Many teams still seeking first win

Thu, 09/06/2007 - 3:47pm
By: The Citizen

East Coweta (0-1) vs. McIntosh (1-0)

Last week: East Coweta lost to Oxford, Ala. 29-20, McIntosh beat Sandy Creek in overtime, 16-10.

East Coweta has a solid offense led by running back Tim McGill and quarterbacks Mac McKnight and Spencer Smith. McKnight tends to handle the passing game, and Smith typically runs
quarterback keepers, but the coaches can change things up and find multiple weapons. McGill scored all three touchdowns in the Indians’ loss last week and Ryan Gates missed an extra point. It was his first miss since 2005.

McIntosh struck early with a kickoff return for a touchdown from Hughston Taylor and scored its first offensive touchdown in overtime when Jeff Prather found Nick Nelson in the end zone. There wasn’t a lot of offense in between for the Chiefs, who were led by a defense that kept Sandy Creek off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. The “Black Swarm” will have their hands full with East Coweta’s big offensive line and running backs, but should now know that they don’t have to fear anybody on the playing field.

Fayette County Tigers (1-0) @ Jonesboro Cardinals (0-1)

Last week: Fayette County beat Mt. Zion, Jonesboro 21-12, Jonesboro lost to Upson Lee, 14-0.

Fans of Fayette County football let out a collective sigh of relief last Saturday as their team won in convincing fashion. The Tigers were hoping for a big game from their offense and they got it. Matt Daniels piled up over 150 yards of offense and scored two touchdowns, one of which came from a 49-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Boykin. The Tigers’ defense looked impressive, too, forcing three fumbles and recovering one for a touchdown, intercepting a pass and having two goal line stands.

Jonesboro lost 15 starters to graduation and has a new quarterback, while former quarterback Hendrick Clark will play at linebacker. The defense has several seniors and will have a tough time slowing down Fayette County’s balanced attack. The Cardinals went 2-8 last year and lost to Fayette 35-21 last season.
Landmark Christian War Eagles (0-1) vs. Ola Mustangs (1-0)

Landmark Christian War Eagles (0-1) vs. Ola Mustangs (1-0)

Last week: Landmark lost to Ringgold, 41-17, Ola defeated North Oconee 28-21.

Landmark Christian had a hard time getting its high-powered offense off the ground last week, and receivers Jimmy Eden and Matt Thornton were held to a few catches and limited yards. If the War Eagles give the quarterbacks some time in the pocket, they will have bigger games and Walter Lenard will be able to add some more offense as well. Lenard rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns last week.

Ola’s win was its first win ever in a season opener and the Mustangs will be flying high into tonight’s game. They returned every starter from last year’s team and are now riding a four-game winning streak. Kenny James was the team’s leading rusher and tackler last year, and receiver Cameron Bennett led the team in receptions on offense and interceptions on defense.

Sandy Creek (0-1) vs. Whitewater (0-1)

Last week: Sandy Creek lost to McIntosh in overtime, 16-10, Whitewater lost to Newnan 21-13.

Creek is still steaming over its loss to McIntosh. The Patriots’ offense, especially first-year starting quarterback Rio Johnson, will receive a big boost this week with the return of one of the state’s top wide receivers, Braxton Lane, who didn’t play last week. If Johnson finds Lane early and often, and running back Josh Williams, who ran for 105 yards last week, finds running lanes, it could be a long night for Whitewater’s inexperienced defense. Whitewater cornerback Chris Asbury is coming off the best game of his career; he had three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, one forced fumble and a blocked punt against Newnan. He will be asked to lock down Lane in what figures to be a premier match-up.

Another first-year starting quarterback, Whitewater’s David Byrd, will direct the Wildcats’ young offense against Creek’s experienced, talented defense. Whitewater’s offensive line must create holes for bruising fullback Collin Wooddy. It won’t be easy, though. The only touchdown Creek’s defense allowed last week was in overtime, and it held McIntosh’s offense to 84 total yards. Creek’s defense was led by linebacker Matt Solomon (a team-high 12 tackles, one fumble recovery), defensive end Jeremy Holt (eight tackles, including two for loss) and safety Russell Bonner (eight tackles, including two for loss).

Starr’s Mill Panthers (0-1) vs. Rockdale County Bulldogs (0-1)

Last week: Starr’s Mill lost to Cherokee 10-3,

Rockdale lost to Hancock Central 22-18.
The Panthers’ offense will have to show marked improvement this week for Starr’s Mill to pick up its first win of the season. Last week, Starr’s Mill racked up only 130 yards total offense, including only 13 rushing yards. First-year starting quarterback Matt Sweat (7-of-20, 117 yards, one interception) and running back Spencer Penson (11 carries, 37 yards) struggled against Cherokee, but they still are considered dangerous weapons in the spread offense. This could be the week both break out.

Starr’s Mill’s defense was the lone bright spot against Cherokee; it gave up 303 total yards last week, but it allowed only one touchdwon, and it came late in the fourth quarter. Elite inside linebacker tandem Chris Sudduth and Parker duPont will make it difficult for Rockdale to generate offense.

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