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Today, we take a look back at this weekend's unforgettable MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic. Recaps from each of the games and a look at this year's record-breaking attendance and viewership is posted below.  Visit  and the for additional coverage of this year's 9-game extravaganza, including stats, game-summaries and highlights of the action.

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Monday, August 20, 2018
By Craig Sager II

Viewership, attendance reach record heights

The 27th  edition of the MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic presented by Gordo's Dips was a huge success on and off the field Thursday through Saturday. An attendance record was set at Barron Stadium in Rome Thursday night while a one-day Corky attendance record was set Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. More than 31 hours of live action was broadcasted on television, radio and digital platforms and MyATL (Channel 36) was the top station in the Atlanta television market for multiple hours during the three days. The Corky Kell website set a one-day record for page views as well as users on the digital game tracker. The Corky Kell Classic management team would like to thank MetroPCS and all the sponsors as well as the 18 teams which accounted for more than 2,100 football players, 1,000 cheerleaders and an incredible 4,500 band members. The MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic will return for its 28th year on Aug. 15-17, 2018.      


Calhoun 45, Ridgeland 21

In Game 1 of the MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic, Calhoun quarterback Gavin Gray shook off a pair of early interceptions and guided the Yellow Jackets to a 45-21 victory over Ridgeland. Ridgeland took a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Hill to Jordan Blackwell. The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter and went into the half tied 14-14. Momentum changed drastically after the half, as Calhoun seized control with a 31-0 scoring advantage in the third quarter. Ridgeland's Hill found Stephen Walker on a 60-yard touchdown strike for the only points of the fourth quarter. Calhoun finished the game with 522 total yards of offense, and Gray accounted for 376 passing yards while completing 30-of-45 attempts.  Nine different Calhoun receivers caught passes, led by Luke Mosley's 10 catches, 117 receiving yards and touchdown and teammate Brannon Spector's 8-catch, 103-yard and one touchdown performance. Clemson-commit Davis Allen had a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown and added six total tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack to pace the Calhoun defense.

Rome 51, Marietta 41

The host Rome Wolves used their unstoppable offense and created four timely turnovers to hold off Marietta, stamp the program's 28th straight victory and outclass a star-studded Blue Devils team in Thursday's nightcap. The two teams combined for 1,041 total yards of offense and ran 139 plays. Even more uncanny was the nearly 300 yards of penalties seen in the game. Rome ended up with 22 flags for 185 yards and Marietta had 14 penalties for 104 yards. Rome running back Jamious Griffin had a superb performance, controlling the ground game with 28 carries for 162 yards and three scores and also adding a receiving touchdown. Explosive Rome receiver Xavier Roberts ran in an 11-yard reverse and caught a team-high seven catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Rome quarterback Knox Kadum finished an efficient 13-of-19 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and added 89 rushing yards off 15 carries. As for Marietta, junior quarterback Harris Bailey had to take over the game when running back Kimani Vidal got sidelined in the first half with an apparent ankle injury. Bailey finished the game 36-of-51 passing for 443 yards and six touchdowns. Marietta's Ramel Keyton and Airk Gilbert each caught 14 passes. Keyton went for 191 yards and four touchdowns, while Gilbert tallied 170 yards and a score. It was Gilbert's three lost fumbles, however, that overshadowed an otherwise dominant performance. Taji Johnon also caught a touchdown for Marietta, a 32-yard pass on the final play of the first half that brought Marietta within 37-21.


Buford 40-Tucker 14

In the opening game of Friday's double-header, Buford dominated in what marked the first meeting with Tucker since the 1955 season. The Wolves wore down the Tigers defense with 245 rushing yards and 399 total yards of offense. Buford running back Derrian Brown was extremely effective running behind his talented offensive line, taking 22 carries for 142 yards and scoring three touchdowns. Brown also caught the first of quarterback Aaron McLaughlin's two touchdown passes on a 32-yard strike out of the backfield. McLaughlin later found Austin Turner for a 73-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-14 with 1:10 left in the third quarter. Tucker's offensive production struggled with the exception of two explosive plays; Tyler Hughey's 76-yard touchdown run and Isiah Dunson's 69-yard touchdown catch from Travon Ford. These two plays accounted for more than 56 percent of the Tigers' 257 yards of total offense.

Milton 21, Archer 19

Milton quarterback Jordan Yates accounted for all three of the Eagles' touchdowns and a missed PAT and failed 2-point conversion left Archer short in one of the most closely played games of this year's Corky Kell Classic.  The game was scoreless until Archer quarterback Carter Peevy found Braylen Weems for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:42 left before the half. Archer missed the point after and Milton answered with a clutch 10-play drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Yates to Holden Shaw on the final play of the half, putting the Eagles up 7-6. Yates extended the Milton lead to 14-6 with a brilliant 43-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left in the third quarter. Peevy capped off a 7-play Archer scoring drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Weems, but the conversion failed and the Tigers trailed 14-12 heading into the fourth quarter. Yates and the dynamic Milton offense put together a 14-play, 48-yard drive that ate up nearly six and a half minutes to open the fourth quarter. Yates capped it off with a 3-yard touchdown run and Milton went up 21-12. Archer answered with Peevy's third touchdown pass to Weems (7 yards) with 3:24 left. Milton was forced to punt on the ensuing possession. The punt travelled just 18 yards and Archer took over with 1:37 left at the Milton 37-yardline with a chance to win it with a field goal. Peevy took a sack on first down and then three straight incompletions, however, gave Milton back the ball to kneel out a victory.


Kell 36, East Coweta 34

The opening game of Saturday's five-game lineup featured seven lead changes before Kell survived a thriller with East Coweta and the Indians' game-tying 2-point conversion attempt with just 21 seconds left in the game. East Coweta outgained Kell 297-283 in total yardage, but two interceptions and a 28:30 to 19:30 advantage in time of possession favored the Longhorns. Kell quarterback Evan Conley finished the game 11-of-22 passing for 161 yards and three scores, while adding a rushing score. Teammate Ebony Jackson led the ground game with 138 yards and a touchdown off of 20 carries. Star running back Gerald Green led East Coweta with 14 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Nate Cronic completed just 12-of-38 passes for 184 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Walton 48, Mill Creek 27

Walton quarterback Austin Kirksey ran in two touchdowns and connected with UGA-commit Dominick Blaylock three times in the air to pace the Raiders past Mill Creek. The Raiders' senior quarterback and University of Nevada commit finished the game with 57 rushing yards off nine carries and 344 yards through the air off 18-of-25 passing with no interceptions. The Hawks found their success on the ground and took a brief 14-10 lead over Walton midway through the second quarter with touchdown runs by Parker Roble and Chancellor Lee-Parker. Walton, however, answered with a 35-7 scoring run that overwhelmed Mill Creek and put the game out of reach.  Lee-Parker finished with three rushing touchdowns and accounted for 128 of Mill Creek's 226 rushing yards. D.J. Soyoye ran in Walton's other score and Jack Westbrook made two field goals, including a 38 yarder that gave the Raiders a 48-27 lead with 1:51 left. Blaylock finished with six catches for 132 yards and his three touchdowns (50, 35, 16).

Colquitt County 41, McEachern 7

Colquitt County showed utter dominance, holding McEachern to just 28 rushing yards, limiting the Indians to just 3-of-12 on third downs and winning the turnover margin 3-0. Colquitt County's defense, especially cornerback Jay Ward were phenomenal. While the Packers shut down the rushing game, Ward shut down the deep passing game and forced McEachern quarterback Carlos Del-Rio Wilson to do all his work over the middle of the field. Wilson finished 14-of-28 passing for 164 yards with two interceptions. Jordan Simmons scored McEachern's only touchdown in the second quarter, stretching out with the football and breaking the plane while a Colquitt County defender knocked the ball loose. It was a questionable toss up call at the moment, and it was also the only time McEachern would get close to scoring. Colquitt County kicker Ryan Fitzgerald hit field goals of 53 and 51 yards. Ty Leggett scored the Packers' first touchdown on a 4-yard run, but was sidelined with a shoulder/chest injury in the second half. Colquitt County junior Daijun Edwards took over and rumbled in a 56-yard touchdown to go with his game-high 167 rushing yards.

North Gwinnett 37, Brookwood 2

The defending Class 7A state champions looked sharp against Brookwood and opened up a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter with touchdown runs by Tyler Goodson (6 yards) and Devin Crosby (12).  Goodson added a 4-yard run in the second quarter and North Gwinnett's Cameron Clark kicked field goals from 46 and 42 yards to put the Bulldogs up 27-0 at the half. Brookwood got on the board with a safety in the third quarter, but Goodson's third touchdown run and Clark's third made field goal (41 yards) put North Gwinnett up 37-2 heading into the fourth quarter. North Gwinnett outgained Brookwood 301-223 in total yards, but its passing game struggled with J.R. Martin and Will Goldring combining for just 7-of-14 passing for 88 yards and an interception. Brookwood quarterback Conner Chavis finished 6-of-16 for 95 yards and no interceptions in his first-ever start and was sacked three times.

Norcross 42, Mays 26

Norcross came out firing on all cylinders in the grand finale of the 2018 MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic. Senior quarterback Louis Williams opened the game 9-of-9 passing and led Norcross to a quick 14-0 lead after touchdown runs by Kameryn Jackson and Lance Jackson capped off nine and eight-play drives. Mays got on the board just five seconds into the second quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jahquez Evans to JaQuari Wiggles, but a failed PAT left the Raiders trailing 14-6. Williams hit senior receiver Isaiah Wilson for a 17-yard touchdown minutes later to put the Blue Devils up 21-6 and then the Blue Devils orchestrated a 7-play drive that was capped with Lance Jackson's second touchdown run with just 20 seconds left in the half. Trailing 28-6 with just 20 seconds of clock to work with, Mays took over at its own 38-yard line. Evans found Terrence Morton on a 42-yard completion and the Raiders happily declined the pass interference flag on the play to set up at the Norcross 20-yardline with just six seconds to go in the half. Evans rolled out and threw a pass that was tipped near the 3-yard line into the endzone; a diving Jaylon Dunson secured the catch and a successful 2-point conversion brought Mays within 28-14 at the break. The teams did not get much going early in the third quarter, but Mays broke the drought with Evans' second touchdown pass to Wiggles to cut the deficit to 28-20 with 2:29 left in the frame. Williams found Ryan Slayton on a 4-yard touchdown pass to put Norcross up 35-20 early in the third quarter and with the 11 tackles for loss and six sacks produced by the Norcross defense, it looked like Mays was out of answers. After trading punts, however, Evans hit Tyree Nelson on a screen pass for an 80-yard touchdown with 5:59 left. Evans tried to scramble in for the 2-point conversion, but came up short and left Mays trailing 35-26. Williams iced the game with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Wilson with 1:27 left. Williams finished 17-of-21 passing for 198 yards and three touchdowns, while the Norcross ground game racked up 191 yards off 47 carries. Evans led Mays with four touchdown passes and 226 yards off of 10-of-18 passing. Tyler Moore, Jaylin Carter and Tyren Long each registered two sacks for Norcross.

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