Game of the Week: Jefferson vs Loganville

Our Week Ten Game of the Week takes us back to Jefferson for what is sure to be both an emotional and electric night at Memorial Stadium. The Dragons will be playing their first home game since the death of Elijah Dewitt, so it’s likely that there will be some special pre-game activity in honor of #2. On the field, it will be a battle of the top two teams in 8-AAAAA, with the winner essentially claiming the rights to the region title. Both teams feature a state top-10 ranked defense as well.

JEFFERSON

The Dragons take their shut-down defense into the Week 10 matchup coming off a shutout. After giving up a combined 75 points in the first 2 games of the season, Jefferson has allowed just 16 total in the past 5 games combined. That’s taken a ton of pressure off the offense, which averages about 4 TDs a game. Obviously, the story line here goes beyond the field of play. Elijah Dewitt was not only the star WR almost assuredly heading on to play college ball, but he was also a senior leader, and a close friend to his teammates. The Dragons responded with a 27-0 road win at Flowery Branch in their first game since his death, but this marks the first home game since. Jefferson is truly playing on emotion, and coach Travis Noland is having to navigate something even he has likely not experienced, as seasoned as he is. He’s sure to have this team focused on staying within themselves in this battle that pretty much awards someone a region title. Sammy Brown, Max Aldridge, and Zay Minish will look to find the end zone hopefully early, and the defense will be as advertised. And with the 2012 Dragons State Championship alum in attendance as they get honored pregame, the current Jefferson squad will be playing even more impressive in front of those greats.

LOGANVILLE

Loganville is one of the surprise teams of 2022 in Class 5A. The Red Devils are ranked #3 in the state, and it’s well-deserved as the offense, which is ranked 9th in the state at 33.6 per game, relies heavily on senior RB Solomon Leslie and his 1,000-plus yards and a dozen-plus TDs. SR QB Johnny Crowe has 15 TDs against 4 INT, and has nearly 300 rushing yards with 3 TD on the ground. This won’t be an easy team to hold at bay. On defense, it’s a unit that has 13 interceptions, which is phenomenal. They get to the ball. What’s surprising of this team’s run is that it is coming off a 4-win season and weren’t at all in the early discussions about which teams from 8-AAAAA would be in the running for the region title. The Red Devils have very little experience in big games like this, for whatever that’s worth. That can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how the team handles the nerves.

BY THE NUMBERS (2022)

JEFFERSON

  • 5-2 (3-0 in 8-AAAAA)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 29.1 OFFENSE AVG
  • 13.0 DEFENSE AVG (7th in Class 5A)
  • #6 State Ranking

LOGANVILLE

  • 8-0 (4-0 in 8-AAAAA)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 33.6 OFFENSE AVG (9th in Class 5A)
  • 12.5 DEFENSE AVG (6th in Class 5A)
  • #3 State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping Week Ten. BLITZ partners with Fox 5’s 11 PM “High 5 Sports” show throughout the season. We make sure to get Jefferson & Loganville coverage on the big market show! You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (5G pending).

OUR PREDICTION

As usual, we’ll give you the case for both. Jefferson is at home, and playing with that emotion we keep talking about. You can’t put a number on that. The defense is lock-down, having given up 16 total points in the past 5 games. The offense has picked it up in the last few games as well. If Jefferson can get ahead early and maybe make it a 2-possession game, they could bag this one with forcing Loganville to play behind. If the Dragons are in a defensive battle, it comes down to taking advantage of whatever Loganville will give them, and scoring when they get in the red zone. Loganville, in order to win, will need to put up points quickly. If the Red Devils can put a couple first half TDs on the Jefferson defense, it might be able to break them down by the end. Officially, we have a verdict on what we think happens. OUR PICK: SEE HERE

DO WE BRING LUCK?

Jefferson is 13-3 in games we’ve covered for the Dragons over the last few years. That includes Jefferson’s win over St. Pius X earlier this season.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Jefferson HS / Jefferson, GA / Memorial Stadium
LAST MEETING: 1987 (Jefferson 47, Loganville 17)
ALL-TIME RECORD: Jefferson leads the all-time series 7-3
RECORDS: #6 Jefferson Dragons (5-2; 3-0 in 8-AAAAA); #3 Loganville Red Devils (8-0; 4-0 in 8-AAAAA)
HEAD COACHES: Travis Noland (194-91; 25 Seasons); Brad Smith (17-12; 3 Seasons)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

Though this series includes 10 all-time meetings, it’s been since 1987 that Jefferson and Loganville have squared off. That’s more than 30 years. The first meeting was in 1976, a Jefferson win. The Dragons won the first 6 meetings between ’76 and ’81 under head coach Jim Stoudenmire. Loganville then won the next 3 in the series until the ’87 meeting when Jefferson got back in the win column. When at home in this matchup, Jefferson is 4-1.

TEAM LEADERS (2022 Stats)

*Stats accumulated by team-published data on Ga Maxpreps

JEFFERSON

PASSING
Max Aldridge – 949 yds, 12 TD, 3 INT, 56% completion

RUSHING
Sammy Brown – 831 yds, 9 TD, 7.2 YPC
Shontez Porter – 253 yds, 2 TD, 4.5 YPC
Max Aldridge – 148 yds, 2 TD, 4.8 YPC
Vermarion Davis – 119 yds, 1 TD, 4.8 YPC

RECEIVING
Elijah Dewitt – 594 yds, 5 TD, 22 rec
Zay Minish – 151 yds, 1 TD, 11 rec
Sammy Brown – 80 yds, 1 TD, 6 rec
Bryant Cox – 41 yds, 2 TD, 3 rec

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Sammy Brown – 45 TKL, 1 INT
Oscar Escobedo – 40 TKL, 4 TFL
Skyler Zimmerman – 33 TKL, 4 TFL, 2 Sacks
Talan Childress – 32 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 INT
Jayden Yang – 30 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack
Guy Carson – 30 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 Sacks
Bowman Horn – 24 TKL, 1 INT, 1 FF
Isaiah Copeland – 13 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 Sack

LOGANVILLE

PASSING
Johnny Crowe – 1,053 yds, 15 TD, 4 INT, 52% completion

RUSHING
Solomon Leslie – 1,095 yds, 12 TD, 7.5 YPC
Mason Lawson – 340 yds, 4 TD, 6.5 YPC
Johnny Crowe – 268 yds, 3 TD, 5.5 YPC
Chris Wilson – 102 yds, 1 TD, 6.4 YPC

RECEIVING
Nico Dowdell – 435 yds, 10 TD, 20 rec
Davis Roesler – 158 yds, 1 TD, 12 rec
Grayson Farmer – 93 yds, 0 TD, 6 rec
Jason Eligwe – 66 yds, 1 TD, 2 rec

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Jason Eligwe – 49 TKL, 12 TFL, 5 Sacks
Davis Roesler – 46 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 INT
Muhammed Souare – 42 TKL, 3 TFL, 3 Sacks
Zach Evans – 39 TKL, 4 TFL
Dylan Robbins – 33 TKL, 6 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 INT
Nico Dowdell – 33 TKL, 2 TFL, 2 INT
Charles Barkley-Smith – 25 TKL, 1 TFL, 3 INT
Jake Taylor – 22 TKL, 3 TFL, 3 Sacks
Joshua Ruder – 14 TKL, 2 INT

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