Game: McEachern (9-0, 4-0) at North Paulding (6-3, 1-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: McEachern 34, North Paulding 27
All-time series: McEachern leads 5-0
Prediction: McEachern 40, North Paulding 7
This year is the 10th anniversary of McEachern’s last undefeated regular season.
The Indians can wrap up another perfect regular season when they head to North Paulding tonight for the regular season finale.
The 2009 season did not end well for McEachern after winning its first 10 games. The Indians were upset by Brookwood in the first round of the state playoffs.
This year’s McEachern does not appear to be heading in that direction.
First-year coach Franklin Stephens has had his team prepared for every game so far, and right now, the Indians are only thinking about North Paulding.
“Right now, you can’t think about the playoffs,” Stephens said. “There’s still one more game we have to play. It’s a big game and is another opportunity to make ourselves better. We have an opportunity to go 10-0, and we haven’t done that in a while. You want to check that off your list.”
This week marks the last week that McEachern and other playoff teams can be mistake-prone and still prepare for a postseason game.
“Once you are in the playoffs, there are no gimmes,” Stephens said. “Anything can happen at any given time. That’s what makes the playoffs exciting. You either get it done or you go home.”
McEachern is not as perfect as its overall record claims it to be. Its big focus this week was penalties and finding ways to cut them down. The Indians are still getting called for illegal procedures and personal fouls that either stall or continue drives.
They also want to maximize drives offensively while playing aggressive and creating turnovers on the defensive side.
McEachern quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson is fourth in Cobb County with 1,462 passing yards and 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions. His top receivers Dacari Collins and Javon Baker have both been productive with 492 and 491 yards receiving, respectively, and have combined for 12 touchdowns.
Running back Jordon Simmons has 604 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Christian Mason has 452 yards on the ground with seven scores.
Defensively, the Indians continue to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Jamil Burroughs has 8.5 sacks, Mason Hall has eight, Ese Dubre six and Cameron Mitchell five.