The Raiders defeated Brookwood 35-24 in convincing fashion in the final game of the Corky Kell Classic on Saturday at the Georgia Dome behind a superior rushing attack featuring senior dynamo Tyren Jones, who finished with 305 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
“He’s an X-man,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “He’s superhuman. I don’t have anything to tell you other than they need to test whether or not he had some mutant genes in him. Normal people can’t do the things that he does. Normal people’s bodies can’t stand the G-forces that he can.
“On top of all of that, he’s a great kid. He’s great in the locker room, and he’s great to coach.”
Beyond the performance of Jones, Walton had plenty to be proud of as well with the remainder of the offense and on defense. Offensively, the offensive line opened up many of the holes that allowed Jones the ability to dance through Brookwood’s linebackers and secondary.
“We came a long way since our scrimmage,” Hidalgo said. “I think we came off and we were physical. We made some strides in the right direction.”
On defense, Walton was able to put a great deal of pressure on the quarterback. Linebacker Blake Montz finished with five sacks, which was “probably a school record” according to Hidalgo — even with Chase Thomas holding the Raiders’ record for sacks in a season with 21.
However, Hidalgo was cautious about making comparisons to last season, and knows that his team still has several things to work on ahead of its game at McEachern this week.
“We still have a lot of work to do on a variety of things,” he said. “Defensively, we’re happy about our effort, but we have to do better at the point of attack on the defensive line and setting up on the football. Offensively, we’ve got to get rid of some mental errors and not have as many penalties.”
Kell and Hillgrove won big games to start their respective seasons. The Longhorns were once again dominant defensively. After holding defending state champion Grayson to seven points in the Corky Kell Classic last season, Kell allowed just eight points to Chattahoochee and scored a safety as well in a 19-8 victory.
The Hawks won Friday at Westlake after rebounding from a slow start in the first half on the road. As coaches say that teams improve the most between their first and second games of the season, Hillgrove will certainly use its win over the Lions to help prepare for this week’s battle with Lassiter.
McEachern lost to Grayson in the second game of the Corky Kell Classic, but coach Kyle Hockman was encouraged by how the team performed.
“I think there were some things we did well,” Hockman said on Saturday. “We’ve got good players and good talent, but (we) made a lot of simple mistakes. From Game 1 to Game 2, we want to improve a great deal. If you want to be honest about it, I thought we played like I thought we would. We were fighting tooth and nail with them, but we just made some critical mistakes at critical times.”
In a 38-29 loss at home, Marietta made several key mistakes against Newnan, but proved that its offense was every bit as advertised. Quarterback Anthony Jennings finished with three total scores, completing 16 of 26 passes for 206 yards and rushing for 105 yards on 16 carries.
In all, the Blue Devils’ offense finished with over 440 yards. However, Marietta’s special teams and focus on making fewer mistakes will be important ahead of its matchup against Pope this week.
Around the rest of Cobb County, Wheeler clawed out a 10-7 victory over Sprayberry with the help of Kahlen Looney rushing for 117 yards including a 62-yard touchdown run. Walker routed Temple 30-17 in John East’s debut as coach, while Evan Kasian scored three times and rushed for 138 yards on 17 carries.
Campbell snapped a four-game losing streak dating back to last season by bashing hapless Morrow 35-6 in Jonesboro. Meanwhile, Osborne was shutout 28-0 by Chapel Hill in a game where the Cardinals were unable to stop the run, as Chapel Hill’s leading rusher, Tre Mitchell, finished with 225 yards and three touchdowns.