“We’ve been teaching the guys patience, playing with discipline and trusting our scheme,” Chamblee head coach Allen Johnson said.
The driving force behind the Bulldogs’ early success has been senior running back/strong safety Xzavier Shugars who has averaged more than 130 yards per contest with three touchdowns in Chamblee’s first three games. “Xzavier has been a quiet leader for us,” Johnson said. “He practices hard every day and does his assignment.”
Chamblee has also received solid play from running backs, senior John-Henry Carey and junior Wilmont Barnett, who both average more than 11 yards per carry for the offense. Steady play from sophomore quarterback Kendrew Wynn has also helped the Bulldogs average 24 points per contest, which is the third-best in Region 6A-AAAA.
Defensively, Chamblee has one of the top units in DeKalb County, only allowing 15 points per contest, one of the lowest marks in the state. Junior strong safety Courtland Gyamfi along with senior defensive linemen Jamall Tutt and Darrell Fambro are among the team leaders in tackles. Senior Matthew Simon and Shugars each have one interception for Chamblee.
The Bulldogs opened the season with a shutout over crosstown rival Dunwoody, 28-0, and also have wins over Druid Hills (26-16) and South Atlanta (44-0).
“We’ve been playing ironman football, especially in the South Atlanta game,” Johnson said. “The players have been doing well on both sides of the ball.”
The Bulldogs will finally begin region play on Oct. 4 on the road at Redan, with the high stakes of making the postseason just beginning, facing several top opponents including Marist, who made it to the semifinals of the Class AAA playoffs last season.
“In our region, the biggest thing is to stop the run,” Johnson said. “Some teams have begun to pass the ball more but we’ll show the film to the kids to prepare them for anything.”