By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
PREP FOOTBALL: Phil’s Pregame Points | GHSA Playoffs Round 1
Eastside's Dallas Johnson (3) runs for yardage against the Wolfpack defense during the first quarter of a 8-5A game between the schools. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

[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.]

Eastside @ New Manchester 

4925 Hwy 92 Douglasville, Ga 30135

Last Matchup: 2020 Eastside won 37-7 (2nd round of playoffs) 

Start Faster

  • Eastside fell behind 14-0 early against Greenbrier last week at home. And, even though the Eagles clawed their way back to a 10-point win, overcoming a two touchdown deficit will be much tougher in the playoffs. They’ll need to prioritize coming out of the locker to begin the game a lot faster and with more urgency than the Eagles did last week. 

Eagles playing for more

  • Friday’s game will mark the sixth consecutive season that the Eagles has qualified for the Class 6A state playoffs. Head coach Jay Cawthon has been there for the previous five appearances but, this year, there is a major difference. Cawthon will be leading the Eagles onto the field as the head man in charge. Eastside should use this as extra motivation to come out and begin Cawthon’s postseason record 1-0. 

Social Circle @ Trion 

919 Allgood St. Trion, Ga 30753

Last Matchup: 2005 Trion won 27-21 

Stronger Defense

  • Social Circle’s defense took some time to figure out Greene County’s offensive attack, giving up back-to-back touchdown drives to begin the game. There were also many instances where the Redskins had the Tigers in third and long situations and they still surrendered first downs. If the Redskins want to win their first playoff game since 2005, then their defense will need to come out and make a statement early. 

Maintain offensive balance

  • On the road last week at Greene County, the Redskins’ offensive had their way against the Tigers’ defense. Whether it was a run or a pass, Social Circle could gain consistent yards anyway they wanted to all night. The added bonus was the Redskins had a nice mix of run and passes that kept the defense guessing. To come out with a win on Friday, Social Circle will need to maintain that offensive balance to, like last week, confuse the opposing defense.