Marietta is suddenly looking for a football game this fall.
The Blue Devils’ home game against Armwood High School, from the Tampa suburb of Seffner, Florida, was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Marietta with an open date of Aug. 28, the second week of the season.
Marietta coach Richard Morgan said Hillsborough County Public Schools eliminated any out-of-state travel for sports teams this fall.
The decision has left Morgan scrambling to find a replacement game.
“I’m scouring the state to find an opponent,” he said.
Morgan said one possibility in his search could be other south Georgia teams which may have had their own games against Florida schools canceled.
Armwood was the state runner-up in Florida’s highest classification last fall, and it was the second high-profile game lost for a Cobb County team.
McEachern had its game against St. Thomas Aquinas, another Florida school, canceled last month. The Indians were able to fill the vacancy with a game at 2018 Class AAAAAAA state champion Milton, which lost two scheduled out-of-state games from its schedule.
With the loss of the Armwood game, Marietta’s current non-region schedule includes only one home game, the season opener against Colquitt County. The other non-region games are at McEachern, Camden County and Parkview.
If Marietta cannot find a replacement game, there would be no penalty. It can play a nine-game schedule, but Morgan said he would do everything he can to avoid losing the valuable experience his young squad could get from playing a challenging non-region slate.