When starting quarterback Dalton Todd went down with a sprained ankle against Southwest Georgia Academy last week, it was time for senior wide receiver Gable Freeman to step in and grab the spotlight.
The senior tossed a pair of touchdown passes for 70 yards and ran for an additional 35, including a pair of 2-point conversion runs to help the Eagles to a big 49-27 victory, the first time in six seasons that Terrell Academy has beaten Southwest Georgia Academy.
“Gable came in and played very well behind Dalton Todd,” Terrell Academy coach Bill Murdock said. “I was extremely pleased with how well he played.”
Murdock said Todd will return Friday when the 2-0 Eagles entertain Heritage. The coach said he expects another stiff contest.
“I believe it was two years ago that Heritage played Deerfield-Windsor for the state football title,” Murdock said. “It’s going to be a tough game. Their quarterback has been out for them and he’ll be back this week. He’s a good runner and passer, and he makes them go.”
ANOTHER RIVALRY GAME: Pelham High School football coach Frankie Carroll was straightforward when a reporter asked him earlier this week about the magnitude of Friday night’s football game against Mitchell County.
“They want to win this one … from the students to the board to everybody,” Carroll said. “They really want to win this one. We were fortunate enough to win last year’s game, which I believe was the first time Pelham has beaten Mitchell County since 2002. It’s big.”
When the two teams meet at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Mitchell County coach Larry Cornelius expects a “hard-hitting slugfest.”
“I know both defenses are going to bring their ‘A’ game,” Cornelius said. “I know both teams are going to make mistakes and this may sound cliche’-ish, but the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win. I believe we had five or six turnovers last year and that gave us no chance to win.”
A capacity crowd is expected. Pelham has already beaten fellow Mitchell County rival Baconton Charter and can crown themselves as county champions with a win over the Eagles.
“Both communities really, really look forward to this game,” Carroll said. “But anytime we play each other, whether it’s football, basketball, baseball or whatever else, it’s a big rivalry game.”
LEE HAPPY AT 2-0: Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio has been pleased with his team’s performance in wins over Westover and Crisp County. So far, the Trojan offense is averaging 31 points and 399 yards per game.
However, it’s the defense that has stolen the show, pitching a shutout in their season opener against Westover, followed by allowing a potent Crisp County offense to score just 12 points in last week’s 49-12 victory.
But the Trojan defense faces a still challenge as Worth County (0-1) comes to Leesburg on Friday. The Rams run a Wing-T formation on offense, which features a lot of misdirection.
“We haven’t seen the Wing-T in a few years,” Fabrizio said. “That requires kids to play with a lot of discipline. Coach (Jason) Tone and his staff have done a good job there during the past two years.”
The Trojans have three more nonregion games before their Region 1-AAAAAA opener against Tift County on October 3.
“We’ve played well, but we have a lot of room for improvement,” Fabrizio said. “Anytime you start the season 2-0, you’re happy, but by the same token, we’ve got to play a lot better than we’ve played.”
WESTOVER BACK IN ACTION: With the Patriots open last week, Westover coaches made the trip to Tyrone to watch Sandy Creek battle Jonesboro, Westover’s Friday night opponent, last Friday. Sandy Creek won 35-6, but Jones said his team has its work cut out for them when they meet Jonesboro Friday night at Tara Stadium.
“They have Division I talent all over the field,” Jones said. “We’ve got to play sound on defense and cut down on a lot of those penalties that we had in our first game, which we spent some time working on in practice. We’ve got to execute and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”
Jonesboro junior quarterback Zerrick Cooper, who has offers from several major college football programs, tore his ACL earlier this year and is out for the season. However, Jones said the team still has enough athletes to fill the void.
THIS AND THAT: A pair of games involving Southwest Georgia schools will be played on Thursday night. Dougherty will play host to Randolph-Clay at 7 p.m. at Hugh Mills Stadium, while Americus-Sumter will travel to Columbus to meet Shaw at 7:30 p.m. at Kinnett Stadium … Sherwood Christian will play its first road game of the season, heading to Pinehurst to tackle Fullington Academy. … Crisp County will play its second Region 1-AAAAAA opponent in as many weeks when they travel to Moultrie to meet top-ranked Colquitt County.