Douglas, Georgia – Georgia high schools were allowed to have spring games versus other teams for the first time in Peach State history. Those schools who chose to take part this spring will only be allowed one fall scrimmage later this year. This past Friday night Recruit Georgia was on hand to witness this historical moment as Brooks County from Quitman (GA) made the trip to Jardine Stadium in Douglas (GA) to take on Coffee.
Many around the area saw this matchup as a battle of David and Goliath pitting GHSA-AA (Brooks County) versus a GHSA-AAAAAA (Coffee), the latter being a member of the infamous Region of Doom. In the end the hammer would fall in favor of David, as Brooks County took down Coffee by the tune of 23-7.
Both teams agreed to play nine minute quarters. Though each team lined up for punts and kickoffs, the only live special teams took place on extra points and field goals.
Brooks County threatened on their opening possession, but standout senior pass rusher Derick Newton recorded a tackle for loss and a sack to force a punt. Newton would finish the scrimmage with eight tackles, four TFL’s, one sack, one QBH and a PBU.
Coffee drew first blood on the ensuing possession driving 91 yards. The drive was capped by a 44-yard touchdown toss from senior signal caller Wade Sumner to junior wide out Milton Jackson with just two seconds left in the first stanza.
Unfortunately for the Maroon Trojans it would be their only score of the contest. Jackson would finish with a game high seven catches for 101 yards and the lone score.
Brooks County took advantage of a Coffee mishap recovering a fumble on the 30-yard line. With just 2:42 left in the half two-way standout Rahjon Holden knotted the score with a plunge from the one. The touchdown was set up by a Jacolby Brown 22-yard completion to Deoveonne Bryant.
Holden would finish the game with six tackles, one TFL while carrying the ball five times for 35 yards. The most shocking fact was not that the game was tied at the half, but rising senior running back Jonathan White, Brooks’ top returning offensive weapon, only carried the ball one time.
That was all a setup, as White game charging out of the second half gates with a head of steam. He began the half with runs of 14, seven and four yards to set up a Tony Velasquez 25-yard field goal.
White ended up touching the ball 12 times in the second half for 91 yards and two touchdowns to shock the home crowd. Mac Perry hit White on a 56-yard screen for score with 2:16 left in the third quarter. Brown then connected with White early in the fourth quarter on another touchdown screen pass, this time from ten yards out.
Other than Jackson the other offensive bright spot for Coffee was senior bulldozer Tywone Brewton. He carried the ball a game high 19 times for 108 yards.
Coffee was able to move the ball, but numerous penalties and the inability to protect Sumner in the pocket negated the yardage advantage.
Now both coaching staffs must go back and take a long look at the game film and begin the long arduous process of correcting mistakes while improving execution.
What we learned from the inaugural spring game between the Trojans?
Brooks County will be a factor in Region 1-AA battling Fitzgerald and Thomasville tooth and nail for the #1 seed. The Trojans are loaded with impact seniors on both sides of the ball and it sure doesn’t hurt that signal caller Perry has healed from is ACL tear that caused him to miss most of his junior season.
Coffee will need to patch some holes in the offensive line or risk losing Sumner to an injury. He needs to be upright in order to find his receiving corps, deepest and most talented position group on the team. Brewton can definitely carry the load, but is their another quality back to spell him?
Recruit Georgia’s Prospect Analysis
Deoveonne Bryant, WR/DB, (2018) – Bryant finished the contest with two catches for 24 yards to go along with a handful of tackles and an INT. He looked to be one of the more elusive skilled position players for Brooks County. With the quarterback position having two experienced players Bryant should see a boost in his receiving numbers this fall. He is a player to keep an eye on for the Trojans.
Deon Fountain, WR, 6-0/160 (2019) – Fountain is definitely the deep threat receiver for the Trojans, but they were unable to hookup vertically in this scrimmage. He did end up with four catches for 20 yards, but much more is expected of him this fall. Fountain has excellent top end speed but needs to add more muscle mass in order to win tightly contested balls. Time is on his side only being a rising junior. He is someone that FCS, FBS and DII colleges in the Peach State should keep tabs on.
Rahjon Holden, ILB/FB, 5-11/200 (2018) – Holden was the leading tackler last season for Brooks County. Now he is being put into a role where he can impact both sides of the ball. He finished the scrimmage with five carries for 35 yards and one score while racking up six tackles. Holden has a great build and does a nice job of stopping the run up the gut. He has to be evaluated as an inside linebacker that may lack the ideal size but not the tenacity to bounce around the tackle box.
Jonathan White, RB/S, 5-10/200 (2018) – White is one good looking all-purpose back with a powerful physique. He too is being asked this season to play both ways. But he will definitely be the key to the Trojans long term offensive success this fall. Not only does he have quick feet and good top end speed, White is a serious threat to turn short pass into long gains. White is definitely worthy of attention from FCS colleges and northern schools at the FBS level looking for South Georgia speed. I expect a huge senior season for this tailback.
Tywone Brewton, RB, 5-10/220 (2018) – Brewton has been flying under the radar because he played behind three-year starter Meaty Davis. Davis is gone to graduation and Brewton will definitely be getting the lion’s share of the carries this fall. He demonstrated nifty footwork and the ability to lower the shoulder while making tough yards up the middle. Colleges looking for a fullback may want to enquire about this ball of fury.
Dalrone Donaldson, WR, 6-3/185 (2018) – Donaldson definitely passes the eyeball test for a potential FBS level outside receiver. The Trojan basketball star turned receiver made a splash last season leading the team with seven touchdown catches. Much more is expected of him this fall if Coffee is going to make another long run in the playoffs. He has that deceptive long striders speed and the length to cause matchup problems for smaller defensive backs. He needs to continue to improve his ferocity on attacking the ball. Donaldson currently has offers from NCCU and Troy.
Jameon Gaskin, ILB, 5-11/225 (2018) – Last season Gaskin lit it up leading Coffee and the Region of Doom with 166 total tackles. Though he may lack the ideal height, he doesn’t lack the girth and strength to manhandle ball carriers. This past spring Gaskin set five school power lifting records. This guy is a striker that will simply run through opponents. He is currently receiving the bulk of his interest from high level FCS colleges. Something recruiters may want to know is the fact that he is in honor’s classes and scored over a 900 on the first take of the SAT. Gaskin finished the scrimmage with six tackles, one TFL and one PBU.
Milton Jackson, WR, 5-11/190 (2019) – As a sophomore Jackson led the Trojans last season in receptions with 86 catches for 1,039 yards. In the spring game he caught seven passes for 101 yards and one score. I look for him to put up similar numbers to last season, with more trips to the end zone. Jackson has all the physical qualities needed to attract FBS attention as a slot receiver. He is shifty, quick and really explodes out of his final cut. He currently claims five offers with Cincinnati and Georgia Southern be the latest to extend invitations.
Derick Newton, SDE, 6-1/268 (2018) – Newton had a huge week on the recruiting front picking up offers from Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Kansas State. And though none were in attendance for the spring game, they would have left impressed with his performance. Newton finished the game with eight tackles, four TFL’s, one sacks, one QBH and one PBU. He has excellent lateral movement, but what makes him standout is the ferocious way he rids blockers and pursues quarterback. Last year he led the state with 23 sacks. College coaches just have to decide whether he is a defensive end or a potential inside guy at the next level. The one thing they won’t be disappointed in is his non-stop motor.
article submitted by site contributor Barry Every – follow him Twitter @BVEvery