Eagles, Spartans continue to make positive progress
by Greg Oshust
MDJ Sports Writer
September 21, 2012 11:43 AM | 1902 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Cobb and Campbell will try to continue their best starts in years as the two county rivals face each other in a Region 4AAAAAA contest tonight at Clay Stadium.

South Cobb is off to a 3-0 start for the second year in a row after its 28-26 victory over Kennesaw Mountain last week, and the Eagles will try to stretch their record to 4-0 for the first time since 2006.

“We’re happy to be 3-0,” South Cobb coach Ed Koester said. “You can’t be 4-0 unless you’re 3-0. The kids have worked hard and we’re happy to be where we are at.”

Campbell (2-1) dropped out of the undefeated ranks with a 21-14 loss to Harrison last Friday, but the Spartans can still improve to 3-1 for the first time since ’07 with a win tonight.

“Last year, we didn’t win a lot of football games, but we’re making progress this year,” Campbell coach Harris Rainbow said. “Last year, we were getting beat by 30-40 points, but we’re a lot more competitive, and even with Harrison, we lost 21-14. The kids are working hard to do the little things better.”

Getting to 3-0 certainly hasn’t come easy for South Cobb, with two of its wins coming in the final minute.

The Eagles had to erase a 26-14 deficit to beat Kennesaw Mountain as quarterback Stephon Masha’s 1-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left capped off a 95-yard drive to win the game.

Masha also provided the winning score in South Cobb’s season-opening win over Westlake with an 11-yard touchdown run by with 48 seconds left in the game.

“Our kids work hard and they give everything they’ve got,” Koester said. “The kids have high aspirations and that allows them to do things to help them pull through the way they have, and I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Koester takes pride in the perseverance that his Eagles have shown so far.

“We’re extremely pround of the kids for hanging in there and to keep on fighting,” He said. “The kids have done a good job of handling adversity and when you work hard, good things happen.”

Meanwhile, Campbell will try to get back on track after its loss to Harrison.

“Our kids are resilient,” Rainbow said. “They came in Monday and they were looking for the game plan for South Cobb. We’re not doing anything different that what we usually do, we’re just working on what we’ve been working on.”

The primary focus for Campbell as it tries to bounce back this week is to contain Masha, who ranks among the leaders in the county in rushing as well as passing.

“That kid is special,” Rainbow said. “He’s a special football player. You don’t really stop him. He’s going to make plays no matter what. I know we have a new quarterback from Marietta (Anthony Jennings) coming into the region, but (Masha) is amazing. There are a lot of really good quarterbacks in this region, so we really have our work cut out for us.”

Masha is among the fast and athletic playmakers on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball that Rainbow will have to deal with.

“South Cobb is fast and physical,” Rainbow said. “They have speed at every position — everyone. They are the fastest football team that we’ve played all year. Every position, their kids have speed.”

Koester acknowledges the challenges that South Cobb faces against a Campbell team that is stronger than it has been in the last few years.

“Coach Rainbow has done a fantastic job,” Koester said. “His kids are buying into what he is doing. They’re a good team with a good run offense and there’s a lot of different reasons why they have been more successful, but they’ve done a good job.”
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