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August 20, 2011

Saturday: Corky Kell kicks off season in Georgia

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

The opening game of the 20th annual Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome between No. 42 Logansville (Ga.) Grayson and Marietta (Ga.) Kell lasted less than two hours. But it was a momentary lapse in judgment that determined the outcome of the game.

After three and a half scoreless quarters of the defensive struggle, Grayson was forced to punt from inside the Kell side of the field.

Kell's sophomore returner Julian Burris let the punt bounce inside the 10 yard line, but instead of allowing the ball to be downed by Grayson, the 5-foot-11 receiver and defensive back attempted to scoop up the ball. Instead of recovering the ball, Burris kicked it to his 4 yard line, where Grayson recovered.

One play later, Robert Nkemdiche punched the ball into the end zone, scoring the only touchdown of the game and propelling Grayson to a 7-0 victory.

"When we recovered the punt I went right over to Coach and told him put me in, put me in," Nkemdiche told television reporters after the game.

The one-play scoring drive at the 7:43 mark of the fourth quarter was all the team needed.

Nkemdiche is listed as a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive tackle, but he lined up at running back for much of the game. He gained 43 yards on eight carries.

"Coach likes to give me the ball in short yardage," Nkemdiche said. "But he gave it to me a little more today. I like it."

Entering the season, Grayson head coach Mickey Conn thought that this could be his most explosive offense team he has coached in his time at Grayson. But playmaking junior running back Wayne Gallman along with senior quarterback Nick Schuessler, senior receiver Korey Jones and senior athlete Devin Gillespie were never able to get in sync against Kell. It's not the first time that his happened.

In its last scrimmage against Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett, the team lost 27-2.

  • RivalsHigh take: Grayson has won a lot of games with both teams being in single digits; that does not inspire much confidence as far as rankings. When comparing teams nationally, it is imperative to be able to score as well as stop teams from scoring. Grayson's conservative play calling keeps it from running up points and that could hurt it in the long run.

    MORE: Friday roundup: Winning streaks end in North Carolina | No. 9 Trinity wins in a rout

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