High school football teams from DeKalb County won double-digit games in week one of the 2023 season — including two showcase games at Morehouse College on Aug. 19 when Cedar Grove made a game-winning defense stand and Stephenson ran away with its game against Lithia Springs.
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) teams went 9-9 in week one, with Aug. 19 wins from Cedar Grove and Stephenson pulling the week’s record back up to .500.
DeKalb teams went 2-8 in away games on Aug. 18, 6-3 in home games on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, and 2-0 in Aug. 19’s away games.
Tucker 54, Miller Grove 13
Tucker High School took control in the second quarter against Miller Grove in DeKalb’s only intra-county matchup of the week, and a 21-point second quarter put the Tucker Tigers in control on the way to a 54-13 victory.
Tucker (1-0) broke a 7-7 tie with 1:33 to play in the first quarter on a Jordan McCoy four-yard touchdown run (his second of five on the night) to go up 14-7 on Elijah French’s extra point.
On the first play of the second quarter for the Tigers, Jamar Graham dropped back and hit Hasaan Sykes in stride for a 67-yard touchdown to make it 20-7 with 11:11 to play in the first half.
McCoy would add his fifth touchdown of the night in the second half as he finished with 172 yards on 16 carries. Sykes tacked on a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown; Izayah Horsham added 67 yards rushing a touchdown in the game.
Dunwoody 35, North Springs 7
A stingy defense led by Luke Cole and a three-touchdowns passing night by Matt Pearch fueled a 35-7 win by the Dunwoody Wildcats over North Springs on April 18 at North DeKalb Stadium.
The offense spread the ball around with five different players getting into the end zone. Porter Allison took a tunnel screen pass from Pearch for 45 yards for a touchdown to get the Wildcats (1-0) rolling, and the Wildcats stayed in control from there.
Cole led the defense with nine tackles (five for loss, two sacks) and caused a fumble.
Pearch also connected on touchdown pass with Danny Boden (six receptions, 62 yards) and Malachi Cranshaw (three receptions, 24 yards). Dunwoody got rushing touchdowns from Caden Celestine and Owen Painter.
McNair 25, Northview 7
The McNair Mustangs forced three turnovers and held the Northview Titans to less than 150 yards of total offense on the way to a 25-7 victory at Avondale Stadium on Aug. 18.
Two of the three turnovers were turned into pick sixes by Keyontae Phillips and Syncere Carroll. The third was an interception by freshman Carlos Lemons.
The Mustangs (1-0) took a 19-7 lead into the half when quarterback Jeremy Victor completed a one-minute, 15-second drive with a 25-yard pass to Phillips. Victor finished the day with 100 yards rushing and two touchdown passes. Phillips had over 100 yards of offense and his two touchdowns on the day.
Malik Jackson anchored both the offensive and defensive lines and finished the night with a sack and three tackles for a loss.
SW DeKalb 20, South Atlanta 6
Southwest DeKalb won its season opener 20-6 win over the South Atlanta Hornets at Godfrey Stadium on Aug. 18 – marking the only opening week win for a new coach in DeKalb.
A 65-yard pick six by Tre Alexander and a 48-yard touchdown run by Josh Jones spurred the Panthers’ victory. BriShaun Reese added a three-yard touchdown run.
Isaiah Scott led a Panther defense that held South Atlanta to just the six points on the night as he tallied seven tackles. Zyeed Conwell picked up two sacks on four tackles, and Samuel Turner had three tackles with a sack and two tackles for a loss.
Chamblee 35, South Cobb 29
Quarterback Ashton Bolston accounted for four touchdowns to help lead the Chamblee Bulldogs (1-0) to a 35-29 road victory over the South Cobb Eagles on Aug. 18.
Bolston threw for 131 yards with touchdown passes to Tristain Sizemore, Larry Harris, and Jaylan Tipton. Bolston also picked up 150 yards rushing with a touchdown in the game.
Harris, a senior athlete, had 212 yards in kickoff returns including a 98-yard return for a touchdown, the receiving touchdown, and collected 12 total tackles (8 solo).
Senior defensive end Brodney Taylor led the defense with 14 total tackles (11 solo) with two tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.
Stephenson 46, Lithia Springs 20
The Stephenson Jaguars started off by forcing a turnover on Lithia Springs Lions’ first two possessions of the game to jump the Jaguars to a 46-20 victory at Morehouse College on Aug. 19.
Freshman Kwame Green recovered a fumble on the Lions’ first possession, and two plays later Devin Ingram scored the first of three rushing touchdowns.
Davion Gaither picked off a Lions’ pass on the next possession, and three plays later Ingram scored again to put the Jaguars (1-0) up 16-0 with 5:35 left in the first quarter as they converted both two-point conversions. Kaleb Bristow led the opportunistic Jaguar defense with 11 tackles.
Ingram finished the night with 14 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Marte Barton was 11 of 13 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown pass to Trent Fields Jr. Fields finished with five receptions for 100 yards.
Cedar Grove 34, Dutchtown
The Class 3A No. 1 ranked Cedar Grove Saints held off Class 5A No. 9 ranked Dutchtown 34-33 on Aug. 19 at Morehouse College.
Trailing 34-27, Dutchtown (0-1) got a big touchdown late and went for the two-point conversion to get the win. The Saints’ defense put pressure on the Dutchtown quarterback, and his throw went incomplete as Cedar Grove (1-0) sealed the win.
Boden Walker rushed for two touchdowns and caught a pass for a third; quarterback EJ Colson ran for two more touchdowns to lead the Saints in the win.
All results from DeKalb teams:
Lakeside (1-0) 26, Berkmar (0-1) 6
Druid Hills (1-0) 26, KIPP Academy (0-1) 7
Rutland (1-0) 20, Towers (0-1) 6
Tucker (1-0) 54, Miller Grove (0-1) 13
McNair (1-0) 25, Northview (0-1) 7
SW DeKalb (1-0) 20, South Atlanta (0-1) 6
Alcovy (1-0) 42, Lithonia (0-1) 19
North DeKalb Stadium
Dunwoody (1-0) 35, North Springs (0-1) 7
Maynard Jackson (1-0) 16, Arabia Mountain (0-1) 15
Chamblee (1-0) 42, South Cobb (0-1) 29
Camden Co. (1-0) 23, Columbia (0-1) 12
Walker (1-0) 43, Cross Keys (0-1) 0
Duluth (1-0) 44, M.L. King (0-1) 21
Central-Carrollton (0-0) 50, Redan (0-0) 12
Chapel Hill (1-0) 59, Stone Mountain (0-1) 0
Gainesville (1-0) 34, Marist (0-1) 26
Dacula (0-1) 0, St. Pius X Catholic (1-0) 19
Flowery Branch (1-0) 38, Decatur (0-1) 7
Stephenson (1-0) 46, Lithia Springs (0-1) 20
Cedar Grove (1-0) 34, Dutchtown (0-1) 33
The Champion Editor Jay Phillips contributed to this article