BY DOUG GORMAN
The 2018 high school football season in Coweta County had plenty of drama as all three public school played on artificial turf for the first time and also made the playoffs.
Trinity Christian jumped from the GISA to the GHSA Class A private school division and also showed it could hold its own with a trip to the playoffs.
The Heritage Hawks advanced to the GISA Class AAA Final Four and Central Christian jumped up from eight man to eleven-man football as a member of the GICAA.
Despite finishing with a 4-8 record, East Coweta earned a place in the GHSA Class 7A playoffs and knocked off Marietta 28-26 in a first-round play upset.
The Indians were led by senior running back Gerald Green who earned Coweta County Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row.
The running back with breakaway speed is headed to Georgia Southern where he will enroll in January and go through spring practice with the Eagles.
Green finished the year with a county leading 1,617 yards, 16 touchdowns. He also proved he could catch the ball out of backfield, finishing with 15 receptions for 152 yards. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns.
Green showcased his talents on his first carry of the season when scored on a long touchdown run against Kell at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to kickoff the season in the Corky Kell Classic.
Newnan placed 10 players on the First-Team All-County, including five on both sides of the ball.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Maginnis stepped into the starting role for the Cougars, passing for 1,674 yards, 15 touchdowns, just six interceptions. He averaged 15.2 yards per pass and finished with a 55.6 percent completition average.
Newnan sophomore running back Bryon Moss earned first team honors after finishing with 693 yards, including a 5.3 average and nine touchdowns. He also caught seven passes out of the backfield.
Two of Magginnis’ favorite targets out the wide receiver spot, senior Woody Waters and senior Kyle McDonald, also earned first team honors.
Waters finished the with 46 receptions for 690 yards and five TDs.
McDonald finished his high school career with 27 reception for 395 yards, including a 16.6 yards per catch average and six touchdowns.
Senior offensive lineman Will Anderson rounded out the First Team for Newnan on offense.
On the defensive side for Newnan, junior lineman Eric Geter earned first-team honors after finishing with 40 tackles, including 20 solos, 10 for a loss and eight sacks.
Newnan senior defensive lineman Darius Gates finished with 54 tackles, 30 solos, 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and two hurries to garner his First Team All-County spot.
Two linebackers from Newnan also earned First-Team honors with senior Ricky Boozer and senior San Juan Warner earning spots.
Boozier finished with 52 tackles, 33 solos, six forced fumbles, two sacks, two hurries and interception for a touchdown.
Warner finished with 59 tackles, 40 solos, and two hurries.
Senior defensive back Mailk Hussie earned First-Team honors after finishing with 85 tackles, 68 solos, three tackles for loss and three interceptions.
In a season where first-year Northgate coach Mike McDonald led his team to a 6-5 record and a trip to the playoffs, senior running back Cameron Cruver leads the way for the Vikings with first-team honors.
Cruver was one of the leading rushers in all of Class 6A football finishing with 1,440 yards and 17-touchdowns. He also had six receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.
He is joined on the First-Team from Northgate by junior Tanner Hughes, who excelled at both running back and wide receiver for the Vikings.
Hughes finished with 260 yards rushing with a seven- yards per carry average and 14 touchdowns. He was most effective catching the ball, finishing with 13 receptions for 299 yards with a 23-yards per catch and two touchdowns.
Senior offensive lineman Will Sachs also earned first- team honors for Northgate.
On the defensive side, Northgate senior Nichal Johnson had 44 tackles, 30 solos, and eight tackles for loss and nine sacks to earn his place on the First-Team squad.
Junior linebacker Emanuel Nolan and junior defensive back Dillon Wade also earned First-Team honors for the Vikings.
Nolan finished with 73 tackles, including 59 solos, four tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions.
Wade had 31 tackles, 29 solos, and four interceptions.
Joining Green on the All-County First Team Offense from East Coweta are senior running back Brayden Carey and offensive lineman R. J. Pettaway.
Carey, who just announced he was going to play at Yale University in the Ivy League, finished with 25 receptions for 520 yards for a 20.8-yard average with two touchdowns.
Three East Coweta players also earned First-Team honors on the defensive side of the ball including senior linebackers Taylor McCawley and Alex Derico. Senior defensive back Dantarius Chunn also earned a spot on the first team.
McCawley finished with 119 tackles, 92 solos, nine for a loss and two sacks. Derico had 108 tackles, 85 solos, 10 for a loss, 3 ½ sacks and an interception for a touchdown.
Chunn showed off his athletic ability with 37 tackles, 33 solos, two for a loss and three interceptions.
East Coweta junior punter Dylan Lewis made the First Team after averaging 38.4 yards. He also had a long of 52 yards and placed nine kicks inside the 20.
Trinity enjoyed plenty of success in its first year at the GHSA level. The Lions earned a spot in the playoffs beating Whitefield Academy in the first round before falling to four-time state champion Eagle’s Landing Christian.
Trinity’s senior running back Zach Jones finished the season with 1,029 yards including 9.4 yards per carry. He also had four catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Offensive lineman Stephen Powell also earned First-Team honors.
On the defensive side of the ball, Trinity junior lineman Justin Mitchell earned First-Team honors with 82 tackles, 35 solos, 19 for loss and 9 sacks.
Two defensive backs senior Bruin Hayes and junior Cody Jones-Price also represent Trinity.
Hayes finished with 67 tackles with 29 solos, 13 tackles for loss and two sacks. Jones-Price finished with 37 tackles, 18 solos 22 for loss and 6 interceptions.
Senior Trinity place kicker Ethan Aldridge finished with eight field goals. He also set a school record with a a 53-yard field goal. He also had kicks of 45 and 47 yards.
With its success in the GISA, Heritage is also well-represented on the All-County First Team.
Led by senior Brandon Suggs, who played both wide receiver and running back, the Hawks earned a region title and also advanced to the final four.
Suggs finished with 367 yards and four touchdowns and 8.7 yards per carry. He also finished with 18 catches for 492 yards for a 27.3-yard average and six touchdowns.
Heritage senior wide receiver Peter Nell also made the First-Team after finishing with 22 catches for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Senior offensive linemen Ben Carnazzo and Hayes Johnston are also represent Heritage.
Senior Heritage linebacker Hershel Smith made the First Team after finishing with 116 tackles, including 48 solos. He also had 14 for a loss with 6 ½ sacks.
PLAYER of the YEAR
RB Gerald GREEN, EAST Coweta, Sr.
QB Michael Maginnis Newnan So.
RB Cameron Cruver Northgate Sr.
RB Zach Jones Trinity Christian Sr.
RB Bryson Moss Newnan So.
RB/WR Tanner Hughes Northgate Jr.
RB/WR Brandon Scruggs Heritage School Jr.
WR Brayden Carey East Coweta Sr.
WR Kyle McDonald Newnan Sr.
WR Peter Nell Heritage School Sr.
WR Woody Waters Newnan Sr.
OL Will Anderson Newnan Sr.
OL Ben Carnazzo Heritage School Sr.
OL Hayes Johnston Heritage School Sr
OL R.J. Pettaway East Coweta Sr.
OL Stephen Powell Trinity Christian Sr.
OL Will Sachs Northgate Sr.
DL Darius Gates Newnan Sr.
DL Eric Geter Newnan Jr.
DL Nichal Johnson Northgate Sr.
DL Jordan Mitchell Trinity Christian Jr.
LB Ricky Boozer Newnan Sr.
LB Alex Derico East Coweta Sr.
LB Taylor McCawley East Coweta Sr.
LB Emanuel Nolan Northgate Jr.
LB Hershel Smith Heritage School Sr.
LB San Juan Warner Newnan Sr.
DB Dantarius Chunn East Coweta Sr.
DB Malik Hussie Newnan Sr.
DB Bruin Hayes Trinity Christian Sr.
DB Cody Jones-Price Trinity Christian Jr.
DB Dillon Wade Northgate Jr.
K Ethan Aldridge Trinity Christian Sr.
P Dylan Lewis East Coweta Jr.
QB Henry Arnall Heritage School Sr.
QB Isaac Corbitt Northgate Jr.
RB Tyriq Hussie Newnan Sr.
RB Andrew Rich Heritage School So.
RB Zach Seymour Trinity Christian Sr.
WR Gerald Harris Northgate Sr.
WR Raikiyan Moss East Coweta Jr.
WR Jalen Neal Trinity Christian Sr.
WR Elijah Williams Newnan Sr.
OL Bryan Bordeaux Northgate Sr.
OL Jesse Cox Trinity Christian Jr.
OL Thomas Crymes Heritage School Sr.
OL Carson Knight Newnan Sr.
OL Gage Pitchford East Coweta So.
OL Tyler Vallery Newnan Sr.
DL Vinny Carnazzo Heritage School Jr.
DL Davis McMurrian Trinity Christian Jr.
DL Zack Obi Central Christian Sr.
DL Jefferson Page Northgate Sr.
LB Wright Arnall Heritage School Sr.
LB Brenan Burks Trinity Christian Sr.
LB Cameron Hellgeth Trinity Christian Sr.
LB Deven Holmes East Coweta Sr.
LB Connor Marshall Northgate Jr.
LB Jacob Thomas Newnan Jr.
DB Tre Bridges Newnan Sr.
DB Chandler Cao Northgate Sr.
DB Patrick Griffies Heritage School Sr.
DB Willie Rice East Coweta So.
DB Carson Walter Trinity Christian Sr.
K Kade Loggins Northgate Jr.
P Rad Wyrick Newnan
Central Christian — OL/LB J.T. Brown, Jr.; TB/LB Jordan Brown, Sr.; ATH Cody Earle, So,; OL/DL Colton Haydon, So.;
RB/DB Shaquan Parsons, Jr.; QB/S/ Jordan Turner, Sr.; LB Kristian Zachary, So.;
East Coweta — DB Jamari Alford, Jr.; LB Dylan Spelios, So.; OL Jeden Watson, So; OL Riley Jewett, Sr.; DL JaKolby Smith, Sr.;
Heritage School — LB David White, So.; LB Jacob Rochester, Jr.; DB Branch Burns, Jr.
Newnan — WR Quinard Arnold, Fr.; RB Aubrey Carter, So.; LB Steven Carter, So.; LB Tristan Escoe, Sr.; DL Jayleen Heard, Sr.
Northgate — DB Josh Lee, Sr.; RB/WR Jay McKenzie, Sr.; TE Max Morlan, Sr.; LB Jeremiah Prayor, Sr.; OL Mason Smith, Sr.;
Trinity Christian — LB Danny Baird, So; WR Jacob Blair, Sr.; OL Alex Hardnett, Jr.; TE Jake Lyle, Sr.; WR Chase Metcalf, Sr.