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PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy running back is the leading candidate for Clayton County Player of the Year honors heading into the third week of the season.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Lovejoy running back is the leading candidate for Clayton County Player of the Year honors heading into the third week of the season.

Each week the Clayton News Daily and the Henry Daily Herald will track the progress of potential high school football player of the year candidates throughout the season.

Here is an updated ranking of who’s in the running based on last week’s performances.

Clayton County

1. Travis Custis, Lovejoy: In a loss at Colquitt County, the senior running back had 19 carries for 141 yards. For the season, the Georgia Tech commit has 234 yards and a touchdown. He also has a receiving touchdown.

2. Cameron Sutton, Jonesboro: He showed why he is one of the best athletes in the Southern Crescent. In the team’s come-from-behind win at Westover, he had three receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also had a rushing score and a two-point conversion score.

3. Alejandro Bennifield, Lovejoy: Completed 19 of 39 passes for 165 yards as the Wildcats came up short in its game at Colquitt County. He accounted for the team’s lone score with a touchdown pass. On the season, he has completed 20 of 54 passes for 368 yards and five touchdowns.

4. Ti’Keem Cooper, Riverdale: The running back scored a pair of touchdowns in the Raiders’ win over Drew last week. He had an 88-yard kickoff return and scored on a rushing touchdown.

5. La’Darrius Mathis, North Clayton: Although the Eagles comeback attempt came up short against Grady, the senior running back had a big game. He scored two touchdowns. He also had a receiving touchdown in the non-region game.

Henry County

1. JoJo Spann, Ola: The senior’s stock is steadily rising after a stellar performance in a tough loss to Locust Grove last week. He accounted for all four of the team’s scores in the first ever match-up between the schools. Spann had two rushing touchdowns and scored on both a punt and kickoff return.

2. Donovahn Jones, Dutchtown: He is quickly proving why over 20 major colleges have made scholarship offers since the spring. The senior quarterback can do it with both his arm and legs. Against Henry County, he rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries for an 18-yard per carry average.

3. Josh Shockley, ELCA: Chargers coach Jonathan Gess said he had an “amazing” performance in the team’s win against Clinch County. The junior linebacker had 12 tackles, including three for losses. He also had a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

4. Keyante Green, ELCA: An ankle injury might keep him out of action for the next couple of weeks. In his last game, Green scored three touchdowns against Alabama powerhouse Briarwood Christian. Green is also a standout at linebacker.

5. Cortez McDowell, Locust Grove: The wide receiver had a breakout game against rival Ola. He had six receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns. He also had four carries for 12 yards in the win.