Last year: McEachern 29, Marietta 28
All-time series: McEachern leads 13-11-1
Prediction: McEachern 28, Marietta 21
McEachern coach Kyle Hockman took over the Indians’ program in 2008. He’s had Marietta’s number since then, winning all five meetings in the series, including last year’s thrilling one-point victory.
What’s been his secret?
“Scoring one more point then they do,” Hockman quipped, as he gets his team ready for tonight’s Region 4AAAAAA showdown against the Blue Devils at Northcutt Stadium. “Honestly, we’ve just been fortunate to pick up some wins. Last year, we scored with about 30 seconds left in the game and went for a 2-point conversion to win it, and it worked out.”
If the game is close, it’s likely because there are several playmakers on both sides of the ball for both teams. First-string and second-string players will play huge roles.
“Each team will have playmakers,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said, “but at this level of football, you have to win with your guys at the next level. The top players are the top players, but those second-level guys have to play as hard and as fast as they can to complement the guys with the familiar names. The lunch-pail guys will make the difference in the game.”
That difference will be significant because of the stakes involved. Although McEachern and Marietta have been rivals for a number of years, their meetings are always more intensified when the teams are in the same region.
Should the Blue Devils lose, their region ramifications wouldn’t be dire. However, the team would be staring at a 0-2 hole in the standings. Meanwhile, McEachern hopes to go 2-0 in region play for the fifth straight season.
“It would be big to pull out of this at 2-0 in the region,” Hockman said. “This region has shown that it plays pretty well across the state, so it’s not imperative to be the No. 1 seed. That’s what’s good about this region.”
— By Carlton D. White
Game: North Cobb (1-1, 0-0) vs. Kennesaw Mountain (1-1, 0-1), 7:30 p.m. (at KSU)
Last year: North Cobb 52, Kennesaw Mountain 7
All-time series: North Cobb leads 9-2
Prediction: North Cobb 28, Kennesaw Mountain 7
With a young defense that has nine new starters, North Cobb is experiencing growing pains.
The Warriors will have to grow up tonight after giving up more than 200 yards rushing to Walton’s K.K. Brooks in last week’s 28-13 loss.
North Cobb will have to defend the run again when it opens Region 4AAAAAA play against Kennesaw Mountain at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
“Walton was more physical than we were,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “That’s something we got to work on this week. You’ve got to be disciplined. Take care of your responsibilities or anyone one of (Kennesaw Mountain’s rushers) can take it to the house.”
North Cobb will have to face Mustangs running back Jamari Carter, who rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown last week against South Cobb.
— By Adam Carrington
Game: Harrison (2-1, 1-0) at Pebblebrook (2-1, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Harrison 20, Pebblebrook 13
All-time series: Harrison leads 8-5
Prediction: Harrison 24, Pebblebrook 14
After holding on for a win last week, Harrison attempts to remain unbeaten in Region 4AAAAAA when it visits Pebblebrook tonight.
Both teams are 2-1, but the Hoyas are in the top half of the region, thanks to a 28-26 victory over Campbell last Friday.
Despite a pair of turnovers deep in the red zone, Harrison still held off the Spartans late.
“Being inside the 5 twice and not putting points on the board is something we can’t afford to keep doing as the season goes on,” Harrison coach Matt Dickmann said.
Pebblebrook had a disastrous second quarter against McEachern, en route to a 53-7 setback.
“We played them well for a quarter and a half then we let things get out of hand,” said Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon, whose team had four turnovers in a 5-minute span.
Macon expects the Hoyas to blitz from all angles and Dickmann expects the Falcons to rely heavily on the option.
“We might be a little banged-up, but we got something to prove this week,” Macon said. “They got themselves on the right track and we got to get back on track.”
— By Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: South Cobb (1-2, 1-0) at Campbell (2-1, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: South Cobb 42, Campbell 39
All-time series: Campbell leads 13-9
Prediction: Campbell 21, South Cobb 14
South Cobb will try to build on the momentum from last week’s win over Kennesaw Mountain, while Campbell will attempt to bounce back from a tough loss to Harrison as the two county and Region 4AAAAAA rivals meet at Richard McDaniel Stadium.
After losing its first two games, South Cobb came back last Friday with a 34-28 victory over Kennesaw Mountain.
“Everything comes together for you and the kids start to understand the hard work that it takes to win on Friday nights,” said new South Cobb coach Michael Youngblood, who claimed his first win at the Eagle helm. “The thing we take away from it is we got a win. Now, the kids know what it takes to win.”
Meanwhile, Campbell saw its undefeated status come to an end with a 28-26 loss to Harrison — with a potential game-winning 68-yard touchdown run by Michael Rogers in the fourth quarter negated by a holding penalty.
“The Harrison loss was very difficult for our kids,” Campbell coach Harris Rainbow said. “It was difficult for all of us. We felt like we made a lot of mistakes. But, by the same token, we felt like we had a chance to win it at the end. We score a touchdown at the end and we had a penalty that took that away from us. So, that’s really tough for our kids, but, hopefully, we can use that to learn from and, hopefully, we can come back and play tonight.”
— By Greg Oshust
MDJ Sports Writer