The Newnan Times-Herald


Local college football players contribute in season openers

  • By Doug Gorman
  • |
  • Sep. 06, 2017 - 10:38 PM

College football got underway last weekend and Coweta County was well-represented.

Here is a look at how players connected to the area did in their season openers:

At Albany State, former Newnan quarterback Chancellor Johnson started for the Rams and led his team to a 29-12 victory over Valdosta State. 

Johnson finished the game 9 of 17 through the air for 88 yards, including a touchdown. 

He also rushed for 77 yards. With the victory, Albany State is ranked 20th in the NCAA Division II poll heading into Saturday’s game against Tuskegee University in Phenix City, Alabama. 

It’s the first time Albany State has been ranked in the NCAA Division II poll since 2012.

Auburn redshirt senior and Newnan graduate Tray Matthews began his final season of college football last week as his Tigers knocked off Georgia Southern 41-7. 

Matthews, who plays in the defensive backfield for Auburn, had a tackle. 

Georgia Southern also had a Coweta County connection in the contest, as senior defensive back DeMarcus Godfrey rushed one time and also had a tackle on special teams. 

Auburn gets back into action with a huge game this weekend against defending national champion Clemson on the road at 6 p.m. on ESPN. 

Georgia Southern takes on visiting New Hampshire, also at 6.

When Tray Matthews and his teammates travel into Clemson for their game against the other Tigers, former Newnan Times-Herald Defensive Player of the Year Jamie Skalski will be in uniform for Clemson. 

Skalski, who officially began his sophomore season in his team’s 56-3 win over an overmatched Kent State last week, was in on 13 snaps and had two tackles.

Former Northgate running back Alex Lakes began his final year of college football by helping Mercer University to a 48-7 victory over Jacksonville in the season opener.

Lakes rushed seven times for 54 yards and a touchdown, including one carry for 27 yards. Mercer opens Southern Conference play Saturday with a 4 p.m. contest against Wofford.

Former Northgate standout Brandon Facyson could have bypassed his senior season and taken a shot in the NFL, but the Virginia Tech defensive back announced his decision to return to school for one more season of college football.

Facyson, who also hopes to attend medical school and become a cardiologist someday, helped his team beat West Virginia 31-24 in last week’s season-opener.

Facyson finished the contest with one tackle. Virginia Tech plays at home against the University of Delaware Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 3:30.