Butler gets spark from passing game

Butler's ground game was certainly the go-to offense against Grovetown, but the Bulldogs' passing game continues to keep teams off-balance.


Jeffery Menefee rushed for the century mark as Butler remained unbeaten behind more than 200 total rushing yards, but the passing attack also came through.

Of the 58 offensive plays, 49 were on the ground. Despite the discrepancy, quarterback Clayton Johnson hit Mel Jones downfield twice, including a 79-yard fourth-quarter touchdown.

Johnson averaged 13.9 yards passing, a number Menefee believes shows what the offense can do.

"We can run the ball," he said. "But we can throw the ball, too."

OFFENSIVE REBOUND: Lakeside quarterback Ben Wilson came into Friday's game with 102 rushing yards in four games.

He nearly matched that total against Statesboro thanks to a 60-yard touchdown run, one of two rushing scores for the senior in the first quarter.

Wilson finished with 77 yards rushing on 10 carries. He added 130 passing yards.

His performance helped the Panthers get back on track offensively after three consecutive games of fewer than 10 points.

Friday's total of 24 points, though, wasn't quite enough, as Statesboro won 26-24 on a last-second field goal in both teams' Region 2B-AAAA opener.

GAME OF INCHES: Down 10 to North Augusta, Evans began a third-quarter drive by going 40 yards in 10 plays. On fourth and 2, Jamerson Turner 's bruising run appeared to be good enough for a first down. But after the spot, the measurement proved the ball to be inches short.

"It's a judgment call," Evans coach Marty Jackson said.

Jackson didn't complain about the spot, but he did think his team got the first down.

By the time Evans got the ball again, the Knights were in the fourth quarter needing two touchdowns. They lost 23-10.


Thomson (3-1) at Richmond Academy (2-2)

Region 3-AAA play begins this week, so both schools will look for a quick one-game lead on the other. Thomson routed Hephzibah last Friday, while the Musketeers lost on the road to Washington County. Richmond Academy will have to break a trend, as it has lost 17 of 18 against Thomson.

Northwestern (5-0) at North Augusta (5-0)

These two unbeaten squads should provide a high-scoring contest. The Yellow Jackets enter averaging 33.6 points per game, while the Trojans are putting up 41. Northwestern won the last meeting 28-14 in 2007, along with all five previous matchups.

Warren County (3-2, 0-1) at Twiggs County (2-3, 1-0)

The Cobras won a three-overtime thriller against Hancock Central last Friday. Though fellow 7-A school Warren County looks like the better team recordwise, the Screaming Devils have lost three of the four meetings against Twiggs County. However, they did win the most recent game in 2007.

Strom Thurmond (4-1) at Columbia (3-2)

Both begin region play Thursday night at 7:30. The Rebels will have to rebound after blowing a big lead against Silver Bluff, but they did pound the Capitals 42-0 in 2008.

Staff writers Chris Gay and Justin Williams contributed to this story.

Power poll

The area's top 10 football teams as voted on by members of The Augusta Chronicle sports department, WRDW-TV and other area media. A first-place vote is worth 10 points; a 10th place vote is worth one points. First-place votes are in parentheses.


1. North Augusta (10) 110 5-0 1

2. Butler (1) 87 4-0 3

3. Washington County 66 2-1-1 8

4. Williston-Elko 62 5-1 7

T-5. Lincoln County 53 4-1 9

T-5. Silver Bluff 53 4-1 NR

7. Jefferson County 40 3-1-1 5

8. Strom Thurmond 36 4-1 2

9. Swainsboro 24 4-0 NR

10. Burke County 18 2-2 NR

Others receiving votes: Evans 17, Aquinas 16, Thomson 14, Fox Creek 1, Laney 1


Prep football statistics are due by noon Wednesday. Coaches are asked to submit statistics each week by fax to (706) 823-3408 or by e-mail to wayne.staats@augustachronicle.com.


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