Game: East Coweta (0-3) at North Cobb (3-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last Year: North Cobb 30, East Coweta 24

All-time series: North Cobb leads 2-1

Prediction: North Cobb 27, East Coweta 14

North Cobb has been nothing short of dominant in the three non-region games it has played to start its 2019 season.

The Warriors have scored at least 30 points in each game and allowed double digits only once, when they gave up 10 to Etowah in a game they won by 32. There is, however, a caveat.

North Cobb’s schedule so far hasn’t been incredibly strong. The Warriors have played three opponents that have combined to go 2-8 to start the season. That’s something that cannot be said about their next opponents.

East Coweta has struggled, but the teams it has lost to so far this year are a combined 9-1 to start the season. East Coweta hasn’t scored more than six points in any of its first three games. Its season-high came against Mill Creek in a 38-6 loss.

North Cobb is ignoring the 0-3 next to the Indians’ name, instead thinking of the talented team that beat Marietta in the state playoffs last year, a team the Warriors were able to beat in overtime.

“This is going to be the best football team we’ve played so far,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “This is going to be our toughest challenge so far so I’m excited to see our kids respond to that.”

North Cobb has an extra week off, having last played on Sept. 6. Not only does that give the Warriors more time to prepare for a first big-time challenge, but also a chance to get healthy ahead of East Coweta coming to town.

“We’ve been beat up,” Queen said. “We were able to get a few players back. We’ve still got a couple missing but we at least cut it in half. Our last three games we were missing up to six defensive starters and we’ve cut that down to three. We’ve got some guys healthy the last two weeks and that was huge.”

The matchups have been close each time these two teams have met.

Last year, it was a couple of East Coweta turnovers in their own territory that allowed North Cobb to take the win. The year before that, it was a pair of kickoffs returned for touchdowns that Queen and North Cobb felt gave the game to the Indians.

Queen is expecting another close battle, with the victor being the team that can play the cleanest football. No matter which team that ends up being, he knows ahead of time that when East Coweta visits Friday, his team isn’t going to be lining up against your typical 0-3 team.

“They’re a well-coached team,” Queen said. “He’s put a tough schedule together and his players, they’re a very solid football team. They play hard, they’re physical, and they’re well-coached. It will be our toughest challenge to date.”

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