Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines (8-A Private)
Coach: Greg Vandagriff
Last week: Beat Holy Innocents’ 35-25
Wesleyan Wolves (5-A Private)
Coach: Franklin Pridgen
Last week: Beat Loganville Christian 28-0
Wesleyan, coming off a state runner-up finish, is off to a great start this season in large part because of tremendous defensive play. The unit has allowed only 21 points through four games with two shutouts.
Defensive linemen Tanner Bivins (22 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three sacks) and Jackson Turner (15 tackles, five tackles for losses) have been forces through four games, while J.D. Chipman has a team-leading 42 tackles.
Offensively, Ryan Rose (59-for-90 passing for 812 yards, seven TDs) has spread the ball to three receivers with double figures in catches — Cooper Blauser (14-294-4), Andrew Van Wie (13-152-2) and Wyatt Hodges (12-172-1). Griffin Caldwell has carried the running game with 468 yards (7.5 per carry) and four TDs.
Brooks Sturgeon has been a big weapon on special teams, averaging 42.2 yards on punts and going perfect on his kicks — 6-for-6 on field goals and 13-for-13 on PATs.
“I am so proud of the way we have been playing up front on both sides of the ball right now led by seniors Tanner Bivins, Jackson Turner, Vance Nicklaus and Banks Merkl,” Pridgen said. “It is showing up in ability to run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense. Junior running back Griffin Caldwell is also doing a great job and proving why he is such a big weapon for us. And our junior kicker Brooks Sturgeon has taken our punting and place-kicking games to new heights so far this season. Those are all big reasons for our early success.”
Wesleyan faces a big challenge Friday in a familiar opponent, Prince Avenue, and highly regarded quarterback Brock Vandagriff. The five-star prospect is a Georgia commitment.
“We have had a lot of exposure to Prince Avenue having played them four times in the last three years, including our matchup this Friday,” Pridgen said. “Without a doubt they are very well-coached and of course everyone knows how special Brock Vandagriff is. He might be the best high school quarterback I have ever seen. I know that’s a big statement but I cannot think of anyone better. His supporting cast is fantastic as well. It will be a big challenge for us but not one with which we are unfamiliar.”
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Wesleyan won 24-14 last year
Location: Wesleyan School