Last meeting: Trion 21, Walker 14 (Oct. 14, 2011)
All-time Series: Trion leads 4-0
Prediction: Walker 17, Trion 10
Walker will face a senior-laden team to open Region 6A play Friday, and the game is expected to be the Wolverines’ biggest test to date.
Senior quarterback Cory Bethune is in his fourth season with Trion, and he has led the Bulldogs to decisive wins in their first two games against Armuchee and LaFayette.
The Wolverines are still making the transition of having a balanced attack on offense.
Walker didn’t pass as much last season with former running back Evan Kasian chewing up much of the offensive yardage, but it has shown it can do both in wins over Temple and North Cobb Christian this season.
Cameron Bloebaum threw for three touchdowns and 150 yards against Temple, but the team had a total of nine yards on the ground.
Agaisnt North Cobb Christian, the Wolverines got their run game going, with Gaines Lahue totaling 123 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.
Kevin Bray has emerged as a reliable receiver after catching five passes for 77 yards.
Walker wasn’t seriously tested in its first two games this season, but its defense did come up big by keeping Temple scoreless in its 21-0 victory. The Wolverines also kept North Cobb Christian’s offense off the board, holding the Eagles to 108 yards. North Cobb Christian’s lone touchdown came on a return of the opening kickoff.
— By Adam Carrington
Game: Mount Paran Christian (2-0) at Landmark Christian (3-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Landmark 28, Mount Paran 10
All-time series: Landmark leads 1-0
Prediction: Landmark 24, Mount Paran 20
After sliding by Brookstone in the closing seconds last week, Mount Paran visits No. 2 ranked Landmark Christian on Friday.
With 35 seconds remaining and the Eagles down a point, Jake Allen found Emoni Williams for a 39-yard touchdown pass, resulting in a 26-21 home victory and a 2-0 record for Mount Paran.
“I’ve been coaching long enough now that a win is a win and I’ll take it,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “Especially when they’re so hard to come by.”
Allen finished with 127 passing yards and two TDs, and Williams added a rushing touchdown. Dorian Walker, who also caught a touchdown, ran for a 153 yards and a score.
“I can’t say enough about Dorian Walker and how hard he ran,” Jordan said. “He’s a talented young man and Emoni stepped up big again.”
Meanwhile, Landmark (3-0) moved from No. 6 in Class A to No. 2 partly due to a 37-18 victory over Wilkinson County.
Quarterback Stockton McGuire had two rushing touchdowns and a touchdown pass. Darius Smith and William Higbie also ran for scores.
Last season, Landmark defeated Mount Paran 28-10, thanks in part to 128 rushing yards from Jeremiah Kirkland and 74 from Cole Higbie. But this season, Higbie is in college and Kirkland now plays for Lovejoy.
“We’re going to have to make our corrections then play one of the best teams in the state,” said Jordan, whose team committed 15 penalties against Brookstone.
— By Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: Whitefield Academy (1-1) at St. Francis (1-2), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Whitefield 46, St. Francis 7
All-time series: Whitefield leads 1-0
Prediction: Whitefield 28, St. Francis 7
Off of a comeback home win against Riverside Military last Friday, Whitefield Academy will travel to Milton on Friday to face St. Francis.
Whitefield dealt with adversity in its win over Riverside as starting quarterback Everett Pollard was taken out of the game due to a head injury early in the fourth quarter.
Backup quarterback Sky Dupree took over and promptly led Whitefield to a
26-24 victory, highlighted by he game-winning 79-yard touchdown run.
“Everett is questionable for the game and we’re keeping him out of contact this week,” Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields said. “It will be a game-time decision if he will play.”
If Pollard is unable to perform, the coaching staff has confidence in Dupree’s ability to take the ball under center.
“Sky did a good job last week for us backing up Everett,” Fields said. “His ability to play any position in the backfield, versatility on both sides of the ball and even contributions on special teams is an asset for us.”
St. Francis lost 38-17 last week on the road at King’s Ridge, but did gain a victory in its last home game, a 47-14 win over Mount Vernon Presbyterian.
“St. Francis will present us challenges with its option offense,” Fields said. “We’re facing are an improved and disciplined team that can run the ball well as well as throw. We’ll have to be sound in our defensive assignments.”
The Wolfpack earned a 46-7 win over the Knights in the teams’ meeting last season.
— By Marcel Pourtout
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: Mount Zion-Carroll (0-1) at North Cobb Christian (0-2), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: North Cobb Christian 42, Mount Zion-Carroll 6 (Aug. 26, 2011)
All-time series: North Cobb Christian leads 2-1
Prediction: Mount Zion-Carroll 28, North Cobb Christian 14
After suffering identical 42-7 losses, North Cobb Christian is preparing to host the Mount Zion-Carroll.
This will be the fourth time these teams have faced each other.
First-year Eagles’ coach Scott Ryle said his team played two great teams to start the season — Duval Charter of Jacksonville, Fla., and Walker. Despite the losses, he is proud of how his team played.
With a new coach, the team is still adjusting to the new style of play Ryle has instituted.
“(I’m implementing a new) style of play,” he said. “We like to run the ball down hill and we have a big emphasis on aggressive defense and weight training.”
Working to fully grasp Ryle’s style, the North Cobb Christian players have adopted a new team philosophy as well, one that requires them to work non-stop.
“I’m changing the philosophy of the program,” Ryle said. “We’ll be training year-round, not just in the fall, but through the whole off-season. That’s what we’ve done since we started in April and it will not stop.”
— By Ericka Birdsong
MDJ Sports Writer