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PREP ROUNDUP: Calhoun County holds on to beat Dougherty

Cougars score early, then hold on to improve to 1-1

Albany High’s Jalen Guest (2) chases Mitchell County quarterback Troy Chester Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)

Albany High’s Jalen Guest (2) chases Mitchell County quarterback Troy Chester Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)

It was a game Calhoun County coach John Williams said his team sorely needed after last week’s loss at Clinch County.

With the Cougars holding a seven-point advantage and Dougherty trying to mount a comeback, linebacker Anthony Johnson forced a fumble on a hook-and-lateral play and defensive tackle Shamir Shedrick scooped up the loose ball and scored on a 20-yard play, sending the Cougars to a 26-13 victory.

“After last week, we had been struggling a lot and had some things not go our way,” Calhoun County coach John Williams said. “We don’t really have the numbers to compete and our guys got tired, but they toughed it out. I’m extremely proud of them.”

Williams said Dougherty had the scenario to execute the perfect hook-and-later play, but Johnson had other ideas.

“Their guy was ready to pitch it and AJ hit him, then the ball popped out,” Williams said. “Anthony was in the right place at the right time.”

Johnson scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 60 and 30, while Sherrod Williams added a 20-yard score.

Dougherty (0-1) lost two fumbles in the first quarter and dug itself into an early deficit. They tried to rally, but it fell short.

“We didn’t play well in the first half at all,” Dougherty coach Corey Joiner said. “We botched a snap that really killed our momentum. We came out and stopped them in the second half, but it was too late.”

MONROE PLAYS BETTER: Monroe coach Charles Truitt said he was pleased with his team’s 34-0 victory over Terrell Academy.

Unlike last week when Monroe alternated quarterbacks Willie Jones and sophomore Ulysses Williams, Jones played the entire game. He tossed a 15-yard touchdown to Devontavis Campbell and a 5-yarder to Deonte Young. He also scored on a 22-yard touchdown run.

Daryl Brown scored on a 48-yard run, while Brenton Truitt added a 2-yard scamper.

“We played a lot better tonight than we did last week,” Monroe coach Charles Truitt said. “We started off a little slow, but then we scored on some big plays. Our defense played really aggressive all night. The kid’s mindset was right. We’ve still got some problems to correct, but we played better.”

MITCHELL ROLLING: After its 24-8 victory over Albany Friday night, Mitchell County can turn its attention to Pelham. But coach Larry Cornelius wants his team to understand they can’t leave scoring opportunities on the field.

“I was proud of our defense … they played very well,” Cornelius said. “But we did squander a lot of opportunities. I feel like our offense is going to click down the road, but we can’t expect to win when we’re misfiring on offense.”

Quarterback Troy Chester had a strong outing in his debut, tossing a pair of touchdown passes to Terry Burley and getting a 2-point conversion run from Malik Rhodes. But the game wasn’t sealed until McKinley West returned a punt for a touchdown 44 yards midway through the final quarter and Josh Carter added the 2-point conversion run.

TOUGH TEST: Deerfield-Windsor gave Florida powerhouse North Florida Christian all it could handle Friday night before falling 24-13.

Knights coach Allen Lowe, whose team fell to 1-1 with the loss, said North Florida Christian is one of the toughest tests Deerfield-Windsor will face this season.

“That’s a strong team … they threw a lot of bodies at us,” Lowe said. “They wore us down. But I’m proud of our kids for hanging in there with them. Our guys played extremely hard.”

Quarterback Tyler Lowe tossed a touchdown pass to Nick Wendland and also scored on a rushing touchdown.

The Knights will make their home debut next week after a pair of road games to open the season.

“Hopefully – and I’m pretty sure we’re good – we didn’t get banged up too bad and we’ll be ready to get back after it next week,” coach Allen Lowe said. “We finally get to play a home game, and we’re looking forward to that.”

SHERWOOD’S BIG DECISION: Sometimes coaches make personnel moves out of necessity. Sometimes they go with a hunch based on matchups.

For Sherwood Christian Academy coach Otis Covington, the decision to move last week’s starting quarterback, Chris Thomas, to wide receiver Friday for injured standout Ben Williams was a little of both.

And it worked like a charm.

Thomas caught 11 passes from his replacement, Dylan Evans, for 138 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 27-14 home victory over Glenwood Academy, their first of the season.

“It wasn’t like this was foreign for Dylan or Chris,” Covington said. “During the preseason, we played both of them equally. With Ben out, we felt we would be more explosive with Chris at wideout. We felt coming in that we were going to be able to throw on them because of the way they align their secondary.”

Throw the Eagles did, with Evans connecting on 13 of 19 passes for 178 yards and the three scores to Thomas. The first two of those Evans-to-Thomas tosses – one of 34 yards and one of 11 – gave Sherwood a 13-0 lead.

Glenwood cut its deficit to 13-7 and drove to Sherwood’s 4-yard line just before halftime, but the Eagles stiffened, stopping Glenwood on downs.

Evans teamed with Thomas for a 14-yard TD pass to finish the Eagles’ scoring, and the defense did the rest, allowing Glenwood to score once more on a long run.

“It’s a long road to get to the kind of consistency you’re looking for, but I feel like we’re on our way,” Covington said. “We’ve got eight seniors this year, and I’m excited about the possibilities.”

NO TV LETDOWN: So much for a post-ESPN letdown.

The Herald’s top-ranked Lee County Trojans had no problem refocusing their attention on Crisp County’s Cougars Friday night less than a week after opening the season with a 13-0 victory over Westover that was broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Lee quarterback Garet Morrell threw four touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Trojans blew away the Cougars 49-12.

“I thought we played pretty well coming off that big game last week,” Lee coach Dean Fabrizio said of his 2-0 Trojans. “We were a little sluggish in practice this week, but the kids came out and played well. A lot of them were sick with colds, so we had to fight through that to.

“Garet did a good job tonight in only his second game at quarterback. He’s maturing and getting a little better each week. And the defense had another strong game. Linebacker Dextric Green, safety Chris Melton and corner Curtis Williams are the leaders over there for us.”

The Trojans had no problem with Crisp, building a 28-6 halftime lead and cruising to the easy win. Sophomore wideout Tray Eafford got the game’s first score on a 29-yard toss from Morrell, and before the Cougars got on the scoreboard on a 30-yard pass by Whit Campbell, Lee added three more touchdowns.

Jamal Gardner scored on a 1-yard plunge, Willie Kelly added a 15-yard burst and J.Q. Quimbly caught a 34-yard pass from Morrell.