Game: Mount Vernon Presbyterian (6-4) at Mount Paran Christian (6-4), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Last meeting: Mount Vernon 35, Mount Paran 14
All-time series: Mount Vernon leads 2-1
Prediction: Mount Vernon 27, Mount Paran 17
Mount Paran Christian aims to continue its regular season momentum when it faces Mount Vernon Presbyterian in the first round of Class A Private playoffs Saturday at the Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium.
The Eagles finished off it’s regular season with a three-game winning streak and Coach Mitch Jordan said his team hopes to keep it going by watching film to fix critical mistakes they made throughout the season while working on the fundamentals.
“We are excited about being in the postseason,” Jordan said. “A lot of the kids have experience in the playoffs and for some of the kids and coaches this is all new to them. It is always an exciting time to have playoff football here in Georgia, but we are not going to let that deter our mindset.”
For Mount Paran this is also a chance for redemption after a Week 3 35-14 blowout loss to the Mustangs.
“They are a good team and they are well coached, so it is going to be a competitive matchup,” Jordan said. “It was a tough loss for us earlier this season. We just need to minimize giving up a lot of big plays and turning the football over. All the things that will get you beat if you play a good football team like them.”
The Eagles will need to play to strengths and utilize Cobb County’s second leading rusher Sam Griffith-Tesch who has 175 carries for 1,104 yards with 10 touchdowns.
Two other running backs they can go to are Nick Germain who has 45 carries with 529 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Along with Jylan Thomas who has 60 carries with 408 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Jordan said he realizes that his offense is very run dependent but said they will need to continue its dynamic play making ability of running and passing the ball in order to go far in the playoffs.
“I have been blessed to be with this program for a very long time,” Jordan said. “I’ve got a lot of coaches who have been with me all these years and seniors who are experienced and have been through those highs and lows throughout the seasons. Going into this postseason we as a team in order to be successful we need to have a mature outlook. We can’t hit the panic button when things go wrong. We just have to maintain focus and continue to believe in our motto — to play our best football that is ahead of us.”
By Salinah On Yeugo
MDJ Sports Writer
Game: Brookstone (6-3) at Whitefield Academy (6-4), 6 p.m. Saturday
Last meeting: Brookstone 29, Whitefield 28
All-time series: Brookstone leads 4-1
Prediction: Whitefield 35, Brookstone 28
Whitefield Academy will try to advance in the postseason, as well as gain a measure of revenge, when it hosts Brookstone in the first round of the Class A Private state playoffs on Saturday.
The Wolfpack are trying to even the score with Brookstone after losing to the Cougars 29-28 on Sept. 24.
For Whitefield coach Coleman Joiner just winning the game and advancing to the second round is the primary focus.
“When you’re dealing with teenagers, there is definitely a little bit of (a desire for revenge),” Joiner said. “They would like to beat those guys this week, because they beat us at home. It was a great game, a close game that our guys would definitely like to be on the other side of this go around. But, we know that Brookstone is definitely well coached – coach (Blair) Harrison, I have a ton of respect for him as a football coach, so we’re not trying to look at the game that way as much we’re getting ready to play a really good team and make sure that we do the things and know the things that we’re supposed to to be successful on Saturday.”
Whitefield is looking to regain some momentum as it has lost four of its last six games — including a 33-7 defeat at the hands of Fellowship Christian last week— after a 4-0 start.
The teams the Wolfpack have lost to include top-ranked Trinity Christian and fifth-ranked ELCA as well as Brookstone and fourth-ranked Fellowship.
“I still believe we’re a really good football team,” Joiner said. “We did start really strong. We went into a bye week after that and kind of lost a little bit of momentum because of that. But the four games we lost were to four really good teams. (ELCA), Fellowship and Trinity are three of the top five teams in the state and we feel like those didn’t really knock us down a ton when it came to our confidence. The energy is still good and we still have a chance of being a good team.”
By Greg Oshust
MDJ Sports Correspondent
Game: North Cobb Christian (3-7) at Holy Innocents’ (9-1), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Last meeting: First meeting
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: Holy Innocents’ 35, North Cobb Christian 14
North Cobb Christian will travel to Riverwood High School on Saturday to take on Holy Innocents’ in the first round of Class A Private state playoffs.
It will be the Eagles first playoff appearance under first-year head coach Matt Jones, and it will be Jones’ first playoff appearance of his head coaching career.
“The boys are excited and enthusiastic,” Jones said. “We are a four seed playing a one seed, but they are really excited just to be playing another game of football.”
North Cobb Christian (3-7) faces a Golden Bears team on a seven-game win streak.
The Eagles defense, led by Jacob Cruz with 108 tackles and three sacks, will have to contain a Holy Innocents’ offense that averages 38.5 points a game. In its last seven games, it has won by 21 points or more, and it outscored its region opponents 150-21.
Offense will be important for North Cobb Christian’s as it goes up against a strong Golden Bears defense which has given up only 115 points this season. The most points they gave up came from their only loss, a 49-0 shutout against Prince Avenue Christian.
Quarterback Luke Brock has thrown for 631 yards passing and four touchdowns, while Jadin Coates leads the team in rushing with 794 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Trey Priester is not far behind Coates, with 604 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
“(Holy Innocents’) is really big, physical and tough,” Jones said. “They run the triple option, and run it very well. They are very good on defense. They have a lot of players, they have a very deep team where kids rotate in and out, and that allows them to keep everybody fresh. They are also very well coached. You can see why they are the No. 1 seed and 9-1.”
Jones said he is telling his team the same thing he has all year for them to be successful this week.
“We want to win first and second down,” he said. “We want to tackle well and we want to know our assignments and know responsibility and discipline. Defensively, (we need to) make sure that we got everything covered.”
By Anna Snyder
MDJ Sports Writer