Game: Mount Paran Christian (5-1, 2-0) at Fellowship Christian (4-2, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Mount Paran 49, Fellowship 13
All-time series: Mount Paran leads 1-0
Prediction: Mount Paran 31, Fellowship 24
Mount Paran Christian underwent a change in offensive philosophy during the offseason and the results have proven to be beneficial, not only for Jake Allen, but for the Eagles as well.
Mount Paran replaced its ground-and-pound triple-option attack with a spread offense that has utilized more of the Eagles’ weapons.
Friday’s contest in Roswell against Fellowship Christian will not only shed more light on the playoff ramifications in the subregion, it will provide the Eagles with another opportunity to show that the spread is paying big dividends.
Allen, Mount Paran’s quarterback, took over the starting job midway through last season. His adjustment to the spread offense was just what the Eagles needed as they embark on their third postseason appearance in four years.
“The spread definitely suits me,” Allen said. “My strength is throwing from the pocket, and it gives me the chance to do that. It’s a more versatile offense and helps us open up things. We can run and we can pass, and I like it a lot more than the triple option.”
A right-handed 6-foot, 170-pound junior, Allen has completed 39 of 56 passes for 569 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s been playing quarterback since he was 6 years old, so it
didn’t take him long to adjust to the new scheme during the offseason.
“It took a couple of weeks to get the plays down,” Allen said. “I’m in the shotgun now every single play. So far, it’s been a good adjustment. We have some new guys on offense and a young offensive line, but everybody’s doing a great job.”
Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan knew what he was doing when he changed the Eagles’ offensive philosophy.
“You always have to see what the players do well and then fit the offense around those guys, especially at quarterback,” Jordan said. “He’s a very accurate kid, and the adjustment hasn’t been tough on him. He has football knowledge and the offense has playmakers to help him make plays.”
— By Carlton D. White
Game: King’s Ridge (2-4, 1-2) at Walker (4-2, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Walker 24, King’s Ridge 6
All-time series: Walker leads 1-0
Prediction: Walker 20, King’s Ridge 17
A Walker win would be big this week if it wants to stay in the Region 6A (B) race with Mount Pisgah, which is already one game up on the Wolverines.
The Wolverines learned something about themselves last Friday during their 25-20 win over Fellowship Christian — they have a player who can run the football.
Expect Walker to look more like the Wolverines of 2012 — when former running back Evan Kasian rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Gaines Lahue has now assumed the position. After dealing with a nagging muscle strain in his right leg, Lahue is now pain-free and rushed for 299 yards and four touchdowns against Fellowship.
Now that the Wolverines have established a ground game, they plan to build around it.
“Yes, we’re going to continue to run the ball,” East said. “We found out things about Gaines that we thought was there and now we have more of a (ground) attack. You got to throw it to run and run it to throw it, but you’ll definitely see more running out of us.”
Walker has other carriers that can give Lahue some relief. Fullback Bradley Moore, who blocked for Kasian last year, will continue blocking for Lahue and carry the ball as well. Justin Delbrook will also be used as a ball carrier.
— By Adam Carrington
Game: Towns County (1-5) at North Cobb Christian (1-5), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Towns County 38, North Cobb Christian 6
All-time series: Towns County leads 3-0
Prediction: Towns County 24, North Cobb Christian 14
Although the record doesn’t show, North Cobb Christian is making strides. Coach Scott Ryle said practices have gotten better over the last three weeks and one key thing the Eagles have focused on as of late is finishing.
North Cobb Christian lost a tough one to Baconton two weeks ago where it might not have finished like it wanted to, but the Eagles bounced back to finish a week later when they collected their first victory of the season, a 41-21, win over Providence Christian.
Now they hope it can carry over to Friday night’s game against Towns County.
Over the last two weeks, North Cobb Christian has developed a potent running game behind sophomore David Brittingham. He rushed for 280 yards on 21 carries Friday night against Providence Christian and scored two first-quarter touchdowns.
“David has been a great asset for us this year,” Ryle said. “He had a heck of a ball game and our fullback did a great job leading for him. We’ve been blessed with how he secures the ball. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do that.”
John Towne has also been an asset at receiver. Although he had just 5 yards last week, it came on a touchdown pass and he added a rushing touchdown.
In scouting Towns County, Ryle said the Indians are one of the bigger teams the Eagles have faced this season, especially on the defensive front.”
“They have a defensive line that’s huge,” Ryle said. Our guys have to stay low and move their feet.”
— By Adam Carrington
Game: Whitefield Academy (2-4, 0-2) at Mount Pisgah Christian (6-0, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Whitefield Academy 28, Mount Pisgah 6
All-time series: Whitefield leads 6-0
Prediction: Whitefield 21, Mount Pisgah 15
Whitefield Academy could use another good win.
With Class A teams earning playoff spots based on power ratings, taking on a Mount Pisgah Christian team that is 6-0 and ranked 10th in the state according to the latest Georgia Sports Writer’s Association poll would likely be Whitefield’s best bet at earning several ratings points towards a possible state playoff berth.
The Wolfpack, who are 0-2 in Region 6A (B) and 2-4 overall, are in need of another big victory after two straight losses to Fellowship Christian and Mount Paran Christian. Snapping the Patriots’ unblemished start could mean big things for the Wolfpack program.
“We’re getting down to a quarter at a time,” Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields said. “For us, this Mount Pisgah game is a big one with the playoffs looming about four weeks away. It’s a huge game not only because it’s region, but because it could mean so much in the ratings.”
Whitefield, along with Walker, are barely on the outside looking in after the current GHSA power ratings were released Tuesday. The top 16 teams make the playoffs and Whitefield is rated 18th with 10.07 points and a 2-3 record. Mount Pisgah (6-0), however, is third on the list with 13.92 points.
“Mount Pisgah will be a challenge,” Fields said. “They’re in the top five in the power ratings and they have a great squad. It would be a great boost for us to come out with the victory.”
Fields is optimistic about his team’s chances because he’s seen what they’re capable of doing. In their two previous losses, the Wolfpack has played well overall, but mistakes have cost them.
“I’ve been trying to get through to the kids this week that the last two games that we lost, we played well enough to win,” Fields said. “Turnovers and penalties cost us in both games and the bottom line is we lost.
“We have to go back and look at the film and see what went wrong and find out what we need to do to correct it.”
With four games remaining in the regular season, the focus shifts to finishing out the year strong and collecting as many victories as possible. The ratings will take care of themselves at that point.
“It’s a mental game now,” Fields said. “The guys need to play with confidence in practice and keep that mental focus throughout the game.”
— By Carlton D. White