Homecoming is always a special week at any school, but the way to make it even more special is a win on Friday night.
Gordon Central will try to accomplish that this week as they welcome LaFayette to Ratner Stadium for a Homecoming matchup as the Warriors (0-2) look to get their first win this season, their first under new head coach Cory Nix and their first since September of 2015.
Nix said his team is looking forward to the week and the opportunity they have, but they will need to be focused through the different distractions that Homecoming can have for a football team.
“It’s Homecoming Week, and our players know they have a chance to do something good by getting a win on Friday if we take care of what we can, but at the same time, there are a lot of distractions. There are a lot of things going on during this week, and we’re going to let the kids partake in a lot of the festivities, but at the same time, they have to be focused on our task, which is doing what we need to do to get a win on Friday. I think they know this is an opportunity to improve and get better, and they sense that we’ve got a chance to put one in the win column if we take care of our business.”
The Warriors are coming off a bye week early in the season following losses to Murray County and Southeast Whitfield to open the season as they showed a different mentality and attitude even in de-feat. Nix said the week was good as far as getting some rest but also correcting mistakes from the first couple games and even getting a jump start on preparation for LaFayette.
“We gave them Monday and Friday off so they had some time to get away from football and enjoy being a regular kid for a change, whether that meant catching up on schoolwork or having some fun,” said Nix. “So they got a chance to mentally and physically rest a little. And it was good for the coaches as well because it is such a grind when the season comes. We were able to get a little rejuvenated al-so. But in our three days of practice we tried to correct the mistakes we’ve seen on the field in the first two games. Plus, we started preparing for LaFayette a little early, and it’s always good to get a chance to do that.”
The Ramblers (1-3) come into Friday’s contest struggling in their own right as they have lost two straight by 20-plush points following an opening-week win over Armuchee. Nix said he has been able to see LaFayette twice in person and get several looks at them on film as well.
“On the offensive side, they are a Wing-T team, and their biggest playmaker is No. 6, which they try to get a lot of touches,” said Nix. The do a good job with schemes and blocking, and their QB is the coach’s son so he is like a coach on the field. They use a lot of misdirection and try to confuse you on reads and control possession.
“Defensively, they are very multiple depending on who they play. They have a lot of different kids playing, and they fly around to the ball.”
LaFayette is coached by former Gordon Central head coach Chad Fisher.
The Ramblers trail the all-time series to Gordon Central with a 4-5 record, but they have won the last three, all coming in the last three years.
Nix said this is another game along in the process as far as the Warriors figuring out their personnel and rotations, and one of those things they have figured out is that Martavius Harris will be the quarter-back going forward after a solid performance against Southeast Whitfield.
He said there are several keys on Friday his team will make a priority in hopes of having success against LaFayette.
“Defensively, we’ve got to stop their run,” said Nix. “They are heavy run, so we need to put them in some passing situations, which they aren’t as comfortable in. It would be good to force some turno-vers as well. Offensively, we just have to continue to get better, execute and eliminate mistakes. We need to take care of the ball. And on special teams, we’ve got to take away mental mistakes.”