Originally created 11/26/03

Injury to quarterback might hurt Swainsboro's chances



The MRI Swainsboro quarterback/place-kicker Cason Devane underwent Monday revealed what the Tigers feared the most.

A torn anterior cruciate ligament, an end to his high school career and an injury that certainly hurts an undefeated Swainsboro team trying to reclaim its first state title since 2000.

"It's not good at all," Tigers coach Shane Williamson said Monday night. "We're trying to get our quarterback situation settled."

And that's not even Williamson's biggest concern heading into Friday's home contest against Mary Persons in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs.

Devane will be replaced by a capable Leroy Ball under center, but the Tigers likely will start freshman Dwight Smith at place-kicker in place of the senior who hit 26 of 30 extra points this season.

"He's an old-style kicker; he comes straight on," Williamson said. "He's got good strength in his leg, but in big-time situations, you don't know where his head is going to be."

Ball, meanwhile, should be fine.

Against Westside last week - a game the Tigers (9-0-2) easily won 39-0 - Devane completed one pass, but it was a perfect 76-yard touchdown strike to Raja Andrews against a Patriots secondary that blew its coverage.

In Ball, Swainsboro will have a more agile quarterback, and running back Albert Webb, who has gained more than 1,800 yards this season, is healthy.

"(Ball) does a good job," Williamson said. "He's a threat to run, and he's just athletic with a good arm."

YOUNG'S BREAKOUT: With his 13-catch, 322-yard receiving performance in last week's 49-32 loss to Richland Northeast, North Augusta senior Andre Young demolished a school record and might have possibly broken a state mark.

Along with quarterback Brandon Satcher's 612 total yards, the Yellow Jackets put an exclamation point on the success the West Coast offense has brought North Augusta.

"I thought we'd be more wide-open and that we'd be able to score some points, but I never thought we'd do this," said head coach Joe Long, who with offensive coordinator Drew Hummel installed the pass-happy attack this season. "I don't know if we'll be able to match this, but it's a start."

Young and Satcher were the biggest beneficiaries.

Finishing the season with 72 catches, 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns - all school records - the 6-foot-5 Young is interested in Clemson, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

Satcher also should get some notice from Division I colleges. On the season, the Westside transfer passed for 3,291 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for 774 yards and 11 more scores.

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.