In order to accomplish this goal, the Indians (6-2 overall, 6-0 Region 4AAAAAA) will have to defeat Harrison in their final regular season home game at Walter Cantrell Stadium.
“Clinching the region title is a big deal,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “Our goals are championships. Obviously, the first opportunity is a region championship so that is very important in our program.”
But Hockman realizes Harrison isn’t just going to just lie down especially since Bruce Cobleigh has had a full week with the Hoyas
(4-4, 3-3) after the resignation of Marty Galbraith.
“With their coach resigning and coach Cobleigh taking the reigns — obviously his experience and Hall of Fame career speaks for itself, I’m sure he will rally the troops and they will probably be a more inspired team than they have been in the recent weeks,” Hockman said.
“They always play hard no matter if they are 10-0 or 0-10. They are just that type of character program. But we are demanding our kids come out with that same intensity.”
Harrison enters the contest on a two-game slide following a 41-14 setback to Hillgrove last Friday, when Cobleigh made his debut as the interim head coach.
But McEachern has already proven it can handle adverse circumstances like an 0-2 start to the season.
“One of our program philosophies is to play tough opponents outside the region and that will help us find our weaknesses,” Hockman said. “When you play good teams, your weaknesses get exposed and then we started really focusing on trying to get better at those weaknesses while continuing to excel at the stuff we do well.”
The Indians have also executed during intense situations, like against Marietta, when they made the decisive 2-point conversion for a 29-28 victory to erase a double-digit deficit.
“It was huge part of our success, making some critical plays at critical times,” Hockman said. “I think it was a catalyst — that second half and specifically the last series defensively against Marietta — to get us where we are at now — no question.”
Since then, McEachern has cruised past its last four opponents, including North Cobb, 49-27, on Oct. 19. Ty Griffin ran for two touchdowns and passed for two as well. Ty Clemons had rushing, receiving and passing touchdowns in the Indians’ sixth straight victory.
“I think we are really honing in on what our players can do well and I think they are really taking advantage of that,” Hockman said. “We’re hoping that we are just now starting to peak and we stay healthy. Who knows where things can go?”
If McEachern defeats Harrison, it will be the Indians’ fifth consecutive win in the series.