Georgia Elite Classic: Sophomores 49, Freshman 35

After falling behind 21-7 to the Freshman team with 7:01 left in the second quarter, the Sophomores rallied and outscored the youngsters 42-14 in the remaining time to win the nightcap game of the Georgia Elite Classic at Rome’s Barron Stadium.

The Sophomores rushed for six touchdowns on the night and South Paulding running back Jamarion Wilcox led with 16 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 11, three and one yard. Pepperell running back DJ Rogers had seven carries for 63 yards and three touchdowns. Rogers scored on runs of 36, 14 and four yards.

The Freshman controlled the pace early, taking the lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Dougherty running back Kam Davis with 6:36 left in the first quarter. Following Roger’s 36-yard touchdown run, the Freshman responded with 21-yard touchdown pass from Walton quarterback Jeremy Hecklinski to Campbell receiver Terrence Kiel with 11:41 left before half. Commerce running back Sammy Brown gave the Freshman the 21-7 lead on a 7-yard run but touchdowns by Wilcox and Rogers would tie the game just before halftime.

Cass quarterback Devin Henderson passed to Wilcox’s BJ Gibson for a 13-yard touchdown with 6:29 left in the third, but the Sophomores seized momentum with three touchdowns in a row. The Sophomores started with a Rogers run with 3:54 left in the third quarter, a Wilcox run right at the end of the third quarter and a 40-yard touchdown pass from Mill Creek quarterback Hayden Clark to River Ridge tight end Jackson Head.

The Freshman defense forced a fumble and Bradwell offensive tackle Elyjah Thurmon recovered it in the endzone for a touchdown to cut into the lead 42-35. But Wilcox’s 3-yard run with 2:28 left put the game away.

The Sophomores totaled 389 yards of offense and 228 rushing yards on 33 carries. The Freshman gained 358 yards of offense, 258 passing and 100 rushing yards.

South Paulding sophomore quarterback Kasen Weisman was 4-of-8 passing for 104 yards while rushing for 30 yards on four carries. Mill Creek quarterback Hayden Clark was 4-of-8 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown for the sophomores. Head had six receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. Putnam County’s Darrell Bland had two receptions for 56 yards.

On defense, Whitefield Academy linebacker Caleb Lavelle led with seven solo tackles, five assists and 2.5 tackles for a loss. St. Pius X defensive back Jack Tchienchou had six tackles and two assists.

The Freshman quarterbacks were extremely efficient and were a combined 23-of-32 passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns with just one interception. Henderson was 8-of-9 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown. Hecklinski was 8-of-14 passing for 93 yards and a touchdown and Rome’s Reece Fountain was 7-of-9 passing for 58 yards.

Gibson and Kiel each had three receptions and one touchdown to lead the receiving corps. On the ground, Davis led with 18 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. Brown had 19 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Roswell defensive lineman Chase Morrison led with four tackles and one tackle for a loss while Parkview defensive back Zion Ferguson made three tackles.

Georgia Elite Classic: Juniors 28, Seniors 24

Juniors 28, Seniors 24

When the game was on the line, a trio of Cherokee juniors helped protect the lead and pull the Junior team past the Seniors 28-24 in the second game of the day at the Georgia Elite Classic at Rome’s Barron Stadium.

Trailing 24-21, Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper gave the Juniors the 28-24 lead with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mount Pisgah receiver Cole Spence. And when the Juniors faced a 3rd-and-9 at their own 15-yard line, Cherokee quarterback AJ Swann passed Cherokee’s junior wide out Adarrius Harshaw to get the first down to the 37-yard line.

Following the 2-minute warning, Cherokee back Keith Adams Jr. sealed the victory with a 21-yard first down run which sealed the victory.

The Seniors led early on a 1-yard touchdown run from Philip Johnson to cap a 5-play 70-yard drive. The Juniors tied the game on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Roper to Walton receiver Rawson MacNeill, capping a 10-play, 60-yard drive. Carrollton running back Christian Lett put the seniors up 14-7 with a 52-yard touchdown run with 14:53 left in the second half. But CJ Washington, a junior defensive end from Cedartown, tied the game with a 2-yard touchdown run with 11:11 before the half.

Cass’ senior kicker Kaleb Speights kicked a 33-yard field goal just before the half. Riverwood’s Jonathan Brown gave the Seniors the 24-21 lead with a 33-yard interception return with 9:49 left in the game but Spence’s game-winning reception proved the difference.

The Juniors amassed 370 yards of offense (220 passing, 150 rushing) and outgained the Seniors (300, 146 passing, 154 rushing) by 70 yards. Roper was an efficient 6-of-7 passing for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Swann was 8-of-10 for 115 yards and one touchdown. MacNeill had five receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns to lead the junior receivers. Adams had 13 carries for 58 yards and Washington had three carries for 16 yards and a touchdown. Putnam County back Cedrion Brundage had 11 carries for 40 yards. On defense, Hardaway lineman Mykel Williams impressed with five solo tackles and six assists with 3.5 tackles for loss. Marietta linebacker Daniel Martin made four tackles with two assists.

Mountain View quarterback Nathan Payne was 6-of-7 passing for 91 yards and Sonoraville quarterback Brady Lackey was 3-of-6 passing for 55 yards. Lett led the seniors in the backfield with eight carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Rockmart’s Javin Whatley had eight carries for 58 yards. Central Gwinnett wide out Mekhi Mews had three receptions for 66 yards and Clarke Central’s Justin Hodges had two catches for 52 yards. On defense for the Seniors, South Gwinnett linebacker Dwayne Johnson led with six solo tackle and five assists with three tackles for loss. Lanier linebacker Rylan Serna made four tackles, seven assists and two tackles for a loss. Riverwood lineman Jonathan Brown made three tackles with three assists and 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception. Whitefield Academy Myles Redding made an interception for the Seniors.

Follow the LINK for full stats and follow the link HERE to watch the Georgia Elite Classic.

Georgia Elite Classic: Middle School Nationals 32, Middle School Americans 12

The Middle School National Team (red) won the first game at the Georgia Elite Classic 32-12 over the American Team (blue) on Sunday at Rome’s Barron Stadium and it did it in a multitude of ways. The Nationals scored in nearly all facets of the game to secure the victory.

The Nationals took a 12-0 lead after the first quarter on touchdown runs by Stephens County athlete Javin Gordon on a 9-yard run and by Couch Middle cornerback Jaylen Bell on a fumble returned 10 yards for a touchdown. The Americans scored on a 43-yard interception return by Banks County running back Jaiden Daniels with 11:48 left in the second quarter, but Gordon put the Nationals up 18-6 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:36 left before half. At the end of the third quarter, Blessed Trinity quarterback Brooks Goodman put the Nationals up 24-6 on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Lewis.

Blessed Trinity tight end Aidrian Forbes caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bremen quarterback Mason Mims with 3:33 left in the game to give the Red Team a 32-6 lead. Daniels caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Carrollton quarterback John Robert Harris with 2:10 left in the game but time ran out for the American team.

Gordon had eight carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns to lead the National team on the ground. Bowdon back Luke Windom had five carries for 48 yards, including a 27-yard scamper. Mims was 4-of-10 passing for 66 yards and one touchdown. Goodman was 1-of-3 passing for nine yards and a touchdown. Lewis had two receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown. Forbes had one reception for 17 yards and a touchdown and Nick Richardson made two receptions for 18 yards. Fort Valley kicker Peyton Joseph averaged 26.8 yards per kick on six kicks. On defense, Freedom linebacker Dylan Torrico made three solo tackles and one tackle for loss. Gordon also had three tackles and one for a loss.

Harris was 1-of-4 passing for 67 yards and one touchdown for the Americans. Mossy Creek wide out Kory Pettigrew caught two passes for 17 yards and Daniels had one reception for 67 yards and a touchdown. Marist kicker Jude Cascone kicked off three times and averaged 42.3 yards per kick. On defense, Commerce’s Jacari Huff led with five solo tackles with one assist. Commerce defensive tackle Jeremiah Mintz made four tackles, one for a loss, with one sack. Whitefield running back Charles Sharpe made three tackles and three assists. Daniels had three tackles and one for a loss.

For full stats on this game follow the LINK.

Go HERE to watch the afternoon games.

2020 Georgia Elite Classic Sets to Feature State’s Top Talent

The eighth annual Georgia Elite Classic, brought to you by “The Hamilton Hotel”, will stage a trio of All-Star games this Sunday at Rome’s Barron Stadium that will be broadcasted live on PeachtreeTV. Over the past seven editions of the Classic, more than 900 players that participated in the games went on to play college football, and this year’s rosters will once again feature the state’s premier talent. The competitiveness of the games will also get a boost under the new format adopted for this year’s games. For the first time, graduating classes will be going head-to-head with a Seventh vs. Eighth Grade, Freshmen vs. Sophomores and Juniors vs. Seniors game. 

Recruiting Expert and Georgia Elite Classic Director of Player Personnel Rusty Mansell offered his insight on some of the talented players set to star in this year’s games and how the matchups could play out. 

The Senior Team’s trio of running backs stand out to Mansell, who says that this group of Class of 2021 ball carriers are big backs with the ability to succeed at the next level. This includes Temple’s Phillip Jonson, Carrollton’s Christian Lett and Rome’s EJ Lackey.  Johnson is 6-foot-1, 220 pounds and racked up 1,312 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns this year with the Tigers. As for the senior defense, Mansell points to the defensive line where Riverwood’s Johnathan brown and Greenbrier’s Beau Shugarts are expected to make a major impact. 

The Juniors will have an opportunity to make a statement when they take on the seniors. Leading at the quarterback position will be Cherokee’s AJ Swann—a multi-year starter and three-star that threw 21 touchdowns this season. Swann will have plenty of targets to throw to—including Mansell’s sleeper performer in Southeast Bulloch’s Tyler Griffin. The 6-foot-5 wide receiver will create mismatches and has already received offers from Colorado, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech. On the defensive side, Cedartown defensive end CJ Washington is returning to the Classic after earning the Defensive MVP in last year’s Sophomore Game. Walton defensive backs AJ Brown and Marcus Allen will lead the secondary. Brown is a three-star prospect and Allen has already received 19 collegiate offers. At linebacker, Marietta’s Daniel Martin is a 6-foot-3, four-star prospect that is currently rated as the nation’s No. 5 ranked outside linebacker for the Class of 2022. 

Sunday’s finale will showcase top prospects from the Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 in the Sophomore vs. Freshmen game. Mansell believes that the wide receivers and defensive line could prove to be the strength of the Sophomore Team roster. Thomas County Central defensive lineman Gabe Harris is back after participating in last year’s Freshmen game. Harris is a 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect that averaged 4.4 tackles per game this season with the Yellow Jackets. Lining up alongside Harris is Mansell’s sleeper pick for a breakout performance: Tattnall Academy’s Zavian Hardy. The 6-foot-6 sophomore is a two-star prospect with tremendous potential to rise up the recruiting ranks. Additionally, Thomas County Central receiver Adam Hopkins led the Yellow Jackets this season with 387 receiving yards and a team-high six touchdowns. Hopkins is joined out wide by Hart County receiver Paul Davis—a 6-foot-3, three-sport athlete for the Bulldogs. 

The Freshmen Team has its own set of strengths heading into kickoff and Mansell says that the size lining up on the offensive line far exceeds what one would expect from a group of ninth graders. This includes offensive tackle Web Davidson out of Tattnall Academy—who Mansell says showcases outstanding upside and footwork for his 6-foot-4 frame. Taking advantage of the size up front will be a young, but experienced tandem of running backs with Commerce’s Sammy Brown and Doughetry’s Kam Davis. Brown finished his breakout freshman season with 133 carries for 1,368 yards and 19 total touchdowns. Commerce has been playing football since 1909 and Brown became just the 32nd player in the school’s history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for a season. Dougherty played just five games this year as a result of its abbreviated season and Davis racked up a team-high 554 rushing yards and five touchdowns. The size of the offensive line and talent in the Freshmen Team’s backfield will compliment a trio of up-and-coming quarterbacks: Rome’s Reece Fountain, Walton’s Jeremy Hecklinski and Cass’s Devin Henderson. Fountain passed for 1,085 yards and eight touchdowns this season, Hecklinski threw five touchdowns and Cass has been described by his head coach Steve Gates as “mature beyond his years and a leader that is going to be one of the best he’s ever coached.”

In the middle school game, quarterback Antwann Hill Jr. is a promising young passer poised to play at Houston County at the varsity level. Another player to watch according to Mansell is seventh grade linebacker Grayson Villar. Mansell calls Villar a wrecking ball out on the field that has an opportunity to set the tone with his physical style of play.


At Rome’s Barron Stadium


Eighth Grade & Seventh Grade [10 am]

Juniors vs. Seniors [1 pm]

Freshmen vs. Sophomores [3:45 pm]

247Sports recruiting expert Rusty Mansell to pick teams; Georgia Elite Classic to play All-Star Games in Rome Dec. 18-20

Moving into the eighth year of All-Star matchups for high school and middle school players in the state, Covid-19 protocols will be in place as the Georgia Elite Classic will host three middle school games and two high school games on Dec. 18-20 (Friday-Sunday) in Rome at renowned Barron Stadium. The high school All-Star Games will be played on Sunday, Dec. 20, and feature the best high school freshmen in the state facing the top sophomores as well as a game between top juniors and seniors. Rusty Mansell of 247Sports will pick all the high school players and send out invites. High School players will report Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, and all players will STAY IN SINGLE ROOMS for two nights. If you want to be considered for the high school games, Click Here for the nomination form. If you have received an invitation from Rusty, Click Here to register. The middle schools players will report on Friday morning, Dec. 18, and play their games on Saturday, Dec. 19. If you are a 6th, 7th or 8th grader, Click Here to register to play in  the games. The middle school package does not include hotel rooms but Rome is offering discounts on rooms for players and family members for Dec. 18. If you have any questions on the games, you can call Graham David at 513-600-6557 or I.J. Rosenberg at 404-246-7819.  The website will be completely updated Monday with more information including a schedule of events in Rome.

Georgia Elite Sophomore Game: Americans 7, Nationals 0

The Sophomore Game marked the conclusion of the 2019 Georgia Elite Classic and also completed Sunday’s five-game sweep of the American Teams scoring victories over the National Teams. American Team running back Gannon Hearst (GAC) provided the game’s only touchdown on a 1-yard handoff with 6:18 left in the third quarter. The Americans produced 231 total yards of offense and limited the Nationals to just 101 total yards of offense, including -8 yards on the ground.

American Team quarterback Bryce Archie (McEachern) kept the Americans in control throughout the game with his 123 passing yards and hard-earned 24 rushing yards. This effort resulted in the Class of 2022 quarterback winning the MVP of the sophomore game. Five different American Team receivers caught passes by the time the game ended and Chandler Heath led all targets with two catches for 60 yards.

Defensively, Jimmy Bowdry and Kyle White each had interceptions while defending against the Nationals’ offense.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite Freshman Game: Americans 23, Nationals 0

The Americans scored a safety and a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half to build a 16-0 lead. The first touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Forsyth Central RB/ATH Petyton Streko and it capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive that ate up 7:20 of the opening quarter. Teammate Lucian Anderson added a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the half and then the Americans forced a fumble that resulted in a safety at the 1:50 mark to make it 16-0.

The Americans received the ball to start the second half and traded 7-play, 5-minute drives with the Nationals in what would be a scoreless period. The Americans got the ball down to the Nationals 7-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but Colson Brown’s 30-yard field goal attempt was no good. The Nationals turned it over on downs on their following possession and gave the Americans the ball back at their own 36-yard line with 6:45 left in the game.

From there, the Americans fed the ball to Streko on five straight snaps, and his fifth carry resulted his second touchdown of the game in what was a spectacular 20-yard run. Harrison Brooks made the PAT and the American Team’s lead grew to 23-0 with just 2:55 left. The National Team’s final possession of the game ended with a Gabe Harris sack with just 10 seconds left.

Streko, who played in the Eighth Grade Game at last year’s Classic, finished with a game-high 120 rushing yards off of 14 carries and was named the MVP. American quarterback Lucian Anderson completed all four of his pass attempts for 36 yards and Marek Briley was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 28 yards.

Nationals quarterback Dylan Lonergan (Brookwood) finished 9-of-18 passing for 68 yards. One of the highlights of the game was Lonergan’s 34-yard pass to receiver RJ Johnson (ELCA) in the first quarter. Johnson used a diving, one-handed effort to complete the incredibly-difficult catch.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite Junior Game: Americans 24, Nationals 7

The Americans established a 14-0 lead in the first half and closed out a 17-point victory (24-7) in a game that was statistically much closer than the final score would suggest. Both teams finished the game 4-of-13 on third-down conversions and the Nationals outgained the Americans 214-to-198 in total yardage. The stat that tilted the result of the game in favor of the Americans, however, was their 2-2 success-rate on redzone chances compared to the Nationals’ 0-2.

Sonoraville quarterback Brady Lackey threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Hampton tight end Dennard Flowers to give the Americans a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter. The Americans added to their lead late in the second quarter on a 42-yard run by Temple running back Phillip Johnson. Johnson’s touchdown run capped an 11-play, 86-yard drive.

The Nationals scored their lone touchdown on an explosive 71-yard touchdown run by Early County running back LaDarius Ceasar on the first possession of the second half. The Americans added a 34-yard Conor Cummings (Walton) field goal with 5:30 left in the third quarter to push the lead back to 17-7 heading into the fourth. Lackey, who passed for a touchdown in the first quarter, scored on a 4-yard run with 3:15 left in the game to provide the final tally (24-7).

The MVP of the Junior Game was Carrollton defensive end Khristian Zachary. The Class of 2021 prospect wrecked havoc while playing along the Nationals’ defensive front–finishing with a game-high 9 tackles, including five solo tackles for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE.

Georgia Elite Brain Bowl: Americans 17, Nationals 0

The Americans did all its scoring in the first half and forced four turnovers in a 17-0 victory over the Nationals in the Second-Annual Brain Bowl. Loganville running back Richard Seay provided the game’s first points on a 64-yard touchdown run that put the Americans up 7-0 with 3:18 left in the first quarter. The wet and windy conditions made passing the ball difficult for both teams, but American Team quarterback Nick Hanson (Heritage-Ringgold) found Grayson receiver Jaden Smith for a 59-yard touchdown with just 3:10 left in the half.

Walt Hawthorne (Central-Macon) recovered a Nationals fumble with just one minute left in the half that set up a Bryson Franklin 32-yard field goal to increase the lead to 17-0. American cornerback Derrick Witherspoon Jr. added two second half interceptions after already registering one in the first half. Witherspoon’s three interceptions, one pass breakup and one solo tackle rewarded him with the game’s MVP distinction. Seay (12 carries, 101 rushing yards) and Wilcox County’s Noah Hollingsworth (12-84) also had big performances, combining for 185 of the team’s 201 rushing yards.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite Senior Game: Americans 14, Nationals 0

The Americans scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter and limited the Nationals to -16 rushing yards in a 14-0 shutout victory in the opening game of Sunday’s Georgia Elite lineup. Pebblebrook running back Jaquavious Jones led all rushers with 62 yards off of eight carries and he got the Americans on the board with a 41-yard touchdown with 1:50 left in the first half. The Nationals fumbled its next possession and Berrien defensive lineman Jaden Wheeler recovered it to give the Americans the ball back at the 7-yard line. Grady running back Canaan Brant scored on the next play, which put the Americans up 14-0 with 1:34 left in the half.

The teams traded brief possessions in the third quarter until the Nationals put together an 11-play drive that didn’t produce any points, but lasted 7:07. The Americans punted on their final two possessions of the game and the Nationals turned it over on downs with 2:28 left to play.

American Team and Whitefield Academy linebacker Jaquez Dew had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup in addition to an interception and massive return that was later negated due to a late hit on the quarterback. Dew injured his ankle during the return and had to leave the game–resulting in him accepting his Senior Game MVP award in his Georgia Elite Classic hoodie rather than in his full pads. Dew had 147 tackles this season for Wolfpack and was an All-State Selection.

Alpharetta kicker and punter Bryce Troutt was the winner of the kicking competition at halftime–clinching the victory with a 45-yard field goal.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE