WARNER ROBINS -- At the midway point in its season, Northside is right where it expected to be.
The Eagles (5-0, 4-0 GHSA Region 2-AAAAA) are rolling into Friday’s GHSA Region 2-AAAAA contest against Richmond Academy (1-4, 1-3) at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.
“What we’ve been trying to do is focus on just us,” Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. “Obviously we’ve been getting ready for Richmond, but we’re focused on us and addressing some areas that we need to improve on, as well as trying to create some depth in some areas. We’ve had a pretty good week of preparation and just trying to make sure that we play well on Friday.”
Richmond Academy has just one win on the season and suffered a 42-0 loss to Warner Robins on Saturday on the road.
“They still have that 6-foot-5 quarterback, and he has a very strong arm,” Kinsler said. “He has a couple of receivers that can catch it. That’s something that they had last year, and I think they still have some of those same kind of athletes; they’re just not as seasoned. We can’t just go out there and expect that they’re going to roll over for us. I think they’re going to play hard and try to be competitive.”
Keeping his team focused on the Musketeers should be a bit of an easier job for Kinsler with an off week next week before the annual rivalry showdown with Warner Robins.
Last season’s Richmond Academy game fell in the same spot on the schedule, with the Eagles winning 24-7.
“I think the off week is coming at a good time,” Kinsler said. “It’s going to allow us to get some people healthy again. It allows us to go back and work on some of the fundamentals because sometimes those suffer when you start gameplanning.”
After throwing for just 13 yards in a key region victory over Jones County two weeks ago, Northside showed more of the efficiency through the air than its fans are accustomed to in a road win over Greenbrier last week.
Quarterback Tobias Oliver finished 5-of-7 passing with a touchdown against the Wolfpack.
“We’ve thrown the ball effectively all year long,” Kinsler said. “The thing about running the ball against Jones County, that was really by design because of the nature of keeping them off of the field. Tobias has done a pretty good job. I wouldn’t say that we’re a passing football team, but we’re trying to be efficient.”
Richmond Academy will be the fourth Augusta-area program that Northside has played this season. None of the previous three managed more than a single score, losing by an average margin of more than 30 points per contest.
Northside rivals Houston County and Warner Robins will also be in action ahead of their bye weeks. The Bears (5-0, 4-0) take their unblemished record on the road to Cross Creek (1-4, 0-4), while the Demons (4-1, 3-1) visit Evans (2-3, 1-3). Jones County (4-1, 3-1) hosts Lakeside-Evans (2-3, 2-2).