Game: Sprayberry (2-2) at Allatoona (3-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last Year: Allatoona 29, Sprayberry 7
All-time series: Allatoona leads 3-0
Prediction: Allatoona 28, Sprayberry 14
When Allatoona and Sprayberry meet Friday for their Region 6AAAAAA clash, some of the best playmakers in the county will be on display.
For Sprayberry, offense starts and ends with Damarion Owens. The Yellow Jackets’ star tailback leads all of Cobb County in rushing with 642 yards through his first four games. He averages 7.6 yards per carry and has found the end zone five times.
“You need to try and stop him before he gets going,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “When he gets to the second level, people have a real hard time tackling him one-on-one in the secondary. If he gets started it’s a big problem.”
Josh Bush gives the Yellow Jackets another playmaker to pair with Owens. Playing outside at receiver and in the backfield, Bush has hauled in 15 catches for 251 yards and he’s rushed for 127 yards on 13 carries. Overall, he’s averaging over 13 yards per offensive touch.
“If we can be balanced and have a little success throwing the ball that may loosen up the box a little bit and allow us to have some creases in their front,” Sprayberry coach Brett Vavra said. “Bush has been a pretty intrical part of that (in past games).”
Vavra also mentioned Fatir Muhammad as a wide receiver that is growing more confident and could start making more and more plays alongside Bush in the receiving corps.
For Allatoona, it is Alex Wilson who carries the majority of the rushing load out of the backfield. He averages 6.4 yards per carry and has gained 257 yards on the ground despite having half as many carries as Owens.
Asante Das presents possibly the best big play threat in Cobb County. He is averaging 27.1 yards per reception for Allatoona and has 325 receiving yards on only 12 catches. He has the second fewest receptions for a player in the county top-10 in receiving yards.
“It’s been a really good start to the year for him and Dante (Marshall), our quarterback,” Varner said. “I think it’s a combination of explosiveness, but also his experience. He understands the game now, the game probably plays pretty slow for him in his mind, he knows what to do. He makes a lot of good decisions in his routes.”
All of these playmakers will face stiff tests against a pair of defenses that have put up solid numbers so far this season.
“Defensively (Allatoona) is an odd stack front,” Vavra said. “Their nose tackle is really good. Their linebackers are really physical and fast and aggressive, they’re very aggressive. That kind of presents some challenges for our offensive line. They’re just a really good football team, a good program and well-coached.”
For Varner and Allatoona, it’s the multiple looks the Sprayberry defense will throw at them that they’ve been focused on. The Yellow Jackets don’t lack anything athletically either.
“They’re big up front and they’ve got good speed in the secondary,” Varner said. “We’ll just try to execute our game plan. That’s going to be very difficult, they look really good on film.”