0

Three local teams finish season ranked

Photo by Jason Mussell
Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley lead the Tigers to the best season in program history as they advanced to the Class AAAA quarterfinals and finished ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press rankings.

Photo by Jason Mussell Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley lead the Tigers to the best season in program history as they advanced to the Class AAAA quarterfinals and finished ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press rankings.

The history-making season of the Stockbridge football team continues, although the season is over.

Stockbridge ended its season with a Class AAAA quarterfinals playoff loss to Marist earlier this month, but pollsters took note of the team’s spectacular season. The Tigers occupied the No. 6 spot in the final Associated Press poll, which was released earlier this week.

With that ranking, Stockbridge finished the season ranked higher than any Henry County public school team in history. Dutchtown, which reached the 2010 quarterfinals, was No. 9 in the final rankings while the 1954 Henry County High team also finished No. 9 in a final poll.

This marked a season of firsts for Stockbridge, which claimed its first region football championship in school history.

As expected, Eagle’s Landing Christian was No. 1 in Class A after winning the private school title. Emmanuel County Institute, which won the public school title, was No. 2 in the AP poll. ELCA received all 10 first place votes.

Lovejoy was ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA after its loss to Norcross in the title game. It was the second straight season that the Wildcats had finished runner-up in the final AP poll.

ELCA opened the season at No. 1 in the poll, a first in school history. Stockbridge was No. 9 at the beginning of the season before a season-opening loss to M.L. King.

Maxprep Ratings: The computer was impressed with Lovejoy.

Lovejoy finished the season ranked No. 2 in the final Maxwell Ratings all-classification Top 25 poll. The Wildcats were the only team from the Southern Crescent to make the poll.

Stat leaders: Research by the Georgia High School Football Daily, an online high school football publication, reveals that some of the top statistical leaders in the state resides in the Southern Crescent.

Lovejoy quarterback Alejandro Bennifield was 16th in the state in passing yards. The senior threw for 2,587 yards in leading the second-ranked Wildcats to a 13-2 record and runner-up in Class AAAAAA.

Teammate Travis Custis finished No. 8 in the state in rushing with 2,118 yards. Union Grove running back Derrick Craine was ninth in the state in rushing with 2,105 yards as the Wolverines reached the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.