Josey's defense has sudden turnaround

Without Conrad Wilbourn , Josey coach John Noah noticed his offense struggled just a little bit against Westside.


His defense, however, didn't seem to miss a beat.

Wilbourn picked off a pass in the first quarter, but the Eagles' defense remained stingy without him by holding the Patriots to only three first downs. Noah said he was pleased with the passion, especially in the first half.

After surrendering 56 and 57 points in back-to-back games in early September, Josey has given up only 21 combined points in its past two contests.

Through five games, Josey (3-2) has already matched the combined winning total of the past two seasons. With half the season still to play, the Eagles are two wins from posting the highest season win total since 1999, when they went 10-2.

HIGH JUMP: Because Richmond Academy has tall receivers, quarterback Drek Reid will sometimes throw high-arcing passes to them. Against Thomson, he threw four passes to 6-foot-2 wide receiver Don Quarles . Two of those jump balls were intercepted by Thomson defensive back Ira Embry , whose height is not listed on the roster.

"We have a kid who can jump, too," Thomson coach Luther Welsh said. "That made a difference."

REGION TRIUMPH: Midland Valley's 21-14 win over Airport gives the Mustangs a leg up in the Region 5-AAA race.

Coach Rick Knight acknowledged his players now control their own destiny, but he doesn't want them to let their guard down.

"You've got to win every week. There'll be someone waiting to knock us off," Knight said. "Last time we beat Airport here we went up to Dreher and had to struggle to win."

Midland Valley is on the road Friday night at Dreher, which is 0-6 on the season.

A bigger test could come in two weeks, when the Mustangs face A.C. Flora (6-0).


Washington County (3-1-1) at Butler (5-0)

Not many had this game circled as a subregion game to watch, but with Butler's fast start, this should have a playoff-type atmosphere. With a win, Butler would move to 6-0 for the first time.

Dublin (5-0) at Laney (4-2)

Laney has moved to 3-1 in region play and is just four points away from being undefeated in 3-AA. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have been dominating, winning each game by at least 10 points. Dublin won this game last season, 37-12.

Piedmont (6-0) at Edmund Burke (4-1)

The Spartans have scored 35 points or more in three consecutive games and now face unbeaten Piedmont. The Cougars have won by a combined 108-12 the past two games, but Edmund Burke has won all five previous contests.

Calhoun County (5-1) at Fox Creek (6-1)

The Predators' Marty Williams totaled almost 500 offensive yards Friday, but now the quarterback and his teammates must face a Saints squad giving up only 6.7 points per game. History hasn't been kind for Fox Creek in this series, as it has lost the only two meetings in 2006 and 2007.

Staff writers John Boyette and Chris Gay 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. Butler (8) 96 5-0 2

2. Washington Co. 86 3-1-1 3

3. North Augusta (2) 83 5-1 1

4. Williston-Elko 67 6-1 4

5. Silver Bluff (1) 55 5-1 T-5

6. Lincoln Co. 53 5-1 T-5

7. Jefferson Co. 49 4-1-1 7

8. Swainsboro 36 5-0 8

9. Thomson 22 4-1 NR

10. Burke County 20 3-2 10

Others receiving votes: Evans 15, Aquinas 14, Laney 4, Fox Creek 2.


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.