Gordon Central's Dawson Lackey

Gordon Central’s Dawson Lackey (14) fights for yardage during last week’s game vs. Chattooga. (Frank Crowe, For the Calhoun Times)

FRANK CROWE

There is no question that the Gordon Central Warriors football program is trending up under the guidance of its new coaching regime, but that upward trajectory has still yet to show itself on the scoreboard or stat sheet for the majority of this season.

Despite a valiant overall team effort last Friday, the Warriors fell 40-0 to region 7-AA opponent Chattooga under the lights at Ratner Stadium. The game was largely defined by the success of Chattooga’s ground game, which was composed of E.J. Lackey, who rushed for 96 yards on 17 carries, and T.J. Adams, who punched in two rushing scores. The Indians were also backed by quarterback C.J. Martin’s 72 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Martavius Harris once again shouldered most of the offensive load for the Warriors against Chattooga, rushing for 31 yards on 10 carries. However, the Warriors struggled to move the chains and cross the goal line due to the lack of an aerial, downfield threat. Gordon Central also had trouble establishing a running game through anyone besides Harris.

Even though the team missed another chance to get in the win column against the Indians, one of the greatest aspects of football season is that each new contest features a clean slate, and each week provides an opportunity to show improvement.

That opportunity will come in the form of a region road showdown against the Dade County Wolverines on Friday.

Historically, the all-time series between Gordon Central and Dade has been a tight one, and is currently sitting at 4-5 in favor of the Wolverines.

The Wolverines have been no stranger to the end zone this season, averaging 18 points per game. The team has experienced its ups and downs so far when it comes to results, defeating Model 28-21 in a tight overtime game, but losing in lopsided fashion against region frontrunner Rockmart 32-0 last week.

To keep the game competitive, Gordon Central will have to shore up its run defense to try and slow down running backs Maliki Webb and Lee Spencer. Webb has logged 483 rushing yards on the season, coupled with eight rushing scores. Spencer has posted 373 yards on the ground and three touchdowns of his own.

The Warriors will also have to limit big plays from quarterback Gregory Templeton, who has tossed two touchdowns and compiled 330 passing yards to this point in the season. If Gordon Central is able to apply pressure on Templeton, he has shown the propensity to turn the ball over by throwing five interceptions on the year.

Although they have scored in bunches on occasion, the Wolverine defense has allowed other teams to light up the scoreboard as well. Dade has surrendered an average of 27 points per game to opposing teams, so if the Warrior offense is able to string together a few impactful runs and complete some high-percentage passes, the unit should be able to put some points on the board.