Banged-up McEachern keeps plugging along
by Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
November 21, 2013 11:41 PM | 2443 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
McEachern’s Taj Griffin was injured last week against Newton and,his status will be a game-time decision tonight against Langston Hughes in the second round of the playoffs.
McEachern’s Taj Griffin was injured last week against Newton and,his status will be a game-time decision tonight against Langston Hughes in the second round of the playoffs.
McEachern visits Langston Hughes in the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs tonight, but it’s doubtful the Indians will be at full-strength.

In the wake of a 36-21 victory over Newton last week, McEachern (9-2), which was already without quarterback Ty Clemons (ankle), lost running back Taj Griffin due to a leg injury.

Now, both are listed as game-time decisions and had not practiced as of midweek.

“We’re making plans without them, and if they can be there, that would be great,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “We’ll see what happens. It will be a game-time decision, but we are not going to jeopardize either one of their careers for a playoff game.”

Therefore, both players will be in uniform, but Griffin is more likely to play since he was held out for precautionary reasons and last week the Indians had a double-digit lead at halftime.

“If Ty got on the field this week, he’d be way ahead of schedule,” Hockman said. “We will see where it goes. We’re doing everything we can and he’s doing everything he can.

“Either way, he won’t be able to get a whole lot of reps in practice. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation, but we are going to make the best of it and kids are going to rally around whoever is at that position.”

Last week in his first varsity start, freshman Bailey Hockman threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Andrew Heyward ran for a score and led the team with 36 rushing yards.

Langston Hughes (10-1) remained on a roll with its 10th straight win, a 34-20 victory over Valdosta.

Keion Davis ran for 202 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.

“You are going to corral him most of the time, but then he will get 120 yards or more on two carries,” Kyle Hockman said. “He has the speed to burn and is a good size.”

Davis, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and committed to Marshall, had scoring runs of 82 and 70 yards.

On defense, D’Andre Walker led the way with 14 tackles (four for loss), two sacks and a forced fumble.

“They got a great defense and great team speed,” Hockman said. “They’re very relentless in what they are doing. Obviously, some outstanding players at defensive end and middle linebacker who are as good anybody in the state.”

Montavious Atkinson had 13 tackles and fellow linebacker Kalil Gray finished with 10.

If McEachern advances, it will be the Indians’ first time in the quarterfinals since 1999. The 14-year drought is something everyone involved with the program is aware of, but Hockman knows there is a lot involved in making a deep playoff run. A good draw is one of them.

“Most of the time we’re playing a great team and if you look at the scores, we’re right there in the game and that team ends up going to the semifinals or the finals every year,” Hockman said. “I think we are right there. Obviously this year is a little different with the injuries but I still think we have a good chance.”

Game: McEachern (9-2) at Langston Hughes (10-1), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: First meeting

All-time series: First meeting

Prediction: McEachern 31, Langston Hughes 17

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