Game: Coosa (0-0) at Trion (0-0)
Last meeting: Trion 18, Coosa 15 (Aug. 17, 2018)
All-time series: Trion leads 8-7-1
The Coosa Eagles are looking hard to find some traction to take into the 2019 season and they will be on guard to find it when they face Trion on the road Friday.
With a team lacking a strong returning core of skill players from last year’s squad, head coach Todd Wheeler knows that every week has to be a step up in the team’s maturity.
“This season is really more about us,” he said. “That’s the way we’re looking at it.”
After battling Bowdon in their preseason scrimmage last week, the Eagles have shown Wheeler some good things heading into their contest at Sam R. McCain Stadium.
“I think our kids are coming around and last week … the take away was that we played with excitement and took it one play at a time,” Wheeler said. “Being a young team, you like to see that. They are a fun bunch to be around and a fun bunch to coach.”
Junior receiver Terry Curry was a highlight for Coosa last week. He’ll be challenged with Trion’s preseason All-State linebacker Will Wyatt lurking on the Bulldogs’ defense.
Wheeler said they’ve reviewed what they did wrong against Bowdon and worked on them in practice this week.
“That’s one of the biggest hurdles you try to overcome with a young team,” Wheeler said. “It all depends on how fast they mature, but you want to see them make strides. And sometimes those strides are small strides and sometimes they are big strides. But it’s all part of growing pains.”
— Jeremy Stewart
Game: Peachtree Academy (0-0) at Unity Christian (1-0)
Last meeting: Peachtree Academy 44, Unity Christian 6 (Nov. 2, 2018)
All-time series: Peachtree Academy leads 3-1
Just two weeks into the season, and the Unity Christian football team has a big challenge ahead of them.
Friday the Lions welcome Peachtree Academy to Shorter’s Ben Brady Field for a rematch of last year’s opening-round state playoff matchup. The Lions lost to the Panthers twice last season, and Unity head coach Mark Ackerman is aware of what they bring to the table.
“They’re a very tough opponent,” Ackerman said. “They’re big and full of seniors, but they lost a handful of really good players. Watching them on film, they’re really big and we’re not, but we’ve got some really good athletes.”
An advantage for Unity will be having John Nance and Drew King on its side. Nance took over quarterback duties last year while King was out with a torn labrum. Both saw action behind center last week in the Lions’ 52-0 win The Oaks School to open the season.
King was 8-of-9 for 118 yards and three touchdowns and a two-point conversion and rushed 38 yards and a touchdown. Nance tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass and scored on two two-point conversions.
“We’re going to have to be very accurate with the football — no missed assignments — if we’re going to be in this ballgame,” Ackerman said. “Our goal is honestly to just close the gap. We want to be in better shape than them and run more plays than them. We’ve been running extra hard for this game. It’s hard to be in midseason shape by Game 2, but we’re hoping that it will pay off.”
— Jonathan Blaylock