Wednesday November 25th, 2020 2:36AM

Coaches Corner: Some start region play; others continue prepping with non-region games

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

As programs across the area approach the mid-way point of the season, some open region play and others continue preparation for their region openers. Week 4 had some interesting finishes -- Rabun County rallied to beat a top-10 ranked Bremen team on the road; Dawson County picked up its first win over Class 7A Northview; Gainesville exploded for a 48-0 win over Discovery, and Buford avenged last season's loss to Clarke Central on Friday.

Week 5 has Gainesville opening region play at undefeated Forsyth Central this week; North Hall playing without several key players against rival Chestatee in Sardis, and East Hall trying to go 3-1 when they travel to East Hall. Of course, there are several more games on tap around the area and AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night crew will have all of them covered.  

Friday Game Night checked in with the area’s coaches to find out how Week 4 played out, and what are the keys to getting a win this week.

You can track these games on the FGN twitter page @FridayGameNight  or the live scoreboard at Below are comments from the area’s coaches:

Cherokee Bluff's Tommy Jones on playing Lakeside-Dekalb ... 

"This will be Lakeside’s opening game this season so we know very little about them. Obviously, we always want to prepare for our opponent but our focus needs to be on us being the best we can be. Especially in a week like this where we don’t have any film to utilize. In order for us to be successful, we need to have an outstanding week of practice that carries over to Friday night. We will need to play with tremendous speed on both sides of the ball and eliminate some costly, silly mistakes."   

Chestatee's Shaun Conley on the keys to beating rival North Hall ... 

"We are going to have to become more consistent on the offensive side of the ball and take advantage of opportunities and limit mistakes."

East Hall's Michael Perry says execution in all three phases will be key against East Jackson ... 

"We have to win on special teams, offense, and defense. If we lose in one of those areas, then we probably aren’t going to win the game."

East Jackson's Cameron Pettus says they have to limit big plays against East Hall... 

"We know they will throw the ball, excited for our DB's and the challenge ahead. I believe we have to limit their QB's big plays and get some turnovers.  We must score in the first half this week to help out our defense -- no miscues on special teams. We have to keep improving week by week and keep competing. I am proud of our effort and fight. We just have to clean up some areas and get better."

Flowery Branch's Ben Hall on the keys to beating Hiram on the road ... 

​"We can't afford a post-bye week lull. Hiram is very athletic on each side of the ball. We need to play our best game on both lines of scrimmage and tackle well."

Gainesville's Heath Webb on opening Region 6-7A play at undefeated Forsyth Central ... 

"We have to play assignment football on defense. That's the deal with the triple option, making sure everybody is where they're supposed to be. Secondly, on offense, we've got match their intensity. They play so hard, that we've got to play as hard as they want to play."

Jefferson's Gene Cathcart on playing a talented Hart County team on the road ... 

"Hart County is one of the most talented teams in North Georgia, if not the state, with returning Region Offensive Player of the year Malachi Thomas, All-American TE Cane Berrong, Power 5 Sophomore wide receiver Paul Davis, pre-Season All-State defensive back Monte Maxwell, 1,200-plus yard rusher JL Lackey and a total of 13 returning All-Region players from their 2019 Elite Eight team. Coach [Rance] Gillespie and his staff do as fine a job coaching as anyone. Herndon Stadium is an extremely tough place to play, and we will have to continue to improve in all three phases of the game. We will have to continue to play exceptionally well on defense and take good care of the ball on offense. Their explosive ability and big-play potential are obvious, and we have tremendous respect for their team & program."

Lakeview's Lee Shaw says being physical will be key against Towns County ... 

"Towns County, per film, is a much-improved team. They are playing really good football right now. First off, we need to get over a great win for us. It’s easy to become complacent and think you’ve “arrived” as a team/player early on. I would like to see us continue to create turnovers and capitalize on each. We were very physical against the Walker school and will have to respond the same against Towns County for us to be successful this Friday night."

Lumpkin County's Caleb Sorrells on keys to getting the team's first win against St. Francis ... 

"We have to establish a run game. That will be the answer until we can figure it out. We have to be able to move the ball on the ground. On defense, we have to be better on 3rd down.  We've forced offenses into a lot of 3rd and longs and then given them up -- gotta get better in that critical situation." 

North Hall's David Bishop on the keys to beating rival Chestatee ... 

"The keys to success vs Chestatee will be to execute our offense, defense and special teams to our potential. It will be difficult as we have lost multiple starters to contact tracing."

Towns County's Jason Roquemore on playing Lakeview ... 

"Coach [Lee] Shaw has done a great job. They are very dynamic on offense and very disciplined on defense, so assignment and alignment will be huge for us in all three phases this week."

Union County's Brian Allison on the keys to beating Pickens this week ... 

"We must start to play a cleaner game and eliminate penalties, turnovers and mistakes in the kicking game.  


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