Game: No. 6 Bowdon (6-1, 3-1) at No. 4 Darlington (7-0, 4-0)
Last meeting: Darlington 17, Bowdon 7 (Oct. 19, 2018)
All-time series: Darlington leads 14-7
On the air: WLAQ-AM 1410, FM 96.9
After seven straight wins, the Darlington Tigers face the most recent in a line of tough opponents at home Friday as they welcome Bowdon to Chris Hunter Stadium.
Darlington head coach Tommy Atha realizes this game is an opportunity to really benefit the team as the season begins to wind down. As of Wednesday, the Tigers sit at No. 3 in the Class A Private Power Ratings, while Bowdon is at No. 4 in the Public ratings.
“They get bigger and bigger,” Atha said of each week’s contests. “Every game has playoff ramifications from the start of the season. We’ve got an opportunity to help ourselves by winning the game, but at the same time, there’s a lot more to be played after that.”
Darlington has outscored its last four opponents 162-34 with its offense putting up 42.3 points per game and its defense holding opponents to 9.9 points per game.
Most recently the Tigers rolled to a 38-6 win against region foe Trion. Darlington quarterback Griffin Brewster led the Tigers in the win throwing for 225 yards and tossing three touchdown passes — two to Trystin Wright and one to Gill Mauer.
Bowdon is coming off its first loss of the season — a 28-14 contest against Christian Heritage. Darlington defeated Christian Heritage 29-22 three weeks ago in a nail-biter.
Bowdon running back Gage Stephens is just one of the offensive weapons that will be thrown at Darlington. The sophomore had nearly 1,000 rushing yards heading into last week’s loss to Christian Heritage.
“They look big, fast and physical,” Atha said. “They’re a very dangerous football team. We’ve got to do a great job of running to the football and tackling. They’re probably the biggest front on both sides that we’ve seen all year. We’ve got a tremendous challenge on Friday night.”
The Tigers have several weapons of their own, including a running back that has more than 900 yards on the season. Kolin Rogers will help lead the Tigers as they seek their ninth straight win against the Red Devils. Rogers has helped the Tigers rack up big points against their opponents with his 17 touchdowns.
— Jonathan Blaylock