Team Georgia Outlasts Team Texas In 1st Ever High School Sophomore Showdown All-Star Game
It all started out as a #hashtag on Social Media as #True19.mSunday afternoon at Grady High School Football Stadium, #True19 came to life in more ways than one! The founder and spokesperson of the #True19 brand, Kenyatta Watson Sr. witnessed his dream come alive in the form of having 2 states on one field. Both with a rich and deep history in football, together on one football field, competing in the nations very 1st high school Sophomore Showdown All star game. When I say it was a huge success, it was a HUGE SUCCESS!
Team Georgia was coached by the 5A State Champs Rome Wolves' coaching staff vs Team Texas coached by none other than Atlanta Falcons legend and former Quarterback, Michael Vick.
Every major recruiting service from Rivals to Scout to 247Sports to SEC Country to New Level Recruiting to Jeff Sentell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was in attendance. Even the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback and hometown hero Cam Newton stopped by Grady Stadium to enjoy some of the #True19 game action.
Team Georgia consisted of 45 of the top tier 10th graders in the football state of Georgia, with Team Texas matching with 45 of their best 10th graders from the Oil rich state of Texas.
Texas is vastly know for 2 things...oil and Friday Night Lights! Considered the wealthiest state in oil and football talent, Team Texas entered the game with high expectations. Team Georgia, widely know for horrible traffic and peaches, is ranked in the Top 5 in the nation for football talent within the state.
Sunday afternoon, both teams met up on the field with Team Georgia scoring on their 2nd possession of the game. Team Georgia drove the ball the length of the field after a Team Texas punt. Blessed Trinity Running Back, Steele Chambers finds pay dirt from 5 yards out, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead over Texas after a successful point after attempt.
Team Texas would strike back on the very next possession when 6ft 6in “Gun Sling-er” Quarterback Grant Gunnell hit his Texas teammate Tight End Austin Stogner and tied the game at 7 with 3:50 left in the 1st qtr. Georgia and Texas would trade possessions to run out the 1st qtr.
As the 2nd qtr began, Team Georgia had the ball driving down the field. Quarterback Knox Kadum of Rome high school dropped back and launched a deep ball connecting with Cedar Grove high school Wide Receiver Jadon Haselwood on a 46-yard completion, down the sideline for the games first “BIG PLAY”. That completion really got the Georgia crowd into the game. On the very next play from scrimmage, McEachern Running Back Paris Brown finds the end zone to put Team Georgia on top of Team Texas 14-7 after the extra point attempt.
Team Texas brought in a new quarterback, Terrance Gipson of Westfield high school, attempting to spice things up for the struggling offense. Gipson looked very impressive in his first action in the game, driving down the field on the Georgia defense with little effort. Gipson is very reminiscent of his Team Texas Head Coach Michael Vick, with the ball in his hands (Atlanta Falcons fans remember Mike Vick during his glory days in that Falcons uniform). Many of the fans applauded his efforts in getting the Team Texas offense sparked up, and he did just that. Only to turn the ball over on a fumble caused by Georgia Defensive End Nolan Smith of Calvary Day high school in Savannah.
Team Georgia's Knox Kadum resumes quarterback duties in the 2nd qtr. Team Georgia is driving deep into Team Texas territory late in the 2nd, Kadum connects with North Paulding Wide Receiver Ross Malmgren for a 7-yard score that put Georgia up 21-7 over Texas. The two teams would trade possessions for the remainder of the 2nd qtr. Team Texas came close to scoring late in the 2nd qtr, with a 49-yard field goal attempt that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar.
Team Georgia would receive the ball to begin the 2nd half of the “Sophomore Showdown”, taking complete advantage of it. Midway through the 3rd qtr, with 6:55 on the clock, Grant Gunnell of Texas drops back for a pass on 2nd down and throws an interception, returned for a Team Georgia touchdown by Dutchtown Linebacker Kevon Glenn. They like to call that a Pick Six! There was no looking for Team Georgia from that point on.
During mop up duty, with the game out of reach, Knox Kadum decides to pad his stats and toss a 43-yard touchdown pass to Georgia leading Receiver Ramel Keyton of Marietta high school, adding insult to injury.
Georgia scored 28 unanswered points on Texas to seal the victory, beating Team Texas 35-7.
I caught up with Kenyatta Watson after the game and asked him a few questions about #True19 and the future of the brand. "I thought the entire day was a huge success," stated Kenyatta Watson. "The crowd was electric and the boys played hard." "The best part was that we won (Team Georgia)." "The worst part is that this doesn't even scratch the surface of the talent in #True19." "There was easily another 80 kids that could've been on this team." "I'm doing a National #True19 Satellite Camp June 1st here in Atlanta."
So, if you're a huge football fan and you love to follow recruiting, stay tuned. #True19 is just getting started!