Last year: Mountain View 14, Pebblebrook 3
All-time series: Mountain View leads 1-0
Prediction: Pebblebrook 28, Mountain View 14
Pebblebrook surprised a lot of people with its 17-10 victory at Southwest DeKalb last week.
Coming off a winless 0-10 campaign in 2012, the Falcons now have a chance to go 2-0 with a win against Mountain View tonight at Falcons Stadium. A victory would mark Pebblebrook’s first 2-0 mark since 2003.
The hard work of the offseason and summer practices paid major dividends last week.
“We had a rough season last year,” Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon said. “We played in every game. I thought our kids gave the effort. Our offense was kind of slow-going last year. I hope that the fact that, if we can win two games, that will give our team some confidence and the attitude that we can accomplish some things if we work hard enough.
“We’ve worked all summer and last year and haven’t taken any time off. If we work hard enough, it’s going to show up. If we win this game (tonight) and open up the season at 2-0, it will be a definite boost for our community and for our football team.”
Pebblebrook had an advantage of playing a scrimmage before meeting Southwest DeKalb, which had its scrimmage rained out.
“We played well enough to win, and opportunities came our way,” Macon said. “We took advantage of those, but we have to play better this week.”
The Falcons did make some mistakes, but those miscues weren’t enough to cost them, and Macon hopes they won’t cost them tonight.
“If we can iron those mistakes out and get those corrected, if our offensive line can stay low and be able to at least go out there and play and compete against Mountain View, we’ll have an opportunity to win at the end of the game,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for.
“Mountain View can run the ball and they have good athletes. We got off to a slow start last year and couldn’t score in the red zone. Hopefully, we can change that this time.”
— By Carlton D. White
Game: Harrison at Alpharetta, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Alpharetta 38, Harrison 8
All-time series: Alpharetta leads 1-0
Prediction: Alpharetta 28, Harrison 20
Harrison began the Matt Dickmann era with a resounding 23-13 victory over Woodstock in the season opener last Friday. Now, the Hoyas will try to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
“Everybody wants to start the season
1-0,” Dickmann said. “I’m proud of how the team never game up and played hard from the beginning to the end. The physical tone of our offensive line had a big impact on the game.”
The Hoyas were led by a strong effort from quarterback Lorenzo Nunez. The senior finished the night with 150 yards passing, a game-high 74 yards rushing, and he also added a blocked punt in the victory.
Tonight, the Hoyas will have to worry about the other team’s quarterback if they want to come home with a victory. Alpharetta’s Austin King threw for 351 yards and two touchdown passes in its season-opening 31-24 loss to Milton, in overtime. Two of King’s receivers each had more than 100 yards receiving — Andre Harton (135) and Daniel Clements (129).
“Alpharetta likes to spread the ball offensively and find the open receiver,” Dickmann said. “It’s going to be a challenge defensively but their offense is very similar to Woodstock.”
Offensively, the Hoyas will look to correct mistakes made against Woodstock.
“We need to protect the football and avoid turnovers,” Dickmann said. “We dropped two touchdown passes last week and need to avoid those types of mistakes to beat Alpharetta.”
— By Marcel Pourtout
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: Sprayberry (0-2) at Lassiter (0-1)
Last year: Lassiter 49, Sprayberry 10
All-time series: Lassiter leads 20-9
Prediction: Lassiter 42, Sprayberry 21
Sprayberry and Lassiter are meeting for the 30th time tonight, and the rivalry has much more on the line than bragging rights.
While the Trojans have gotten the better of the Yellow Jackets over the past handful of seasons — winning the last five games of the series — both squads will be looking to pick up their first victory of the year after difficult early season losses.
“Both of us are going to be hungry for a win,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said.
Over the years, turnovers have been a problem for both teams, but the Trojans have found a way to win. Lassiter’s managed to overcome its miscues the last two years, posting victories of 30 or more points over the Yellow Jackets. But, in Irwin’s first two seasons as coach in 2009 and ’10, the Trojans could only come away with seven-point wins.
Experience has also been a factor, especially over the last few years.
“(Sprayberry was) a really young team last year and we were a pretty experienced team,” Irwin said. “I think the teams are more evenly matched this year. We have some youth in spots, too. I think it’s going to come down to who wants it more, how well you protect the football and who can execute the best because both of us have made a lot of mistakes in our first games. We’ve not played consistently enough to win against a good team.”
Lassiter had problems stopping McEachern’s running game last week. The Indians rolled up 420 rushing yards in their win, so the Trojans have made stopping the run a point of emphasis during this week’s preparation.
That preparation will come in handy against a Sprayberry offense that totaled 254 rushing yards against Kennesaw Mountain. Quarterback Shane Young chipped in 191 yards on the ground for the Yellow Jackets.
“He’s one of our workhorses and one of the leaders on our team,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “We’re going to give him plenty of opportunities to help us offensively, both throwing and running. Here lately, it’s been his legs that have been most beneficial. But we have to have more success in the passing game, and he certainly has to help us there.”
With an offense focused on improving its passing attack while solidifying the run, Sprayberry’s defense hopes to eliminate the big plays that have plagued it so far this year.
“We have a pattern here in the last couple of games, that we’re just giving up too many big plays,” Shackelford said.” To use a baseball analogy, if you throw a lot of strikeouts and then give up home runs, that’s not going to be a very successful pitching combination.
“We have to do a better job in bending but not breaking. Our defense is a work in progress, but I like how we’re working. I expect us to be a little more stingy on defense.”
— By Carlton D. White
Game: Douglas County at South Cobb, 7:30 p.m.
Last Year: South Cobb 35, Douglas County 19
All-time series: South Cobb leads 21-19-1
Prediction: South Cobb 21, Douglas County 14
Michael Youngblood’s coaching debut at South Cobb didn’t exactly have the wishful ending last week, but the Eagles hope to make Youngblood’s first appearance at Clay Stadium a success when Douglas County visits tonight.
In last Friday’s 18-10 loss to Westlake, South Cobb had the advantage in rushing, 241 yards to 165, but completed just three of 16 pass attempts with two interceptions.
“We were a missed assignment here, a missed assignment there or a dropped ball here from really taking off offensively,” Youngblood said. “Defensively, we really did a good job in the first half but I felt like we got a little tired in the second half and that is when we missed a couple of assignments.
“But you got to tip your hat to Westlake. They had some players who made some plays when they needed them.”
Kylil Carter helped lead the attack with 100 rushing yards, and Michael Lapeyrolerie scored the lone touchdown.
“We’ve just got to get better with our assignment on both sides of the football,” Youngblood said. “But one of the biggest things is that they played hard. There is no substitute for that and we just got to get them in a little bit better game shape. We just got to keep plugging away.”
Tonight, the Eagles go for their third straight home-opening win.
“It’s going to be good to be at home for the first time,” said Youngblood, whose team also had a road scrimmage. “It will be good to see our fan base.”
— By Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer