St. Pius X vs. Thomson
Thomson, Georgia- This past Friday night was highlighted by a magnificent duel between two of the state's top AAA teams. The #2 St. Pius X Golden Lions made the trip from Atlanta down I-20 to take on the #5 Thomson Bulldogs. In the end it would be second half turnovers that would dictate the Bulldogs 21 to 14 victory.
Thomson would strike first with 8:38 left in the first quarter with a 58-yard touchdown scamper by senior Chris Jordan. The Golden Lions would not counter until late in the second quarter with a 2-yard plunge by senior fullback Ryan Braswell knotting the score at seven.
On the opening kickoff in the second half senior safety/running back William Bussey would fumble setting up the Golden Lions in excellent field position. A few minutes later senior signal caller Jack Spear would hit Brandon Mitchell in the front right corner of the end zone giving St. Pius X its first lead of the game.
The Bulldogs marched the ensuing kickoff down the field capped by a 31 yard touchdown sprint by sophomore quarterback Chris Tutt. Bussey would then seek redemption by scooping up a Golden Lion fumble which would then be converted into the last score of the game by either team giving Thomson a 21 to 14 lead.
The fourth quarter saw the Thomason defense stand strong as senior defenders Bernard Dawson and Cameron Garnett would stifle all attempts by St. Pius X to move the ball. Bussey more than made up for his gaffe by recovering another fumble. He then plunged the stake into the heart of St. Pius X with a game ending interception.
Offensively The Bulldogs were led by the one-two punch of Chris Jordan and Torrie Battle as they combined for 200 yards and two scores on 23 carries. On top of winning the turnover margin the Bulldogs would win the yardage battle 313 to 269. The one bright spot offensively for St. Pius X was junior athlete Nick Ruffin who totaled 90 yards on nine touches while also being a stalwart on defense.
One thing is for sure about both these teams. They could beat more than half the AAAAAA schools in the state in my opinion.
Nick Glass, DB, 6-1/195 (2014)
Stats/Highlights: Glass made one big third down stop on the speedy Chris Tutt which forced a punt by Thomson in the second half.
Assets: Glass has great size for a safety and he really laid the wood on his one hit. In warm-ups he demonstrated excellent body control and soft hands. He is most likely the type of safety that will be playing near the line of scrimmage.
Development: It appeared that he may have had a slight leg injury and was limited in how much he played on this night. So it is impossible to really critique his game.
Recruiting: Committed to Georgia
Nick Ruffin, ATH, 6-0, 170 (2014)
Stats/Highlights: He carried the ball seven times for 40 yards and had two catches for 50 yards. Defensively he had three solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and one TFL.
Assets: Ruffin has excellent height and hips on a swivel which is ideal for projecting as a cornerback. Offensively he demonstrated good acceleration and the ability to make yards after the catch. There is little doubt about him being one of the top corner prospects in Georgia next year along with Walton junior DJ Smith. He is also not afraid to strike ball carriers.
Development: Ruffin will need to add about ten more pounds of muscle mass to help with durability at the next level. He also needs to work on protecting the ball with the three points of pressure .
Recruiting: Ruffin already has more than seven DI offers.
Torrie Battle, RB, 5-8, 170 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: He carried the ball 11 times for 70 yards and one score. He was able to show off his speed around the corner on his six yard touchdown run. Battle was also in on three tackles at his corner position.
Assets: Battle may not be the biggest back but he does have excellent overall body structure and the speed to hit the corner. He is also not afraid to hit on the defensive side of the ball. His skill set is ideal for being an all-purpose back that can return punts.
Development: He will need to add about 15 more pounds of muscle mass while maintaining his overall athleticism. This will help him get more yards after contact.
Recruiting: Currently has offer from VMI but has ability to play lower DI or upper level FCS (IAA).
William Bussey, DB, 6-1, 200 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Offensively he had seven carries for 33 yards. On the defensive side of the ball he recorded four tackles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.
Assets: Bussey has great height for a safety and he really sinks his hips when he strikes the ball carrier. He definitely runs his feet after contact. Bussey proved to have a knack for finding the ball making him a difference maker for his team. He is clearly one of the defensive leaders on the Bulldog team. In warm-ups he demonstrated soft hands as a receiver.
Development: He needs to work on breaking down in the open field to make tackles. When running with the ball he also needs to work on the three points of pressure technique. The backend off the ball was not protected on a couple of occasions.
Recruiting: He currently has an offer from Georgia Southern but he definitely has DI ability.
Jordan Davis, TE, 6-4, 225 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: He was only targeted twice and did not have a catch. But he was a key component in aiding the offensive line with his excellent run blocking.
Assets: Davis has good height, long arms, and the frame that can easily add more muscle mass. Unlike most tight ends coming out of high school he already understands the concept of pad level and using full arm extension when run blocking. Despite being injured he was still able to get behind defenders on both of his targeted passes.
Development: It was hard to evaluate him as a receiver because he also had an ankle sprain and Thomson only threw the ball four times. As a run blocker he could run his feet a tad longer after engagement.
Recruiting: Committed to Georgia
Bernard Dawson, DE/LB, 6-2/235 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Dawson was a tackling machine on this evening. He was in on 14 tackles, one sack, two TFL's, and two QBH.
Assets: Dawson has tremendous lower body structure that allows him to stay anchored to the ground when engaged with a defender. He has a body ideal for projecting as a hybrid DE/LB. He was at his best moving laterally down the line to make plays against the run. Dawson was especially good at moving inside to make leg tackles on the dive man. He was simply all over the field making plays on this night.
Development: He could work on an inside pass rushing move or a counter for his outside rush. Learning to play on two feet in space is something he will need to learn since he played with a hand down the whole game.
Recruiting: Has a visit setup to Chattanooga but is clearly a DI level player.
Cameron Garnett, LB, 5-11, 230 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Garnett was in on eight tackles and had a PBU. He has an uncanny knack of blitzing the right hole and crushing the ball carrier for no gain.
Assets: This guy can really lay the wood as he would meet ball carriers in the hole with a huge pop. Garnett does a nice job of running his feet after contact while sinking his hips into the runner. He also chases the ball all over the field with reckless abandon.
Development: He is probably at his maximum playing weight right now. Garnett needs to be careful how much more weight he adds in order to keep his lateral quickness up to par.
Recruiting: He currently has no offers but is definitely a upper echelon FCS inside linebacker.
Chris Jordan, RB, 5-8, 200 (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Jordan carried the ball 12 times for 130 yards. He has incredible balance and always falls forward.
Assets: What can I say this is the best back I have ever seen that does not have a DI offer! Jordan is built like a ball of muscle with the ability to bounce off would-be-tacklers or just flat out run them over. He runs with great power and has excellent forward body lean. He also did a great job of protecting the ball while running in traffic. But the most amazing thing was watching him keep his balance after contact almost Barry Sanders like.
Development: Some college coaches would like him to improve his homerun speed. I know this once he gets into the secondary the defensive backs are not that eager to bring this cannon ball down.
Recruiting: No offers at this time but he is a definite DI running back and his academics are in order.
Chris Tutt, QB/ATH, 5-10, 180 (2015)
Stats/Highlights: Tutt carried the ball three times for 42 yards and a score while completing two of four passes for 18 yards.
Assets: Tutt was mostly asked to manage the game. But the few times he ran with the ball he showed extreme speed and quickness. He could project as a receiver or corner at the next level. It is saying something if a sophomore is the signal caller on this powerful senior latent team.
Development: You really need to see him work at another position in my opinion. He will most likely not project as a quarterback at the next level unless it is a triple option team like Georgia Tech, Navy, Army, or Georgia Southern. But one thing is for sure he is definitely athletically gifted.
Recruiting: Too early to tell at this time, but he has big time speed.
Others who impressed: Ryan Braswell, RB, St. Pius X (2013); Demetrius Few, LB, Thomson (2013); Brandon Mitchell, WR/ATH, St. Pius X (2014)