Time to look great! CHECK OUT BACK PAGE! VOLUME 9 ISSUE 28
Tech Falls Short | Pg. 4 Ricky Dimon discusses the Dawgs’ epic comeback win.
DECEMBER 6-12, 2013
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PREMIER PROSPECTS Georgia continues to produce top college football recruits as evidenced by this weekend’s HS semifinals. | Pg. 5
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Vol. 9 Iss. 28 | December 6-12, 2013
STARTING LINEUP PUBLISHER/EDITOR I.J. Rosenberg
ON THE COVER
INSIDE THE PREPS
ART/CREATIVE DIRECTOR DJ Galbiati Blalock SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Black
BUSINESS MANAGER Marvin Botnick
DIRECTOR OF SALES Melanie Snare & MARKETING
BEAT WRITERS Ricky Dimon (Braves) Joe Deighton (Gladiators) Jay Underwood (Hawks) Brian Jones (KSU) Chris Nieman (UGA) Craig Sager II (Falcons) Stephen Black (Tech) Chris Schutter (GSU) STAFF WRITERS Ryan Caiafa Alex Ewalt
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06 12 13
SCORE LIST | NUMBERS GEORGIA STATE | KENNESAW STATE GEORGIA | GEORGIA TECH BRAVES | FALCONS HAWKS | SILVERBACKS
COVER PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROB SAYE, GA PHOTOGRAPHICS AND SONNY KENNEDY,
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SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com ter). Gurley scored all three of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter or overtime and his two in the extra frames were of the untouched variety. It took the Dawgs just four plays—all runs by Gurley—to score two TDs in OT. While six of Tech’s last eight possessions featured two interceptions, two punts, a missed field goal and a turnover on downs, each of Georgia’s last six possessions (not counting kneel-downs) resulted in points. Just a brutal result for the home team.
TECH STINGS ITSELF IN LATEST LOSS TO UGA BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM
saw a Georgia fan Saturday night wearing a Georgia Tech “Ball MVP” jersey, obviously referencing former Yellow Jacket quarterback Reggie Ball’s contribution to Bulldog victories in the 2003-2006 installments of Clean, OldFashioned hate. There was no such culprit in last Saturday’s showdown, which was an entertaining and relatively well-played game—especially by Georgia Tech’s recent standards in this in-state rivalry. Vad Lee passed for a career-high 232 yards and the Yellow Jackets did exactly what they had to do in jumping out to quick lead. Georgia, meanwhile, countered by getting 299 passing yards and three touchdowns from a quarterback making his first career start. Hutson Mason got better and better as the game
progressed and by getting his team within striking distance after a huge first-half deficit he allowed Todd Gurley and the running game to become a game-changing factor. All of that being said, this was a contest the Jackets had to win. You cannot lose at home, when you score four times before your opponent scores once, lead 20-0 in the second quarter and when you’ve already lost four in a row in the series and 11 of the last 12. Kicking field goals hurt in the first half (they settled for one after having second-and-two on Georgia’s 17-yard line and booted another after having first-and-goal at Georgia’s nine), then not kicking field goals hurt in the second half (Harrison Butker missed from 43 yards out with Tech leading 20-10 midway through the third quar-
TEAGUE MAKES HAWKS BETTER, BUT NOT CONTENDERS BY CHRIS SCHUTTER | CSHUTTER@SCOREATL.COM
Teague is beginning to have a breakout Jandeffseason which many predicted (this guy), his game is complimenting the Hawks
and Budenholzer’s new system beautifully. The guard has obviously put work in on his basketball moves and it has paid off. Last year he beat opponents with just sheer athleticism, and this year he’s beating them with ball handling and improved court vision. He has a lot of improving to do, but it’s realistic to expect him to make those improvements and shatter our expectations. ADVANTAGE: TEAGUE ... Teague’s biggest advantage right now is his more aggressive play style and his understanding of what defenders are anticipat-
ing. Last year if Josh wasn’t jacking up a three Teague would make a bee line to the rim, avoid contact if possible, and hope to get a decent shot off. This year he’s using his hesitation move, his in-out dribble and crossover to get defenders off balance, and then take a wider angle to the basket to ensure either A) a lay-up at the rim, or B) contact and a foul. His FTA per 36 minutes was 3.1 over the last two seasons. This year that number is up to 7.1. Another thing Teague is beginning to do very well, which Tony Parker has mastered in San Antonio, is manipulating ball screens. He’s not the first guard to go left when the screen is to his right, but he has learned to make his defender come out and commit to defending the screen before going the other way. By under-
THIS BUD’S FOR YOU … Is anyone out there watching the Hawks these days? You might as well. One baseball season is over and the next is four months away from starting. College football is one month away from ending, the NFL won’t be far beyond and every team in this state is somewhere between terrible and mediocre (before you argue Georgia Southern is good, keep in mind they almost lost to Florida!). But the Hawks should not be watched by default. Actually, they are pretty good. Through 19 games of head coach Mike Budenholzer’s tenure in Atlanta heading into Wednesday night’s contest, the Hawks are playing smart, unselfish basketball. They are fifth in the NBA in assists and tied for sixth in
standing the defensive side of the ball better, and understanding the other team’s defensive rotations and responsibilities, he has been able to exploit weak spots and expand the floor for his team. If watching Teague play hasn’t convinced you that he’s improved consider these metrics. His estimated usage rate (plays in which the Hawks use Teague) is up from 23 percent last year to 27.5 percent this year. More than every fourth play is run through Teague, yet his turnover rate is DOWN from last year. Teague is shooting less three’s (18 percent of his shots are from three compared to nearly 26 percent last year), he’s shooting more from the line, and he’s creating easier shots for his teammates by influencing the defense. The Tony Parker reference was intentional and unavoidable especially with Bud as the new coach. A few weeks ago I would’ve said he is a poor man’s Parker but watching him recently his play actually looks like Parker’s. He’s using his ball handling to get defenders on their heels and then using his body on defenders to put up near circus shots around them while getting fouled. MAXIMIZING POTENTIAL ... It’s a matter of playing chess rather than checkers. Teague has been focused not on
assist-to-turnover ratio. Their record stands at just 9-10, but Louis Williams has played in only six games upon his return from a torn ACL and Kyle Korver has missed the last four games (three losses) with a rib injury. The Hawks are nowhere near bad enough to be in the business of moral victories, but their 102-100 loss at 15-3 San Antonio on Monday night featured an impressive display of basketball. Speaking of Korver, he has made at least one three-pointer in 87 straight games and is two away from tying Dana Barros’ all-time steak of 89 games in a row. He is also averaging more than 11 points per game and shooting 52 percent from the floor. And how about Jeff Teague? The point guard is putting up 17.1 points and 8. 1 assists per outing. Although Atlanta is not great by any stretch of the imagination, it may not have to be to advance at least one round in the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is so outrageously pathetic that there are just two teams the Hawks cannot beat in a best-of-seven series. So get on board; this franchise might go places sooner rather than later. Photo courtesy of Rob Saye.
matchups and external factors, but instead he is focused internally on how to make his teammates better and his team more efficient. Instead of having one or two options on how to attack the defense, regardless of personnel, Teague understands the cast of players around him and has the ability to create multiple options for his team while choosing the most efficient one. This team has been very focused on making the right pass for the most efficient shot. In one instance against the Kings, Paul Millsap took an open shot from 12 feet out, which he made, but didn’t point to Teague who assisted him. Instead he pointed to his teammate he left open in the corner for three, which is a much more efficient shot. With Horver and Millsap down low and Korver outside, whose three point range starts as soon as he steps off the bus, Teague has diagnosed the best way to make them, and the Hawks, much better. With Lou Williams opposite him in a two-guard set, all of a sudden teams have to guard two slashers, two efficient big men, and a guy who has hit a three pointer in 88 straight games. They won’t beat Miami or Indiana four out of seven times, but with Teague each player will reach their full potential, and be a lot more fun to watch. Photo courtesy of DJ Galbiati Blalock.
Vol. 9 Iss. 28 | December 6-12, 2013 America’s best wide receiver prospects, and Tucker’s Duke Shelley, a playmaker in all three facets of the game, are some of the top juniors in tonight’s games. Griffin saved McEachern’s season with an explosive 85-yard punt return touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the Indians’ 35-32 win over Collins Hill in the state quarterfinals. The other top junior running back this postseason is Aquinas standout Rueben Garnett. He has rushed for 1,709 yards and 20 touchdowns this season and has added five receiving touchdowns. Garnett is averaging 8.06 yards per carry and also plays strong safety on defense. Duke offered Garnett on Oct. 1. Edoga will be matched up with North Gwinnett four-star senior defensive lineman Dante Sawyer. A solid performance from Edoga against Sawyer and the Indians would definitely merit his national ranking.
ON THE COVER
DOZENS OF FUTURE COLLEGE PLAYERS FEATURED IN SEMIFINALS BY STEPHEN BLACK AND CRAIG SAGER II
he Peach State is full of talent. Look around this weekend and you will see some of the best high school football talent anywhere in the nation. The state of Georgia, by most expert accounts, produces the fourth-most college football players in America, behind only much larger states California (No. 1 in population), Texas (No. 2) and Florida (No. 4). Georgia, despite being only eighth in population, is fourth in producing college and NFL players. GETTING AROUND ... Just look at the rosters of the top college teams in America and you’ll see Peach State products all over the field. Alabama, which has won three of the past four national championships, routinely signs players from Georgia and is very dependent on players from this state to fill its roster. The Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, both regular bowl participants and conference contenders, each have the vast majority of their rosters filled with players from the home state. Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, Florida State and South Carolina come here to recruit as if they each owned a piece of the state. In fact, programs as far
away as Ohio State and Stanford regularly land planes on our red clay to find talent to supply their programs with great athletes. This year is no exception. Gainesville’s Deshaun Watson and Norcross’ Lorenzo Carter are two of the most highly-regarded seniors in the nation. Watson holds the state records for career touchdowns and yards and has thrown for 3,560 yards this season with 46 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Watson, a Clemson-commit, gained five-star status after driving the Red Elephants to the 2012 Class AAAAA state championship. He has added 1,016 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns this season to his historic passing numbers and, if Watson can bring another state title to Gainesville, he will go down as one of the best high school players to lace up in Georgia. Next year’s class is led by McEachern’s Chuma Edoga and North Gwinnett’s Mitch Hyatt, who are widely regarded as two of the top linemen in the 2015 class. McEachern’s Taj Griffin, an electric running back, Callaway’s Terry Godwin, an elite defensive back prospect, Griffin’s Christian Owens, one of
TIME TO SHINE ... There is no better time for a recruit to show his worth than in the postseason and Wayne County’s star wideout Krenwick Sanders is doing just that. The senior has carried the Yellow Jackets to their first ever semifinals appearance and added four of his 11 touchdowns this postseason in their 51-21 win over Alexander in the quarterfinals. Sanders tallied 279 yards receiving and six touchdowns in Wayne County’s 49-34 win over Monroe-Albany in the first round of the playoffs and returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the Yellow Jackets’ 20-17 victory over Veterans. Sanders
is committed to play at Wisconsin next fall and his elusive quarterback Malique Johnson is committed as an athlete to Florida State. Nate Brown leads North Gwinnett’s lethal receiving corps. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior has hauled in 19 touchdowns during his breakout season and committed to Missouri just four days after a four-touchdown performance. Brown has notched two four-touchdown games this season and he has produced noticeable statistics while being surrounded by several high-caliber recruits. Caleb Scott has offers from UAB, Mercer and several other programs and is closing in on a 1,000-yard receiving touchdown. Scott has caught nine touchdown passes this year. As you can tell from the enormous box on this page, there are dozens of seniors in the state who will play major college football next year. And that box contains just commitments, not even top recruits. Some guys like Carter are being recruited by literally everyone, but have not committed and, therefore, are not on the list. Keep an eye out for college coaches if you attend a semifinal this weekend. Big names like Les Miles, Nick Saban and Mark Richt have been known to drop in on Georgia high school games while prestigious academic schools like Vanderbilt, Duke, and even Harvard have also sent coaches to scout the Peach State. Photo of Grant Haley courtesy of Perry McIntyre and photo of Deshaun Watson courtesy of Gainesville HS.
COMMITMENTS IN SEMIFINALS HS Player College Brooks County Malkom Parrish Georgia Buford Korie Rogers Clemson Buford Thomas Wilson Missouri Callaway KeShun Freeman Georgia Tech Calvary Day Milan Richard Clemson Carrollton Tyler Newsome Notre Dame Carrollton Jake Sanders Duke Carrollton Brandon Walton Appalachian State Colquitt County Gabe Mobley Georgia State Colquitt County Jamiyus Pittman Ole Miss Creekside Elliott Berry Tennessee Creekside Evan Berry Tennessee Creekside Cameron Jackson Georgia State ELCA Dalton Etheridge Jacksonville State Gainesville Devan Stringer Appalachian State Gainesville Deshaun Watson Clemson Kell Taylor Henkle Kennesaw State Lamar County Lance Austin Georgia Tech Lamar County Lawrence Austin Georgia Tech Lamar County Qua Searcy Georgia Tech
HS Player College Lovett Grant Haley Vanderbilt Marion County A.J. Wells Appalachian State Marist Kendall Baker Georgia McEachern Ty Clemons Georgia Southern McEachern Henry Famurewa Louisville McEachern Trey Scott Tulane Norcross Josh Boyd Appalachian State Norcross Maaseiah Francis Georgia State Norcross Christopher Herndon Miami (Fla.) Norcross Clinton Lynch Georgia State Norcross Kevin Mouhon Tennessee Norcross Jordan Noil Maryland North Gwinnett Nate Brown Missouri Tucker Detric Dukes Georgia Tucker Kirk Tucker Stanford Washington County D.J. Sanders MTSU Wayne County Taylor Heflin Navy Wayne County Malique Jackson Florida State Wayne County Jeremy Patterson Wisconsin Wayne County Krenwick Sanders Wisconsin
Auburn-Alabama, MichiganOhio State and Tech-Georgia all gave college football fans games that were decided within the last minute of the game or later. The Dawgs pushed their winning streak to five over their in-state rivals, and Auburn threw a wrench in everyone’s plans for Alabama vs. Florida State in the BCS Championship.
The Hawks’ point guard is now fourth in the league in assists. He hit two clutch threes at the end of the game last Monday that kept Atlanta in the game until future hall of famer (and fellow Wake Forest alumnus) Tim Duncan made the game-winner with .4 seconds left. The Hawks play six of their next seven games in the Highlight Factory.
Somehow Auburn made lightning strike for the second time last Saturday with Chris Davis’ 108-yard kick return to win the Iron Bowl. Following the miracle catch the week before against Georgia, Auburn has somehow stamped its ticket to Atlanta to play for the SEC Championship on Dec. 7 against No. 5 Missouri.
By Ricky Dimon & Chris Schutter
Exciting College Football
SCORE LIST By Brian Jones
For the fifth consecutive year, the Bulldogs defeated the Yellow Jackets to claim state bragging rights. It was a game in which Tech started off fast for a 20-0 lead, but with the help of Todd Gurley and Hutson Mason, the Dawgs won in a double-overtime thriller. As a fan of both, I have to say both teams played quite well.
Wins have not been easy to come by for the Falcons this season, but they were able to come away with one on Sunday against Buffalo. The offense was on point and the defense was able to make plays at the end of the game. It’s really good to see this team fight and compete every week. It shows the Falcons are not quitting on the season.
Georgia State lost its final game of the season against South Alabama and finished the season with a 0-12 record. It was a season in which the team was in transition and was learning Trent Miles’ new system. Regardless of the record, Georgia State is a talented team that just needs to learn how to win.
TIGERS IN ATLANTA
Both Auburn and Missouri will be in town Saturday to determine the best team in the SEC. Auburn has come on strong after losing to LSU while Missouri was clearly the best team in the SEC East throughout the season. It should be a wild one at the Georgia Dome, but I believe Auburn continue its magic.
Speaking of the Georgia Dome, the road to it for the high school football state championships is only a week away. Can defending champions Norcross, Gainesville, Buford and ELCA repeat? Make sure to go to scoreatl. com and ajc.com for news and scoring updates from all 14 semifinal games.
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Kyle Korver’s Rib
Korver has a streak of 88 games in a row with a made threepointer, but he has missed the Hawks’ past four games with a sore rib. The record, set by Dana Barros in 1994-95, is 89 games in a row. With the slate of home games upcoming for the Hawks, hopefully Korver can get healthy and break the record at Philips Arena.
It’s been awful all year and this Saturday it allowed Georgia Tech’s Vad Lee to accumulate a career-high 232 passing yards. Georgia’s secondary was able to come up with the second-fewest interceptions in the conference this season with only six in 12 games. On the contrary, SEC East champion Missouri had 18 picks.
Smith has six interceptions and no touchdowns in the past three games and a combined quarterback rating of 13.5 in that time. The 2013 secondround pick has 15 interceptions in the Jets’ seven losses this year and has not thrown a touchdown pass in six weeks. Smith was benched last week at halftime for Matt Simms.
OUR TWO CENTS
By Craig Sager II
Our email newsletter is something we take a lot of pride in at Score. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a high school sportsheavy publication that we produce each day to fill in our readers on the latest happenings in Georgia prep sports. We send it out Monday through Friday throughout the year and Monday through Saturday during the fall. Not only do we cover popular sports like football, basketball and baseball, we also cover every other varsity sport the GHSA fields. If you like Georgia high school sports at all, sign up for our email newsletter by visiting www.tinyurl.com/scorenewsletter and enter your email address(es) that you’d like added to the distribution list.
SANITY AT LAST
WHAT TEAM WAS THE LAST TO REPEAT AS SEC FOOTBALL CHAMPION AND IN WHAT TWO YEARS?
“Georgia Tech played great. They scored four times in the first half. You never know how important it is to force a field goal. When we had it at 20 again, it gives you a lot more hope than when it is at 28.”
ANSWER ON PAGE 14
Georgia coach Mark Richt on his team’s comeback win over Tech.
Consecutive semifinals appearances by Colquitt County
Defending state champions that advanced to the semifinals
Consecutive state titles won by Gwinnett County in Georgia’s highest classification
Completed passes by Carrollton and Marist in quarterfinals victories
Games in which Matt Ryan has passed for more than 300 yards this season
Points that Georgia trailed by before rallying to beat Tech in double-overtime
Passes defensed by Desmond Trufant, a Falcons rookie record
Yards per carry average of Falcons running back Antone Smith
NORCROSS STANDOUT ADDS TO UGA’S HAUL BY RICKY DIMON AND CRAIG SAGER II
niversity of Georgia men’s swimming head U coach Jack Bauerle added to his haul of recruits by recently inking Norcross High School
standout Powell Brooks to a national letter of intent. He will join Chattahoochee triplets Jay, Kevin and Mick Litherland and the St. Pius X duo of Gunnar Bentz and Basil Orr next year in Athens. DEVIL’S DELIGHT ... Brooks competes for coaches Jeff Hike and Chris Davis at SwimAtlanta in addition to his exploits with the Blue Devils. He owns five school records at Norcross and has twice been named to the Gwinnett Daily Post’s Super Six. Brooks is ranked among the nation’s top 20 prospects in the 200-yard butterfly and the 200 and 500 freestyle and he is an
Score Atlanta Football Rankings PRE-PLAYOFFS
All-American in the 500 freestyle. He has also been honored as a Scholastic All-American on three occasions. “We’re excited to have him as part of the team,” Bauerle told GeorgiaDogs.com. “We’ve known him since he was a 12-year-old at our swim camp and we’ve had a great relationship with him and his family for many years. We’re excited about what Powell can do in the butterfly and middle distance freestyle events and we feel like his best swimming is ahead of him. We know from the way he handles school and swimming and balances everything that he’s going to be not only a great athlete but a great leader.” In the pool, St. Pius X swam to victory late last month at Greater Atlanta Christian in a meet that also featured Riverwood. The girls
Class AAAAA 1..............................Tucker 2.................................. Kell 3...................... Gainesville 4........................Creekside 5................Warner Robins
1...............Camden County 2..........................Norcross 3................Colquitt County 4................North Gwinnett 5....................... Collins Hill
1....................Sandy Creek 2.............................. Griffin 3................... Monroe Area 4........................ Carrollton 5.............................. Marist
6..........................Hillgrove 7............................Lovejoy 8............................. Archer 9...................... North Cobb 10.........................Marietta
6.................Northside-WR 7.. Thomas County Central 8................North Paulding 9....................Ware County 10................Harris County
prevailed 202-55-48 and the boys won 16294-59 with Greater Atlanta Christian placing second and Riverwood finishing third in each competition. Julia Durmer won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke for the Golden Lions. Freshman Jeffrey Durmer won the 500 freestyle and was runner-up to Orr in the 200 individual medley. Spartan senior Marshall Gray treated the home crowd to a triumph in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.58 seconds. Marist, which captured five straight girls state titles from 2007 to 2011 while last winning a boys state championship in 2009, is hosting Landmark Christian, North Springs and Westlake Tuesday. HOUND-HEAVY ... The seventh annual Hillgrove Duals boasted a talented field with Pope, Hillgrove, Kell, Sprayberry and Lassiter in one pool of teams, and Whitewater, Walton, Riverwood, Campbell and Kennesaw Mountain in the other. Whitewater and Pope entered the event as the favorites and met in the championship. The Greyhounds dominated with a 60-12 victory over Whitewater and was a perfect 5-0, topping Hillgrove (66-10), Lassiter (55-18), Sprayberry (75-6) and Kell (63-15) en route to their final round win over Whitewater. Kennesaw Mountain placed third with a 4-1 mark
and Sprayberry and Walton each went 3-2. The Raiders edged Hillgrove 50-42 in a tight fifthplace match. Archer prepares to defend its title at the Southern Slam Meet in Greenville, S.C. this weekend. The Tigers won the 42-team tournament last year. The top 20 finishers last year received automatic invitations back for this year. Alexander, Archer, Buford, Kell, Parkview and Woodward Academy will represent Georgia in this year’s edition of the Southern Slam. Archer returns as a favorite and has been the most impressive team in Class AAAAAA so far. The Tigers are 10-0 in duals and have three tournament wins in their trio of appearances. Archer’s latest sweep came in the Takedown Sportswear duals with a 64-10 win over out of state Bradley Central (Tenn.) and four lopsided wins over its Georgia opponents. Archer topped Banks County (62-12), Marietta (81-0), South Forsyth (61-12) and Woodstock (66-3). Meadowcreek had a successful run in this weekend’s Blue Devil Classic. Ade HendersonHarden (152 pounds), O.G. Henderson-Harden (195 and 220) and Ryan Moore (195 and 220) went unbeaten in the two-day event. Eighteen teams participated in the event and host Norcross finished third. Photos courtesy of Brian L. Morgan, Sonny Kennedy and The Athletic Image.
1............................. Buford 2.........Washington County 3......................Cartersville 4...........Carver-Columbus 5..........................Callaway
6................Appling County 7...................Elbert County 8.......Woodward Academy 9..................... Hart County 10...................... North Hall
Class AA 6.................. Burke County 7.....................Stockbridge 8.......................Statesboro 9................. Wayne County 10................Mary Persons
1...............................Lovett 2..................Lamar County 3..................................GAC 4........................... Calhoun 5........Washington-Wilkes
1................................ ELCA 2........................... Aquinas 3..................Mount Pisgah 4...............Prince Ave. Chr. 5....................Mount Paran
6.....................Calvary Day 7...........Christian Heritage 8................ Landmark Chr. 9....................... Darlington 10.............Holy Innocents’
Class A-Public 6.................Brooks County 7.....................Benedictine 8.........................Jefferson 9.................. Heard County 10........................... Vidalia
1.............Seminole County 2....................Irwin County 3..................Clinch County 4.................Marion County 5.............. Johnson County
6...................Dooly County 7.............. Charlton County 8................... Hawkinsville 9.......................Commerce 10............. Mitchell County
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
DAWGS SURVIVE, AWAIT BOWL BID BY CHRIS NIEMAN | CNIEMAN@SCOREATL.COM
he Dawgs’ 41-34 win over the Yellow Jackets increases their chances of finding a more respectable bowl such as the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, which would mark the second time in the same season that the Bulldogs would play in Jacksonville. The Chick-Fil-A Bowl as well as the Music City Bowl are other possible destinations for head coach Mark Richt and his team, who are now in awaiting a bowl invitation. MASON AND GURLEY ... The Georgia Bulldogs were flat for most of the first half against the Yellow Jackets this past Saturday, amassing 56 yards on 21 plays for zero point on their first four drives of the game. Then, midway through the second quarter, redshirt junior Hutson Mason and the Georgia offense began to play more of an uptempo style of play, which resulted in the Dawgs’ first scoring drive of the game— a Mason-to-Gurley touchdown. On the next
FOOTBALL TEAM WRAPS UP WINLESS 2013 CAMPAIGN BY CHRIS SCHUTTER | CSCHUTTER@SCOREATL.COM
he Panthers lost the season-finale to South T Alabama last Saturday and Trent Miles’ football team finished 0-12 in his first season as head coach. Georgia State played some good teams close this year, but it had no answer for South Alabama in this one as the Jaguars offense totaled 522 yards compared to the Panthers’ 345. This was the last game as a Panther for star wide receiver Albert Wilson, who had a historic career over his time at Georgia State. Wilson had 101 receiving yards and 168 allpurpose yards last weekend, bringing his career total to 6,235 all-purpose yards. He currently finds himself in the top 40 in NCAA FBS history in all-purpose yards and will likely get an opportunity to play at the next level. It was a disappointing season for the Panthers, but Georgia State has seen plenty of great players in the program in its first four years and will continue to see many more. LONG HITS MILESTONE … Georgia State’s women’s basketball team
three drives, Mason and the Dawgs registered 224 yards on 29 plays for 17 points. The newlyappointed quarterback was also savvy in the redzone, orchestrating four out of five touchdowns via the air or ground. Sophomore tailback Todd Gurley emerged as the go-to guy in overtime, recording all of the team’s offense, rushing for 50 yards on four carries and two touchdowns. LOOKING AHEAD ... As far as 2014, it is relatively promising for Richt and the Dawgs. With senior defensive lineman Garrison Smith graduating, the Dawgs will be returning all but one starter on defense which certainly bodes well. On the offensive side of the ball, the Dawgs will be losing three seniors on the offensive line as well as senior wide receiver Rantiavious Wooten. However, the team has quite a few capable reserves that have seen playing time at some point in 2013. Much attention will also be warranted at the quarterback position. Redshirt junior Hutson Mason, who made his first career start again Georgia Tech on Thanksgiving weekend, will likely be the starter going in to training camp next spring. With him, Todd Gurley and the return of many injured players, such as Malcom Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Keith Marshall, the Bulldogs will be loaded across the board and will have a solid shot at competing for the SEC East and possibly the SEC Championship in 2014.
won against Kennesaw State by a score of 6054 on Tuesday thanks to Kendra Long’s great game. She scored 12 points, but more notably those 12 points put her at 1,000 for her career at GSU. She is the 21st GSU player to ever score 1,000 or more points and the first since Chan Harris, who accomplished the feat during the 2011-12 season. In addition to Long’s impressive offense, the team made a determined effort on defense as it held the Owls to 54 points, the lowest allowed by the Panthers this season. Georgia State’s defense has 82 steals on the season and is averaging 9.1 per game. The Panthers are undefeated all time against Kennesaw State with a record of 6-0. GOOD WORKS … It was announced Tuesday that men’s basketball sophomore R.J. Hunter is a nominee for the 2014 Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams. A total of 202 nominees were selected across all levels of college basketball and 10 men and women will be selected to receive the top honor in February. The Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams represent basketball’s top student-athletes as it pertains to their leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. Hunter is active in multiple trips with his father and coach, Ron Hunter, with the Samaritans Feet program that delivers shoes and hope to underprivileged areas around the world. Hunter also participates with local Boys & Girls Clubs in Atlanta.
JACKETS LOSE 20-0 LEAD; HOOPS BEATS ILLINI BY STEPHEN BLACK | SBLACK@SCOREATL.COM
ech almost had it. The Yellow Jackets (7-5) led instate rival Georgia 20-0 in the first half and 27-17 in the fourth quarter before watching the Bulldogs force overtime and win the game in the second extra session 41-34. The triple-option was brilliant once again in rolling up 263 total yards on the Bulldogs’ physical defense. The surprise on offense was the passing game, as Vad Lee threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns. However, the much-improved Tech defense allowed 299 yards through the air to Georgia’s backup quarterback Hutson Mason, who was starting his first college game. Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley struggled in regulation, but ran through the Jackets’ defense late in the game for a good portion of his 122 yards. Early on the Jackets dominated, taking their first drive of the game in for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Tech then used a 10-play drive, nine of them runs, to move to the Georgia 20
OWLS ENDURE TOUGH OHIO ROAD TRIP BY BRIAN JONES | BJONES@SCOREATL.COM
he state of Ohio was the place to be for the men’s basketball team over the weekend as it played at Cincinnati on Friday and at Kent State on Sunday. The Bearcats were too much to handle, winning 95-67. The Owls started the game strong, trailing 10-9 in the early stages of the first half. But Cincinnati continued to pound at the Owls and led by 20 at the end of the half. Orlando Coleman led Kennesaw State with 12 points and seven rebounds while Tanner Wozniak added 10 points in the loss. “For the first 14 minutes we played with the effort we want to see,” head coach Lewis Preston told ksuowls.com. “But the final six minutes of the first half and the first four of the second half, we didn’t get that same effort and that’s the story of the game.” The Owls looked to rebound against Kent State, but things did not turn out that way as they fell 68-51. They played one of their better halves of the season, shooting 45 percent
where the drive stalled. Freshman kicker Harrison Butker from Westminster extended Tech’s lead to 10-0 with a 37-yard field goal. Jemea Thomas intercepted Mason on the next Georgia drive giving Tech the ball on the Bulldogs’ 36. Two plays later, Lee hit DeAndre Smelter for 26 yards and a 17-0 lead. In the second quarter, Tech’s first possession was an impressive 15-play, 87-yard drive that ended on the five-yard line where Butker connected on a 22-yard field goal for the 20-0 lead. The Jackets would lead the entire game until 4:17 remained in the fourth quarter when Georgia hit a 32-yard field goal that tied it and eventually sent the game to overtime. Georgia’s only lead of the game came in double overtime, which ended up being the final score. ON THE HARDWOOD ... Tech (6-3) dropped two games at the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, an event that took place Nov. 28-29. The Jackets fell to Ole Miss in the first tilt 77-67, then dropped the second 69-58 to St. John’s. Coach Brian Gregory’s squad, however, returned to Atlanta and ended the brief losing streak with a 6764 comeback victory over Illinois on Tuesday night. Tech trailed by 12 with seven minutes left before rallying. Robert Carter, Jr. led the Jackets with 21 points.
from the arc in the first and trialing the Golden Flashes by two at halftime. But the depth and the experience for Kent State kicked in, which led to Kennesaw State’s seventh loss of the year. “In the first half we executed, had great ball movement, played hard and did what we had to do,” Preston explained. “In the second half we came out and had way too many one or two pass possessions and that played right into Kent State’s hand.” Bernard Morena led the Owls with a careerhigh 16 points and Delbert Love added 16 and five boards. The Owls currently have some time off before they battle Georgia Tech on Dec. 16. RIVALS COLLIDE … The women’s basketball team was in action on Tuesday when it faced Georgia State at the Convocation Center. Despite a second-half comeback by the Owls, Georgia State came away with a 60-54 win. A tight first half saw the Owls lead 19-16 going into the intermission. But Georgia State went on a 12-0 run and was able to maintain its lead despite a couple of runs by the Owls. “I was proud of the way that we fought tonight,” said head coach Nitra Perry. “I think every game we have improved in an area.” Kennesaw State was led by led by Deandrea Sawyers, who scored 16 points. Kristina Wells had eight points and 11 rebounds while Aareon Smith added nine points and six boards.
Vol. 9 Iss. 28 | December 6-12, 2013 ATLANTA HAWKS
HAWKS STRUGGLE IN KORVER’S ABSENCE BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM
s of late, the Hawks have had trouble closing out games and have gone 1-5 in their last six outings. They played those six games in 10 days and, late in the action, players were growing tired and the same shots weren’t falling that would normally drop earlier in the night. There have also been nagging injuries that have prevented the team from being at full strength. RED CROSS REPORT ... Lou Williams still isn’t playing in back-toback games but has been able to bump up his minutes played and been a major contributor in the absence of usual starter Kyle Korver. Korver has been out since the Houston Rockets matchup with a rib injury and his scoring proficiency has been missed. The outside presence that he brings with his three-pointers allowed for the inside game of Paul Millsap and Al Horford. With the outside shot gone, it made it more difficult for them to
GLAVINE, MADDUX ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM
s expected, the 2014 Hall of Fame ballots have a decidedly Atlanta Braves flaA vor. Former manager Bobby Cox had already
been named to the Veterans ballot and he was joined last week by pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, who are on the standard Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. The list of first-year eligible players also includes Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent and Moises Alou. Additionally, a loaded field features a host of second-year eligible stars under the suspicion of performance-enhancing drugs, among them Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. Contemporaries Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling are also on the ballot. Next year’s class will be voted on by BBWAA members on Jan. 8. The Veterans Committee will announce its vote at the winter meetings on Monday, so Cox’s 2014 fate will be decided much sooner. Induction weekend is set for July 25-28. DEAL APPROVED … The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved a deal last week to proceed with the
find openings in the defense. With him coming back and the Hawks having some time off between games, Atlanta should be able to right the ship and maintain their position in the top four of the Eastern Conference standings. While they are under .500 after their four-game losing streak, the Hawks are still in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and only a half game out of third place. With a down Eastern Conference, the Hawks should make the playoffs this year. BACK TO NORMAL ... With a full strength squad and a more manageable schedule, the Hawks will get back to where they were performing earlier in the season. With the starting lineup returning to normal and a healthy Lou Williams returning to form, the offense could get even stronger. This will never be a defensive juggernaut, but if the players work together they can be adequate enough to keep pace with their offense. Shelvin Mack is still performing above expectations off the bench and is providing quality minutes, giving Jeff Teague breathers when he has been running up-tempo. A trend this season has been that when Teague plays aggressively, the team performs better. His attacking style allows for the other players to play more off the ball. This is when the Hawks are at their best and it is what coach Mike Budenholzer will have to look for more as the season goes along.
planned construction of a new stadium for the Atlanta Braves in the Cumberland Mall area starting with the 2017 season. The commission accepted a memorandum of understanding with the Braves that commits $300 million in public money to the $672 million ballpark. A 4-1 vote was not unanimous because of Lisa Cupid, who is not opposed to the team moving to Cobb County but feels the proceedings have been unnecessarily rushed. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done before the move is official or anywhere close to official. The commission will have to make additional approvals on more contract negotiations in the not-too-distant future. “We’re moving forward,” Braves executive vice president Mike Plant told the Atlanta Journal Constitution at the commission meeting. “This was a big night for us. We were always confident in the leadership and wisdom here.” NEWS AND NOTES … The Braves kicked off this week by inking infielder Ramiro Pena to a one-year contract while formally announcing the signing of relief pitcher Johnny Venters, who agreed to a oneyear, $1.625 million extension. They also declined to offer arbitration to reliever Cristhian Martinez and infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish, meaning they are now non-tendered free agents. Nine arbitration-eligible players were tendered contracts. Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Jordan Walden, Freddie Freeman, Chris Johnson, Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer have six weeks to come to terms with the team before arbitration figures would be exchanged in mid-January.
FALCONS END LOSING SKID, TAKE ON PACKERS BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM
he Falcons traveled to Toronto to face the Buffalo Bills and came out with a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory. The Bills led 14-0 in the opening quarter and took a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan led the offense on an 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a one-yard Steven Jackson touchdown to tie the game at 31-31 with 1:28 remaining in the game. In the overtime, William Moore forced a Scott Chandler fumble and Robert Alford recovered it and lateraled it to Desmond Trufant. Ryan took over and the offense drove the ball 30 yards on the short field to set up Matt Bryant’s 36-yard game-winning field goal. There were plenty of standout performers against Buffalo and the remainder of the season looks optimistic despite a 3-9 record. Ryan tossed his sixth 300-yard passing game of the season and running back Steven Jackson scored his first multi-touchdown game
GLADS LOSE TWO OF THREE, GAIN POINTS BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM
ormer Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle and FArena his Evansville IceMen came into Gwinnett and took two out of three from Gwinnett
last week. The bright spot to the three-game home series with Evansville is that the Glads picked up three points in the standings. With a win and a shootout loss, Gwinnett moved up to 13 points on the season. As of Wednesday afternoon, it is 11th out of 13 teams in the Eastern Conference despite having played tied for the most games in the league (20). Recently-reacquired goalie Louis Domingue notched his first shutout of the season and the first shutout by any Gwinnett goalie this year with a 3-0 win in the first game. Domingue was dominant in net, recording 39 saves. Philippe Halley, Kurtis Bartliff and Evan Bloodoff each had a goal to lead the Glads in the regulation win. TEAM LEADERS … Bloodoff came to the Gwinnett Gladiators last season and played 52 games, scoring
of the year. Special teams standout Antone Smith made a strong case for more playing time as he broke free for his second rushing touchdown of the season. Smith has totaled 145 yards on five carries and is averaging 29.0 yards per carry this season. Roddy White has always been clutch in the month of December and he returned to Pro Bowl form in Buffalo. White caught a season-high 10 passes for 143 yards. FROZEN TUNDRA … The Falcons’ next trip will be to Green Bay to take on the Packers in what will be the coldest game of the season. Weather is predicted to be in the low 20s for kickoff. The Packers are fresh off an embarrassing 40-10 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Lions. The Lions sacked Green Bay seven times and outgained them 561-126 in total yards. Green Bay is 2-2-1 this season at home and despite the stumble last week boast an offense that is top 10 in the run and pass. Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk has a team-high 103 tackles and Clay Matthews has 6.0 sacks this season despite missing four games. The game was scheduled to be shown on Sunday Night Football, but NBC moved kickoff to 1:00 p.m.
20 goals. In 20 games this year, Bloodoff has scored seven goals—including six in the month of November. Bloodoff is best when the stakes are highest. Last year, he led the Glads with five game-winning goals and scored five goals in 10 playoff games. Domingue is also in his second year with the team and has performed brilliantly in six games this season. Domingue has a .944 save percentage with a 1.86 goals-against average. In six games since being called back from Portland, Domingue has allowed just 10 goals. Forward Mike Embach joined the Gladiators after playing two years with rival Cincinnati. In 14 games this season, Embach leads the team with six assists. The third-year winger has also scored three goals in 2013. ON THE DOCKET … After finishing up the three game series with Evansville, the Glads have a few days off before entertaining Kalamazoo at Gwinnett Arena on Friday. Much like Gwinnett, the Kalamazoo Wings have gotten off to a slow start with just 16 points in their first 15 games. The Wings are fourth in the North Division. This will be the first of three meeting with Kalamazoo this season and the only visit by the Wings to Gwinnett. Sunday, the Glads will travel to arch-rival Greenville for an afternoon game. The Glads and Road Warriors have already played seven times this year with Greenville having won five out of seven.
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