WARNER ROBINS -- Defense has been the main theme for the Warner Robins Demons and Lovejoy Wildcats this season.
That shouldn’t change when they play each other Friday night as they meet in the GHSA Class AAAA semifinals. The winner advances to next week’s championship game.
“I hope we can slow them down enough to make it a contest,” Warner Robins head coach Bryan Way said. “But really it should be a heck of a football game between two good defenses.”
Lovejoy is undefeated and has reached the semifinals for the first time in program history. The Wildcats have allowed just 45 points in their 13 games (an average of 3.5 points per game), and only one team has scored more than 10 points.
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Eight times the Wildcats have recorded shutouts. After allowing six points in its opener, Lovejoy recorded three shutouts, and it later had a streak of four more shutouts. Last week, the Wildcats beat Ware County 14-0.
“I hope we can live up to our end of the bargain,” Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes said. “A wise old coach told me to put the 11 best players on defense, run the ball a little bit and be strong in the kicking game, and we’ve been able to do that. Our defense has played well the entire season.”
Warner Robins’ defense has been strong, as well, although it doesn’t have quite the numbers that Lovejoy does.
The Demons are 11-2, and they have allowed 156 points, an average of 12 points per game. Ninety-one of those points, however, came in three games, and Warner Robins has held seven opponents to single digits, including two shutouts.
“At times, our defense has played pretty well, but we’ve been a little inconsistent in some games,” Way said. “The last two weeks, the defense has played really well. Hopefully, we’re finding a little groove and getting some confidence because we’re going to need that against a good football team.”