The Trojans bounced back by winning five straight to defend their Region 5AAAAAA title.
They’ve apparently learned from that Woodstock loss where they had four turnovers, more than 100 yards worth of penalties and special teams breakdowns. Now the Trojans will have to win five more games in order to become the first Cobb County state football champion in 46 years.
The Trojans will begin their quest tonight against Peachtree Ridge at Frank Fillmann Stadium.
“It’s been great,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “We’ve had five or six weeks of good practices. This is what you play for, coach for and lift weights for. We’re excited and happy to be playing at home.”
Quite a few things contributed to Lassiter’s turnaround since losing to Woodstock.
With the exception of the Wheeler game, where Lassiter committed an unusual six turnovers, but still won 35-28, the Trojans have been efficient in holding on to the football. Also, first-year starting quarterback Will Anderson has gotten much more comfortable with Lassiter’s offense and its defense has been playing assignment football and rarely gives up a massive play.
Lassiter’s run started on the road against Walton when it held running back K.K. Brooks to 77 yards, while Anderson threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns. The Trojans followed it up with their most dominant performance of the year, a 31-3 win over a Milton team that averaged 37.5 points a game.
The Trojans stepped up when it needed to in the season finale by shutting down Etowah’s running game, en route to a 37-20 win over Etowah to secure its second straight Region 5AAAAAA title.
It will be up to Lassiter to carry the momentum into the playoffs and sustain it all four quarters. The Trojans jumped on top of Brookwood in the first round of last year’s state playoffs before the Broncos rallied and stole a 24-21 loss in overtime.
With Peachtree Ridge, Lassiter will go up against a team that is big in the trenches and can run the ball behind Jordan Ellis, who has committed to Virginia. And to be successful, the Trojans want to apply the same formula that’s helped them go undefeated in the second half of the regular season.
“I hope we have confidence in ourselves based on how we played, which allowed us to win region,” Irwin said. “I hope we come out playing confidently and aggressively. We did that last year in the early part of the game and then the momentum got away from us. We need to play smart, take care of the football and limit mistakes.”
Game: Peachtree Ridge (7-3) at Lassiter (7-3), 7:30 p.m. TV: GPB
Last year: Did not play
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: Lassiter 27, Peachtree Ridge 24