Dublin quarterback Ben Cochran may not get the same recognition as other top quarterbacks in the Peach State, but that doesn't bother him one bit. Right now, he's focused on just one thing and that's winning a state championship for his Dublin Irish.
Q & A with Dublin quarterback Ben Cochran
By John Marchant
How is practice going this week? Are you guys doing anything different to prepare for Charlton County?
"We're preparing just like every week. It's the same as always, except there's a little bit more on the line. There's a little bit more tension and intensity now. We're lucky to have an extra day to prepare and that has helped us. It gives us another day to go over what we're trying to do as a team."
You've seen Charlton County on film and I know you've heard a lot about them as well. What did they show you defensively that presents you with the biggest challenge on Saturday?
"They're the fastest and most physical team we've played. We're going to have to adjust to the speed of the game. In every phase, the offensive line is going to have to play great. The running backs are going to have to do what they've been doing all year. They have to make a couple of people miss and get tough yardage at times. It's going to be physical and we're just going to have to keep chipping away on offense."
D.J. Donley plays all over the field defensively for the Indians. Will you try to keep up with him and try to know where he's at at all times?
"Well, watching game film, he's everywhere. He's a great player no doubt. He will hit you and he's probably their most physical player on defense. Sure, we have to know where he is, but we're not going to run away from a certain player on every play. I mean, you can't do that. We've just got to be ready to attack him. When somebody's coming to block him, they've got to do a much better job because they're blocking a much better player."
"That's what it boils down to. It's not that we're going to have to alter our offensive game plan around one player. You've got to have your players ready to take on that kind of a defender. I think we've got the guys who can block and get it done. Hopefully, we'll be able to do what we've been doing all year and mix it up offensively."
This is your last high school football game. I know you're focused on this game, but what's going through your mind as you practice and prepare this week for the last time? Is there any thoughts at all of this being your last game as a quarterback for Dublin.
"Yes, there is. I guess it's bittersweet. But you can look at it and just be thankful. It looks like everything is lined up like it should be. I mean it's my last game and it's at home. All of our seniors have put so much into this football program the past four years."
"We've stumbled the past couple of years, but now it's come down to this game. It's really exciting to look back and see what we we had to go through to get here. We have the opportunity to go out on a high that we've dreamed of for four years."
What has the Dublin community been like this week as they prepare to host a state championship for the first time ever?
"It's been very exciting. I'm telling you that right now. You don't understand. They're going crazy with tickets and getting the stadium ready. I mean it's going to be exciting for everybody. I'm happy for the fans and I'm happy for the team. I think it's going to be a wild one on Saturday."
We do too, Ben.
Last week in the Dome, Cochran completed 8-of-10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns in a 65-7 thumping of Lovett. He has 1,229 yards passing with 17 TD's to just 3 interceptions on the season.
Q & A with Dublin QB Ben Cochran
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