Key region football matches this Friday night

Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:36am
By: Kevin Wandra
Landmark Christian War Eagles (1-3) vs. Bowdon Red Devils (2-3)

Last week: Landmark lost to Bremen 27-7, Bowdon lost to Heard County 26-14.

Landmark has lost its last two games, but it has a good chance to break its losing streak against a Bowdon team that, like Landmark, is below .500. Landmark pounded Bowdon 34-13 last year. Landmark quarterback Tanner Bryant and senior wide receivers Matt Thornton and Jimmy Eden will be looking to put it on Bowdon’s defense for the second straight year.

Linebacker Andrew Glaize and defensive back Blake Wyatt are two key players on Landmark’s defense, which is looking to improve upon the 24.3 points per game it is giving up.

McIntosh Chiefs (1-3, 0-2 region) @ Starr’s Mill Panthers (2-3, 1-2 region)

Last week: McIntosh was off, Starr’s Mill lost to Banneker 40-27.

The Chiefs have had two weeks to prepare for Region 2-AAAA opponent and county rival Starr’s Mill, a team it has never beaten. Starr’s Mill is banged up, especially at quarterback, where starter Matt Sweat, who left last week’s game with a pulled muscle in his leg and didn’t return, is questionable for this week’s game. If he cannot play, Miles Jaye will take his place.

Each team’s strength is its defense. Starr’s Mill has a slight edge in points allowed per game: 16.4 to McIntosh’s 19.3. Starr’s Mill boasts three of the top linebackers in the region in Chris Sudduth, Parker duPont and Stephen Roberts, plus it has a ball-hawking safety in Ken Jackson. McIntosh’s “Black Swarm” defense is led by defensive lineman Nick Popeil, linebackers Andrew Graham, Gavin Carlson and Rickey Oskey and safety Ben Sims.

Starr’s Mill’s ability to follow each of its losses with a victory, something it has done twice this year, will be tested by McIntosh.

Northgate Vikings (1-3, 0-2 region) vs. Creekside Seminoles (4-1, 2-1 region)

Last week: Northgate lost to Fayette County 42-21, Creekside defeated Woodward Academy 19-0. There were positives and negatives to pull from Northgate’s last game, a loss to Fayette. Led by sophomore running back Malcolm Poindexter, Northgate scored 21 points, ending a three-game scoreless streak. But its defense allowed 42 points, the most points the Vikings have given up since the 2005 season.

It will be the second week in a row Northgate faces an athletic, fast team. Creekside has speed at all the skill positions, and its defense features one of the top defensive backs in the country, cornerback Terrance Parks, who’s being recruited by Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio State, among many other schools.

Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats (2-2) @ Glascock County Panthers (1-4)

Last week: Mercy beat Mt. Zion, Carroll 39-20, Glascock County lost to Athens Christian 35-8. Last week a milestone occurred for Mercy, which won back-to-back games for the first time in school history. Mercy doesn’t want its winning streak to come to an abrupt end, and with Glascock, a one-win team, next on its schedule, it’s certainly possible that Mercy will have another historical night this week.

Mercy’s explosive offense is averaging 26.3 points per game. Quarterback William Pearl, running back Christian Willis and wide receivers Jarrell Bankhead and Dominique McDermott have carried the Bobcats’ offense. They will try to exploit a Clascock defense that is giving up 29.6 points per game.

If Mercy’s defense can hold Glascock in check, a potential problem for Mercy, which is giving up 31 points per game, the Bobcats will be poised to grab victory No. 3.

Sandy Creek Patriots (2-2, 1-0) vs. Cartersville Purple Hurricanes (1-2-1, 0-1)

Last week: Creek defeated Villa Rica 24-17, Cartersville lost to Cass 34-7.

Everything seems to be coming together for Creek. After a two-game losing streak to start the season, Creek has won its last two games. Its defense has been stingy all season, and its offense, particularly quarterback Rio Johnson and wide receiver Braxton Lane, played its best game last week, scoring 24 points against previously undefeated Villa Rica.

The Purple Hurricanes were region champions last year, but only half the starters from that team are still playing. Cartersville has numerous playmakers on both sides of the ball, but perhaps the two biggest standouts are running back Morgan Alexander, who rushed for 1,242 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and linebacker Jon Jansen, who had 133 tackles last season. This game could decide who is the eventual region champion.

Whitewater Wildcats (3-2, 2-1 region) vs. Banneker Trojans (3-1, 2-0 region)

Last week: Whitewater defeated Westlake 31-0, Banneker defeated Starr’s Mill 40-27.

Whitewater has won two straight, with both victories coming against Atlanta-area teams from within the region. It plays another Atlanta-area team from within the region this week, the Trojans, who are on a three-game winning streak. Somebody’s winning streak will come to an end Friday. Banneker has a higher scoring offense — it’s averaging 25.3 points per game, Whitewater is averaging 14.8 points per game — but Whitewater’s defense has limited its opponents to less points per game, 9.8, than Banneker, 14.

Whitewater plays tough football; its offense loves to pound the football on the ground, with Collin Wooddy and Thomas Frierson receiving the bulk of the carries, and its defense, led by linebackers Ryan Hidalgo and Zac Mann, is hard-nosed. The Wildcats are hoping that is enough to get past Banneker.

East Coweta Indians (4-1, 1-0 region) @ Morrow Mustangs (1-3, 0-1 region), Saturday, Oct. 6 7:30 p.m.

Last week: East Coweta defeated Paulding County 45-0, Morrow lost to Hiram 31-7.

East Coweta is red hot, having won its last four games, while Morrow has won only one game this season.

The Indians come into this week’s game having scored 20-plus points during its winning streak and 30-plus points in its last three victories. Mac McKnight, Spencer Smith and Tim McGill each has played a key role in East Coweta’s offensive outburst.

The Indians’ defense also has excelled during the team’s winning streak, holding its last three opponents to six total points.

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