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Update: Stephenson's Gridiron Challenge Game Canceled

The game was scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m.

Updated 1:33 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31:

The Gridiron Challenge game between Stephenson and Pensacola Pine Forest (FL) has been cancelled. Pensacola schools were closed due to Hurrican Isaac this week and due to this the Pine Forest team was scattered as families got out of harms way. Attempts to find a replacement game were unsuccessful.

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 30:

Pensacola has shut down schools due to Isaac and Pine Forest (Stephenson's opponent) will not be coming to play on Saturday. North Gwinnett is negotiating with other schools and at this point Tallahassee's Lincoln High is tentatively set up to be the new opponent for Stephenson. A final announcement should be forthcoming today (Wednesday).

Check back with Patch for updates.

Here is the original story:

The 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,
September 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 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 6:00
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

Thursday, Aug. 30

Chamblee (0-0) vs. Dunwoody (0-0), Adams, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 31

Cross Keys (0-0) vs. Best Academy (0-0), Grady, 5:30 p.m.
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/Athletics Statistician/Web Manager for DeKalb County Schools Athletics/East DeKalb Campus.

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