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Blue Ridge tries winning second game in one week

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, September 10, 2015

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Sonny Stevens has 78 yards on five catches as a wide receiver for Blue Ridge.
 

Allison Gosnell Photo

Sonny Stevens has 78 yards on five catches as a wide receiver for Blue Ridge.

 



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T.J. Goldsmith, center, raises his arms signaling a Blue Ridge field goal is good.
 
 

Allison Gosnell Photo

T.J. Goldsmith, center, raises his arms signaling a Blue Ridge field goal is good.

 

 

Blue Ridge survived a scare last week against J.L. Mann. This week they face an even bigger challenge.

The Tigers will play host to Stephens County from Toccoa, a team that Blue Ridge coach Shane Clark said presents a tall task.

"They are a tremendous challenge," Clark said. "They are a strong football team and they run it right at you and are very fast to the ball on defense."

Stephens County is led on offense by University of Georgia commit Ben Cleveland. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound lineman paves the way for running backs Tyreick Cunningham and A.J. Howard. Sophomore Jackson Bell directs the offense at quarterback.

Cunningham has 264 yards rushing on 33 carries and two scores. Bell has completed 9 of 17 passes and rushed for two scores in a season-opening win over Franklin County.

Blue Ridge has its own stable of playmakers.

Running back Vonta Jenkings has 147 yards on 43 carries. Leading receiver Sonny Stevens has 78 yards on five catches and quarterback Jake Smith has completed 25 of 46 passes for 309 yards.

Blue Ridge had a short week of practice. The Tigers played J.L. Mann on Monday, winning 27-18. Last Friday’s game was rained out.

Stephens County was edged by Elbert County, 34-30.

Clark said his team won despite committing several mistakes that must be corrected if they want to beat Stephens County.

"We had four turnovers and a touchdown called back against Mann," Clark said. "We still overcame it. We (had) a short week so we treated (Tuesday) like a normal Monday.

Clark said practice was adjusted to ensure the players had fresh legs on Friday night.

With Stephens County’s power running game, the Blue Ridge defense will need big performances from lineman James Martin and linebacker Montavis Cofield.

"We'll have to play our very best game to have a chance,” Clark said.

Want to go?

Blue Ridge (1-1) vs. Stephens County, Ga. (1-1)

Where: Blue Ridge High School

When: Friday,

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $6

 

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