Game: Walton (5-4, 3-1) at Marietta (2-7, 1-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Walton 40, Marietta 0 (Aug. 28, 2015)
All-time series: Walton leads 14-10
Prediction: Marietta 24, Walton 21
Even though Marietta was young this season, the Blue Devils expected more than two wins after coming off a state championship.
But that does not mean the season is dead for the Blue Devils.
A win against Walton at Northcutt Stadium on Friday and a Harrison victory over Hillgrove would give Marietta the No. 4 spot out of Region 3AAAAAAA.
“We know if we win, we have a shot at the playoffs,” Morgan said. “But if we make the playoffs, we start over at 0-0, but we still need help from Harrison. It’s not the season we wanted after a state championship. All we can do is focus on what we have to do.”
If Marietta gets in, Morgan usually has his Blue Devils playing their best football at the end of the year. That was the case last year, and in 2017 his team made the playoffs after finishing 2-3 in the region and then made a run to the state quarterfinals.
While the 2020 Marietta roster has been productive on offense, the defense has given up too many points. Last week was the first time they held a team to fewer than 30 points since Sept. 25 when they played Camden County.
Even though Marietta came up short against North Cobb last week, the Blue Devils showed signs of putting things together on both sides of the ball. It was arguably the most competitive the young Blue Devils have looked since beating North Paulding 42-37 to open region play.
Marietta has to limit mistakes such as throwing two first-half interceptions last week that led to North Cobb touchdowns.
The Blue Devils got off to a fast start and were on the verge of taking an early two-touchdown lead over the Warriors before the interceptions occurred.
The turnovers didn’t faze the Blue Devils. The two teams traded leads before North Cobb made a defensive stop late in the game and ran out the remainder of the clock.
“I think we played hard and played pretty well against North Cobb,” Morgan said. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to. We came a long way, but we still made two turnovers that turned into two touchdowns. I think we could have a chance this week if we played as hard as we did.”
With only three returning players on both sides of the ball, first-year starting quarterback Tyler Hughes had one of his better performances with 210 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns. While Daniel Martin continues to be a weapon at wide receiver, Camden Overton, Zuri Johnson and Christian Mathis are also stepping up.
Win or lose, Walton already locked up the No. 2 seed out of 3AAAAAAA with a 28-14 win over Harrison last week.