Warner Robins dealt with some cold and rain this week when it came to its practice schedule.
But they’ll be nothing but warm and toasty feelings of excitement on Friday for the Demons and their fan base when they travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to play for the GHSA Class 5A state championship.
Warner Robins, going for its first state title since 2004, will face the defending 5A champion in a matchup of two 14-0 teams that have passed each test with flying colors all year long.
On Friday, something will have to give. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Warner Robins head coach Mike Chastain doesn’t have to pull out many creative motivational tactics on a week such as this one. With a program that has winning tradition, not to mention four state titles already, very little motivation is needed.
“Monday, the kids came out and were fired up,” Chastain said. “It’s really easy to get them fired up and ready to play this week.”
Still, the Demons did get a visit this week from a Warner Robins legend. Legendary former coach Robert Davis addressed the team at a pep rally. Davis coached the Demons to countless wins during his career, including three state titles and a pair of mythical national championships.
“It was really big, our kids just knew the name, half of them probably couldn’t put the face with the name but knew who he is,” Chastain said. “To hear him come out and motivate those guys, it was huge. He’s a motivator, that’s what he is.”
Standing in the way of adding to the mantle of championship trophies for the Demons is Rome. The Wolves have scored fewer than 40 points just once this season, holding eight opponents to 10 points or fewer. The Wolves boast a defense with Georgia commitment Adam Anderson at linebacker and Tennessee commit Jamarcus Chatman on the defensive line along with Jaquon Griffin who has gotten offers from teams including LSU.
Needless to say, the play of the Demons offensive line will be key in order to give Dylan Fromm time to make plays through the air and the running of Jaeven West to help control the game’s tempo on the ground. Fromm has passed for more than 3,300 yards for 33 touchdowns and been intercepted nine times. Burnett has gained 1,154 yards to lead the Demons rushing attack and ran in 16 of those rushes for a touchdown.
“Their defensive line is very talented — we’ll have to block those guys to give our running backs and quarterback a little bit of a chance,” Chastain said.
The big-time names to watch don’t stop on defense for Rome. Jalynn Sykes has gotten strong interest from teams including Michigan State and Virginia Tech.
Rome knocked off state powerhouse Buford in last week’s semifinals, and Rome also topped Buford in last year’s state title game.
Warner Robins, however, is undaunted. This is a Demons team that has risen to every challenge all year long on both sides of the ball.
“They’re really good, you can see it on film, they’re well coached. The biggest thing about them when you see them on film is that they play extremely hard,” Chastain said. “Obviously, to be 14-0 and beat Buford last week and Carrollton earlier in the year (says a lot), but we feel like we’re pretty good, too. Our guys are excited and fired up to show the state what Warner Robins football is about.”