Game: East Coweta (7-1, 2-0) at McEachern (3-5, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last year: McEachern 53, East Coweta 15
All-time series: McEachern leads 4-0
Prediction: McEachern 28, East Coweta 26
After five weeks away from home that included three road games and two bye weeks, McEachern returns to the friendly confines of Cantrell Stadium where the Indians will host Region 2AAAAAAA co-leader East Coweta on Friday.
In the penultimate game to its regular season, McEachern still has a chance at finishing among the top two teams in the region and hosting a first-round playoff game, but it will have to beat East Coweta in order to ensure itself of that future opportunity.
“The only thing we’re worried about is this week,” McEachern coach Franklin Stephens said about his team’s potential playoff future. “We’re not looking at any scenarios or what might happen if this or that happens. We can only control this week and how we perform in practice and (tonight).”
McEachern had a bye last week, giving it an extra week to prepare for East Coweta.
“The last couple of days we’ve been working on getting better,” Stephens said. “We’ve been in the weight room trying to get stronger and we’ve been working on our flexibility. We focused on our base plan and fundamentals with running, blocking and tackling.
“We’re just trying to become a better football team, both mentally and physically football-wise. Are we where we need to be is our approach and our focus.”
East Coweta has won five straight and is averaging 34.5 points per game while holding opponents to 14.9. It also has high stakes involved in tonight’s matchup because a victory will likely set up a regular-season finale clash next week for the region championship.
McEachern would like to put a dent in East Coweta’s plans and set itself up for some season-ending drama of its own with a win.
“East Coweta is a very well-coached team,” Stephens said. “They’re locked in all three phases of the game in offense, defense and special teams. They have solid players who are dynamic on offense, and their defense has a bunch of guys that tackle well and get people to the ground. Their return guys are also athletic. So, this will be a good challenge for us.”
Stephens is grateful to have his team’s next challenge take place at home.
“That was a long time to be on the road,” he said. “Three road games and two open weeks, so it’s been a while since we’ve been at home. I don’t know if we’ll have an advantage with crowd size given Covid-19, but being at home has to matter for something.”