Game: McEachern (3-0) at Collins Hill (2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: McEachern 35, Collins Hill 13
All-time series: McEachern leads 2-0
Prediction: McEachern 33, Collins Hill 14
McEachern takes aim at maintaining its unblemished record to start the season when it travels to face Collins Hill in non-region action tonight at Fahring Field.
A victory would mark a big accomplishment for the Indians, who, despite their significant level of success this decade, could improve to 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2013 and only the third time since 2010.
McEachern continued its hot start to the season with a 29-7 victory over Cedar Grove last week. It was a significant win for first-year coach Franklin Stephens, who got to see for the first time how his players would react and respond in a game following a bye week.
“I’ve been through bye weeks before, but not with this group, and I thought the guys did a good job focusing on what matters just for that week,” he said. “We did have some issues like a lack of execution at times and we had some penalties, but overall I thought we looked good.
“We had some trouble moving the ball downfield at times, and got caught getting behind because of penalties, but we were able to get things going and play our style of football.”
McEachern’s style of football will be needed versus a Collins Hill team that has held its own against some formidable competition in Walton, Marietta and Brookwood. The Eagles are 2-1 in consecutive years to start the season.
“The thing that really jumps out at me about Collins Hill is their line of scrimmage guys,” Stephens said. “Both on offense and defense…those guys are pretty good. They’re technically sound, they play hard and (the Eagles) have enough skill guys that if you give them room, they can fly.
“So, we’re going to have to tackle well and execute in all phases of the game.”
Collins Hill’s defense has proven to be just as strong with the Eagles’ limiting opponents to 16.7 points per game.
“It’s important that we use the entire field against them and do what we do,” Stephens said. “Whether it’s a pass or run play, we have to avoid having emotional let downs and limit our penalties and turnovers.”
Tonight’s matchup marks McEachern’s second straight playoff opponent from last season and its third in four games.
“Each test prepares you for the next test,” Stephens said. “You have to respect each opponent and know that that we have to match up with them on both sides of the ball.”