After two weeks of regular season action, the Monroe Tornadoes have yet to give up any points to their opponents, and the also have shutouts in the non-region games they’ve played over the last two years.
The Tornadoes extended the latter streak to five games last Thursday as they routed the Terrell County Green Waves, 40-0, at Hugh Mills Stadium.
Since the start of the 2008 season, Monroe has outscored its opponents 178-0 in non-region games.
Those numbers include outscoring Kendrick, Columbus, Terrell County, and Glynn Academy 98-0 in the first three games of last season and by a combined 80-0 score in the first two games of this season.
Starting senior quarterback Justin Pride passed for three touchdowns — from 27, 29, and 36 yards out. Dominique Lumpkin also provided a huge boost for the Tornadoes offense with two rushing touchdowns.
“The (offensive) line did a great job of blocking, the wide receivers made great blocks,” Lumpkin said. “The whole line blocked great.”
“The quarterback made some great reads, and I just did my best to hit the hole hard, and got good yardage, and we came away with a big win.”
While pleased that his team is coming off its second straight shutout win, Monroe head coach Charles Truitt says the Tornadoes must show continued improvement each week if they want to avoid the late-season collapse that cost them a playoff berth last year.
“We’re trying to teach our kids to get better each and every week, and that’s we’re hoping to do,” Truitt said, “to continue, and be ready to go whenever region time comes.”
WHICH “REGION 1s” ARE THE TOUGHEST? The so-called “Region 1s” of the Georgia High School Association — no matter what the classification — are considered to be among the toughest in the state for high school football.
Region 1-AAAA had the upper hand against their counterparts from Region 1-AAA. Through last week’s action, the teams from 1-AAAA finished 5-1 against their lower-classification opponents.
Defending GHSA Class AAA state champion Cairo (0-2) has suffered both losses to their Class AAAA neighbors. The Syrupmakers fell at home to Bainbridge 16-13 on Aug. 22, and then lost to one of their eastern neighbors — the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets — 14-3 last week.
Americus-Sumter (2-0) earned both of its wins over Region 1-AAA opponents. The Panthers followed up their season opening win over Dougherty at Hugh Mills Stadium with a hard-fought 21-14 triumph over rival Crisp County last week.
Westover won the lone game for 1-AAA against 1-AAAA, as the Patriots downed Lee County, 34-13, at Hugh Mills Stadium two weeks ago.
Albany High has already lost to a team from the GHSA’s smallest classification — Class A — as the Class AA Indians fell to Miller County, 35-7, in their first game of 2009. Albany’s Region 1-AA rival, Early County, routed Miller last week by a 34-6 score a week later.
In yet another twist, Monroe of Region 1-AAA managed to win easily over another Region 1-A squad in Terrell County. But in the end, the classifications of the opponents don’t really mean much to Terrell County head coach William Huff. In fact, just playing the teams in the Green Waves own region is hard enough.
That’s why, according to Huff, his team plays opponents like Monroe to get ready for a tough region schedule down the stretch.
“All Region 1s in the state are real tough, from five-A down to one-A,” he explained. “I don’t think the non-region games, whoever we were playing, is any indication of what’s going to happen when get in the region and sub-region play.
“I know Miller is going to be tough, Seminole (County) is going to be tough, Randolph- (Clay), everybody in our sub-region is going to be tough, it’s going to be a dog fight, because we’re so evenly matched. That’s one of the reasons I play Monroe every year, because I know they’re tough, and they’re going to give us an indication of where we are in terms of our region and sub-region competition.”
QUICK HITTERS: After having its season opener against Lyman Ward Military Academy cancelled because of the H1N1 virus, the Sherwood Christian Academy Eagles won their first game under new head coach Reginald Mitchell at home last week.
The former Albany High head coach led the Eagles to a 46-21 rout over Brookwood in their first home game last week. SCA visits Strong Rock this week.
Meanwhile, Mitchell’s former team is still looking for its first win of the season after a 23-12 loss at Southwest, Macon. AHS head coach Felton Williams saw his Indians fall to 0-2 with that setback.
First-year head coach Dean Fabrizio will also try to put his Lee County Trojans in the win column after losing for the second time in as many weeks. The Trojans dropped a 46-28 decision at home to Dutchtown. It doesn’t for any easier for the Trojans from Leesburg, as they host 2-0 Bainbridge.
Another metro Albany based squad suffered a tough loss in Macon last week, as defending GISA Class AAA state champion Deerfield-Windsor fell on a last-second field goal to FPD, 24-21. D-W (1-2) hosts another Macon opponent, Stratford, this week.
After winning their first games under new head coach Scotty Ward, the Worth County Rams (1-1) suffered their first loss of the season in a 31-13 setback to Woodland, Henry. It doesn’t get any easier for the Rams, as they pay a visit to perennial Class AA power Fitzgerald.
Dougherty (1-1) bounced back from its loss to Americus-Sumter with a 32-14 rout of Kendrick, Columbus at Hugh Mills Stadium last Friday. They’ll travel to Blakely to face Early County.
Finally, Westover (2-0) was the only other local team to stay unbeaten through two weeks, as the Patriots routed Crawford County, 29-6. They travel to Mitchell County this week.
ON THE WEB: High School Football Online—southwestgafootball.wordpress.com
Additional source: Georgia High School Football Historians Association—www.ghsfha.org
Written byWalter L. Johnson II.