Sports

November 15, 2013

Scoring not a problem for Carrollton, Bruins

Northwest Whitfield and Carrollton are two high school football teams with the ability to score a ton of points.

They go about it in totally different ways.

In another contrast, Northwest is making its first appearance in the state playoffs since 2009, while Carrollton has one of the most tradition-rich programs in Georgia, with seven state titles since 1956 and a streak of 26 straight appearances in the postseason.

Northwest’s Bruins, the No. 3 seed from Region 7, travel to Grisham Stadium in Carrollton to take on the second-seeded Trojans from Region 5 at 7:30 tonight in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

“I’ve been over to Carrollton four times in the last six or seven years to watch them play in the playoffs, but I have never coached (a game) there,” Northwest coach Josh Robinson said. “Facility-wise, it is probably in the top five in the state.

“It is just a wonderful atmosphere. They have a lot of tradition and a ton of talent, but we are a nine-win team, and if we just go out there and believe and play a good game, we have a chance.”

Both teams have 9-1 records. Carrollton finished as its region’s runner-up after losing 24-7 to 2012 state champion Sandy Creek, the No. 1 team in the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A state poll. Northwest’s only loss came to Region 7-4A champion Dalton, but because of the rules of the region, which award the top two seeds to sub-region champions, Northwest could finish no higher than third in the region.

“It is a very, very athletic region that they play in,” Robinson said. “Sandy Creek is a very, very good football team and the rest of those teams are loaded with athletes and skill position players. It is a strong region, but I feel if we played in that region we would have success. The difference is (Region 5 teams have) more athletes overall.”

The Trojans certainly have those. Coach Rayvan Teague’s wing-T offense is one of the most prolific in the state when it comes to points, averaging 45.6 per game. Carrollton’s balanced running game has been spread between running backs Malik Sheppard, Trey Chivers and Jarvis Terrell and quarterback Will Garrett. Sheppard is the leading rusher with 652 yards, but all three running backs have more than 575 yards and Garrett has added 323.

Garrett also gives the offense some balance, passing for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns this year.

“(Garrett) has done a great job,” said Teague, who’s in his 12th season at Carrollton after previously leading the programs at LaFayette (1990-93) and Swainsboro (1995-2001), compiling a 216-68-1 record overall and winning a state title in 2000.

“We probably throw the ball 10 to 15 times per game, but we could run the gun very easily with him. He is probably the best quarterback that I have had since I have been here.”

The Trojans have excelled at pouncing on opponents early, outscoring teams 163-7 in the first quarter this season. Stopping their attack will be up to a Northwest defense that has allowed 20 or more points five times this season but also recorded a pair of shutouts.

“I am very impressed with their defensive front,” Teague said. “They may have one of the best lines that we have played all season. Isaiah Mack is really impressive at defensive end and is one of the best defensive linemen we have faced.

“You have to block. Speed is no good if you don't block. We do have some good skill guys, but Sandy Creek knocked the wind out of us a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, we can execute a little better than we did last week.”

Carrollton ended the regular season with a 42-6 win over LaGrange.

“They remind me a lot of the Ridgeland team from last year,” Robinson said, referring to last year’s state runner-up. “Their running backs are probably a little faster than Ridgeland’s, but those two teams are very, very comparable. We probably haven’t seen as great a combination as what we will see with them, but at the same time we have seen three wing-T teams this year, so we haven’t had to do a lot of teaching.”

Northwest, which is averaging 42.8 points per game, will counter with a spread offense triggered by junior Caleb Shiflett. A first-year starter, the Bruins quarterback is 80 yards shy of passing for 2,000 this season. Seniors Tevin McDaniel and Andy Whisenant are Shiflett’s top targets, combining for 1,485 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns.

“Offensively, the quarterback does a really good job of throwing the football and getting it into the hands of their athletes,” Teague said. “(Whisenant) is a great receiver who runs great routes and they have a good chemistry. (McDaniel) is their playmaker and can hurt you in so many different ways.”

The winner of tonight’s game advances to face the winner of tonight’s Banneker-Monroe Area matchup in next week’s second round.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to baseballamerica.com. Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • MMA guys 1 mlh.jpg Up close and personal

    Dustin Dyer remembers his first fight — and he has wisdom to share with North Georgia Hayastan Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s three new mixed martial arts fighters.
    “It’s just another day in the gym,” Dyer said, “just with a bigger crowd. Here (in the gym) is where you work. Out there is fun.”

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014