Game: Dalton (6-3, 4-3) at Osborne (0-9, 0-7)
Last year: Dalton 62, Osborne 0
All-time series: Dalton leads 7-0
Prediction: Dalton 42, Osborne 17
Osborne will have its final chance to pick up a win this season on Friday when it plays region opponent Dalton at home.
While Osborne hasn’t won a game since 2016, second year coach Russ Isham feels like in his first two years at the helm, the program has made strides towards being competitive in the future.
“I think overall as a program, we’re getting the foundation built,” Isham said. “We’re starting to grow, we’re starting to get investment in the program. We may not be quite as talented as some of the teams that we’re playing, but from a physical standpoint, we aren’t physically outmatched.”
That growth will be tested for the final time this year when they take the field on Friday against Dalton. The Catamounts will come in needing a win to stay alive in the crowded Region 6AAAAAA playoff picture. Four teams, including Dalton, enter Friday with 4-3 region records. Harrison and Allatoona have already clinched playoff spots, leaving those four teams to compete for the final two on the last day of the season.
“They’ve got to win the game to get into the playoffs,” Isham said. “To be honest with you, it scares me a little bit. I think they’re going to come out and just be sound in what they do.”
What Dalton does is run the football, most often with Georgia Tech commit Jahmyr Gibbs. The four-star senior has amassed 2,144 yards and 34 touchdowns on 195 carries through nine games, good for an average of 11 yards a touch and more than 238 yards and four touchdowns per game.
“That running back, he’s awesome man,” Isham said. “He’s unbelievable. And it’s not just the running back, they’ve got a really good football team. They’re well coached, we’ve definitely got our hands full.”
Dalton runs Gibbs frequently on sweeps, which allows his talent and playmaking ability to be on full display.
“The guy is just a great back at being able to pick and choose, accelerate and decelerate, and finding that seam,” Isham said. “He can reverse field, he can do it all.”
Osborne has no such playoff hopes, but Isham is still pleased with the progress the program has made this season. His team also views this as an opportunity to have a good showing against a good team before turning to the offseason.
“They’re coming down here to win the football game,” Isham said. “Are we going to step up to the challenge and compete? I’m hoping that our kids will meet that challenge and see if we cant put a little headwind in their way and be competitive.”