Area football teams prepare to open region play

September 25, 2013 

The true quest for a spot in the 2013 state football playoffs begins for most local teams this weekend with the start of region play.

Houston County will begin GHSA region 2-AAAAA action with a home contest against Grovetown on Friday night. The Bears are 2-1 on the season and have had two weeks to prepare for the game since defeating Northside-Columbus 40-17 on Sept. 13. Grovetown is 1-2 so far this year and defeated Houston County 27-23 in 2012.

New Houston County head coach Von Lassiter would love to get off to a good start after the Bears stumbled to a 1-6 record in region action a year ago.

Also in 2-AAAAA action on Friday night, Warner Robins opens its region slate with a road game at Evans. The Demons handled Evans 34-6 last season and enter this game at 3-0 for the first time since 2005.

The Warner Robins offense averaged 39 points per game in region contests in 2012, and it has the firepower to duplicate or even better that number this season. Tailbacks Danny Hite Jr. and Jocquan Burns are big-play threats, while quarterback Caden Johnston showed an ability to move the Demons through the air in their win over Douglas County last Friday.

The Northside Eagles will start their defense of last year’s 2-AAAAA championship season with a tilt against Lakeside-Evans at home on Saturday.

Northside rolled over the Panthers 56-0 a year ago and has won all three games against Lakeside-Evans that they have played since 2010.

Eagles head coach Kevin Kinsler has stressed the importance of improving each week as Northside looks poised to make another deep playoff run this season.

The Veterans Warhawks and Perry Panthers opened up their region 2-AAAA schedule last week.

After playing an extremely daunting slate of non-region playoff teams from higher classifications to begin the year left them at 0-3, Veterans notched arguably its biggest win in school history with a 21-14 victory over No. 9 Westside Thursday.

Westside had beaten the Warhawks by 25 points last season on its way to a region championship.

Veterans will look to build on the momentum and go 2-0 this Thursday when they head to Bibb County for a showdown with Rutland. They defeated the Hurricanes 32-13 a year ago.

Perry is looking to turn its season around after a 21-6 loss to Mary Persons dropped their record to 0-4, but things don’t get any easier with Baldwin coming to town on Friday.

Head coach Erik Soliday’s Panther squad has struggled to find its rhythm offensively thus far in 2013 and is averaging just 11.5 points per contest.

Peach County defeated Perry to open the year but went on to drop two straight games before earning a hard fought three-point victory over Macon County on Friday.

The Trojans are off this week as they prepare to face Henry County at home on Oct. 4 to open up 2-AAA region play. Peach County won last year’s matchup by 41 points.

The Westfield Hornets will square off with Stratford Academy on Friday and then open their GISA Region 1-AAA schedule in three weeks on the road against Southland Academy.

Westfield has won three straight games since losing its opener to Tattnall Square Academy.

Contact Ryan Jordan at rjordan398@gmail.com.

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