High School Football

Restructure

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It has been an interesting few weeks in the Georgia High School Association.

The GHSA assigned classifications for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 athletic seasons in early November.

After the classifications were revealed then schools around the state had the opportunity to appeal their placement. Below are the GHSA rulings on the various appeals filed.

Appeals results:

From 7A to 6A:

Won – Arabia Mountain, East Paulding*, Etowah, Rockdale County, St. Pius, Woodward Academy

Lost – Camden County, Carrollton, Kennesaw Mountain, Richmond Hill

From 6A to 5A:

Won: Cartersville*, Chapel Hill, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate

Lost: Blessed Trinity, Marist, New Manchester

From 6A to 4A:

Lost: Thomas County Central

From 5A to 4A:

Won: Perry, Riverdale, Starr’s Mill, Walnut Grove, Whitewater*

Lost: Calhoun, Flowery Branch, Greater Atlanta Christian, Jefferson, Jenkins

From 4A to 3A:

Won: Central-Macon, Cross Creek, Johnson-Savannah, Pickens*, Richmond Academy, Ridgeland, Sonoraville*, West Hall

From 4A to 2A:

Lost: Lovett

From 3A to 2A:

Won: East Jackson*, Therrell

Lost: Bremen, Thomasville, Vidalia

From 2A to A:

Won: Bryan County

Lost: Social Circle

 

*Six schools were allowed to move down without appealing to accommodate schools below that won petitions to move up.

Schools petitioning to play up:

All won except Fellowship Christian, which must remain in Class A Private.

7A: Milton

6A: Jackson County

5A: Mays

4A: Holy Innocents’, Pace Academy, Trinity Christian

3A: Savannah, Woodville-Tompkins

2A: Aquinas, B.E.S.T. Academy, Coretta Scott King, Davidson Fine Arts, Elite Scholars, Johnson-Augusta, Technical Career Magnet

 

In coastal Georgia both Camden County and Richmond Hill lost their appeal to play in the 6A classification and will be forced to play in their correct classification on 7A.

The GHSA basically had their hands tied on this one. By granting an appeal to Camden and Richmond Hill the state would have been left with a three team 7A region in South Georgia. Under current playoff guidelines the top 4 teams in each region make the playoffs in each sport.

Region 1 AAAAAAA will look like this next year: Camden County, Colquitt County, Lowndes County, Richmond Hill and Valdosta.

This will be a brutal football region. Camden is rebuilding their football program and under Jeff Herron should be in the hunt for a region title in 2022.

Richmond Hill could struggle in this region in football, but will be very competitive in both basketball and baseball in their new region.

Region 1 will be the only 7A region in all of South Georgia. Richmond Hill had 7A numbers during the last cycle but appealed under the isolation rule and was allowed to play down in 6A.

Tift County dropped to 6A for the 22-23 seasons, which left old region 1 with 3 teams. With Valdosta moving back up into 7A, the GHSA could not grant appeals to both Camden and Richmond Hill so the GHSA denied their isolation appeals and will require them to play in the 7A classification.

In 6A The Coastal Georgia region will look like this: Brunswick, Effingham County, Glynn Academy, and South Effingham.

The GHSA will probably add three Augusta area schools of Grovetown, Evans, and Lakeside Evans to create a 7-team region.

With Richmond Hill moving up a class and Bradwell and Statesboro dropping to 5A, adding the Augusta schools replaces the three teams lost.

Wayne County who finished the season at 0-9 will drop down to 4A.

Benedictine will move up to 5A. Brantley County will drop to 2A. MCA will stay 1A. Ware County and Coffee County will stay in 5A.

Stay tuned for region placements coming in the near future where everyone will learn who they will compete against for the next couple of years.

Knights Quest

By: Jeff Doke

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Over the years, Frederica Knights teams have developed their own personalities from year to year, and historically become known by it.

The 2018 championship squad was known as the fastest. In 2017, they were heralded as the most “football smart” unit. The Dirty Thirty of 2020 was aptly described as the grittiest Knights team to take the field.

The 2021 squad will more than likely be remembered by a single trait; resiliency.

The cards were stacked against the 2021 Knights from the moment the 16 seniors that led the Dirty Thirty crossed the graduation stage. Any team that loses that amount of talent and leadership will feel the loss in the locker room. The lack of incoming players for the new season just added to the difficulties.

When all was said & done in the offseason, there would be a scant 22 players in green & grey starting off the 2021 campaign. Coach Brandon Derrick, needless to say, was trying to temper expectations.

“We’re not going to be flying around, trying to go no huddle with everybody. We’re going to slow it down, more ball control/clock control,” said Coach Derrick during a preseason interview.

After Senior QB Thomas Veal broke his hand during the week 1 victory over Valwood, the Knights were forced to show their resiliency once again. Shifting fellow senior Bryce Reilly from WR to QB, the target for opposing defenses shifted even further to record-setting RB Jordan Triplett.

Four tough losses and a bye week later, Veal returned to the lineup and things started clicking again.

A lopsided win over Memorial Day was followed by a solid victory over the hated Bulloch Gators, and then a historic performance from Triplett the following week. “The River” put up 442 yards rushing against the St. Andrews Lions for the 6th best rushing game in the history of high school football in Georgia.

More importantly, the victory took the Knights to a 4-4 record on the season at the time, and set them up for a region championship matchup against the Pinewood Patriots the following week.

After going up 13-0 early against the Patriots, Pinewood QB Mic Wasson turned on the jets and led his team to a 32-20 victory over our Knights. Another loss is the Pinewood game would be senior TE/LB Jon Phillip Spiers, who broke his hand and is out for the remainder of the season.

Which meant it was time to show that resiliency once again to wrap up the regular season.

On the road in Dublin, the Knights took care of the Trinity Christian Crusaders to the tune of 42-17.

The Knights have a bye week coming up this week and will face fellow bye week recipient Tiftarea Academy the following week in a rematch from week 3.

The Panthers won that game 29-7. The winner of that game will more than likely face defending state champion John Milledge Academy. The Trojans have been dominant against the GISA, losing only one game in the last three years.

That loss was to Frederica. Resiliency will absolutely be needed from the Knights if that matchup is in their future.

 

The Contenders

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

We are entering the last week of the regular season for Georgia high school football.

At this point we have separated the contenders from the pretenders. Let’s take a look at 6A to see who will bring home the state championship.

#1 Buford: The Wolves (8 – 1) lost to Chaminade-Madonna (FL), 7 – 0. They beat the #2 team in 7A, North Cobb, which is their only loss. Buford has only given up two points in region play. The last game of the season is at Dacula.

Last season was Buford’s first season in 6A after winning the 5A state championship in 2019. They beat Lee County in the championship game 34 -31. Senior wide receiver Isiah Bond is the No. 8 recruit in Georgia for the class of 2022 and he’s a four-star player. He’s committed to Florida.

Senior safety Jake Pope is also a four-star prospect and he’s committed to Alabama. Corner back Ryland Gandy has committed to Pitt. Running back Victor Venn has committed to Colorado. Quarterback Ashton Daniels is a Stanford commit.

The Wolves will win their third consecutive state title this season.

#2 Lee County: The Trojans (9 – 1) are on a collision course to meet Buford in the state championship game again. Their lone loss was a blowout against 5A Warner Robins, 56 – 30.

They beat North Miami Beach 68 – 49 to begin the month of October. It’s alarming that the defense has shown they will give up a lot of points.

Senior linebacker Jaron Willis is a four-star recruit and committed to Georgia Tech.

Offensive tackle Qae’shon Sapp is a three-star player and he committed to Florida State.

Safety Quavian Carter is also a three-star recruit and he committed to Michigan State.

Safety Malcolm Jones is a Virginia Tech commit.

On paper this team is as talented as any team in the state.

#3 Langston Hughes: The Panthers (8 – 1) lost the season opener 7 – 6 to 7A Newton. They reeled off eight consecutive wins after that. They beat crosstown rival, #6 Westlake 31 – 24.

Junior offensive tackle Bo Hughley is a four-star player and committed to Georgia. At 6’7 and 290 pounds he’s one of the most physically imposing players in Georgia.

Safety Terrance Love and wide receiver Robert Lockhart III are also a four-star players.

The final regular season game is Friday against Morrow. Hughes is legit and I expect them to make a deep run in the playoffs.

#4 Brunswick: The Pirates (9 – 0) are a bit of a surprise. Their undefeated and on the verge of winning region 2-AAAAAA. Their last game is at Effingham (6 -2), which will determine the region champion.

Senior OL Kanaya Charlton is a 4-star and is committed to Florida State.

#5 Rome: The Wolves (7 -2) are a perennial contender.

One of their loses was to the #1 7A team Collins Hill, which is expected. Their other loss was 34 – 32 to South Paulding, who is also in region 5-AAAAAA.

They have blown the rest of their opponents out.

The final game of the regular season is at Paulding County and they have a chance to win the region.

#8 Riverwood: The Raiders (8 – 1) are led by head coach Robert Edwards. As a running back at Georgia he’s most famous for leading them to their only victory against Florida while Steve Spurrier was the coach.

Riverwood has a prolific offense. They scored at least 24 points in every game this season.

They end the season at Chattahoochee.

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The Playoff Picture

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Well, here we go. The last week of the high school football regular season is upon us.

The playoffs will start in two weeks and as always southeast Georgia will be well represented. But who will be playing where?

Brunswick High Pirates: The Pirates will travel to Springfield Friday night to take on the Effingham Rebels in what amounts to a region championship game.

BHS is the last unbeaten team in 6A and comes in at 9-0 on the season and undefeated in the region. Effingham’s only region loss is to Richmond Hill.

If the Pirates knock off the Rebels, BHS will lock up a #1 seed and will most likely be hosting Tucker. However, if Effingham upsets the Pirates, then Effingham would be region champion and BHS would likely host Lovejoy as a #2 seed.

Ware County Gators: The Gators are 7-1 on the season and undefeated in their region. Ware holds wins over Coffee, Veterans and Warner Robins; thus, they have locked up the region no matter the outcome of the Wayne County game Friday night.

The Gators will most likely host Banneker out of region 3-5A in the first round.

MCA Buccaneers: MCA is 4-4-1 on the year and currently holds the #3 seed in 3-1A Public.

The Bucs will head up to Millen Friday night with the #3 seed on the line against Jenkins County. The winner of that game will get the #3 seed and the loser will end up with #4 seed.

A #3 seed means a road trip to Mitchell County, a very winnable game. However, a #4 seed means a date with the Pelham Hornets, a much tougher game.

Glynn Academy Red Terrors: The Red Terrors are 3-5-1 on the season and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in the Rocky Hidalgo era.

Glynn’s only chance to get into the playoffs is to beat Statesboro Friday night at Glynn County Stadium.

If the Red Terrors succeed at knocking off the Blue Devils, they will earn a #4 seed and they would face Langston Hughes, the #1 seed from region 4.

Langston Hughes knocked Glynn out of the playoffs last year in the second round, 35-0.

Camden County Wildcats: The Wildcats have struggled closing games in the second half of the season. Camden has locked up the #4 seed in their region with a 4-6 record.

The Wildcats lost the last 5 games of the season. In fairness, Camden could have very easily won 4 of those games.

The Wildcats will head up to Atlanta to play the #1 seed in region 3, North Cobb.

Camden is a very dangerous #4 seed.

Charlton County Indians: The Indians nipped Lanier County last week by one point, earning the #4 seed from region 2-1A Public.

Charlton will take on Atkinson County Friday Night to close out their regular season, looking for a 7-3 regular season.

After that the Indians will take to the road in the first round of the playoffs to take Montgomery County, the #1 seed from 4-1A Public.

Frederica Academy Knights: The Knights currently are 4-5 on the season and hold the #2 position in GISA 2-3A. Frederica will head up to Dublin Friday night to take on Trinity Christian.

If the Knights win over Trinity, they will finish #2 in the region, however GISA uses a different ranking system than GHSA.

The most likely scenario is the Knights end up with #5 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs.

Championship Contenders

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

We are in the second half of the high school football season. Teams have started region play and we have an idea of what playoff seeding might look like. I’m going to take a look at 7A to see what teams are serious championship contenders.

#1 Collins Hill: The Eagles (6-0) are the most talented team in the state. Five-star wide receiver/corner back and No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2022, Travis Hunter suffered an ankle injury last week. It was thought to be serious, but his head coach Lenny Gregory said he didn’t think it was severe.

“We don’t think it’s a season-ending thing,” he said. “We’re praying for good news obviously and I think, from everything we’re hearing, he’s going to be just fine.”

Collins Hill also has four-star quarterback and the No .10 recruit in the state, Sam Horn. In the same game, a 63 – 0 win over rival Peachtree Ridge he became Gwinnett County’s all-time leading passer. If Hunter returns, they will win the state championship. Junior tight end and four-star recruit Ethan Davis is the go-to playmaker while Hunter is not playing.

#2 North Cobb: The Warriors (5-1) only lost came in the season opener against the #1 6A team, Buford. They have steamrolled their opponents in their five consecutive victories. This is one of the most talented teams in Georgia.

Four-star cornerback and Georgia commit Marquis Groves-Killebrew is the best player on the team. They have another four-star and UGA commit on the team, wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette.

Wide receiver Samuel Mbake is also a four-star recruit and the No. 25 player in Georgia. Three-star defensive end and Michigan commit Joshua Josephs helps generate a pass rush.

#3 Milton: The Eagles (6-1) lost to North Cobb, 40 – 14 in Week 2.

The top player on their team is three-star tight end and Michigan State commit Jack Nickel.

They also have a three-star inside linebacker Maurice Clipper Jr. who is committed to Tennessee.

The backfield has a couple more three-star players, quarterback Devin Farrell and running back Jordan McDonald.

Milton does not have the elite talent like the top two teams, but they can compete with anyone else. They are in the same region with #9 Roswell and they play later this month.

#4 Mill Creek: The Hawks (6-0) have looked dominant so far. The closest margin of victory is 14 points. They have not been challenged this season.

The season finale is against Collins Hill so we will learn a lot about them from that game. Surprisingly, they do not have any players ranked in the top 100 recruits in the state.

Junior quarterback Hayden Clark has passed for 1,137 yards, 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

#9 Roswell: The Hornets (6-1) are my dark horse team to make a deep playoff run.

The lone loss was on the road to #6 Walton. They have a very good defense and are led by senior quarterback Robbie Roper. He’s thrown for 1,619 yards, 20 TD’s and 4 picks. He’s also rushed for 225 yards and 3 scores.

They have two running backs, Ryan Hill II and Nykahi Davenport that have over 300 yards rushing.

Back On The Horse

By: Jeff Doke

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The 2012 State Champion Frederica Knights were recognized at halftime Friday night.

The 2021 Knights welcomed them with a championship caliber win.

The Knights broke back into the win column in convincing fashion against the Memorial Day Matadors to the tune of 53-6.

Frederica started the game at full speed, forcing a turnover on the opening kickoff, followed two plays later with RB Jordan Triplett’s first touchdown of the night, a swift 21-yarder through traffic. “The River” would follow that score with two more in the first quarter alone, taking it in from 10 and 11 yards.

The Knights offense was set up for success by the defense, forcing 3-and-out on the Matadors first five series. On the few plays that Memorial Day was on the field, they were being met by the Knights in the backfield. By the end of the night, Frederica had held Memorial Day to -26 yards of offense.

“Our defense was solid,” said Head Coach Brandon Derrick after the game. “We’ve been game planning both weeks (during the bye week). Defensively, we played two different defenses tonight. We played our base package, and we played a Hawk 4-2-5 to give us a different look, to create some havoc. I think the kids really enjoyed that.”

The game also saw the return from injury of QB Thomas Veal, who has been out since breaking his arm in the season opener. The Senior picked up right where he left off, showing very little rust on his run game or his passing game, the latter of which included a 24-yard TD to WR Bryce Reilly in the second quarter.

“He looked pretty good, he was really excited,” according to Coach Derrick. “He wanted to throw a lot more, but I thought it would look bad if we came out here throwing it all over the yard, especially when we’re able to run it for 15-20 yards a carry. He’ll get the opportunity to throw a lot more next week.”

The 15-20 yard runs were actually short ones on the night. The second quarter saw three long touchdown runs; a 69-yard jet sweep from WR TJ Jackson, a 56-yard rumble from Jordan Triplett (his 4th on the night), and a 38-yard end-around from WR/TE Jon Phillip Spiers.

“Anytime you can get a big play is good,” said the Coach. “Here lately we’ve just been grinding it out. That’s a good sign, but if you get a couple of big plays are even better.”

Arguably the “biggest” touchdown on the night came on the first drive of the second half. After freshman RB Hayes Carter (who had 100 yards rushing in the second half) was ruled out of bounds at the 1-yard line, Coach Derrick called on senior lineman Ashton “Puma” Frankel to line up at quarterback.

“He’s been giving us a hard time all week trying to get us to put (that play) in,” laughed Coach Derrick, “so we decided to call it, and danged if we didn’t snap the ball right into his leg, and dove right in there and fell on it for his touchdown. He’s actually got good feet, so you might see that again.”

Things get serious next week when hated rivals Bulloch Academy are under the oaks to start region play. Coach Derrick recognizes that his team is in a good, but precarious spot.

“It’s gonna come down to mistakes – who turns the ball over, who doesn’t execute a play here and there. Next week is gonna be an even matchup, we’re gonna be battling. We’ve got 20 (players), they’ve got 45. My 20 are gonna have to be tough, and they are pretty tough as it is.”

Conquested

By: Jeff Doke

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

After a tough loss last week to Calvary Day, the Frederica Knights were hoping some home cooking would be just what the doctor ordered.

Unfortunately, all the Tiftarea Panthers were ready to serve up was a taste of our own medicine.

Head Coach Brandon Derrick let it be known in the preseason not to expect the high-flying, seat-of-your-pants high-tempo offense of years past.

This year’s Knights squad will, out of necessity, be a very deliberate clock control type offense, milking the most out of every offensive series. While this strategy worked effectively against Valwood in the season-opening victory, it was not in the cards for the next who weeks.

Tiftarea employed the same philosophy against the Knights Friday night to the tune of a 29-7 final score. The Panthers put together long, extended drives all night starting with the opening drive.

Following the opening kickoff, Tiftarea put together a 72-yard, 12-play drive that ate up more than seven minutes of the opening frame and culminated in a designed QB scramble for the score.

“We knew where it was going 85% of the time in the first half,” said Coach Derrick. “They mixed it up a little in the second half. You’ve got what you’ve got.”

The Knights unfortunately answered the opening drive with a three & out series with short runs from RB Jordan Triplett and acting QB Bryce Reilly.

The senior WR filling in for the injured Thomas Veal would spend more time showing off his wheels than his arm all night. Reilly went 2-3 for 66 yards through the air and 12 carries for 48 yards.

Sophomore RB Jordan Triplett didn’t fare any better on the night. The Tiftarea defense focused on #4 all game, limiting him to 34 yards on 11 carries. The night was by far the worst of his so-far stellar career.

The lone offensive highlight of the evening came on the Knights second drive of the 2nd half. After the Knights turned the ball over on downs on the opening drive, Reilly lobbed a screen pass to Triplett to the short side of the field, which “The River” then turned into a 61-yard touchdown.

Late in the 4th, the Knights threatened to score again, evoking memories of late-game heroics from Knights squads past.

Reilly scrambled five times and was aided by a horsecollar penalty on a 16-yard run, which set the Knights up for a 1st & goal inside the 5-yard line. Unfortunately, Lady Luck failed to smile, and a bobbled handoff led to the only Knights turnover on the night, sealing the final score at 29-7.

Defensively, the night belonged to LB Jacob Aiken. The Player of the Game recipient notched a minimum of seven solo tackles (four on the opening drive alone) and numerous group efforts. After the game, he was adamant to share the credit for the performance with his teammates.

“There’s only 20 of us. We all rely on each other, we all fire each other up,” said the Senior. “It was Just as much the linemen as it was me. I need them, I need Jon Phillip (Spiers). We all need each other.”

The Knights are back on the road next two weeks for a pair of GHSA matchups, traveling to Nahunta to take on Frederica coaching alum Jeff Cannon and his Brantley County Herons, then to Ludowici to take on Long County.

Unhorsed Knights

By: Jeff Doke

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Friday night was a case of “same David, different Goliath” for Frederica Academy.

Coming off an opening week victory over Valwood, Coach Brandon Derrick and the Knights hit the road to Savannah to take on their first GHSA opponent of the year, the Calvary Day School Cavaliers.

Last year, after keeping them to a 7-7 tie at halftime, Frederica wound up falling to the Cavaliers by a score of 27-7. Unfortunately, this year’s game would turn out to be quite different.

In 2020, the Frederica roster was famously 30 men in size. The “Dirty Thirty” was outmanned at almost every matchup, but still managed to notch a 7-3 regular season record en route to a state championship matchup.

This week, due to injuries to the already smaller roster, Frederica took a “Lean Eighteen” into battle against the 70-man roster of Calvary Day.

It would be safe to say that Cavaliers Head Coach Mark Stroud spent at least part of the week reminding his team of the quick start that Frederica was able to put together against them last year, because Calvary Day started fast and didn’t let up, scoring twice in the 1st quarter.

After the teams exchanged 3 & outs on their first drives, the Knights defense struggled early against the 2020 Final Four team, allowing touchdowns on two 50-yard drives.

With senior QB Thomas Veal out for three weeks with a broken non-throwing arm, WR Bryce Reilly moved under center for the week. To say it was a baptism by fire would be an understatement.

The Knights offensive line was unfortunately overpowered, and the extended time in the pocket that Veal enjoyed against Valwood the week before was nowhere to be seen.

Regardless, Reilly proved to be a more than capable backup, completing 4 out of 5 passes in the first half (most of which to fellow WR Blake Holloway) and adding 21 yards rushing.

The harassment didn’t stop with the backup Quarterback. Sophomore RB Jordan Triplett saw his share of difficulties against the Cavaliers D-Line as well.

After putting up 222 all-purpose yards the week before, Triplett felt the effects of being almost sole focus of the defense, getting stopped behind the line five times in the first half.

Down 27-0 in the final moments of the first half, the Knights were looking to finally get on the board with a 4th and goal play from the 1 yd line with :03 left on the clock.

As fate would have it, momentum again swung the other way after a bobbled snap resulted in a fumble and a Cavaliers scoop and score covering 99 yards to end the half at 34-0.

The third quarter wasn’t any better for the Knights, who were still unable to cross the goal line, while the Cavaliers added another two TDs. The goose egg on the scoreboard finally got cracked in the 4th with rushing TDs from both Triplett and Reilly.

Needless to say, this was a learning experience for the Knights, and Coach Derrick had praise for both teams.

“I thought the kids played hard, but we were just outmanned at every spot,” Derrick said after the game. “They’re a damn good football team, but here’s the thing; if we didn’t make a couple of mistakes, it could’ve been 21-14 at the half.”

When the dust settled, Reilly ended the night with around 100 yds in the air and another 50 on the ground. Triplett, despite Calvary’s best efforts, managed to put up in the neighborhood of 150 rushing as well.

Thankfully, the game was injury-free for all intents & purposes, and the Knights are back Under The Oaks at home next week against the 1-1 Tiftarea Academy Panthers, for what should be a much less biblically-lopsided matchup.

Running Wild

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Camden County Wildcats improved to 2-0 on the young 2021 season Friday night downing the Glynn Red Terrors 46-21, in a game that was not as close as the score indicates.

In fact, Camden was up on the Red Terrors 31-0 early in the 4th quarter and had dominated the game. At no point were the Red Terrors actually in the game.

The Wildcat Wing-T busted big play after big play against a confused Glynn Academy defense that had no answers for the Wing-T all night long. Camden accumulated 550 total yards Friday night in the win, 476 of that was on the ground.

Camden had 11 different running backs run the ball in total against the Red Terrors. The main damage coming from Jake Lindsey, who rushed 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Deonte Cole rushed for 87 yards and had a 74-yard touchdown reception, Jamie Felix rushed for 99 yards with a TD and KK Albertie added 44 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Gray Loden only attempted 3 passes and completed the long TD pass to Cole for his second passing TD of the season.

The Red Terrors did score 21 points in the 4th quarter to make the score look respectable.

Tyler Devlin started the game at QB for Glynn but did not finish. Colton Seay Came in late in the game and did provide a spark for the Red Terror offense against a Camden defense that was basically playing a prevent formation the entire 4th quarter.

The Red Terrors did put up 282 total yards of offense most of that from the legs of RB John Moody. Glynn rushed for 228 on the night and 140 of that did come in the 4th quarter.

The Wildcats will return home next week to Chris Gilman Stadium to take on Beacon Hill out of Virginia. Beacon Hill lost their season opener last week 66-0 to Choctaw out of Oklahoma.

Knight Run

By: Jeff Doke

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

To put it mildly, the 2021 season opener for the Frederica Knights was a mixed bag.

On the plus side, the Knights were victorious, defeating their longtime rivals, the Valwood Valiants to the tune of 27-6.

On the downside, the already short-staffed team suffered a significant injury with starting quarterback Thomas Veal breaking his non-throwing arm.

The game started with a long drive from the visiting Valiants. Their opening drive covered 46 yards, notched three first downs, and ate almost half of the quarter off the clock.

The Knights defense bent but didn’t break, and the drive ended on the first of several bad snaps going over the head of the Valwood quarterback.

WR/DB Bryce “Ice” Reilly, who gave the Frederica faithful a present playing on his birthday, made his presence known early & often on the opening drive with his first three tackles of the night. He would at least double that total by the end of the game, as well as tacking on a fumble recovery, an interception, and a touchdown reception. Happy birthday, indeed!

Momentum was difficult to establish early, with the two squads swapping 3 & out drives and a 2 & out from Frederica ending on an interception.

Valwood got on the board first with a 40-yard drive, culminating with a 3-yard QB sneak on the third play of the second quarter.

After that, it became the Jordan Triplett show.

After a solid 13 yd kick return from freshman Hayes Carter, Triplett broke off his first big run of the night, scampering 33 yards to set up a 23-yard touchdown pass four plays later on 4th down from Veal to Triplett, putting the Knights in the lead for good, 7-6

By the end of the half, “The River” Jordan had put up 88 yards on the ground, and Veal had thrown a TD and an INT. Sophomore DL Hamp Thompson evened the turnovers at one apiece with a strip sack in the final moments of the 2nd Quarter.

The first drive after the half saw the return of the “Cherokee & Apache” wildcat formations and a steady stream of Jordan Triplett runs. The 12-play drive would burn more than half of the quarter, Triplett would add another 40 yards to his total, and Veal tossed his second TD of the night, this time to Bryce Reilly.

The next two Valwood drives in the 3rd would end in fumbles, recovered by Reilly and Veal respectively.

To start the 4th, Valwood was stringing together their first extended drive since the 1st.  An interception by Reilly and stacked penalties for unnecessary roughness & unsportsmanlike conduct ended that and set the Knights up at the Valwood 35-yard line.

Two runs from Veal and five from Triplett led to the final score of the night, a nimble 4-yard run thru traffic from #4.

Unofficially, Jordan Triplett had 176 yards on the ground with two TD runs and one TD reception for 23 yards.

Before the injury late in the 4th, Thomas Veal had thrown for two TDs on a mere 35 yards, and had added a fumble recovery on defense.

The injury to his non-throwing arm will be further assessed, but initial speculation is that it will cost the senior 6 weeks of recovery time. That, more than anything is the big takeaway from the night.

With Coach Derrick’s squad coming into the game with only 21 players dressed, the loss of Veal will be noticeable and how Coach Derrick and his staff adapt will be a challenge to say the least.

Albeit a challenge they have overcome before.