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Stingy Defenses: Local programs not giving up much, among state leaders in points allowed

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Yesterday we released a story recognizing nine local teams on their high-octane offenses, which included six in our coverage area.

Today we show you the six locals — including four in our coverage area — who are among the state’s best in their classification in terms of points allowed.

All six solid defenses — Commerce, Dawson County, Union County, Jefferson, North Hall and Flowery Branch — also have top-10 offenses.

Below is each team’s standing, average and reasons why their defenses are so ridiculously good (ALPHA ORDER)!

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COMMERCE

CLASS: 1A PUBLIC

RECORD: 5-0

STATE RANK: #3

POINTS PER GAME: 9.4 // 7th in 1A

REASONS FOR SUCCESS: The 9th best offense in Class 1A also has the 7th best defense in the classification. They two work as one, as the elite defense leads to better field position and more points. Similarly, there’s something to be said about the offense putting up points that helps the defense feed off teams that are depleted after falling behind so quickly. There are too many playmakers on this side of the ball to begin naming off just a few.

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DAWSON COUNTY

CLASS: 3A

RECORD: 5-0

STATE RANK: #9

POINTS PER GAME: 13.2 // 9th in 3A

REASONS FOR SUCCESS: These guys just get after it. The Tigers have big-time playmakers on defense, including Zac Baloga, Logan Barnes, Noah Brock and others. Baloga has 22 tackles, five sacks and nine tackles for loss as well as a forced fumble (he missed one game). Barnes leads in tackles with 52 and has three interceptions. Brock has 29 tackles.

FLOWERY BRANCH

CLASS: 4A

RECORD: 4-0

STATE RANK: #5

POINTS PER GAME: 11.5 // 8th in 4A

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JEFFERSON

CLASS: 3A

RECORD: 4-1

STATE RANK: #7

POINTS PER GAME: 8.6 // 3rd in 3A

REASONS FOR SUCCESS: Fifth best offense has the third best defense. That’s a lethal combo. Kade McNally is a beast, tallying 30 tackles (4 for loss) with a sack, blocked kick and forced fumble. Sophomore Paxton Corkery also is solid, with a team-high 34 tackles and also has a blocked kick.

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NORTH HALL

CLASS: 3A

RECORD: 5-0

STATE RANK: #10

POINTS PER GAME: 10 // 5th in 3A

REASONS FOR SUCCESS: Very similar in style to Jefferson with a top-five defense and offense in Class 3A. David Seavey has 27 tackles to lead the defense, and the team has 16 tackles for loss and four sacks and four interceptions as a unit. Add in three fumble recoveries and the defense has seven takeaways in five games. Luke Volle’s two interceptions leads the team, and he also has 11 tackles.

UNION COUNTY

CLASS: 2A

RECORD: 5-0

STATE RANK: N/A

POINTS PER GAME: 8.4 // 5th in 2A

REASONS FOR SUCCESS: Another team with a top-five defense and offense. Very impressive! Jackson Colwell already has 52 tackles and two sacks, which is absurd, including seven for loss on a defense that has 52 such tackles. Sloan Sutton (50 tackles, five sacks) and Chayton Shafer (39 tackles, three blocked kicks, one interception) each lead the team with eight tackles for loss apiece. Ean Harkins has two interceptions as well, as the defense has a combined five turnovers and 14 sacks.

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