Chamblee High opens its football season Thursday night at Adams Stadium against Dunwoody High.
Game time is 7:30 pm.
On Friday, Cross Keys kicks off its 2012 season against Best Academy at Grady High School at 5:30 pm.
In other games throughout DeKalb:
The Stephenson Jaguars step onto the national stage to open the 2012 high school football season as they take on Pine Forest High School of Pensacola, FL in the second of three games in the National High School Gridiron Challenge hosted by North Gwinnett High School on Saturday, Sept. 1.
The game is set for a 3 p.m. start and will be aired live on WSB Channel 2 in Atlanta and over 13 states by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) as well as being broadcast on 680 The Fan in Atlanta.
The Class AAAAA No. 4 ranked Jaguars which lost 18 senior starters this past season are led by three seniors already committed to colleges heading into the fall. Linebacker Rashad Payne (Howard University), quarterback Justin Holman (Central Florida) and defensive back Ali Groves (South Carolina) are being looked on as leaders in 2012.
Senior defensive end Jonathan Wynn returns as well following a 51 tackle season that included five sacks and 10 tackles for a loss to help lead the Jaguar defense along with junior defensive back Jared Tucker (58 tackles, 4 interceptions), Payne (35 tackles) and Groves (19 tackles, 1 interception and 3 pass break ups).
Holman returns to lead the offense after passing for 739 yards and eight touchdowns and rushing for 91 yards and two more touchdowns for the Jaguars who relied on departed senior running back Michael Davis (175 yards rushing per game) on offense.
Pine Forest is a three-time state champion in Florida and holds one national championship. Since 2000 the school is 102-38 (.729) overall on the field. Jerry Pollard is the head football coach at Pine Forest who is 64-21 in eight seasons.
The Eagles went 14-0 in 1988 winning the Florida Class AAAAA state title and the USA Today National Championship. They won the Class AAAAA state title in 1987 and the Class AAAA state title in 2000.
Pine Forest travelled to Georgia last season and defeated DeKalb’s Columbia High School 20-14 on the way to an 8-3 season in 2011. Senior quarterback Rashard Lee leads the Eagles after rushing for 1,019 years on 107 carries (9.5 yards per carry), 15 touchdowns while passing for 835 yards in 2011. He is joined in the backfield by senior running back Lorenzo Long who rushed for 869 yards and 9 touchdowns a year ago.
North Gwinnett’s Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium plays host to the event including Valdosta, which leads the nation with a record 829 wins, against North Augusta, SC, which is 35-6 over the past three years with two consecutive (2010-11) state semifinal appearances, to open the Gridiron Challenge at 12 noon.
Host North Gwinnett matches up against AC Flora of Columbia, SC at 6 p.m.
Tickets to the event are $10 per person and parking is $5 per vehicle in the lots surrounding the North Gwinnett campus.
This week’s DeKalb high school football schedule features a Thursday night contest as neighborhood rivals Chamblee and Dunwoody meet in their season openers at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Adams Stadium.
The Class AAAAA No. 5 ranked Martin Luther King Jr. Lions travel to Tri-Cities to take on Stockbridge in the season opener for both teams.
DeKalb Football Schedule
Friday, Aug. 31
Columbia (0-0) vs. Cedar Grove (0-1), Panthersville, 7:30 p.m.
Clarkston (0-1) vs. Druid Hills (0-0), Adams, 7:30 p.m.
Lithonia (0-1) vs. Miller Grove (0-0), Hallford, 5:15 p.m.
M.L. King (0-0) vs. Stockbridge (0-0), Tri-Cities, 7:30 p.m.
SW DeKalb (0-0) at Pebblebrook (0-0), 7:30 p.m.
North Atlanta (0-0) vs. Stone Mountain (0-1), Avondale, 7:30 p.m.
Troup Co. (0-0) vs. Redan (0-0), Hallford, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 1
Stephenson (0-0) vs. Pensacola-Pine Forest, North Gwinnett, 3 p.m.
Bye Week: Arabia Mountain (1-0), Lakeside (0-1), McNair (0-1), Towers
(0-1), Tucker (1-0)
Mark Brock is the Information Officer/Statistician/Web Manager for DeKalb County Schools Athletics