Prep Football: East Coweta next to get crack at No. 1 Sandy Creek
By DOUG GORMAN
The East Coweta Indians face a monumental task Thursday night when they take on Sandy Creek in Tyrone.
Sandy Creek (2-0) is ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press Class AAAA poll after receiving all 11 first-place votes from members of the media.
The game will be broadcast on WSB (Me-TV). Charter cable customers can view the contest on 126, while Comcast customers can see the game on 248. The game can also be viewed on line at wsbtv.com and GPTV.tv .
Tickets to the game can be purchased at East Coweta High School for $7 today (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Thursday (8 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the athletic department.
Sandy Creek comes into the Thursday night clash riding a 31-game, regular-season winning streak that dates back to 2009.
Their last regular season loss came a the hands of the Indians in the 2009 season opener when East Coweta won 28-27 in double overtime after former Indian David Singleton blocked an extra point.
East Coweta (1-1) enters the game after a 27-6 setback Friday night against visiting Archer.
Sandy Creek knocked off East Coweta rival Newnan 38-7 last week when it came to Drake Stadium and built a 31-7 lead by halftime against the Cougars.
East Coweta head coach Clint Wade said there is a reason the Patriots are ranked No. 1 in AAAA.
“They are big, and they are fast, and they are well coached,” he said. “Other than that we haven’t been able to find any weakness.”
The Indians will try and put the ball in the end zone after getting all of its points last week off the foot of Spencer Smith. He kicked second-quarter field goals of 25 and 26 yards to account for all the team’s points.
In the season-opening victory against Henry County two weeks ago, the Indians’ Dee Godfrey founded the end zone three times, but against Archer, he was kept from scoring and only gained 56 yards on 12 carries.
After two games, Godfrey is the Indians’ leading rusher with 174 yards.
East Coweta quarterback Bryce Gemmel is also a threat to run. He picked up 36 yards in rushing situations for the Indians last week. Gemmel has rushed for two touchdowns and 106 yards on the season. Despite getting banged up in the loss to Archer and leaving the game early, Gemmel appears to be healthy and again at full strength heading into the game against the Patriots.
Sandy Creek will bring a high-powered offense into the game with the Indians.
The Patriots are averaging 45 points in two games. Defensively, Sandy Creek is giving up just 6.5 points per contest.
The Patriots showed their ability to move the football through the air and on the ground in their victory against Newnan, getting three touchdowns on the ground from Antonio Williams. Sandy Creek quarterback Cole Garvin connected on touchdown passes of 16 yards to Chancellor Triplett and a 35 yard pass to Zerric Willis.
By halftime last week, Sandy Creek had already outgained Newnan 303-93.
Defensively for East Coweta, Markell Boston leads the Indians with 18 tackles through two games. Tyler Brown has been in on 15 tackles for the Indians.
East Coweta is also getting solid play out of its kicking game as Spencer Smith has hit on 2 of 4 field goals. He is also averaging 39.9 yards per punt on 9 attempts.
Wade said the biggest factor for the Indians will be trying to stay focused and not let traveling into hostile territory intimidate them.
“We are just planning to play accordingly,” he said. “We are just trying to get better every day. That’s what football is all about.”
Wade says playing on Thursday doesn’t change too many things.
“It just one day difference,” he said. “I think it is just frame of mind. We have to be ready to play. They changed it because of the TV. We have known about this for sometime, and all I know is we have to go and play football."
This is only the third meeting ever between the two teams, with each squad winning once.
CAPSULE LOOK AT EAST COWETA vs. SANDY CREEK
East Coweta Indians (1-1) vs. Sandy Creek Patriots (2-0)
WHEN / WHERE: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at The Battlefield
RADIO / TV: WSB (Me-TV), 248 (Comcast), 126 (Charter). Webcast WSBtv.com or GHSA.TV; 92.5FM The Bear
RANKINGS: Sandy Creek is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA
SERIES HISTORY: Tied 1-1
LAST MEETING: East Coweta, 27, Sandy Creek 26 2OTs (2009)
LAST WEEK: Sandy Creek 38, Newnan 7. Archer 27, East Coweta 6.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: East Coweta — CB/RB Demarcus Godfrey (SR, 5-8, 170); OL Zack Harness (SR, 6-3, 280); K Spencer Smith (SR, 6-0, 180); OL Anfernee Burks (SR, 6-0, 290); S Markell Boston (JR, 6-1, 180); QB Bryce Ingram (JR, 6-0, 180); RB Weylin Orr (JR, 5-9, 180); DT Dartayvious Walker (JR, 6-1, 270); OL Qua Fuller (JR, 6-2, 270); WR Devontay Parker (JR, 6-2) ... Sandy Creek —T Alan Knott (SR, 6-4, 280); DT Michael Henderman (SR, 6-3, 310); CB Shaquille Wiggins (SR, 5-11, 170); S Corey Grifin (SR, 6-2, 190); WR Kyle Wilson (SR, 6-3, 190); G Issac Saxon (SR, 6-0, 290); WR Demarre Kitt (JR, 6-1, 190); DL Jamon Rowe (SR, 6-0, 230); DE Josh Branom (SR, 6-2, 230); WR Chancellor Triplett (SR, 6-0, 180); S Juwan Pulliam (SR, 5-10, 175)
THE SKINNY: Sandy Creek comes into the game as the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAA and riding a 31-game regular-season winning streak. Their last regular-season loss came in 2009 when East Coweta knocked them off 28-27 in double overtime in the season debut for both teams. Despite the loss to the Indians, the Patriots went on to win 14 straight, including state title game against Clark Central. It was the start of two straight state title. The Patriots went undefeated in 2010, beating Carrollton 14-7 in the title game at the Georgia Dome to complete a 15-0 record.
WHEN EAST COWETA HAS THE BALL: Look for the Indians to attempt to get the ball in the hands of senior Dee Godfrey. Although Godfrey was kept out of the end zone last week against Archer, he has been the Indians leading rusher the last two seasons and again appears to be the Indians go-to-running.Two weeks ago in the win against Henry County, Godfrey found the end the end zone three times and through two games has rushed for 174 yards on 20 carries. Starting quarterback Bryce Gemmel appears to have bounced back from am injury that forced him out of the game early against Archer. Gemmel has rushed for 106 yards through the first two games. He is also 11 of 26 for 111 yards passing the football. His favorite target so far is Nigel Gay, who has hauled in three passes.
WHEN SANDY CREEK HAS THE BALL: The East Coweta defense will have to stop a variety of Sandy Creek offensive weapons. Antonio Williams rushed for three touchdowns in last week’s victory against Newnan. Quarterback Cole Garvin passed for touchdowns of 16 and 35 yards. Chancellor Triplett and Zeric Willis were on the receiving end of Garvin’s touchdown passes. Mitchell McMillian booted a 32-yard field goal as part of the team’s 38-point explosion last week. Sandy Creek is averaging 45 points in its first two games.