Six Gwinnett County high schools opened their 2013 football season on Saturday in Week 1 action as part of two great events when four were part of the 2013 Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome, and two were participants in the Geico ESPN High School Football Kickoff Saturday. Gwinnett County teams compiled a 2-4 mark in the six nonconference games.
Peachtree Ridge (1-0/0-0) and North Gwinnett (1-0/0-0) were the only Gwinnett teams to come out on top in their Saturday matchups. Both wins came at the Corky Kell Classic as the Lions of Peachtree Ridge downed the Walton Raiders (0-1/0-0) by a 23-17 count, and the North Gwinnett Bulldogs dominated the Camden County Wildcats (0-1/0-0), 34-14.
The Grayson Rams (0-1/0-0) and Brookwood Broncos (0-1/0-0) also took part in the Classic with the Rams taking on Colquitt County (1-0/0-0), while the Broncos played the McEachern Indians (1-0/0-0). Grayson fell to Colquitt County, 21-6, after falling behind early and never really challenging, and then McEachern won easily over Brookwood in the final game of the 22nd Corky Kell Classic, 31-10.
Norcross High School hosted a pair of games that saw Norcross (0-1/0-0) and South Gwinnett (0-1/0-0) take on teams from Florida that were televised nationally by ESPN as part of the networks kick off of the high school season. Both Norcross and South Gwinnett came away with losses, but the drubbing that the Blue Devils of Norcross took from Booker T. Washington (1-0/0-0) was stunning.
In what was the most anticipated game of the day, the No. 6 rated team in the nation, Norcross, faced off with the top rated team in the nation, Washington (Miami, Florida), and the Blue Devils were held scoreless in the 55-0 loss to the Tornadoes. Norcross had four turnovers in the first half that resulted in 21 points and was never in the game. Washington tallied 374 yards total offense to Norcross’ 125. Norcross went undefeated (15-0) last season on their way to the Class 6-A title, but now see they have much to improve on for another title run this season.
The Comets were defeated by the Lincoln Trojans (1-0/0-0) in the first game of the double header, 34-21. The Trojans, from Tallahassee, were in control from the opening kickoff but the Comets showed a lot of heart as they continued to battle. South Gwinnett has a young team, including 10 new starters on defense, and the inexperienced showed. The Comets played hard and will improve as they gain game time.
Examiner Gwinnett Players of Week 1
The Peachtree Ridge Lions had three of the four best individual efforts for Week 1:
RB Jordan Ellis had 27 carries for 125 yards and one TD, including 19 for 103 yards in the second half.
QB Chance Thrasher was 10-for-23 passing for 216 yards and a TD.
Myron Burton contributed two big plays. He returned the opening kickoff 77 yards, and then pulled in a 63 yard TD strike form Thrasher after beating his man easily on a fly route.
The other top performance came from CJ Leggett of North Gwinnett. The running back carried the rock 23 times and racked up 138 yards for a 6.0 YPC average.