jefferson prevails over Clarke

Jefferson coach Travis Noland called it a “slobber-knocker” and the Dragons beat Clarke Central 22-14 on Friday. Jefferson quarterback Gavin Markey completed 8 of 15 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and Sammy Brown ran 23 times for 179 and one touchdown, caught two passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Clarke’s Chase Berrong threw two touchdown passes, a 38-yarder to Jaylen Cofer and a 13-yarder to Jamarion Davis. Cofer finished with seven catches for 111 yards and one touchdown. Corey Watkins Jr. ran 23 times for 114 yards.

Dalton’s unbeaten streak ends

The Catamounts, ranked No. 10 a week ago, dropped to 4-1 with a 35-27 loss to Cedartown. Dalton trailed 35-19 with 8:49 remaining when Dalton mounted a comeback attempt. Quarterback Ethan Long threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to R.J. Storey and connected with Jefferson Locke for a two-point conversion. The Catamounts got the ball back with 1:23 remaining, but failed to cash in. The Catamounts were victimized by four lost fumbles. Long completed 26 of 41 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrix London caught nine passes for 138 yards.