Jonesboro quarterback Zerrick Cooper helped the Cardinals defeat Riverdale in a key Region 4-AAAA, Div. B game. (Special Photo: Jerry Jackson) Jonesboro quarterback Zerrick Cooper helped the Cardinals defeat Riverdale in a key Region 4-AAAA, Div. B game. (Special Photo: Jerry Jackson)
There were some big wins and and top performances during the 2013 season involving county teams. Some wins allowed teams to reach milestones ,while others extended the season into another playoff round. Although football is a team sport, some individuals made some spectacular plays and had games that could fill a highlight film.
The Clayton News Daily sports staff takes a look at some of the top plays, games and performances of the season.
Best finish to game: The old coaches saying, “big time players make big time plays” was definitely the truth during the Lovejoy-Marietta Class AAAAAA first round playoff game. That big-time player was Lovejoy wide receiver Preston Williams. The 6-foot-5 junior made plays all over the field, but none may have been bigger than his catch at the end. Williams made a 47-yard touchdown reception as time expired to lift the second-ranked Wildcats to a 27-23 win at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Best performance in a game: There were a few choices that could have made this one, but Rodney Smith’s rushing performance against Houston County was our choice. Not only did the senior running back have a career game, but it also made history for the Tigers’ program. Smith rushed for 348 yards and scored four touchdowns to lift Mundy’s Mill to a 33-13 win, its first playoff win in school history.
Best play: Thanks to Lovejoy defensive back Jordan Collier’s pass break-up in the closing seconds, the then-fourth ranked Wildcats were able to hang on for a 24-23 win at Alpharetta. Earlier in the game, Collier returned an interception 100 yards for a score as the Wildcats built a 24-7 lead. Collier’s interception was one of seven turnovers the Lovejoy defense forced in the game.
Biggest win: With Griffin already securing the top spot in the Region 4-AAAA, Div. B, second place in the subregion was up for grabs. The winner of the Jonesboro vs. Riverdale game at Southern Crescent Stadium would go a long way in deciding the second place spot. Jonesboro got a 37-27 win to 3-1 in the subregion. The Cardinals secured the No. 2 seed in the region play-in game, but lost to Locust Grove to get eliminated from a playoff berth.
Most thrilling game: The scoreboard operator and the statisticians from Drew and McIntosh got quite the workout. When the final buzzer sounded at McIntosh Stadium in Peachtree City, the host Chiefs had a 77-56 win in the Region 4-AAAAA play-in game to secure a playoff spot. Drew running back Marquis Terry and McIntosh running Victory Nguyen each scored seven touchdowns each in the game. Terry rushed for 219 yards and caught six passes for 100 yards. Nguyen rushed for 222 yards on 19 carries and five touchdowns, caught two passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns and had 119 yards in kickoff returns.
Surprising win: No, this game didn’t send shock waves throughout the state, but was a big win for those associated with the Forest Park program. The Panthers secured a 36-28 homecoming win over Morrow to snap an 11-game losing streak. Senior running back had a strong performance as he rushed for 209 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns. He had a long run of 53 yards in the win, the first of two for the Panthers on the season.