Last meeting: First meeting
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: South Cobb 30, Pope 24
South Cobb travels to Pope for a Week 2 matchup, with each team searching for its first win.
The visiting Eagles dropped their season opener last week to defending Class AAAAA champion Creekside, 55-41. Despite the loss, South Cobb comes into its contest against Pope confident it can compete with the top programs in Cobb County.
“Our guys played extremely hard against Creekside,” South Cobb coach Sherrod Rainge said. “The players have put in much more effort this week in preparation because we had a chance to beat a very good team.”
Last week was also Rainge’s head-coaching debut after serving as an assistant on the Eagles’ staff the previous few seasons.
“I had to rely on my assistant coaches quite a bit and be engaged during the entire game,” he said.
“It was surreal and the highlight was calling my first timeout as a head coach. It was a big deal for me.”
What may also be a big deal was the play of quarterback Kylil Carter. Carter ran for 252 yards and two touchdowns and added another 126 yards and two touchdowns passing.
Pope was defeated by Harrison, 40-21, last week and is ready to return back to the field after the disappointing loss.
“We got back to work Saturday morning,” Greyhounds coach Matt Kemper said. “Our kids have come in this week with a great attitude and worked hard in practice.”
Both squads are prepared to face a difficult opponent.
“Pope can cause some problems for us offensively with a really good quarterback and talented offensive line,” Rainge said. “We’ll have to run the ball and keep our defense off the field by controlling the clock and avoiding turnovers.”
The Eagles will also have to slow down running back Bryan Terry, who ran for 173 yards and accounted for all three Greyhounds touchdowns.
“South Cobb has unreal team speed, and we’ll have to adapt to that quickly,” Kemper said. “They have a good quarterback and guys on the perimeter. We’ll have to limit their big plays and possess the ball for long periods on offense.”
— By E. Marcel Pourtout
MDJ Sports Writer