Game: Pebblebrook (5-0-1) at East Coweta (5-1) , 7:30 p.m.
Last year: East Coweta 39, Pebblebrook 14
All-time series: East Coweta leads 10-1
Prediction: Pebblebrook 30, East Coweta 28
Pebblebrook faces its biggest test of the season when it travels to East Coweta for the Region 2AAAAAAA opener.
The defending region champion Indians’ suffered their first loss of the season at Collins Hill two weeks ago. East Coweta had been playing well until then, scoring more than 24 points in a game four times while recording three shutouts and holding opponents to 13 or less on two occasions.
Pebblebrook coach Leroy Hood crafted a strong non-region schedule in preparation for games such as this, and a victory would help the Falcons in the long run should playoff berths and region seedings come into play.
“I think our non-region schedule prepared us pretty well,” Hood said. “North Atlanta, Riverdale, Miller Grove… a couple of those teams have winning records, so we’re playing competitive teams to get us ready for region. Now it’s here and the guys are excited.”
Pebblebrook’s excitement has been building all week. The Falcons have had time to think about the game due to last week’s bye, but more importantly, they’ve had time to heal and prepare for the Indians.
“The bye week came right on time,” Hood said. “It couldn’t have been at a better spot. We’re opening region play against a very good East Coweta team. The guys have been able to heal up and have had an extra week to prepare and watch film, so I expect them to be ready.”
Pebblebrook practiced in the morning during the bye week, allowing the players to have the afternoon off. There were a few days off from practice, too.
“We got some good reps in during the bye week,” Hood said. “We sharpened our fundamentals. We got some of our kids healed up.”
Daniel Shoch (66-for-106, 804 yds., 6 TDs) is the quarterback for the Indians, who have received standout contributions from receivers Amariyon Moss (23 rec., 197 yds., 2 TDs) and Brady Tillman (11 rec., 184 yds.) as well as running back Trey Bowles (60 car., 323 yds., 5 TDs).
Pebblebrook trailed by 10 going into the fourth quarter last year, however, the Indians managed to put more points on the board, limiting the Falcons’ opportunities.
Hood knows that the deeper the Falcons get into a hole the louder the Indians’ fans will get. But being on the road is something Pebblebrook players, including Qamar Grant (71-for-132, 1,180 yards, 15 TDs), Travone Finney (36 car. 189 yds., TD) and Craig Adams Jr. (25 rec. 465 yds. 7 TDs) enjoy dealing with.
“East Coweta fans fill the bleachers,” Hood said. “But, we prefer to go on the road and play. The kids love the challenge and the atmosphere of being on the road.”