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PREP FOOTBALL: Phil’s Pregame Points – Week 8
Dallas Johnson (3) rushes the ball against Clarke Central on Oct. 1. - photo by Taylor Beck

[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 @ Colquitt County 

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

105 Darbyshire Rd, Norman Park, GA 31771

Last matchup: 2019 Colquitt County won 52-0

Learn from last week

  • This week’s matchup for the Tigers isn’t much different from last week. Colquitt County is 182 miles from Covington. So, Alcovy should use the experience of traveling to Valdosta last week to build off a more successful road trip. 

Pass Protection 

  • It seemed like anytime Alcovy’s offense got anything going against Lowndes, a sack would kill the momentum. For instance, Ashton Evans connected with Bobby Smith for a 15-yard gain. On the next play, Evans was sacked for a 14-yard loss negating the Smith reception. 

Get defensive stops

  • It’s hard to score points with the offense continuously on the sideline. Almost all of Lowndes’ touchdown drives last week were long, time-consuming drives that factored in with Alcovy’s offensive struggles. If the defense can get more stops, that’ll set up more scoring opportunities for the Tigers. 

Social Circle vs. Lincoln County 

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

Social Circle Stadium 

Last matchup: 2020 Lincoln County won 36-20

Eliminate turnovers

  • Maintaining possession of the ball is probably a coach’s biggest pet peeve on any level. But the Redskins didn’t do themselves any favors coughing the ball up numerous times against Washington-Wilkes. One time, in particular, a lost fumble negated a significant gain. Social Circle could score more points this week if they can hang on to the ball. 

Reestablish front four

  • Against Oglethorpe County three weeks ago, the Redskins’ defense continuously got a good push up front. That was absent last week. Getting penetration up front without sending extra defenders tremendously helps the secondary in their coverage. 

Home-field advantage

  • The Redskins are 3-3 so far in 2021. All three wins have come at home with a 3-0 home record. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Social Circle needs to use the home field to its advantage to get back to .500 in Region 8A-Public play. 

Eastside vs. Loganville

Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. 

Sharp Stadium 

Last matchup: 2020 Eastside won 7-3

Convert in critical situations

  • Two times in its loss to Clarke Central last week, Eastside had the ball inside the 20-yard line. Both times, they had to settle for field goals. The first time, the field goal was setup by a fumbled snap by Clarke Central’s punter which placed the ball at the 18-yard line. The second time, Eastside put together its most successful drive of the night that ended at the 16-yard line. From there, it went backward facing a fourth and long. If the Eagles turned those drives, in particular, into touchdowns, it would’ve been a totally different ball game and, possibly, a different outcome. 

Get creative

  • Eastside showed flashes of this against Clarke Central, but I think they can do more. They attempted speed sweeps with Kenai Grier, swing passes to Dallas Johnson and other plays to open up their players in space. The Eagles should prioritize coming up with more creative plays to get the defense on its heels. 

Come out with a purpose

  • Last week, Clarke Central rolled into Sharp Stadium and spoiled Eastside’s homecoming game. The Eagles need to feed off that and come out of the gate playing like their hair is on fire. If they can play with a purpose of protecting home field, then the Eagles should rebound from this 2-game losing streak they’re currently on.