ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -The fifth annual Great Atlanta Bash continues Saturday at Eddie. S Henderson Stadium at Midtown High School with three big games.
The triple-header featuring Jackson-Atlanta vs. Miller Grove at 10 a.m. Class 6A Douglas County and Class 5A Mays will meet for a rematch of last year’s 49-42 thrilling win by Douglas County at 12:45 p.m. before APS rivals Douglass and Washington meet at 3:30 p.m. for the 41st time in their history.
How to watch Great Atlanta Bash live:
The action will be televised both days on PeachtreeTV and digitally on the Atlanta News First app. You can also watch it on the ANF+ app on Roku, FireTV, AppleTV or by clicking HERE.
10 a.m. Maynard Jackson vs. Miller Grove
Saturday’s triple-header will kickoff with the third all-time meeting between Maynard Jackson and Miller Grove. Last year, the Wolverines scored a 24-7 victory over Jackson and evened up the all-time series 1-1 after previously falling 14-0 in the first-ever meeting. Miller Grove opened its season last weekend with a tough loss to Class 5A Tucker and Jackson is coming off a hard-fought 16-15 win over Arabia Mountain. Jackson’s victory took place right at Eddie Henderson Stadium and the Jaguars were on the same field earlier this month for their scrimmage, where they scored a 34-0 victory over neighboring Midtown.
In the scrimmage, freshman running back and strong safety Jacob Jackson had a phenomenal debut and finished with a rushing touchdown and 57-yard interception return for a touchdown. Jackson was once again recognized as a player of the game in the 16-15 win over Arabia Mountain and was joined by quarterback Rashad Harp, running back Kenyon Gilliam, defensive lineman Cameron Moore and linebacker Messiah Scandrett. Maynard Jackson head coach Eric Williams is entering his 20th season at the helm since first arriving in 2004 and is coming off an outstanding 7-4 finish. The Jaguars’ closed out a school-record 9-3 season in 2017 and earned the program’s first-ever playoff win in a 14-0 victory over Miller Grove.
Last year’s 7-4 finish concluded with a tough 27-20 loss to No. 1 seed Cambridge on the road, but showcased the consistency and competiveness that coach Williams has established during his tenure. In fact, Maynard Jackson found itself in a three-way tie in the region standings at 5-2, but ultimately the No. 2 seed went to Mays and Lithia Springs took the No. 3 seed behind region champion Creekside. The Jaguars will need to replace First-Team All-State defensive back Karleon Bell—a 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety that signed to play at the University of West Georgia. Bell was also the leading rusher last season. Offensively, rising junior Ricky Dorn III is one of the most explosive wide receivers in the Class of 2025 and is an imposing 6-foot-3, 185 pounds.
The highlight of Dorn’s breakout sophomore season was his 95-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Jaguars’ 35-13 win over Mays. Dorn hauled in a 67-yard touchdown in that victory and also hauled in a 76-yard touchdown reception in the season opener against Arabia Mountain. Defensively, Messiah Scandrett returns to lead the linebacker corps and came up huge with two TFL in last year’s 7-6 win over Chapel Hill. Miller Grove is led by senior running back Ta’Jon Corbitt, who rushed for 1,216 yards and nine touchdowns last season. At quarterback Class of 2025 Christian Jamison racked up 1,064 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in eight appearances last season. Additionally, Keshawn Weathers and is back at receiver after hauling in 16 catches for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Donovan Burnette is back on the defensive line after registering 37 tackles and two sacks last year as a sophomore starter.
12:45 p.m. Mays vs Douglas County
Mays lost the game 48-42 to Douglas County.
It was a rematch of last year’s thriller that included a rain delay and a great finish. Douglas County won 49-41 against Mays in one of the more exciting games in the Great Atlanta Bash in 2022.
Sire Hardaway enters year three as the starter and has a lot of great players to throw the ball to including James Johnson and Aaron Gregory. His head coach raved about his command of the offense and how excited he was to see him perform this season.
“Sire has done everything to improve himself. He is a mental giant. He has a total grasp of our offense and this is his third year being a starting quarterback,” said head coach Johnny White. “We expect big things from him this season. He knows how to get us in the right position like readjusting blocks from the line. He is basically the offensive coordinator on the field for us. If we are against the wall and we have to go, I don’t see Aaron and James Johnson leaving the field. JJ is playing receiver and corner and Aaron is playing receiver and safety.
Mays made a deep playoff run in 2022 before losing to Dutchtown in overtime 40-34 this season. It was the Raiders first quarterfinal finish since 2017. Mays returns stud Quintavious Johnson (Georgia Commit) on the defensive line who has set big goals for this upcoming season.
“I want to lead the way for the young guys. As a team, this year we want to make it to state and not fall short like we did last year,” said Johnson. “On the field, showing the young guys how it is supposed to be done.”
Mays also returns Jaquorian Wiggles at receiver. Wiggles had an all-region year last season and uses his 6 ‘4 height to cause problems for defenses. Wiggles has a big catch radius and is a threat on the deep ball and in the red zone.
Defensively, the Tigers will be stout upfront and is led by heavily recruited Jordan Carter manning the defensive line along with several notables at the linebacking corps as well. Their front seven very well could be one of their deepest positions on the team and one of the better fronts in the state of Georgia.
“We have eight guys that we will rotate on the defensive line this year. Jordan Carter has Georgia, Florida, and Alabama offers. Then, we have a junior Laderian Williams who is 6′3 290 and has Georgia as an offer,” said White. “Then we have a senior Korey Jordan who is committed to Georgia Southern. Those are the guys that are starting but we rotate guys in. “In terms of juniors, Michael Hastie has to be one of the best linebackers in the state because he meets all the measurables. He is 6′3 225 and can run.”
Mays played a tough season opener against Douglass and came up short by three points and will look to get back to .500 against Douglas County on Saturday. Douglas County boasts a talented roster filled with playmakers and great defensive pieces that could catapult them as a 6A state title contender.
3:30 p.m. Douglass vs. Booker T. Washington
Douglass and Washington will square off in the Westside Classic to close out this year’s lineup and it is the oldest and most spirited head-to-head rivalries within the Atlanta Public School District. Last year marked the 40th all-time meeting between the Astros and Bulldogs and Douglass came away with a 17-6 victory. This win returned bragging rights to Douglass after a 41-13 Washington victory in 2021 that snapped a streak of five-straight Douglass victories.
Overall, Douglass has dominated the series historically with a 30-9-1 edge, but is 6-3 since 2009 as the teams have been more evenly matched. Both head coaches will be entering their third seasons at the helm and this continuity sets up for an outstanding matchup. Douglass head coach Stanley Pritchett took over in 2021 and has helped lead Douglass from a winless 2020 campaign to a playoff berth this past season in Class 3A. Booker T. Washington head coach Justin Rivers also led the Bulldogs to the playoffs this past season and they eventually fell short to top-seeded Callaway 42-20 in the first round.
As is the case with Douglass and a region with Cedar Grove, Sandy Creek and Carver-Atlanta, Booker T. Washington’s region in Class 2A is also loaded with South Atlanta, North Cobb Christian, Mt. Paran, Therrell, KIPP, B.E.S.T Academy and Walker. Battling that competition last year has benefitted both programs as they take on the 2023 schedule and Douglass has already made waves after opening the season with a 21-18 victory over Mays. As for Washington, the Bulldogs took on Banneker Week 1 and fell short in a 35-22 thriller. Douglass will look to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2019 where the school reached the Class 2A quarterfinals and went 11-2. Sophomore quarterback John Wilson completed 20-of-32 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Astros to last week’s win over Mays and junior Antoine Watkins led the rushing attack with a team-high 14 carries and 64 yards.
Junior Jontae Gilbert made his presence felt on both sides of the football and Keonte Langford tallied six tackles. Gilbert earned player of the game with Darien Harden, who is also able to contribute as a receiver and impact player in the talented Douglass secondary. Washington’s Week 1 game with Banneker saw the Bulldogs fall behind early and allowed Banneker’s offense to remain aggressive. The Trojans finished the game with 177 yards and three touchdowns through the air off an efficient 8-of-9 passing and Washington will have to matchup with Douglass’ two-way stars that can apply pressure in the passing game. Offensively, Washington will feature Jordan Turner at running back and the two-sport star can also make an impact in the secondary. This game will be key for both programs in preparing for playoff berths and bringing a spotlight to the historic Westside Classic rivalry will be a thrilling way to close out this year’s event and the Week 2 action statewide.
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