The Gordon Central Warriors have dealt with adversity a lot over the past several years, and that’s what they face again after a discouraging 35-7 loss to Haralson County last Friday in their season opener. But what will show how far they have come under second-year head coach Cory Nix is how they bounce back from that adversity.
The Warriors will aim to get back on track this week when they host Christian Heritage at Ratner Stadium on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Gordon Central (0-1) had a tough time getting any consistent momentum going on Friday at Haralson County as they fell behind early and could never recover. They allowed 337 rushing yards with 279 of those coming to Rebels’ running back Treylon Sheppard.
The Warriors did show some positives in the second half, forcing three turnovers to give them four total on the night and got on the scoreboard late in the game on an 11-yard touchdown run by Cam Pierce, who led the team in rushing with 39 yards on nine carries.
Quarterback Brady Lackey threw for 93 yards, including 48 of those going to Dawson Lackey on five catches, and Pierce accounting for 38 yards on three catches.
The Warriors should also get back several players that didn’t play last Friday, including Nelson Gravitt, who started at quarterback for them in their preseason scrimmage against Sonoraville and also played a lot on defense in the scrimmage.
Friday’s game will be the season opener for Christian Heritage as they head into their third season under head coach Jay Poag. They are in a similar spot as Gordon Central as they will be looking to turn things around following a 2-8 campaign in 2017 and a 1-9 season in 2016.
The Lions will likely feature a strong passing attack that includes senior starting quarterback Matthew Neff, who returns after throwing for 1,654 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
Gordon Central is searching for their first non-region win since defeating Murray County in September of 2012.
They will need to be more consistent offensively than last Friday as they put together some solid drives, but each time they threatened to get points, the march ended on a turnover or penalties that set them back into fourth-and-longs.
The Warriors will also be looking for energy from their home crowd at Ratner Stadium similar to what they received two weeks ago in their preseason scrimmage against Sonoraville.
Gordon Central won that scrimmage 28-7 and entered the regular-season opener against Haralson County with tons of confidence that just didn’t materialize into success on the field. But Nix and his team know that it is a long season and there will be ups and downs. It’s about how you respond and bounce back from losses like that which will determine if they have truly made the culture change that has been talked about since the beginning of last season.