Sunday's Central Georgia - and of interest to Central Georgia - news and notes, compiled from staff reports, email reports, the web, and social media.
One Mercer baseball alum joins another in the bigs
That, and an area MLB update, in the Latest Coverage.
Falcons fall flat in opener
So much for any spark from signing Julio Jones.
Atlanta was never in the game and didn’t score until six minutes into the fourth as Minnesota ran its way to a 28-12 win in the season opener.
The Vikings, who got going early with a blocked punt, outran the Falcons 172-73 on a whopping 21 more carries, while Matt Ryan threw two interceptions and was sacked four times, on 33-of-46 passing for 304 yards, Atlanta in the early comeback mode.
By contrast, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins was 8 of 10 for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Jones caught six passes on 11 targets for 31 yards and a score. Tight end Austin Hooper caught nine for 77 yards.
Atlanta didn’t have a play longer than 23 yards. The Falcons outgained the Vikings 345-269 in total offense, on 18 more plays, the Vikings with a 5.5-5.1 yards-per-play edge.
Macon Touchdown Club opens 74th season on Monday
Longtime college football newspaper and broadcast analyst Tony Barnhart is the featured speaker of the first meeting of the 74th season of the Macon Touchdown Club.
Windsor and Central Fellowship are the featured high schools. Georgia Tech assistant coach Brent Key is next week’s speaker.
The club meets at the Methodist Home for Children and Youth, in the Rumford Center, at 304 Pierce Ave. It starts at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and the program to begin around 7. Cost is $30 for non-members, who needn't be accompanied by a member.
Southwest’s Travion Search is this week’s co-back of the week, after completing 11 of 20 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, adding 65 yards on 10 carries and a score in the 31-0 romp of Macon County.
Tattnall’s Wes Allen is the co-back after 19 carries for 162 yards rushing, 20 yards receiving, and 64 return yards in the loss to Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg.
No linemen or special teams players were nominated from the schools covered by the Club.
Barnhart graduated from Georgia and started at the Greensboro News & Record. His career of two dozen years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution started in 1984, with most of it heading college sports coverage.
Since then, he has been a contributor to the AJC, He became a contributor to the AJC and a selection of the national networks. He currently is a writer for TMGCollegesports.com as well as the SEC Network.
The Club has already named players from ACE, Covenant, Howard, Northeast, Rutland, Southwest, and Westside as players of the week for the first few weeks.
Backs of the week: Westside QB Victor Dixon was 18 of 27 for 191 yards and three touchdowns in the opening win over Southwest.
Howard RB/WR Javarsia Meadows ran 15 times for 107 yards and three scores, and caught five passes for 120 yards and another touchdown, overall getting 231 all-purpose yard in the win over FPD.
Covenant quarterback Ethan White passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns with 95 yards on eight carries in a Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools 8-man football win over Young American Christian.
Linemen of the week: Defensive tackle Jerome Denson was good for 15 tackles and two sacks in the loss to Westside.
Sophomore offensive lineman Keyundre Whisby of Rutland graded out at 88 percent and had five pancake blocks as the Hurricanes broke a 23-game losing streak on Friday with a win over Hawkinsville.
Special-teams players of the week: Northeast sophomore D’Icey Hopkins accounted for 138 yards in punt returns, including an 80-yard touchdown, to go with three tackles at DB in the two-point loss to Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg.
ACE kicker Mason Maddox was perfect on two field goal attempts, of 42 and 27 yards, along with two touchbacks and two kickoffs inside the 10, in the win over Notre Dame Academy.
Monday Morning Quarterback
Central Georgia’s polls, Division I and Division II, around the neighborhood, more high school football.
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WSOC: Florida Southern 1, Georgia College 0
Max Scherzer pitched like Max Scherzer pitches, and he was money in leading Washington past Atlanta 9-4 before only 31,789 at SunTrust Park.
He struck out nine with a walk, two hits and a run in six innings. Mike Soroka got off to a rough start before setting down, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings, with seven strikeouts, a walk, and three homers. Chad Sobotka gave up four runs in a third of an inning.
Washington led 4-1 after three and added four in the seventh to seal it, the Braves waking up for three in the bottom of the ninth.
The first four spots – including subs in each slot - in Atlanta’s lineup went 1 for 15. Matt Joyce had two of Atlanta’s seven hits.
Next: Monday, at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m., FSSE/MLB; Tuesday, at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m., FSSE; Wednesday, at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m., FSSE; at Philadelphia, 7:15 p.m., FOX; Friday, at Washington, 7:05 p.m., FSSO
Peach State college football report