The Gordon Central High School football team will end its road show and non-region schedule Friday night when they play at Gordon Lee High School in Chickamauga.
It has been a tough first three games for the Warriors, but they are hoping to put the train on the track and start barreling forward this Friday night against the Trojans, who are 1-2 on the season.
“I know they have a very good team,” Warrior head coach T.J. Hamilton said. “They have a very good back and we’ve had some trouble stopping the running game and so it will be a real challenge for us, but I know we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
They are coming off their best showing of the season offensively, scoring four touchdowns and 28 points in a loss at Southeast Whitfield County nearly two weeks ago. They had scored just 23 points in their first two games combined before the offense came alive against the Raiders.
“The guys up front did a good job and our backs and our quarterback all ran hard and ran well,” Hamilton said. “We just need to work off of that and keep getting better. But we had some lanes to run through and our kids did a good job of seeing that and taking advantage of it. We just need to keep doing that and keep getting better at it.”
And they were good in the special teams department with solid punts, four extra-point points on four attempts, and three blocked extra points and a field goal.
“You always want to see your team make plays on special teams,” Hamilton said. “We’re getting better in that area and it’s another area that we’ve just got to keep working to improve on.”
But defensively is where he says they need to make the most improvement so the time off last week is one they used to work on their tackling. They can’t let guys get away once they have a hold on them, Hamilton said.
“We’ve got to get better at tackling,” he said. “We can’t have a guy bottled up and then let him get away. We can’t have busted tackles. That’s something we’re going to be spending a lot of time on going forward because it’s something we’ve got to do a better job at. But right now, we are missing too many tackles and that’s something we’ve got to get corrected.”
Lee, which is a member of Class A Public Region has played a trio of bigger-than-them public schools with mixed results. They began the year with a 21-12 loss to Dade County, but then bounced back to beat Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 21-0, before losing Thursday, Sept. 7 to LaFayette, 35-17 in the last game they played.
The Trojans are primarily a running team as they have more yards on the ground than in the air to this point in the season. They are led by junior quarterback Cade Kowan.
On defense, they run a 4-4 putting eight or nine people in the box and there’s no doubt they will load it up Friday night to try and stifle the Warriors’ Wing-T offense.
As for the Region they compete in, Dade County and Fannin County are the only teams presently holding winning records. Model also has a win but after that, Gordon Central, Chattooga, Pepperell, and Coosa are still
Dade County is still 2-0 and will be back on the field Friday night when they play at Mt. Zion.
Fannin County is 2-1 on the year after they knocked off Southeast High School 35-6 last Friday night. In two of their three games, the Rebels have scored over 30 points but in their lone loss, they were shutout by Sonoraville. They will play their final non-Region contest Friday night when they play at Banks County.
Model is off this week and 1-3 on the year to start their Region 7 schedule next Friday night at Chatooga. They lost to Haralson County, 43-0, last Friday and have now been shutout twice in their games. They have also scored just two touchdowns in that time and have been outscored 98-17 to this point.
Chattooga is 0-2 on the year after ending a three-week layoff last Friday with a 28-7 setback to Northwest Whitfield County.
Pepperell and Coosa, like Gordon Central, are each 0-3 overall.
Pepperell has been able to score some points with an outstanding running attack, but they have had trouble stopping people, having allowed 109 points in losses to Haralson County, Heard County and Brenam. However, they did rush for 323 yards against Brenam in a wild 40-35 shootout setback.
The Dragons are home to take on Temple this Friday in their last non-region counter.
Coosa, which is off this weekend, before going to Alabama next Friday to face Cherokee County is winless and has been outscored 103-30. They fell to Pickens, 34-10 Friday night.
So with the start of AA league play just over a week away, this thing looks wide open and it seems Gordon Central has as good a chance as anybody to be one of the four teams that get to play an 11th week.