Region play heated up in Week 6 and the fire continues to rise in Week 7. Friday Game Night checked in with coaches around northeast Georgia to find out how many ingredients are needed to get a win Friday night.
Below are comments from the area’s coaches about either the keys to a win or about the game, in general. Friday Game Night will have coverage of the 19 games in the area Friday night. You can track these games on the FGN twitter page at www.twitter.com/fridaygamenight or on the live scoreboard at www.accesswdun.com/fridaygamenight.
Banks County coach Jay Reid on traveling to Rabun County this week:
"Our keys to success this week revolve around the same four key principles that we talk about each and every week. Two of these areas we must see improvement for us to continue to see success. These are ball control, eliminating the turnovers and winning turnover ratio, and reduction of penalties. We must be able to sustain drives on offense and get off the field early on defense and turnovers and penalties have the greatest impact. Some penalties are a result of playing hard and others are due to a number of factors including focus and discipline and those are the ones we must eliminate."
Buford coach Bryant Appling on opening Region 8-5A play against Johnson:
"Stopping the run. With the triple-option offense, you have to be disciplined and play your responsibility. Holding them to less than three yards on first downs will be key. Also, winning both sides on the line of scrimmage and making the most of every opportunity when we have the ball. They will want to control the clock the whole game, so we can't waste any opportunities."
Chestatee coach Shawn Conley on playing No. 2-ranked Marist:
“Our focus this week is us. We have some things we have to fix the things we can control. We need to have great energy, effort and pay attention to the details.
Dawson County coach Sid Maxwell says executing in all phases of the game against East Hall:
“We need to keep focusing on doing the little things that make you a complete player. We need to execute at a high level on offense, defense and special teams with great intensity and purpose. As always, each player must do his job and know how to do it as well as he knows his name.”
East Hall coach Michael Perry says execution is key against Dawson County:
“We have to execute to keep the chains moving on offense. Defensively, we have to be able to line up correctly and sell out to stopping their powerful run game. Lastly, we need to win the kicking game.”
East Jackson coach Cameron Pettus on the keys to winning on the road against Monroe Area:
"We have to throw the ball and make completions on offense. We have to score points to help out our defense. Our kicking game needs to be solid. We've had a great week of prep, so we're excited for the challenge."
Flowery Branch’s Ben Hall talks about opening Region 7-4A play against White County:
"If we contain (J. Ben Haynes) and we can protect the football and just move the chains offensively, I think we will take them out of their plan because they're a spread team and they want the ball and they want to run a lot of plays and they throw it all over the place. We can't give them any big plays."
Gainesville coach Heath Webb talks about facing No. 1-ranked Dacula on the road in the Region 8-6A opener:
“We have to be able to tackle well in space. They have so many athletes that can make a play. If you’re going to beat the No. 1 team in the state you have to win the turnover battle. We’ve got to win the kicking game -- no big plays allowed
Habersham’s Benji Harrison on opening Region 8-6A play against No. 7-ranked Lanier:
"We have to play well up front on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we have to avoid giving up the big play on defense, force them to drive the field on us. On offense, we have to establish the run and create some big plays in the passing game."
Jackson County coach Rich McWhorter on Morgan County:
"They're very athletic and have a lot of offensive weapons that we’ll have to do a great job to contain. They have great speed on defense which presents a challenge for us. We have to play our very best to have a chance."
Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart says maintaining focus over fall break is the biggest key:
“Coaches are nothing if not creatures of habit and routine and distraction concerns us. We must make sure, especially being in region play, that our team is able to continue to practice well and keep improving. Knowing the respect and friendship this staff has with Coach Sutherland that we do not allow him to control the tempo of the game and time of possession 30 feet at a time with their unique offense. That we continue to play unselfishly with eyes on the scoreboard and not the stat sheet - allowing us to continue to distribute the ball offensively. The other night because our defense and special teams played so very (scoring early in both phases) well that many of our main offensive weapons did not play a lot or get many touches as we were up 56 at the half and had only run 19 plays.”
Johnson coach Stan Luttrell on opening region play against No. 1 Buford:
“We are excited to get Region play started and to have another chance to compete this Friday in the Dungeon. The key for us this week is simply that we compete for 4 quarters and play Johnson football.”
Lakeview Academy coach Matthew Gruhn on the Lions’ home game against Hebron:
“We have to limit their big plays, need eight to 10 play drives on offense and win the turnover margin.”
Lanier Christian Academy's Blake Anderson on the matchup against Cherokee Christian:
“Against Cherokee Christian, we need to tackle and cover well in space and win third down on defense, and we need to play more physical up front and execute on offense. We need more consistency for four full quarters to come out with a win.”
North Hall’s David Bishop on traveling to No. 4-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian:
“To win the game, we can’t worry about who we have or don’t have out on the field. The guys who have gotten to play more than we anticipated have been improving and we’re building some depth at the same time.”
Rabun County’s Jaybo Shaw on hosting Banks County:
“We have to continue to play our brand of football. Starting fast and playing with relentless effort in all three phases of the game will always be important for us to be successful. We are going to have to play with great eye discipline, win the turnover margin, and play fundamentally sound football.”
Riverside coach Nick Garrett says having a game plan that fights your personnel is key in beating Towns County in the Region 8-A opener:
“We have to put our players in positions to be successful. Offensively, we have a set of plays you can hang your hat on and a Plan B. Defensively, it comes down to alignment, assignments and tackling. And on special teams, we have to be in the right spot to make a big play or stop one from happening.”
Towns County coach Jason Roquemore on hosting Riverside in the Region 8-A opener:
“We will have to limit their big-play opportunities and the kicking game will be huge this week.”
Union’s Brian Allison talks keys to a win over Elbert County:
“We need to control the run game on both sides of the ball, be solid on special teams and win the turnover battle.”
West Hall’s Krofton Montgomery on No. 10-ranked Denmark:
“We’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback. The weapons that Denmark possesses on the outside with wideout Ze’vian Capers and a host of other, you can’t let quarterback Aaron McLaughlin set his feet comfortably. We need to win the time of possession because they are explosive. We must execute our game plan. We got to continue to improve in every facet. Last week was a step in the right direction for our younger players and we want to see the gap continue to shrink when we put on the film for what we are trying to accomplish.”
White County’s Tim Cokely on the keys against Class 4A No. 7-ranked Flowery Branch:
"As in most games in our classification and certainly in our region, we've got to match them upfront offensively and defensively in the line of scrimmage. If we don't play in our league on the line of scrimmage and we don't at least hold our own, we're not going to win and neither is anybody else. This game's no different. They're loaded with talent and coached well and so it'll come down to turnovers and tackling and things like that."