Highlights from Friday's Georgia prep football action Friday night:
Senior running back Greg North made the most of his first offensive start for Class AAA No. 6 Rome, rushing for 168 yards on 17 carries and scoring a touchdown to lead his team to a 23-14 win over Cedartown.
Early in the second quarter, North scored from 7 yards to tie the game. The teams traded touchdowns early in the third quarter before Tyson Brown scored, again from 7 yards out, to give Rome the lead.
Christian Schroder kicked a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to ice the win.
--Junior Daniel Calhoun rushed for 158 yards on 19 carries, while quarterback Lee Pullam and end Dustin Moss combined for two touchdown passes to lead Trion to a 40-19 win over LaFayette.
Trion took command in the second quarter with a 21-point outburst, ending the game with 531 yards in total offense. Of that, 443 yards came on the ground.
--Cedar Shoals rallied around new quarterback Kamau Hull in the third quarter -- but it was too late, as crosstown rival Clarke Central was well on its way to a 23-9 win.
"I wouldn't change anything Kamau did out there tonight," Cedar Shoals coach Scott Wilkins said. "He stepped up and became a leader tonight at the quarterback position. I don't think we had a lot of confidence in ourselves tonight. Then more and more we began to believe in ourselves."
Cedar Shoals didn't record a first down until the third quarter, when things finally began to gel. Hull finished with 53 yards rushing, while teammate Johnerio Holt had 92 yards on 12 carries.
Clarke Central's Joseph Conway scored from one yard out in the second quarter after Jay Berryman completed a 54-yard pass to Ja-Darren Hill. Hill did most of the work on the screen pass, running down the field until he ran into teammate Brandon Saner at the two-yard line.
Gladiators kicker Beau Wegmann added a 33-yard field goal with 22 seconds to play in the half.
Hill scored again on a 68-yard run, finishing with 110 yards on 13 carries to lead Clarke Central.
--Tom Hybl had almost everything. He had a good game plan. He had his Madison County Red Raiders, huge underdogs to the Commerce Tigers, believing they could win. And he had the lead with less than seven minutes to go.
What he didn't have was Monte Williams. And Williams was all the Tigers needed to beat the Red Raiders 31-22 Friday night in both team's season-opener.
The Tigers' diminutive sophomore tailback ran for 214 yards on 17 carries, scored four touchdowns and had the biggest play of the game -- a 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 6:45 left to give Commerce a 24-22 lead.
"Monte saved us," Commerce coach Steve Savage said. "He did it all. We just started putting the ball in his hands."
--The Oconee County Warriors showcased an explosive offense and stifling defense en route to a 36-19 win over Winder-Barrow.
Oconee County rushed for 386 yards while allowing Winder-Barrow just 167 yards rushing.
Oconee County's first touchdown came after a Winder-Barrow fumble, with sophomore running back Tyson Browning running 15 yards. Browning led Oconee County with 131 yards in eight carries, including two other touchdowns -- one a 75-yard sprint.
--They were far from perfect, but Class AAAA No. 1 Tift County was still far too much for No. 5 Worth County, winning 12-0.
Senior wide receiver Nick Jordan caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dennis Whitehead in the first quarter and senior running back Freddie Jennings scored on a 32-yard run in the second quarter as Tift County beat Worth County for the third year in a row.
"In a lot of ways, it was your typical opening night," Tift County coach Charles Winslette said. "We made some mistakes, but we did some good things, too."
Indeed, with Whitehead making his first varsity start, Tift County rolled up 24 first downs and 338 total yards against Worth County.
Worth County was limited to four first downs and 83 total yards.
With Tift County penetrating Worth County's 30-yard line on six different possessions, the final score could have been much more lopsided, but turnovers, penalties and dropped passes prevented that.
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