Prep Football: Friday's Game Preview CapsulesBy Doug Gorman
Below are preview capsules from tonight's games involving Coweta football teams.
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. at Drake Stadium (Homecoming)
On The Air: Radio: 98.1 FM
Last Week: Hardaway lost to Lowndes 57-0. Newnan was off.
Series History: First meeting.
The Skinny: After a week off, Newnan gets back into action with its last non-region game of the season. Hardaway comes to town trying to snap a two-game losing streak.
Players to Watch: Hardaway — ATH Ronald Rosser, Sr. (5-10, 170); OL Desmond Barmore, Jr. (6-5, 280); DE Jerod Coleman, Sr. (6-3, 230); WR Tryie Thomas, Sr. (5-8, 160), LB David Countryman, Sr. (6-2, 240); LB David Hall, Jr. (5-10, 210); DE Brandon Foxx, Sr. (6-3, 240); RB Shakur Warner, So. (5-10, 180) ... Newnan — 10 QB Bailey Bryant, So. (44 of 61, 594 yards, 6 TDs); 28 S/WR Tray Matthews, Sr. (15 rec, 3TDs, 2 rush TD, 30 tackles, two blocked kicks); 27 RB Quinton Dix Sr. (261 yards, 3 TDs), 16 S/WR Darrell Morrow Sr (20 tackles, fumble recovery) 49 ILB Maurice White, Sr. (18 tackles, 10 solo); 24 ILB Tonarius Portress, Jr. (43 tackles, one interception) 12 WR Traon Moss Sr. (14 catches, 3 interceptions); 1 CB Rodney Tennie Sr (14 tackles, two INT, fumble recovery)
When Hardaway has the ball: Quarterback Blake Berry is capable of moving the ball through the air, but the Golden Hawks would prefer to run the football and the clock tonight. Sophomore running back Shakur Warner is one of the team’s go-to guys. He has accounted for one of the team’s longest runs this year, a 52-yard run.
When Newnan has the ball: Sophomore Bailey Bryant has completed 72 percent of his passes this season, including six for touchdowns while connecting to six receivers so far. Tray Matthews and Traon Moss have three touchdowns each. One of the objectives this week is to get more of a running game established behind Quinton Dix, who had a pair of touchdowns in Newnan’s 21-14 comeback win over Troup on Sept. 14.
East Coweta Indians (1-3) at Central-Phenix City, Ala. Red Devils (3-1)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Phenix City, Ala.
On The Air: Radio: 92.5FM The Bear
How to Get There: Take I-85 South toward LaGrange, then take Exit 21 to merge onto I-185 South toward Columbus; Take Exit 10 to merge onto GA-22 W/US-80 W toward Phenix City. Continue to follow US-80 W (entering Ala.) Take the Summerville Road exit. Turn left onto County Road 61/Summerville Road. Take the first right onto Stadium Drive (Stadium will be on the Left)
Last week: East Coweta lost 30-7 at home to Lovejoy; Central defeated Robert E. Lee (Ala.)sa 54-28.
The Skinny: The Indians are looking to end the non-region schedule on a high note against yet another top-notch program. Outside of a humbling loss to Opelika, Central-Phenix City has been able to make up for the loss of several Division I players lost to graduation including former quarterback Jonathan Wallace.
Players to Watch: East Coweta — 3 RB/CB Dee Godfrey, Sr. (257 yds, 4 TDs); 2 QB Bryce Gemmel, Jr. (309 yds passing, TD, 3 INTs), 4 WR/CB Nigel Gay (7 rec, 118 yds; 22 tackles, 2 INT), 15 WR/S Markell Boston, Jr. (4 rec, 31 yds; 34 tackles); DL/TE Clifton Strong, Sr. (20 tackles), 54 DL Tristan Mann, So. (24 tackles), 10 LB Jemarcus Godfrey, Sr. (41 tackles, INT), 20 LB Jay McKnight (26 tackles), 38 LB Tyler Brown (33 tackles). ... Central — QB Jamal Howard, Jr.; LT Cameron Fraser, Sr.; RG Jeremiah Payne, Sr.; LG Jeron Jones, Jr.; RB Deon Hall, Sr; WR Traveon Samuel, So.; DT Derek King, Sr.; DB Chris James, Jr.; OLB Cedric Chambers, Sr.
When East Coweta has the ball: The Indians may try to go with more power-formations and off-balanced sets on the line to move the chains a bit more tonight after being held without a first down for two-plus quarters against Lovejoy. That may open passing lanes for Gay and Boston that were successful early two weeks ago against Sandy Creek. East Coweta also may continue to use Godfrey out of a Wildcat set at times.
When Central has the ball: Junior quarterback Jamal Howard has done his fair share to make the Red Devils forget a little bit about the loss of Jonathan Wallace, now a freshman at Auburn. Central has equally been successful getting sophomore receiver Traveon Samuel the ball whether on long passes down the sidelines or on direct snaps in the Wildcat. Samuel had a 90-yard touchdown to open last week’s game against Lee. Howard finished 8 of 10 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns.
Trinity Christian Lions (2-2) at Piedmont Academy Cougars (1-4)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Monticello
How to Get There: Take Highway 16 East 55 miles all the way into Monticello to Ga. Highway 212. Veer right and school will be on right-hand side a quarter-mile ahead.
Last week: Trinity Christian lost 20-9 at Flint River (3-2). Piedmont Academy lost 46-41 to Edmund Burke on the road.
The Skinny: Trinity Christian is trying to move on from a tough loss at Flint River that was tough to digest, considering the Lions only allowed six points at the line of scrimmage. Piedmont Academy a two-time defending GISA Class AA champion is coming off a slim loss in a rematch against Edmund Burke, last year’s final opponent.
Series History: First meeting.
Players to Watch: Trinity Christian — 4 QB Connor Adams, Sr.; RB/DB; 7 Jay Warner, Sr. (2 sack vs. Flint River); RB/WR/S; 1 Donterrious “Dee” Snelling, Jr.; 88 TE/DL Conner Owen, Jr.; 35 FB/LB Drew Gibson (sack/safety vs. Flint River), 11 FB/LB Edwin Rivera; 8 DB Daniel Shoates, Jr.; 46 LB Diego Henriquez, So.; Piedmont Academy – 14 QB Hunter Knox, 1 RB/LB Peter Lawson, Sr.; 24 OL/LB Glade Tuggle, Sr. (6-1, 170), 26 TE/DL Gaven Edge, So. (6-1, 190), 7 FB Nick Dimsdale, Sr. (5-8, 170), Hunter Clark, Malik Reid, 12 Hank Strickland, So. ...
When Trinity has the ball: The Lions continue to be able to move the ball on the ground and might like nothing better tonight than to dominate time of possession in order to keep it out of the hands of Piedmont’s All-State running back in Lawson. Two weeks ago, Gibson, Warner and Snelling combined for more than 300-yards rushing against Dominion. Much like last week’s loss, avoiding turnovers could be the key to victory tonight.
When Piedmont has the ball: Lawson expects to be tough to contain after racking up well over 500 yards over the team’s first four games. The Cougars 5-9, 190-pound All-State running back entered last week with four 100-yard efforts heading into last week’s loss against Edmund Burke. Piedmont’s 41 points last week were also a high through five games. While it’s a young roster with just a handful of seniors, both front lines have ample size to both move the ball and stop the run.
Heritage School Hawks (5-0) at Southland Academy Raiders (5-0)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Americus
Last week: Heritage School defeated Dawson Street 44-6 in LaGrange. Southland defeated Terrell Academy 18-12 on the road.
The Skinny: For the second consecutive year, Heritage School's program is looking for its first-ever 5-0 start. After rolling past Dawson Street last week, the Hawks will have to earn a win against a well-established program. The Raiders have opened the season with five consecutive victories to match their win total from both the 2011 and 2010 seasons. It’ll be Heritage’s first game against a Class AAA opponent as a Class AAA school. Heritage School is averaging over 49 points a game.
Series History: First meeting.
Players to Watch: The Heritage School (Last week’s stats) — 10 QB Brad Macke (105 yds pass, 2 TDs), 17 QB Joe Bonner (6 of 7, TD in return from injury last week), 7 RB/S Candler Rich (147 yards rushing, TD; INT for TD vs. Dawson), FB 34 A.J. Gainwell (22 yds rush, TD vs. Dawson); 5 RB Patrick McKee (45 yds rush); DL/TE Tyler Henson (10 tackles, 2 sacks), LB Tyler Nix (16 tackles, 10 solo) ... Southland — OL Grady Barfield, Sr. (5-11, 310); DT Andrew Alexander, Sr. (5-10, 230); OL Ford Roach, Jr. (6-4, 250) RB Dustin Shattles, Jr. (5-7, 140); WR Alan Gleeson, Jr. (5-7, 150); T Austin Hale, Jr. (6-0, 250); G Devon Varnum, Sr. (5-10, 230); G Lance Harrod, Jr. (6-1, 270); OLB Dillon Jerkins, Jr. (6-0, 190);
When Southland has the ball: Don’t expect the Raiders to veer much from their two-back I-formation, using two massive fullbacks to ground things out for junior Dustin Shattles. The offensive line averages 300-pounds and will have a bit of a size advantage tonight. They’ll have to steer clear of defender Tyler Henson, however, who enters tonight with six sacks in four games. Southland is extremely efficient with play-action passes.
When Heritage School has the ball: So far, the Hawks have done a considerable job of using their depth when opponents choose to pay extra attention to Rich, their two-time All-State runner. So far, 11 Heritage players have caught at least one pass and 11 more have at least one carry this year. Expect the Hawks to try and mix things up again tonight.
Union Grove Wolverines (2-1) vs. Northgate Vikings (2-2)
When / Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. Henry Seldon Field (homecoming)
Last Week: Union Grove lost to Whitewater 37-0. Northgate defeated Ola 37-15.
Series record: Northgate leads 2-0.
Last meeting: Northgate won 41-7 (2011)
The Skinny: Northgate has won two games in a row scoring 63 points in those contest with . With a running game already established, running back Benton Washington is expected to return after missing the first four games with an injury.
Game Balls: It’d be hard not to give on each to quarterback Josh Harrison and senior teammate Brandon Facyson after putting on a passing clinic last week. Harrison was 8 of 10 passing for 126 yards while showing his efficiency. Facyson, meanwhile, caught five passes for 149 yards that included a 47-yard halfback pass from T.J. Womack, a former QB before being moved first to guard and then fullback.
Players to watch: Union Grove — ATH Derrick Craine, Sr. (5-10, 210); DL Tyler Vaughn, Sr. (6-0, 270), OL Nick Davis, Sr. (6-3, 300); WR Terry Gibbs, Sr. (5-10, 180); WR Austin Brown, Jr. (5-7, 150); G Matt Ivey, Sr. (6-2, 240); OL Grayson Fuller (6-1, 220); ATH Caleb Ham, Jr. (6-0, 170) ... Northgate — S/WR Brandon Facyson, Sr. (5 rec., 149 yds, TD vs. Ola) DT DeAndre Johnson, Sr. (19 tackles 1 pass breakup) DL Sean Spencer, Sr. (16 tackles, 4 tackles for loss ), S Torres Johnson, Jr. (18 tackles, 1 catch), CB Aaron Stargel Sr (17 tackles 3 pass break ups), QB Josh Harrison, Sr. (22 of 36 passes, three TDs). 6-2, 220); OL Chase Smith (SR, 6-0, 220); OL Dustin Foley (SR, 6-0, 210); LB Conner Usher, Sr, (46 tackles), RB T.J. Womack, Jr. (251 yards on 47 carries and one touchdown) OLB Dalton Lane, Sr (23 tackles), LB Ryan Fagerstrom, Jr (35 tackles)
When Union Grove has the ball: The Wolverines will try pick and up yardage by getting the ball in the hands of Senior Derrick Craine. Craine has seen time at running back this year, but can also play wide receiver.
When Northgate has the ball: The Vikings remain very much a run-first team in the wing-T. But they also proved they could also throw the ball when needed in last week’s win over Ola. Josh Harrison was 8 of 10 passing and Northgate finished with 412 yards of total offense, more than 250 of which came on the ground. Benton Washington’s return to the backfield will give the team another weapon after using seven ball carriers last week.