November 6, 2009

Instant Analysis: Georgia on my mind

MORE: No. 2 Don Bosco (NJ) crushes rival | No. 59 Butler (NC) wins Game of the Week

Dallas Jackson is the high school sports expert for RivalsHigh.com. Send him a question or comment at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him at twitter.com/rivalshigh.

Perhaps it's because it doesn't have a school in the Top 10.

Perhaps it's because its best-known team is down.

Perhaps it's just because it isn't Florida, Texas or California.

However, if you are looking for state with a ton of depth that can play football with any other, look no further than Georgia.

With 8 schools in the RivalsHigh Top 100 it has proven its depth. With Grayson and Lowndes bouncing in and out of the Top 10, it has proven it has a powerhouse. And it's doing all this despite the fact Valdosta - the nation's all-time winningest team - is having a down year.

What's left for these schools? Only a difficult run to become state champion. National respect already has been earned.

Here's a look at the best of the bunch:

RivalsHigh top 15 teams (alphabetically) in Georgia AAAAA football
Camden County: 8-2 overall, Region 3 AAAAA
Wildcats The Wildcats won 56-9 on Friday night soundly beating Bradwell Institute. Camden Co. has lost two games this season but both were teams who could win their state titles - Grayson (GA) and Hoover (AL). The "weak" region leaves a little to be desired as playoffs are set to start but Camden Co. was able to win the state title last year and is capable of doing it again. Jeff Herron is a very good coach and will have the Cats ready for a fight.
Colquitt County: 8-2 overall, Region 1 AAAAA, No. 66 RivalsHigh 100
Packers Colquitt went down 20-17 to Northside Warner Robins on Friday night. The loss will most likely cost the Packers their ranking but shows that the team can compete with some of the best in state. Coach Propst has turned around the team from Moultrie very quickly. The run heavy Region 1-AAAAA is having a tough time keeping up with WR Quin Roberson and the no-huddle offense.
Grayson: 10-0 overall, region 8 AAAAA, No. 11 RivalsHigh 100
Rams The Rams rolled Central Gwinnett 42-3 on Friday night and looked very good doing it. Grayson has, what appears to be, the best defense in the state. Shawn Green (Georgia Tech), Joseph Champaign (Navy), Kori Gaines (BYU), and Terry Williams (East Carolina) anchor the group that has been in mid season form all year. Mighty-mite Ean Pemberton paces the ground game for the Rams. At only 5-foot-4 he may not be Division I ready but he is certainly a workhorse for Grayson.
Lassiter: 10-0 overall, region 6 AAAAA
Trojans Lassiter got a big win Friday night over Roswell, 42-25. Quarterback Hutson Mason is breaking passing records every week. The Trojans have one of the most dangerous offenses in the state but will all that fire power hold up in the fist-fight that is the AAAAA playoffs? The shotgun style offense may work well in their region but what about when facing Lowndes or Grayson?
Lowndes: 9-1 overall, Region 1 AAAAA, No. 22 RivalsHigh 100
Vikings Beating Warner Robins, 31-17, on Friday night was another good win for the Vikings. The Wing-T offense is surprisingly explosive and can strike from all over the field. Lowndes does not like to pass and relies on pounding the ball until the opposition breaks down. Ed Christian and Telvin Smith are the keys to the defense providing a strong middle. The Vikings are hoping to get a rematch with Grayson.
M. L. King: 8-1 overall, Region 2 AAAAA
Lions The Lions have a showdown game on Saturday with another team on this list - Union Grove - but have showed they can compete in AAAAA. Mack Brown is one of the best running backs in the state and M.L. King is a defense oriented team. They are one of the most athletic teams in the Peach state as well.
McEachern: 10-0 overall, Region 5 AAAAA
Indians This is one of the best McEachern teams in quite a while and they completed an undefeated regular season as the Indians beat a marginal Cherokee team on Friday night, 48-13. Rajaan Bennett is one of the state's top running backs and just had a 5 touchdown nearly 300-yard game last week.
Newnan: 10-0 overall, region 4 AAAAA, No. 55 RivalsHigh 100
Cougars The Cougars, mainly a defensive team, gave up 26 points in their 43-26 win over East Cowetta. Entering the game Newnan only allowed 35 points all season. Alexander and Alec Ogletree lead one of the best defenses in the state. Alec, one of the countrys top safety prospects, has lined up on offense and hauled in a handful of touchdowns this season as well.
North Gwinnett: 10-0 overall, Region 7 AAAAA, No. 40 RivalsHigh 100
Bulldogs North Gwinnett has one of the best - and biggest - offensive lines in the state and they love to push people around. The Bulldogs justified their ranking with a 21-7 win over Peachtree Ridge Friday night. Jawuan James and Austin Shepherd anchor the offensive line that protects 2011 QB prospect C.J. Uzomah. Uzomah, who already has offers from all over the country, played wide reciever last year and has been running the spread very effectively this year.
Northside Warner Robins: 9-1 overall, Region 1 AAAAA, No. 69 RivalsHigh 100
Eagles Northside avenged their 21-20 loss to Warner Robins last week by coming out and beating Colquitt Co. 20-17 Friday night. Running back Shaq O'Neal totes the rock for a typical South Georgia team. The Eagles are a tough nosed defensive team that pounds the ball.
Peachtree Ridge: 8-2 overall, Region 7 AAAAA
Lions The Lions have had two major tests this season and did not pass either losing at Lowndes earlier and falling Friday night, 21-7, at North Gwinnett. The Lions have a very good defense and are lead by Erci Odonkor and Brian Williams, but have not showed they can win the state title. Brad Roby and Brandon Stanly lead the offense which has failed to show up in the two big games.
Roswell: 9-1 overall, Region 6 AAAAA
Hornets Roswell was having a sneaky good season until they ran into a Lassiter buzz saw losing Friday night, 42-25. Chris Boyd and Duvall Smith are studs for the Hornets on offense while defensive back Martin Jenkins is a ballhawk. The Hornets kicker, Richie Leone, can make clutch kicks and tack on points when other kickers may not be able to.
Stephenson: 10-0 overall, Region 2 AAAAA, No. 81 RivalsHigh 100
Jaguars The Jaguars may be the most athletic team in the state and have more than their fair share of Division I players. Running back Raymond Sanders (Kentucky) has really stepped up this year as the leader on offense while Mike Thornton, Jabari Johnson, Tyrone Cornelius, Chris Sharpe, and Kenneth Ladler wreak havoc on defense. Stephenson cruised passed Douglass 44-6 on Friday night.
Union Grove: 8-1 overall, Region 2 AAAAA
Wolverines Union Grove could get to a 9-win season with a big victory over M.L. King Saturday. Jordan Akins does everything for this Union Grove team that rates right behind Stephenson and M.L. King as one of the most athletic teams in the state. All three of those teams are in the same 5A region, too. Anthony Williams is one of the best DEs in the state.
Warner Robins: 6-4 overall, Region 1 AAAAA
Demons With their 31-17 loss on Friday night Warner Robins will not make the playoffs. Warner Robins is in a tough spot as they have losses to Colquitt Co., Valdosta, and Grayson but a win over cross town rivals Northside. The spot in the Top 15 in Georgia will probably fall to South Gwinnett.

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