Game: South Cobb at Creekside, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: First meeting
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: Creekside 42, South Cobb 14
South Cobb opening the season on the road against the defending Class AAAAA champions wasn’t in new coach Sherrod Rainge’s plans, but the schedule was in place before he got the job.
So tonight, the Eagles will visit Creekside at Arrowhead Stadium for their first meeting.
“The last coaching staff made the out of (non-region) schedule so it was out of our hands and laid in our laps,” Rainge said. “We had nothing to do with it but it is what it is. They’re on the schedule the next two years.”
Rainge is referring to former coach Michael Youngblood, whom he served under as offensive coordinator last season.
Would Rainge have scheduled this game for his head coaching debut?
“Probably not,” he said while grinning. “I want to keep my job for a little while but in order to measure where we are, we have to go against the best. I think that’s important. Win or lose, it will be a good measuring stick of where this season will go.
“If we win, we will obviously have a lot of confidence and know that we are better than what we may have thought we were. “If we lose, we might not be as bad as we thought we were.”
Defeating Creekside will be a huge task for South Cobb. The Seminoles are bringing back key players such as quarterback Felix Harper, wide receiver and Georgia commitment Jayson Stanley, running back Bricen Terry, offensive line-men Venzell Boulware and Marquel Harrell (Auburn), and safety Joshua Moon.
“We know especially on offense that they are an extremely talented team,” Rainge said. “They are loaded at every position. I don’t see a weakness on their offense. If there is a better offensive line out there, I would like to see it. They look amazing up front.”
Creekside has won 15 straight games.
“We can’t turn the ball over,” Rainge said. “We can’t give them extra chances on offense. We are going to really need some things to go our way in order for us to win this game.”
— By Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: South Atlanta at Campbell, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: First meeting
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: Campbell 31, South Atlanta 7
Campbell’s offseason went into hyper-drive once Ryan Brady became the head coach in mid-March.
Brady made good use of the little time he had to install his offensive and defensive packages during the spring and summer. However, much of the emphasis was put on conditioning and toughness. He expects the Spartans to come out and play a physical brand of football and be disciplined while doing it.
“Summer conditioning was excellent,” Brady said. “The numbers were great. Our strength coordinator whipped those guys in shape because we didn’t have much winter conditioning because of the staff change. We did a good job building these guys up and we’re working on our skill development.”
Campbell is a clear favorite at home to win its season opener. South Atlanta hasn’t had a winning season since 1995 and is currently riding a 17-game losing streak, but since Brady doesn’t have a lot of film on his opponent, he’s not taking it for granted. He said his Spartans expect to be tested.
With Campbell no longer having Michael Rogers to carry the ball — he accumulated 1,735 yards and 23 touchdowns last season — the Spartans are looking to spread the ball more and get more players involved.
“We don’t have that guy on offense this year,” Brady said, referring to Rogers. “We’re going to have to rely on a number of different guys on offense.”
Jawan Nobles has secured the job as starting quarterback and Chauncey Wara is also expecting to play a key role at the wide receiver spot for the Spartans. And Campbell’s offense will start with the offensive line, which has a mixture of youth and experience, led by senior Preston Fussell.
— By Adam Carrington