SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — The first game of the Rob Patton era didn’t go as planned.
Patton made his debut as head coach of the Social Circle High School football team last Friday when he led the Redskins into Don Williams Stadium for a rivalry showdown with George Walton Academy. The Bulldogs didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for the new coach. Instead, they spoiled his welcome party by rolling to a 35-7 beatdown.
GWA limited Social Circle’s revamped “Air Raid” offense to 136 yards and held them out of the end zone until the final minute of regulation. Meanwhile, Bulldog seniors Jackson Ellerbee and Jake Whitten and junior Layton Folgman combined for 200 yards of total offense — all of which came in the first half.
Speaking to The Walton Tribune after the game, GWA head coach Shane Davis lauded his team for taking a physical approach from the first snap of the contest. After assessing film over the weekend, the coaching staff at Social Circle was in agreement with his Davis’ comments.
“I think the biggest difference was just the physicality level. They came out and hit us in the mouth from the get-go, and we obviously weren’t quite ready for that yet,” Patton said this week. “I think it shows that [GWA] has been taking the weight room seriously for a long time, and we’ve been taking it seriously since June. We’ve just got to keep on working to get stronger and improve that part of our game.”
Patton challenged his players to show up Monday ready to get back to work, and his team responded aptly.
“I think they’ve all responded really well,” he said. “The kids came out hard and had two pretty hard practices on Monday and Tuesday, and they’ve gotten after it all week. Hopefully the fruits of that labor will show on Friday night.”
The Redskins will take another crack at giving Patton his first win this Friday when they travel to Providence Christian Academy.
Like Social Circle, the Storm will come into Week 2 looking for their first win of the season. They opened their 2020 campaign on the road last week at Loganville Christian Academy and had their comeback effort stifled in a 20-16 loss.
Under the guidance of first-year head coach Jonathan Beverly, Providence Christian runs a spread offense that utilizes a sprint-out approach in the passing game as well as outside zone and counter attacks in the run game.
“After watching them on film, they look like they’ve got some really talented kids,” Patton said. “They’ve got some good looking kids on both sides of the ball, so we’re gonna have to bring our A game if we want to compete and win.”