2005 Football Preview
Class AA - Region 2
The Charlton County Indians had their string of back-to-back region crowns end in 2004, but when all was said and done, the Indians were not overly disappointed since they captured their second Class AA state title.
Much was lost on the defensive side of the ball but much also returns on the offensive side to enable Coach Rich McWhorter and the Indians to re-capture their region and go deep into the playoffs.
Running back Lemuel Walker (1,615 yards rushing with 19 TDs in 2004), quarterback Dwight Dasher (2,220 yards passing and 25 TDs), and Justin Williams (39 receptions, 810 yards, 11TDs) should be able to score enough until the defense begins to mold into the traditionally stingy bunch that Charlton is used to. When the Indians do get a lead, look for them pound teams with Walker.
September 30th will likely be a showdown for the region championship when the Indians visit Fitzgerald, the only team to defeat them last year.
Fitzgerald actually ran the table in the 2004 regular season, including that thrilling 26-22 win over the Indians. A repeat performance is not out of the question.
The Purple Hurricanes return plenty of talent this season, highlighted by quarterback Josh Battle, running backs Nate Inman and Jonathan Roberts, wide receiver Darian Austile and defensive lineman Byron Scott.
New Appling County head coach Michael Pollack has big shoes to fill following the legendary Jack Johnson in 2005. Coach Pollack's Pirates will return a wealth of talent for the upcoming campaign. The offense should be high powered with running back Jamal Fountain, wide receiver Kolby Knight leading the way. Defender Tucker Stone and his three interceptions return as well.
The schedule is favorable for the Pirates as they host both Fitzgerald and Charlton.
The Brantley County Herons have made steady improvement the last two seasons under Head Coach Sean Pender. This year the improvement will only have be ever so slight to move the Herons into the playoffs.
What Brantley County will have to overcome in 2005 is the inability of their high-powered offense to move the ball against the elite three of the region. In 2004 the Herons scored only 12 points against Charlton County, Fitzgerald and Appling County. In their other seven games the Herons posted over 200 points on the scoreboard.
With road trips to Charlton and Fitzgerald, Coach Pender's team cannot afford a slip up in their other region away games.
The other region team to beat Brantley County, the Irwin County Indians, will again tussle with the Herons for the fourth region spot but will not be ready for the big three this season. Coach Jute Wilson has some returning talent but will have to wait till 2006 to make any major gains in the region.
Like the Herons, their normally potent offense was shut down against the teams who finished ahead of them. They managed but 20 points in their region losses and only scored seven in their playoff appearance.
A playoff spot will probably be riding on the outcome of the October 21st game at Brantley County.
The Bacon County Red Raiders, led by second year coach Scott Brown will once again seek to be competitive but will be looking forward to 2006 when they step down to Class A. Last season they could only muster a win against Pierce County. This year could be the same.
Pierce County Bears (0-7 8th) will be one of the three teams trying to survive the season. The 2004 campaign was a forgettable one for the once mighty Bears. A single win at Richmond Hill was all second-year coach Tom Hybl's team had to build on.
The Yellow Jackets of Jeff Davis hired Coach Cecil Barber in 2004 to begin a rebuilding process. Barber, who had success at Clinch, renewed hope at Jeff Davis, but a 2-8 campaign and Coach Barber's resignation leave the Jackets building for the second straight season. New Head Coach Andy Rykard will have his work cutout for him.
Class AA - Region 2 Football Preview
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