Warner Robins football head coach Mike Chastain insists there is not that much difference in the team that won three games a year ago but is sitting pretty with a 9-0 season this year.
Warner Robins is one of just two teams in the area that remain undefeated in the area, with the Stratford Academy Eagles being the other.
Both teams will put those records on the line this weekend as Warner Robins meets 7-2 Bainbridge while Stratford plays for the region championship against Aquinas.
“To be undefeated at this point takes a lot of hard work, said Chastain, whose team has won three games by three points or less. “We have a team that has bought into what the coaches wanted them to do, and we have played big when we need to. We were a three-win team last year but none of these kids ever believed that we were not a good football team. We played well but we just had too many turnovers to be successful.”
This year, the Demons are led by junior Dylan Fromm, who transferred from Houston County, and Fromm has responded by throwing for 2,169 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has a reliable and explosive receiving core, led by Juluis Cobb with 778 yard and 11 touchdowns, Jaeven West with 505 yards and Tyler Fromm, who has 300 yards receiving. They have also been able to run the football with Jarius Burnett rushing for 774 yards and averaging almost 9 yards per carry.
To stay undefeated, it will take a win over Bainbridge and running back Dameon Price, who has amassed 1,709 yards rushing to go with 26 touchdowns. “I have been coaching for 17 years and he may be the best I have ever coached against,” Chastain said. “Bainbridge has a really good football team and it will be a great test for us.”
Meanwhile Stratford is coming off an amazing comeback win over Tattnall Square. After seeing a 20-3 lead disappear in the second half, quarterback Christian Palmer hit a long pass to Jonathan Siegel and a short one to Nathan Hunt in the last 20 seconds of the game to remain undefeated.
“I think we showed that we are a team that will keep playing and keep battling and we just can’t back off,” said Farriba, whose team would be guaranteed a bye for the first round of the state playoffs with a win over Aquinas, not to mention the team’s first region football championship since moving back to the GHSA four years ago. “I think there is a fine line when it comes to being undefeated at this time of the year, and we have been blessed with talented players to go along with staying healthy for most of the year. I know we have been tested with a fairly difficult schedule, but obviously it gets harder to win at this time of year because everyone we play from now on has a pretty good football team.”
Stratford relies on the running game with Tyler Jordan, Deondre Duehart, and Siegel combining for over 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns, but the Stratford defense has played a huge part in the undefeated season. Stanford signee Tobe Umerah leads the way with 103 tackles, with Caron McDaniel close behind with 90 stops while Jamie O’Quinn has four interceptions on the year.