Bragging Rights on the Line

Lowndes and Valdosta set to do battle for 46th time Friday.

VALDOSTA -- Whenever your team participates in one of the biggest high school football rivalries in the state, bragging rights serve as an added bonus for a top-notch performance on the field.

And that serves as one of the main reasons why Valdosta High players, coaches and fans enter Friday night's showdown with cross-town rival Lowndes with a little bit of revenge on their minds. In a series that dates back 45 games – 33 of which the Wildcats have won – the Vikings are working on an impressive streak, as they have been victories three straight years.

But a year after falling to Lowndes 23-19 and suffering through the worst season in school history, Valdosta has jumped out to a 6-1 overall record and Region 1-AAAAA-best 3-0 mark.

Paced offensively by do-it-all athlete David Arnold, Valdosta is averaging 21.7 points per game this season.

Through six contests, Arnold has achieved just over 900 all-purpose yards (657 rushing and 234 receiving) and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He has also found the endzone seven times thus far. The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder is a two-star prospect according to recruiting analysts.

In giving up just over 15 points per game this year, the Wildcats are led by a trio of defenders on the other side of the ball: linebackers Curtis Weatherspoon and Young Roberson and defensive end Jamaal Hunter.

Defensively, Lowndes has been a bit more successful this season and pose a real threat once again to the Wildcats. The Vikings are allowing just 7.2 points per game to go along with 31.7 points in each contest being posted by the offense.

The steady balance has led to a 5-1 overall record and undefeated 2-0 record in Region play and No. 5 5A ranking according to the Georgia Coaches Poll.

Starting tailback and two-star prospect Darriet Perry leads the way for Lowndes carry the football. The speedy rusher is one of the most talented at his position in the state and boasts offers from such programs as Illinois, Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee.

He is assisted on offense by one-star quarterback Christian Gibson.

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