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Phil's Pregame Points - Week 11
Tigers must bring ‘A’ game against Heritage-Conyers
Alcovy playoff bound
Alcovy has the opportunity to make history this week against Heritage in Conyers, as the Tigers have never defeated the Patriots. Last time the two teams met, Alcovy lost 19-0 in 2019. - photo by Garrett Pitts

[Editor’s Note: To preview this week’s football games, Sports Editor, Phillip B. Hubbard introduces a brand new series called “Phil’s Pregame Points.” For each game, he briefly breaks down what he believes each team needs to do to better their chances at a win.]

Alcovy @ Heritage

954 N. Main St. 

Conyers, Ga 3012

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

Last matchup: 

2019 Heritage won 19-0 

• Focus on here and now

— Alcovy is currently in the hunt to win the Region 3-AAAAAA championship for the first time in school history. Should the Tigers win out, they’ll claim that title. However, they should keep their focus on this week’s game. Although Heritage has only won one game this season doesn’t mean it’s not a notable opponent. The Tigers need to bring their A game on Friday night.

• Make history

— History is not on the Tigers’ side heading into Friday night. In the six matchups between these two schools, Heritage has won all of them. Heritage has defeated the Tigers every time by an average of two touchdowns per contest. And, while the Tigers seem to be the favorites heading into Friday, they’ll need to note that they’ll need to make history if they come out on top. 

Eastside @ Walnut Grove 

4863 Guthrie Cemetery Rd. Loganville, Ga 30052 

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

Last Matchup: 

2020 Eastside won 31-0 

• Playoff mindset

— The Eagles are currently in a three-way tie for second place in Region 8-AAAAA. With that being the case, head coach Jay Cawthon told me after last Friday’s win that his team needs to play each week like it’s a playoff game. Should Eastside’s players listen to their head ball coach, then the Eagles should come out fired up to play. And, that’ll also go a long way as the game progresses on Friday night. 

• Keep Warriors’ streak alive

— Currently, Walnut Grove is on a two-game winning streak. So, the Warriors will be looking early and often for a spark to get things going early. Eastside should really hone in on the first quarter and a half to limit any mistakes or avoid any big plays that could hurt them in the long run. If the Eagles can come out, like they did at Jackson County, and establish the run game and play solid defense, then they should be able to give Walnut Grove its third straight loss. 

Newton vs. Grayson 

Sharp Stadium

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: 

2020 Grayson won 37-0

• Be mistake free

— Last week, the Newton Rams did a better job at cleaning up their mistakes. But they made one that ultimately cost them a win against Mill Creek. It was a pick-6 by Jevarra Martin that gave Mill Creek the definitive 17-14 lead in the first half. Now, this is a huge improvement from the earlier season games for the Rams. But, it’s region play now. One mistake is just as important as 12 mistakes in non-region play. Newton needs to continue to work at being mistake free to give itself a chance in the final weeks of 2021. 

• Run the ball; play defense

— This recipe has proven to work for the Rams all season long. When they’ve gotten away from running the ball and playing dominant defense, that’s when Newton has gotten itself in trouble. It should come out, pound the ball with Rontravious Perry and company to gradually move down the field. Then depend on its defense to constantly make stops like the Rams have done all season long. Should they stay the course, the Rams will have a better chance to get back in the win column. 

Social Circle vs. Towns County  

Redskins Stadium 

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

Last matchup: 

2020 Social Circle won 34-27

• Don’t rest on Commerce W

— It is super easy for any team to stay focused on last week’s results when they beat a team like Commerce on the road. The Redskins don’t need to fall into that trap. Even though Towns County is coming off a lopsided, 63-28 loss against Greene County, doesn’t mean it’s going to just lay down against the Redskins. If Social Circle doesn’t refocus following its huge upset last week, then it could find itself being upset this week. 

• Senior Motivation 

— Friday’s game will serve as senior night for the Redskins. So, it should be easy for Social Circle players to find extra motivation to send their seniors home with a win. This game should also be extra important for all the seniors to come and play smart and aggressive. If they can harness that motivation and play for a full, four quarters, the Redskins should have no problem getting back to .500 in region play this week.