Game: Pebblebrook (6-3, 1-2) at McEachern (3-5, 1-1), 2 p.m. Saturday
Last year: McEachern 53, Pebblebrook 7 (September 13, 2013)
All-time series: McEachern leads 28-8
Prediction: McEachern 17, Pebblebrook 14
McEachern has a big game Saturday with its new region rival Pebblebrook — and it will have only one full practice to prepare for it.
A week ago, COVID-19 prevented the Indians from playing East Coweta, and they had to take a forfeit. A McEachern win would have put the Indians in position to seal the No. 2 seed out of Region 2AAAAAAA, but now they are hosting Pebblebrook for the No. 3 spot. The loser will be No. 4.
Since the Indians were not eligible to practice until Friday morning, the game against Pebblebrook at Walter Cantrell Stadium was moved to Saturday at 2 p.m.
While there had been Zoom meetings to discuss the game, they did not compare to what McEachern could get done on the field.
“It’s one of those things were we can only control the controlables,” McEachern coach Franklin Stephens said. “Right now, we can’t control a lot. We hope to get a moderate practice on Friday and play Saturday. We’re disappointed we couldn’t play for the No. 2 seed, but there is nothing we can do about it. Now we’re trying to obtain the No. 3 seed in an averse situation.”
The Indians were scheduled to practice Friday morning before school started and were to go through the same rituals, only they were trying to squeeze four days of preparation into one. With limited preparation, Stephens said McEachern said the team would rely on its prior knowledge and experience.
The Indians will be going up against a Pebblebrook team that has made strides since a year ago.
The Falcons are guaranteed a winning season at 6-3 and a playoff berth after winning just three games a year ago. Second-year coach Leroy Hood said they have made improvements in all three phases of the game as the season progressed. They have three touchdowns on kick returns, more takeaways on defense, less turnovers on offense, and they don’t fall behind the chains on first down as much.
Knowing McEachern’s current situation, the Falcons are not overlooking the Indians, despite having just three wins on the season.
“That record doesn’t mean anything in this region,” Hood said. “When you turn on the film, they still look like a top 10 team. McEachern is still McEachern. We know we have to play a mistake-free and perfect game to beat those guys Saturday.”