We got off to a blistering start in 2018, with some big heartbreakers (Rabun, Jefferson & Habersham) and great starts (Dawson, Lumpkin, Stephens, Towns & Commerce). Here are the Post-Week 0 Power Rankings:
#1 RABUN COUNTY WILDCATS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #1
REASON(S): Yes, Rabun got beat for the first time in three years in a regular season game, but that came on a field goal as time expired against the #8 team in the state (9-2 a year ago) in a higher classification on a neutral field (Erk Russell Classic / Georgia Southern). Rabun County is still Rabun County….
#2 COMMERCE TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #3
REASON(S): The Tigers beat West Hall in the opener, which was no surprise…but the score, that was a bit surprising – a 35-19 landslide. Commerce had a great showing by Dylan Deaton and Caleb Mason, who each scored two touchdowns.
#3 DAWSON COUNTY TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #4
REASON(S): Dawson jumps up a spot after a thrilling win over Class 6A’s Habersham Central. And the guts by coach Sid Maxwell to go for the win rather than a tie with 53 seconds left, facing 4th & 2 from the 5…that was nothing compared to the ensuing onside kick to give the Raiders no shot at a last minute drive. These Tigers are HARD to stop with Sevaughn Clark (3 TD, 200 rush yds) and Ahmad Kamara (140 rush yds). And we have a feeling they have plenty more tricks in the bag that we haven’t seen yet.
#4 JEFFERSON DRAGONS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #2
REASON(S): Just like Rabun, Jefferson was upset in the opener. This one was a bit more shocking, falling to the Oconee County, a fringe playoff team last year (5-6 overall). However, worth nothing that Oconee nearly upset Jefferson last year in the regular season finale, a 28-21 Dragons win. Also of note, Oconee head coach Travis Noland is a former Stephens County head coach, so he has played against Jefferson prior to his time at OC, so perhaps has some more insight. Nevertheless, Jefferson will rebound after this humbling loss.
#5 WHITE COUNTY WARRIORS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #5
REASON(S): The Warriors got a nice break in Week 0 to get ready for the rivalry opener against Lumpkin. Until we see White County play a regular season game, it’s hard to shuffle them anywhere. We’re believers that this is a team that despite losing an all-state Kaleb Crane from last season, is actually better this year.
#6 HABERSHAM CENTRAL RAIDERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #7
REASON(S): Habersham jumps up a spot despite a loss. That’s because they took Dawson to the wire, showing that they are more than ready for the high expectations. They were one play away from being 1-0. Tre Luttrell is very good, as are the pieces around him, and sophomore Jackson Clouatre might just be the latest surprise emerging talent ahead of schedule.
#7 UNION COUNTY PANTHERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #6
REASON(S): It’s hard to move Union down just because they didn’t play in Week 0, but this early we have tons of confidence in nearly every team here. The Panthers will have their chance here in Week 1.
#8 STEPHENS COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #8
REASON(S): Stephens enjoyed a hard-fought win in a new era to open 2018 at Franklin County, who is a young team with some wrinkles to iron out. The same can be said for Stephens, who will make the playoffs this year despite that fact.
#9 TOWNS COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #9
REASON(S): A log jam…Towns County deserves to be better than #9, but that’s a testament to all the teams ahead of them at the moment too. A great win (third in a row) over bitter rivals Hayesville. QB Trent Bradshaw is legit, and so is WR Will Travis.
#10 LUMPKIN COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #11
REASON(S): An all-around great win for the Indians (42-0), and a great game especially by Luke Smith (3 TD). There are a lot of options to give the ball to, so Lumpkin could prove difficult for opponents to stop the run this season.
#11 BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #10
REASON(S): Banks drops after a shutout loss in Week 0. There’s still time to bounce back, though. This is what non-region games are for.