Last year: North Cobb 48, Harrison 14
All-time series: Harrison leads 16-5
Prediction: North Cobb 28, Harrison 14
Harrison is 3-1 on the season but will get a stern test tonight when it welcomes North Cobb tonight in a critical Region 4AAAAAA game.
Knowing that North Cobb routed Kennesaw Mountain 55-13 last week at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium, first-year coach Matt Dickmann is leaving no detail unattended.
The Warriors’ defense held Kennesaw Mountain to 212 yards of total offense after the Mustangs rolled up more than 400 against South Cobb the week before.
North Cobb’s offense scored all eight of its touchdowns on drives of five plays or fewer.
“The biggest thing is that they are really a good football team,” Dickmann said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes. Offensively they are explosive. Tyler Queen is good with the football and can make good reads and good decisions. They just try to take advantage in so many well.”
For the Hoyas to have success, they have to keep mistakes to a minimum.
Holding onto the football has been Harrison’s nemesis this season. The Hoyas turned the ball over only once in their 24-9 win over Pebblebrook, but they fumbled five times.
“Our biggest thing is consistency,” Dickmann said. “When we’re inconsistent, we stop ourselves because of mental errors and breakdowns.”
— By Adam Carrington
Game: Campbell (2-2, 0-2) at Hillgrove (3-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Hillgrove 38, Campbell 0
All-time series: Hillgrove leads 3-0
Prediction: Hillgrove 35, Campbell 14
By this time last year, Hillgrove had already lost two games and questions arose as to whether the Hawks would survive an abundance of injuries.
Hillgrove finished 6-5 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
This season has been different. Injuries have been kept to a minimum and the defense has been solid.
After missing most of last year due to an ACL tear he suffered in his left knee in last year’s Campbell game, senior defensive end Bradley Chubb has come on strong this season to help anchor the defensive line. He has 23 tackles and is tied for second among Cobb County leaders with 5 1/2 sacks. Hillgrove is allowing only 87 yards rushing per game.
“Chubb’s taking care of the dirty work,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “He’s solid at the end and gets double teamed a lot, but he still plays well.
“Taking care of that edge is so important for controlling and containing the running game. Getting him back this year makes the team better. It’s a good unit. We think the front of our defense is our strength.”
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Chubb has commited to play collegiately at North Carolina State. His recovery from the ACL injury didn’t take long, and according to Ironside, he was “off of the crutches and working out faster than we all thought. Everything was ahead of schedule.”
Chubb has put his recovery to good use and is looking forward to an exciting season with the Hawks.
“Our defense has a goal to help the team go 10-0 in the regular season,” Chubb said. “We’ve rallied around that. I worked hard to get back for my senior season and the doctor cleared me to work out after six and a half months.”
— By Carlton D. White
Game: Kennesaw Mountain (1-2, 0-1) at McEachern (4-0, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: McEachern 39, Kennesaw Mountain 7
All-time series: McEachern leads 9-2
Prediction: McEachern 28, Kennesaw Mountain 14
McEachern had a bit of a scare in last week’s 43-30 victory over Marietta when quarterback Ty Clemons left the game in the third quarter with a possible head injury.
But with Clemons cleared to play, the the second-ranked Indians are breathing a sigh of relief as they host Region 4AAAAAA foe Kennesaw Mountain.
Clemons was removed from the Marietta game after his helmet was dislodged during a play.
However, the senior quarterback was cleared after an examination on the sidelines found no head injury.
“Clemons was cleared (last) Friday night to go back in, but we just kept him out as a cautionary measure, so he’s fine” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said.
Backup quarterback Bailey Hockman, who has been recovering from a mild concussion, was expected to be cleared for the Kennesaw Mountain game.
The return of Clemons to the lineup is good news for a McEachern offense that has dominated opponents with an average of 42 points a game through its first four contests.
“I think, ultimately, when you watch McEachern, you’re just in awe of the really good players they have on both sides of the football,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Andy Scott said. “What they do offensively and defensively is not very complicated. They just execute well in their schemes, both their offense and their defense, and they are just so fast and athletic. So, obviously, they will, by far, be the most talented team that we’ve played this year, up to this point.”
— By Greg Oshust
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: Pebblebrook (2-2, 0-2) at Marietta (2-2, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Marietta 38, Pebblebrook 14
All-time series: Marietta leads 8-2
Prediction: Marietta 42, Pebblebrook 14
After starting the season 2-0, Marietta and Pebblebrook have dropped consecutive Region 4AAAAAA games and are staring up at McEachern, Harrison and South Cobb.
The puts the Blue Devils and the Falcons at the bottom with some work to do in order to get back in the hunt for a playoff spot.
While being 0-2 isn’t a death-knell, it does make tonight’s game that much more important.
“I think you need to have a sense of urgency each week,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “Certainly, when you’re 0-2 in the region, that sense of urgency is heightened even more. Obviously, we have great kids and they’re bright kids with some experience and they understand the ramifications of being 0-2. So, having to convince them to have a sense of urgency really should not be and hasn’t been a challenge.”
Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon has seen his offense score seven points against McEachern and nine last week against Harrison. While it’s important for the Falcons to get a win, they need to get the offense started first.
“We don’t have the advantage of making one game more important than any other,” Macon said. “Our sense of urgency is in the red zone. We have to score points a lot better than we have these past two games.
— By Carlton D. White