The No. 5 Trojans (5-2, 4-0 Region 5-AAAA), who beat Shaw, 45-12, kept pace with top-ranked Sandy Creek (7-0, 4-0) in the region standings in what could become a two-team race for the 5-AAAA title after LaGrange was upset by Fayette County. The No. 7 Braves (7-0, 5-0 Region 5-AA), meanwhile, tightened their grip on earning the program’s first region title since 2006 — and only the third in school history — with a 54-7 thumping of Jordan at Staples Stadium.
And while homecoming week is always one that stirs a little anxiety among coaches at all levels — Carrollton’s Rayvan Teague included — the Trojan head man said he also understands that it is a special time in young peoples’ lives that they won’t get to experience again.
Teague, who started a tradition in recent years of holding a short practice following the homecoming parade on gameday, said his team had a former Trojan return and speak to it in honor of homecoming Friday.
“It’s joyful times. Memories for the kids. So it’s worth all the hassle. Zach Gordon came back [Friday] and talked to the team. Here’s a kid playing Division I football [at Wake Forest] that had 18 choices of where to go, and he told them there’s no greater time than the time here as a Trojan. So we’ve got to remember that as coaches and adults that these are memories they’ll have forever. Homecoming is just part of that experience,” Teague said.
For Heard County coach Tim Barron, he described his players’ mentality as very business-like during the game, noting that they knew when to focus and when it was time to start having a little fun.
“We had homecoming this week and a lot of distractions in coming off a big, overtime win last week. So we were guarded against the kids coming out and having a letdown. We knew we were dealing with an emotional high with everything going on. But the kids came out and executed. They did it from start to finish,” Barron said.
Not many freshmen step on the field at the varsity level at Carrollton, but there’s a special few that are hard to keep bottled up in the JV ranks. And one young Jarvis Terrell definitely fits that mold.
He only needed 12 seconds to show why that is on Friday.
Terrell started the Trojans’ homecoming victory with a bang, darting 83 yards on the opening kickoff to give Carrollton a lead it would never relinquish. The diminutive back also had an ankle-breaking 36-yard run that set up his own three-yard touchdown run one play later in the second quarter of the 45-12 win.
“We knew that sooner or later he was going to explode this year. He’s just a freshman. He’s getting more and more confidence. He showed a lot of speed, a lot of vision there. He hit it wide open, and it was definitely a good way to start the football game,” Teague said of the kickoff return.
Terrell, who now has 312 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 43 carries for the season, said it was an amazing adrenaline rush to take it to the house to start the game.
“It was a great experience, man. You know, having that first score of the game, it just opened everything up for the team,” Terrell said.
A Slippery Slope
At the beginning of the season — most notably against Haralson County and Bremen — the Central High School football team made some mistakes, but it was able to regroup, regain its composure and find a way to win the football game. That wasn’t the case on Friday night.
Central (4-4, 3-2 Region 4-AAA) fumbled the ball eight times and lost seven of them and were never able to get going offensively. For the game, the Lion offense out-gained Rockmart, 296-225, but were on the short end of a 28-7 final score.
Central coach Grant Chesnut wasn’t sure what his team was doing that allowed for the seven giveaways, noting that it seemed like more of an aberration from the norm.
“It was stuff we kind of haven’t been doing lately. Earlier in the year, we were kind of doing it, but we were finding a way to win in a couple ball games we did that stuff in. [Friday] night, Rockmart did a great job. They out-played us, out-coached us. We definitely did enough to hurt ourselves and make it a little easier on them,” Chesnut said.
No Longer the Underdog
Mt. Zion hasn’t been favored to win many ball games in recent years — if any — but the Eagles were just that on Friday night against Cross Keys. And in their first opportunity of playing the Goliath, MZ squashed David over and over again.
The Eagles (4-3, 2-1 Region 6A-A) put on an offensive showcase, scoring on runs of 74, 63 and 55 yards. MZ added a 99-yard kickoff return and a pair of touchdown passes through the air.
It was the second time this season the Eagles have put up 50-plus points and gives them a three-game winning streak going into what could be the biggest game of the season against Darlington, where they can put themselves in first place in 6A-A with a ‘W.’
“It gives us three wins in a row, puts us at 4-3 on the season. We feel like we’ve made some strides and gotten a little better in some areas. We still have some work to do in our kicking game, but we blocked and tackled well. We get ready for a huge game next week against Darlington,” MZ coach Keith Holloway said.
Run Devils Run
The Bowdon High School football team did what it does best Friday in Columbus — run the football. In fact, the Red Devils (7-1, 5-1) didn’t even attempt a pass during the opening 24 minutes of their 61-28 victory over Spencer. Bowdon rushed for 488 yards on 53 carries — and every one got in on the act.
Darnell Holland led the way with 138 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, and he was joined by Chris Keith (131 yards, 2 TDs), Pearce Kirk (95 yards, 3 TDs) and William Drummond (89 yards, TD).
Bremen, Villa Rica and Haralson County all fell to respective region powers on Friday, with the Blue Devils (4-4, 3-3) dropping a 40-12 decision at second-place Manchester, while the Cats (3-4, 3-4) suffered a 38-7 setback to first place and eighth-ranked Allatoona and the Rebels (4-4, 2-2) lost to first-place Callaway.
Times-Georgian Sports Reporter Jordan Hofeditz contributed to this article.