Two nationally televised games highlight Week 2 of the high school football season as three teams, Grayson, Tucker and Cedar Grove compete in the GEICO Kickoff series broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU over the weekend.
Class AAA power No. 4 Cedar Grove will be the first Georgia team to air on ESPN this weekend as it takes on Alabama's highly touted Hewitt-Trussville. The game, which will be televised on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, will take place at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex in Hoover, Ala.
Hewitt-Trussville is ranked as the No. 5 team in Alabama's highest class (AAAAAAA) and had an 11-1 record in 2017, following a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Hoover. The Huskies quarterback, Paul Tyson, is committed to Alabama and will lead a group of four players planning to play for Nick Saban.
"Well, he is just a really good quarterback,"said Cedar Grove head coach Jimmy Smith. "So we are going to have to force him to make the hard throws. We can't allow him to make the easy throws."
Two senior Alabama commitments lead the group. Tyson, a 6-4, 217-pounder, is rated as a 4-star recruit and is the No. 13-rated recruit in Alabama and No. 12 rated pro-style quarterback nationally from the class of 2019, according to 24/7Sports. Pierce Quick, a 6-5, 287-pound offensive tackle, is rated as a 5-star recruit and the No. 7 offensive tackle nationally for the 2019 class.
"We are going to have to do a good job to figure out a way to get penetration," Smith said. "They have a really good quarterback and a great line."
The other two Crimson Tide commitments are entering their junior seasons. Four-star receiver Dazalin Worsham, a 6-foot, 169-pounder, is rated as the No. 3 overall recruit in Alabama for the class of 2020. Four-star cornerback Malachi Moore (5-11, 171-pounds) is rated as the No. 6 recruit in Alabama for the class of 2020.
-- Class AAAAAAA -- Tucker at No. 3 Grayson -
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Tucker will face Grayson as a part of the GEICO Kickoff Event. The game will air on ESPNU.
Tucker is coming off a dismal start after losing 40-14 against Buford in the Corky Kell. The Tigers, who made it to the state semifinals last year, have only won one season opener in five years. Grayson is a nationally ranked powerhouse with FBS commits across the board. Owen Pappoe, an Auburn commit, is the top-rated outside linebacker in the nation. Other commits include Kevin Harris (Alabama), Wanya Morris (Tennessee), Kenyatta Watson (Texas), Trente Jones (Michigan).
-- Class AAA - No. 5 Westminster at No. 3 GAC -
Westminster will travel to GAC on Friday for the 13
th meeting between the two storied AAA programs. GAC has control of the series and has not lost to the Wildcats since 2010.
Wesminster had the more impressive opening as the Wildcats relied on a five-touchdown performance from quarterback Parks Harber, at UGA baseball commit. Westminster scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, and its stifling defense held Woodward scoreless through that stretch, which put the Wildcats ahead 28-10 after being behind 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Harber finished the game 14-of-20 passing for 196 yards. His 32-yard touchdown pass to John Izlar was Harber's longest completion of the night. Harber also passed to Ben Allen (7 yards), Luke Jannetta (14 yards), Lowell Jones (25 yards) and Nance Hill (14 yards) for touchdowns.
GAC's 24-21 victory over No. 9 Lovett felt more like a playoff victory than a season-opener. The Spartans, led by a deep quarterback stall in senior Josh Rose and junior Jackson Hardy, mounted a game-winning drive to take the lead after a Lovett score.
-- Class AAA/AAAA - Cherokee Bluff at Denmark -
This is the freshest matchup of the season as first-year programs Cherokee Bluff and Denmark square off. The Class AAA-placed Cherokee Bluff Bears are led by former Dacula head coach Tommy Jones and opened the season last weekend with a 31-0 loss to Whitfield Academy.
Denmark had to wait one more week and will be hosting the 0-1 Bears in the program's first-ever game this Friday night. Leading the program is former Chattahoochee and Creekview head coach Terry Crowder. This matchup will show how competitive Denmark will be in Class AAAA, which is interesting considering the Danes' stay in Class AAAA may be limited; they are being projected to have a Class AAAAAAA sized-enrollment by the next reclassification cycle in 2020.
Denmark will have to take on a loaded Region 7 this season with Blessed Trinity, Marist and Flowery Branch and its inaugural roster includes Ze'Vian Capers, a massive 6-foot-4, 200 pound 3-star junior wide receiver that started for Class AAAAAAA's South Forsyth last season.
-- Class AAAAAAA/AAAAAA - No. 5 Milton at No. 9 Alpharetta -
Class AAAAAAA Milton's upset of Archer (21-19) in the Corky Kell jumped it up in the rankings and gave the Eagles momentum entering its meeting with Alpharetta.
This will mark the second meeting between Milton coach Adam Clack and Alpharetta. Last year, Milton won 31-9. In the series, which dates to 2006, Milton has only lost three games - the first meeting in 2006, 2011 and 2015.
Alpharetta rested last week. The Raiders finished with an 11-2 record and a Region 7-AAAAAAA title last year, its only regular-season loss came to Milton before it fell to Coffee in the quarterfinals.