East Coweta looking for an upset

East Coweta (6-4, 3-3) will have the dubious honor of opening its first round playoff game against the Region 1-AAAAA champs and No. 4 Tift County (9-1, 5-1). GAVSV.com spoke with East Coweta Head Coach Danny Cronic about the Indians' matchup with the Blue Devils on Friday night.

East Coweta is coached by Danny Cronic, who is working in his 17th year as the Indians' Skipper. During those 17 years, the Indians have only missed postseason play twice.

It has been a rough road to the playoffs in 2006 for East Coweta after losing one of their best players in offensive guard Johnnie Blankinship.

As if the odds weren't already stacked against them, the Indians must go on the road having lost three of its last four games.

On Friday night, East Coweta will have to contend with a very good Tift County offense. The Blue Devils are very multi-dimensional. They can do a lot of different things on offense. It will be a tough challenge for coach Cronic's defense.

"It will be," said Coach Cronic. "We will have to slow them down. We know it's going to be tough. They are a good football team and we definitely have our hands full."

Even if the Indians can slow the game down, they must still contend with one of the state's most talented offensive players, wide receiver Isreal Troupe.

"The kids are playing about as well as they can play in the secondary," said coach Cronic. "They will add a lot of stress to our corner over there because of that Troupe kid and we know that."

"I was really running two cornerbacks until the sophomore cracked an ankle, so I'm going with a senior that just came back out. He hasn't played any high school ball and that's kinda where we're at right now."

The Indians will need a strong effort offensively from junior Tim McGill who is the leading rusher on the team with 1,525 yards and twenty-two touchdowns.

They will rely heavily on running back Michael McRae and wingback Neko Fowler for big plays.

Note: Special teams could play a pivotal role in this one. Junior Ryan Gates (EC) and Charlie Edwards (TC) are two of the best kickers in the Peach State. Gates has converted all 41 of his extra points this season and has also made 3-of-4 field goals. Edwards has kicked 36 field goals in his four-year career including last week's game winner in overtime to win the Region Championship for the Blue Devils.

My prediction: Tift County 38, East Coweta 10

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Brodie Field, Tifton, Georgia
Records, Rankings: Tift County is 9-1 overall, 5-1 in Region 1-AAAAA, ranked 4th; East Coweta is 6-4, 3-3 in Region 4-AAAAA, not ranked.


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