Key region match-ups for most local teams

Thu, 09/27/2007 - 1:46pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Starr's Mill's Dan Ellis Starr's Mill's Dan Ellis. Photo/Stan Prophitt/

East Coweta Indians (3-1, 0-0 region) vs. Paulding County Patriots (0-4, 0-0)

Last week: East Coweta defeated Mt. Zion Jonesboro 43-6, Paulding lost to Heritage 27-20.

This game features teams heading in completely different directions. The red-hot Indians have won three straight games, and they have scored at least 20 points in each win. Conversely, the Patriots have struggled mightily, losing all four games they have played. East Coweta should be able to explode offensively; its averaging 26.5 points per game, and Paulding is giving up 31 points per game.

The game is the Region 4-AAAAA opener for both teams. East Coweta standouts Tim McGill, Spencer Smith, Bryant Philpot, Denzell Bass and Christian Flavin want nothing more than to lead their team to victory in their first region game. East Coweta hammered Paulding 31-13 last season.

Fayette County Tigers (4-0, 2-0 region) vs. Northgate Vikings (1-2, 0-1)

Last week: Fayette defeated Woodward Academy 21-7, Northgate lost to Villa Rica 24-0.

Tenth-ranked Fayette is on a roll, winning its first four games to open the season. Northgate will attempt to do what none other team Fayette has faced this season has been able to do: stop the Tigers’ power running game, featuring fullback Matt Daniels, quarterback Brandon Boykin and running back Tim Pettaway.

Northgate has given up 24 points in each of its losses. Fayette should be able to score early and often against the Vikings.

Fayette’s defense has been just as impressive as its offense; it has allowed only 29 points (7.3 points per game) this season. Northgate’s offense has scored only 16 points. The Tigers are poised to remain the only undefeated team in the region.

Landmark Christian War Eagles (1-2, 0-0) at Bremen Blue Devils (4-0, 1-0)

Last week: Landmark was off, Bremen defeated Darlington 24-14.

Landmark isn’t accustomed to being below .500. Trying to get to .500 won’t be easy against the undefeated Blue Devils. Both teams are averaging 30 points per game — Bremen has scored a whopping 123 points this season — but Bremen’s defense has allowed less points per game, 18.8 to Landmark’s 31. Landmark must continue to score and shore up its defense to get past Bremen.

Key players for Landmark are Walt Leonard, Andrew Glaize, Jimmy Eden, Matt Thornton, Blake Wyatt and Tanner Bryant.

Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats (1-2, 0-0 region) vs. Mt. Zion Carroll Eagles (0-4, 0-0)

Last week: Mercy defeated Towns County 35-26, Mt. Zion Carroll lost to Fellowship Christian 37-14.

Mercy is confident that it can win its second straight game. Mercy’s offense is coming off a highly productive game; running back Christian Willis ran wild, rushing 24 times for 294 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback William Pearl was 13-for-18 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Both are expected to put up big numbers for the second consecutive week.

Mt. Zion Carroll is averaging a paltry 7.5 points per game. A bend-but-don’t-break performance by Mercy’s defense, combined with another impressive outing by its offense, should lead to win No. 2 for the Bobcats.

Sandy Creek Patriots (1-2, 0-0) at Villa Rica (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Sandy Creek was off, Villa Rica defeated Northgate 24-0.

The Patriots have had two weeks to prepare for Villa Rica, and they’re going to need it. The key matchup is Villa Rica’s high-powered offense (25 points per game) vs. Creek’s stingy defense (8.7 points per game allowed). If linebacker Matt Solomon, defensive end Jeremy Holt, safety Russell Bonner and the rest of Creek’s defense can shut down Villa Rica’s offense, Creek should be in position to pull out its second straight victory.

Creek’s offense, especially quarterback Rio Johnson and running back Josh Williams, might need to score double-digit points to keep up with the Wildcats.

Starr’s Mill Panthers (2-2, 1-1) at Banneker Trojans (2-1, 1-0)

Last week: Starr’s Mill defeated Westlake 16-7, Banneker defeated McIntosh 20-0.

Starr’s Mill is looking to put together its first winning streak of the young season. The Panthers’ tough defense must clamp down on a Banneker offense that has scored a combined 61 points in its last two games.

Watch out for receiver Stephen Fulkes, a tall, fast receiver who accounted for all of the Trojans’ touchdowns last week.

Starr’s Mill certainly has the talent on the defensive side of the ball — safety Ken Jackson and linebackers Chris Sudduth and Parker duPont, among others — to keep the Trojans out of the end zone.

Starr’s Mill’s offense will be tested by Banneker’s defense, which is allowing only 9.7 points per game.

Quarterback Matt Sweat, running back Spencer Penson and wide receiver Dan Ellis will try to help Starr’s Mill become the first team to score a touchdown against Banneker since Week One.

Whitewater Wildcats (2-2, 1-1) at Westlake Lions (3-1, 1-1)

Last week: Whitewater defeated Creekside 10-7, Westlake lost to Starr’s Mill 16-7.

Both teams’ defenses are similar — Westlake has allowed 14.3 points per game, Whitewater has allowed 12.3 points per game — but Westlake has an edge on offense, scoring 20.8 points per game to Whitewater’s 10.8 points per game. If Whitewater’s offense has the breakout game it has been desperately seeking — it has scored only one offensive touchdown this season — and its defense remains stout, the Wildcats could grab their second win a row for the first time this season. Keep an eye on Whitewater linebacker Ryan Hidalgo, defensive back Kevin Fleming and defensive tackles J.C. Jennings and Kyle Bowman.

It should be a close game for the second straight year; Whitewater eked out a 17-14 victory over Westlake last season.

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