After spending the first two weeks of the new season on the road, the Redskins will finally get to play at home this week. They bounced back nicely from a disappointing season-opening loss to George Walton with a win last-minute win over Providence Christian last Friday.
But after playing a couple of schools their own size, the Redskins will face a program four classifications higher in cross-county foe Walnut Grove. It’s the first meeting between the two local programs.
Both are trying to get their programs moving in the right direction.
Under new head coach Rob Patton, the Redskins are hoping for a breakthrough season after returning several key players and dropping down in classification from Class AA to A. However, after suffering a lopsided loss to GWA and needing a late comeback to beat the struggling Storm last week, Social Circle appears to still be a work in progress.
Meanwhile, the Warriors lost their 15th straight game last week. They were trounced in their season opener and fell behind by three touchdowns at halftime last week to rival Monroe Area.
But they showed some resilience in the second half, holding the Hurricanes to no points and just 53 yards in the second half.
Check out the rest of this week’s high school football action.
Loganville Christian (1-0 overall) at Strong Rock Christian (2-0 overall)
Among the most surprising outcomes of the opening week of the season was the Loganville Christian Academy’s victory over Providence Christian.
The Lions, entering their inaugural season as a member of the Georgia High School Association with a new head coach and limited numbers of players, seemed to be in for a long, potentially winless, season.
But winning has a way of revising expectations. Suddenly the road ahead doesn’t look so gloomy.
On Friday they’ll have a chance to make it two straight as they go on the road for the first time to face Strong Rock Christian (2-0).
“Going in, I knew exactly what we had,” Lions head coach Tim Wellmaker said. “We had 14 to 16 players who would be carrying most of the load.”
Among those was a trio of transfers from bigger schools who would bring with them not only an infusion of talent but an understanding of what it takes to win on a bigger stage.
Foremost among them is running back Valentina Foma, who arrived from Grayson and led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 87 yards.
“He an exceptional athlete who we can put anywhere on the field,” Wellmaker said.
Meanwhile, longtime Lions Brent Taylor and Cam Lifsey have raised their game to a new level.
Taylor, used mostly at linebacker the past three years, has added starting quarterback to his duties. In the opener, he passed and ran for a touchdown on offense and returned an interception for a score on defense.
The Lions will face a tougher challenge against Strong Rock, which has won its first two games by a combined score of 84-6 and is 2-0 for the first time in four years.
Forsyth Central (0-0 overall) at Loganville (1-0 overall)
Brad Smith began his high school head coaching career with a bang by leading the Red Devils to a scintillating 21-20 overtime win over cross-county rival Monroe Area at the Purple Pit two weeks ago.
On Friday, the Loganville alum (Class of 2004) will coach his first game at home. A victory would give the Red Devils their first 2-0 start since 2015 and snap a three-game losing skid to Forsyth Central.
More importantly, a win would help the Red Devils build momentum and confidence as they prepare for a grueling seven-game Region 8-AAAAA schedule.
A quartet of familiar faces played key roles in Loganville’s win over Monroe Area. On offense, four-year starter Tanner Greene tossed three touchdown passes. Senior Austin May caught two and Jackson Daniel one, which turned out to be the winning score in overtime.
Preseason All-State defender Neto Okpala, who committed to Boston College, blocked a punt and recovered a fumble.
Forsyth will be playing its first game of the year after its first two regularly scheduled games were canceled due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs are hoping to rebound after going 4-5 last fall.
Morgan County (0-1 overall) at Monroe Area (1-1 overall)
For the past three years, this game has been key in determining the Region 8-AAA champion. However, this time it’ll be for pride and preparation.
Morgan County was moved to 4-AAA during the GHSA’s reclassification while the Hurricanes remained in 8-AAA.
Friday’s showdown will be the 51st meeting between the longtime rivals. Morgan leads the series 30-20 and has won five of the past six meetings.
Although both teams are young this year, the Hurricanes have the edge at the skill positions, where they feature several big play threats. In two games, quarterback Selatian Straughter has run for three touchdowns and passed for four.
His favorite target has been receiver Bryant Olson, who has three touchdown receptions so far, including two in last week’s win over Walnut Grove.
The Bulldogs lost their season opener 5-2 to Putnam County. They scored their only points on a safety in the fourth quarter that tied the game in regulation, but they lost in double overtime.