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Friday October 18th, 2019 5:24AM

Game of the Week: A hot Habersham team looks to continue streak in Region 8-6A opener against Lanier

By Bo Wilson | Video by Seth Chapman
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MT. AIRY — If Habersham Central is going to beat Class 6A No. 8-ranked and Region 8-6A foe, Lanier Longhorns, they'll need to crack a stingy defense.

The two programs will tee it up at Raider Stadium in Mt. Airy tonight. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Longhorns are only giving up 10.2 points per game on defense through five games and haven't given up more than 20 points in any game this season. 

"We've got to be able to run the ball and I feel like that opens up everything for us," Harrison said. "But we can't become one dimensional because of the things they do defensively." 

After starting the season 0-2, the Raiders have reeled three straight wins, including two over arch-rivals, White County, and Stephens County -- the first win over the Indians since 1996.

"Our kids didn't panic," Harrison said about the 0-2 start. "They didn't seem like we're not any good. The kids believed that we could be a pretty good football team and really didn't flinch at all. They knew we had a lot of football ahead of us. Our kids have worked hard. I'm just really pleased with where we are right now."

The Raider offense is averaging 34.3 points per game in the three straight wins, a 14 point improvement from their two-straight losses to Dawson and Madison counties to start the year. 

Lanier coach Korey Mobbs has taken notice of the improvement. 

"They've got really good players. They're a program -- not just a flash in a pan," Mobbs said. "They're a physical program. We're excited."

Harrison says Lanier is very talented and being physical against the eighth-ranked Longhorns will be key for the Raiders.

"They're really talented," Harrison said. "We have to be really physical against them. They're fast. We have to find a way to stay in the game early. We've got to minimize our mistakes. You can't give them anything. We have to force that game to go four quarters."

Jeff Hart contributed to this story.

GAME OF THE WEEK:

LANIER at HABERSHAM CENTRAL
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Raider Stadium, Mt. Airy
-- LANIER (5-0, 0-0 Region 8-6A): Ranked No. 8 in Class 6A; defeated Lambert 43-6 last week
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (3-2, 0-0 Region 8-6A): Defeated Franklin County 34-19 last week
-- NOTABLE: Lanier leads series 3-0. The Longhorns won 38-10 in 2018 in Sugar Hill. ... The closest game in the series came two years ago in Mt. Airy when Lanier won a tough 25-21 contest. ... Habersham has been a tough out at home going 5-3 since the start of the 2018 season. They have averaged 29.6 ppg at home in 2019 compared to just 20 ppg on the road. ... Lanier is only averaging 25.2 ppg on offense but Taj Barnes has 503 yards rushing, 6 TDs and 3 100-yard games already on the season. ... But the Longhorns have long lived on their defense. They have yielded just 10.2 ppg and have not allowed more than 20 in any game this season. They have allowed more than 20 points just three times over their last 17 games going back to last season. ... So far in 2019, the Longhorns have forced 8 turnovers with 34 TFL and 12 sacks. LB Phillip Webb had three sacks last week.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night, Sports Video
  • Associated Tags: Lanier football, Habersham Central football
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