Robert Allen, Peach County: In his debut on the road against a ranked Class AAAAA team, Allen was mighty steady, completing 14-of-20 for 183 yards and a touchdown in a 19-0 win over Warner Robins.
Darion Anderson, Houston County: In to being in on a half-dozen tackles while also providing pass coverage, Anderson caught six passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the 46-27 win over Veterans.
Josh Brooks, Windsor: The junior running back ran for 327 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-6 win over Holy Spirit.
Austin Devenney, Stratford: The senior wingback rushed for 143 yards and two scores, adding a 66-yard touchdown catch in a 61-31 win over Savannah Country Day.
Derrick Evans, Central: The junior quarterback completed 9-of-11 passes for 113 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-14 win at Wilkinson County.
Owen Freel, Covenant: The junior running back ran for 133 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-18 win over Crisp Academy.
Jake Fromm, Houston County: Fromm was solid after having a stomach flu, passing for 435 yards and five touchdown passes against Veterans.
Kenny Gant, Houston County: Gant’s night running (127 yards) and catching (55 yards) and three touchdowns showed balance for the Bears.
Abel Grant, Howard: The senior linebacker had 12 tackles, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery in a 26-25 overtime loss at FPD.
Ian Herndon, Tattnall Square: The senior quarterback rushed for 101 yards and three touchdowns in a 61-28 win over GMC.
Dee High, Mary Persons: Running inside and outside, High carried 30 times for 213 yards in the 41-21 win over Jackson.
Cedric Hollingshed, Westside: The senior running back ran for 149 yards and a touchdown in a 49-14 win over Rutland.
TJ Lowe, GMC: The senior running back ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Tattnall.
Bailey Michael, Mount de Sales: The senior wide receiver caught four passes for 66 yards in a 44-10 loss at Pacelli.
Cody Miller, John Milledge: The senior running back ran for 238 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-19 win over Heritage.
Tahjae Morant, Howard: The senior running back rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns against FPD.
Jam Morris, FPD: The senior running back rushed for 79 yards on just four carries, but his two touchdowns were the difference in an overtime win over Howard.
Antonio Sanders, Central: The sophomore running back had 208 yards on 22 carries against Wilkinson County.
Leon Simmons, Covenant: The sophomore running back ran for 152 yards and a touchdown against Crisp Academy.
Dallas Smith, Rutland: The senior wide receiver caught three passes for 97 yards and a touchdown against Westside.
De’Quan Taylor, Westside: The senior quarterback completed 4-of-5 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for one, in the win over Rutland.
Clifton Tucker, Howard: the senior cornerback recorded six tackles and picked off his second pass of the season against FPD.
Sean Walker, Howard: The junior linebacker had 13 tackles and a sack against FPD.
Gunnar Watson, Taylor County: The freshman quarterback went 18-for-23 for 200 yards and three touchdowns in a tie at 27 with East Laurens.
O’Showen Williams, Stratford: The junior wingback ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns, adding another touchdown on a 75-yard punt return, in the win over Savannah Country Day.
What we learned
Westside remains balanced: Westside found several different ways to score in its 49-14 win over Rutland. The Seminoles rushed for three touchdowns, passed for three touchdowns and took an interception back for a score. Quarterback De’Quan Taylor threw for nearly 200 yards, and running back Cedric Hollingshed ran for nearly 150.
Instant rivalry: FPD and Howard played the first game between Bibb County public and private school teams in nearly 50 years, and the game turned into a classic. The Vikings topped the Huskies in an overtime thriller for a nearly full house at FPD’s George S. Johnson Stadium. The interesting tidbit? Had Howard and FPD not agreed to play overtime, Howard would have recorded its second straight tie at 19. The last time a Bibb County public school team had two ties in a season, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association? The year 1965, when Lanier opened with scoreless ties in its first game against Northside and its third game against Moultrie (now Colquitt County). Willingham also had two ties that year, against LaGrange (at 14) and against Columbus (scoreless).
Don’t sleep on Central or Southwest: After combining for just one win last season, both Central and Southwest posted wins in their opening games. Central won 41-14 at Wilkinson County while Southwest edged rival Northeast 21-16.
Young guns: Underclassmen quarterbacks are off to a good start. Houston County’s Jake Fromm (sophomore) tops the class (435 yards and 5 passing touchdowns vs. Veterans), and Veterans’ Logan Byrd (junior) will rebound. But Mary Persons’ Jake Johnston (junior) had a superb debut (16-for-24, 200 yards, 4 touchdowns) on the road, sophomore Bradley Hunnicutt was very steady (66.7 percent, 181 passing yards) in Jones County’s romp, and Peach County junior Robert Allen looked experienced (70 pct., 183 yards) in winning at Warner Robins. Taylor County freshman Gunnar Watson threw for 200 yards in a tie with East Laurens, and Central junior Derrick Evans threw for four touchdowns in the Chargers win at Wilkinson County.
-- Telegraph Staff
Whole lotta O: The first full week of the season countered the old “defense ahead of offense” mantra that’s common early in the season. Fifteen area teams scored at least 40 points in Thursday and Friday games, with Stratford and Tattnall matching the other’s 61 points in GHSA debuts. Central scored 41, the Chargers’ first 40-point game since a 43-22 win over Class AA Monticello in 2009
Harris County vs. Westside, Thursday: The Seminoles take on the Tigers at Mercer University Stadium in former Jones County head coach Dwight Jones’ first trip to Middle Georgia since changing jobs. Harris County lost 48-43 to Phenix City (Alabama) in Jones’ debut after six seasons with the Greyhounds.
Howard vs. Central, Friday: Two teams that have struggled in recent years but are much improved this season meet at Henderson Stadium. Howard is still looking for its first win after a tie and and overtime loss, while Central comes in off a big win at Wilkinson County.
Rutland vs. Northeast, Friday: After first-week losses, the Hurricanes and Raiders will look to bounce back in a game played at Thompson Stadium.
Wesleyan at Stratford, Friday: Wesleyan went 2-8 last season, but the Wolves play a strong schedule and are off to a 1-1 start this year with a 45-7 win over Walker-Marietta and 20-13 loss to East Hall.
Mary Persons at Washington County, Friday: Mary Persons is without a big-time defensive back, thanks to Akebren Ralls’ graduation, and the Bulldogs’ secondary play against Jackson wasn’t inspiring. Laying in wait: Georgia Tech-bound quarterback AJ Gray.
Peach County at Perry, Friday: Perry is off to a positive start, but not quite to the level of Peach County, which has won six straight in the series and 19 of the past 20 and is off a road shutout of a ranked Class AAAAA team.
Cross Creek at Jones County, Friday: Two teams that opened the season with wins of 19 (Cross Creek 32-13 over Hephzibah) and 28 (Jones County 45-17 over Morgan County) open region play with hunger and momentum.
Veterans at Macon County, Friday: The Warhawks will try to fix the offense against the Bulldogs and one of the top defenders in the state, linebacker Roquan Smith.
Upson-Lee at Pike County, Friday: The Knights get a late start to the season as they look to win in head coach Tommy Parks’ debut and break a four-game losing streak.