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 @ Lowndes
Friday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
1606 Norman Dr. Valdosta, GA 31601
First meeting between the two schools
- Fast Start
• The Tigers will travel 200 miles to face the Vikings, so they’ll need to overcome that long drive early in the game.
- Evans > Heights > Mayweather
• If Ashton Evans can consistently connect with Mathias Height on the deep ball like last week, then the Tigers’ running game can open up. In Friday’s win, Evans and Heights converted a few third downs on completions and even connected on a first quarter, 17-yard touchdown pass. As a result, it seemed as if the running lanes were easier for Tristan Mayweather to run through.
- Complete defensive effort
• Alcovy’s defense almost shut their opponent out last week. From the front four to the secondary, the Tigers defense kept Rockdale guessing on offense. It’ll take the same type of effort to help make the 200-mile trip home a happy one.
Eastside vs. Clarke Central
Friday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Last Meeting: 2020 Clarke Central won 35-34
- Flush last loss
• Eastside is coming off a last second loss at Apalachee. If the players carry that over in their minds to this week’s game, then it’ll be a long night for the Eagles. Because, even though the Gladiators are 2-2, they’ve won both of the region games this season.
- Johnson, Johnson, Johnson
• So far this season, it seems as if the Eagles’ offense goes as Dallas Johnson goes. He’s had a remarkable year, which includes a game where he scored four touchdowns. Eastside’s priority should be to get Johnson going so he can break off some electric runs.
• Friday’s game will be Eastside’s homecoming game. The Eagles should easily feed off the energy and excitement that a homecoming game brings. They’ll need that energy as they welcome a Clarke Central team is who currently on a two-game winning streak.
Social Circle @ Washington-Wilkes
Friday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
1182 Tignall Rd. Washington, Ga 30673
Last Meeting: 2020 Washington-Wilkes won 56-0
- Don’t Waste The BYE Week
• Friday’s contest presents a difficult task with Social Circle going to face a red hot Tigers’ squad that is 4-1. An off week should help the Redskins with their chances. It gives players a time to rest up and prepare. The Redskins need to come out of the gate firing on all cylinders to prove they didn’t waste the bye week.
• Social Circle has no problem starting the game off with all bounce in its step. Its biggest struggle seems to be in the middle to late part of each contest. For instance, against Oglethorpe County two weeks ago, the Redskins surrendered a touchdown late in the first half as well as late in the fourth quarter. Maintaining their composure throughout Friday’s game should increase their chances Friday night.
- Skill positions
• Logan Cross gets a lot of attention while being the quarterback of the Redskins, and deservingly so. But, it’s been the play of the players around him that been crucial to the Redskins’ success. Getting players like Kam Durden, DaShon Hyman, Tucker Cleary and others involved should spell success against the Tigers.
Newton vs. Parkview
Saturday, Oct 1, at 7 p.m.
Last Meeting: 2020 Parkview won 35-7
- Be Boring
• Head coach Camiel Grant Jr., emphasized for his team to not be afraid to be boring this season. Run the ball and dominant on defense has been a recipe for success that propelled the Rams to a 3-0 start prior to last week. Newton should rely on its defense and use the host of running backs to help it begin region play 1-0.
- Clean up the mistakes
• In every game so far this season, the penalty bug has bitten the Rams on both sides of the ball in important situations. Even in its 39-21 victory at McEachern, Newton had a stretch of four straight plays that were penalized. Removing so many penalties can greatly improve this year’s Rams squad.
- Prepare for Saturday game
• This weekend’s matchup will be played on Saturday at Sharp Stadium instead of Friday. With that being the case, the Rams will need to expect a different process when leading up to kickoff. Something as simple as an unordinary day could alter a football team. Newton should focus on preparing itself for what Saturday will bring.