It was billed as one of the biggest games in the high school football this past weekend, but it did not live up to its billing, because one team was dominant. Booker T. Washington out of Miami (Fla.) traveled up to Warner Robins (Ga.) to battle Northside. Both were state champs a year ago, but UGA commitment Abry Jones led his Eagles to a dominant victory.
"I know they were ranked in the country (No. 65 by Rivals 100 on RivalsHigh), but I think we beat them pretty good," said Jones.
"We did not score on our first drive, so they scored first when they caught a long pass for a touchdown on their second play. After that, it was all us and we won 31-7. We were just breaking down their offense and defense the rest of the game."
After play number two, the Northside defense kept the Tornadoes in check.
"They would get some yards, but we would stop them when we needed to. They ran a lot of quick passes and stuff like that, so we pressured them a lot. They had a hard time with our defense."
The leader of that stout defense is Jones. The 6-foot-3, 272 pound defensive lineman has been unblockable early in the season. He is quick enough to beat tackles off the edge, but strong enough to beat them inside as well.
His strong play continued against this talented out of state program.
"I did not get any sacks because they did everything so quick, but I was pressuring the quarterback a lot. I know I hit him a lot and I had three tackles for loss too. I was making a lot of plays and I feel I played pretty good. I applied a lot of pressure and I stopped the run."
Northside entered this game ranked no. 43 in the Rivals100. They have won back to back state championships in Georgia, they have not lost a game in over two years, so what does this big win over Booker T. Washington mean?
"It is really about bragging rights," answered one of the top defensive linemen in the country. "We can say we play better football than they do in Florida. We just beat a very good team. We knew they would test us and I think we definitely passed this test."
Jones hopes to continue to succeed at Northside as he closes out his high school career in 2008 in middle Georgia, but he is ready to take that success to Athens. He likes how he is going from one winning team to another.
"We (Northside and Georgia) are alike. We both win a lot and play for championships. Georgia is playing well and they have a great shot at playing for a National Championship this season. They lost big Jeff [Owens] last week, but others just stepped in and filled the gap. That is a great team."
"I am stepping into a great situation at Georgia. I am going from one great high school atmosphere here at Northside to a great college atmosphere at Georgia. We win here and we are going to win there. I am very excited about Georgia and I can't wait to get there."