A few area high school football teams did not start their seasons on Week 1, but instead kicked off this past Friday. Here’s how those programs fared in their first forays out on the football field. 

Putnam Co. 5, Morgan Co. 2

Yes, you read that final score correctly. The Putnam County War Eagles got a first-quarter safety to go up 2-0, and the scoreboard stayed that way until just over five minutes to go in regulation. It was then that the visiting Morgan County Bulldogs were gifted a safety as well thanks to a bad snap on a Putnam punt that went out the back of the War Eagles’ end zone. Putnam went on to win the season opener for both teams in overtime thanks to a field goal by senior kicker Jose Hernandez, helping the Eatonton school beat Morgan for the first time since 2015. That last War Eagle win also came as a field goal margin of victory at 13-10. Putnam, head coached by Shaun Pope, is scheduled to take its first road trip of 2020 Friday, albeit a short one to Monticello to face the 0-1 Hurricanes. Morgan will ride to Monroe Area to try and earn its first victory. 

Gatewood 35, Edmund Burke 0

Like their county mates in Putnam, the Gatewood Gators enjoyed a win on their opening night, though theirs came in much less dramatic fashion. The victory did produce a little bit of history though as Friday marked the first time Gatewood has ever beaten Edmund Burke Academy on its home field in Waynesboro. The Gators are trying to three-peat as GISA AA champs, and made a big statement by shutting out one of the challengers to that crown in EBA. Gatewood will try to keep the victory train rolling on its home field this week when the team welcomes 0-2 Trinity Christian of Dublin.

Schedule change for JMA

The John Milledge Trojans were scheduled to travel to Pinewood Christian Academy this week, but the schools announced Saturday that the game is being postponed to Tuesday, Oct. 27 due to COVID concerns on Pinewood’s side. The schools’ open dates do not match up, which is why the game is rescheduled to a Tuesday. The Trojans get the better end of the deal as the makeup date comes after they play Community Christian on Oct. 23 and before their open date of Oct. 30. Pinewood will now essentially play three games in the span of a week. They will have St. Andrews Oct. 23, JMA on Oct. 27 and Memorial on Oct. 30. The Trojans now also get an extra week to prepare for GHSA opponent Savannah Christian, who they will travel to Sept. 25. JMA head coach JT Wall said Monday that since the Pinewood game is rescheduled and not canceled, he will likely leave this Friday as an open date. 

News and notes from higher up

  • John Milledge alum Harrison Bryant got his first career start in his first game as a Cleveland Brown Sunday. The former Trojan and FAU Owl was taken by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He took the field on his team’s opening possession as part of a two-tight end set and also caught his first pass for 5 yards. Bryant, the best tight end in all of college football last year, was targeted only twice on the day by quarterback Baker Mayfield, but saw plenty of game action. The Browns lost to reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 38-6 to open the season.
  • Speaking of first career receptions, Jones County High School product Jontavis Robertson hauled in his first catch as a Duke Blue Devil wide receiver Saturday. The freshman Robertson would finish the 27-13 loss to Notre Dame with the single reception for 13 yards. 
  • The University of Louisville is a team of local interest this season. The Cardinals carry one former Baldwin Brave in Malik Clark (Class of ’17) and three former Georgia Military College JUCO players in YaYa Diaby, Trevor Reid and Marvin Dallas on their roster. Diaby got his first career start as a Cardinal defensive lineman in the team’s 35-21 home win over Western Kentucky and totaled two tackles (one for loss) and a quarterback hurry. 

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