2011-10-05 / Sports


Spartans face Cougars in most crucial game of the season
By Tres Bragg tresbragg@bellsouth.net

This is it. The game that Spartan fans have been craving since last year’s state championship loss. But, this Friday night that craving will be over.

The Edmund Burke Academy football team will face powerhouse Piedmont Academy in Monticello. The two teams met twice last year when the Cougars beat the Spartans both times, claiming both the region and state championship titles. With both teams losing key players to graduation, Friday night’s game could go either way.

The Spartans and Cougars have been the favorites all season long to claim the region championship as well as the state title. Both teams are undefeated and have put up big numbers on the scoreboard.

Piedmont is averaging over 54 points per game, while the Spartans are averaging just over 41 points. However, Edmund Burke has faced Westfield who is ranked in the top 3 in GISA Class-AAA. The Spartans beat the Hornets 19-10.

With Edmund Burke coming off two easy wins and an off week, Spartan coach Buddy Sorrow expressed the importance of Friday’s game.

“Piedmont is in a similar situation as we are, because they haven’t faced their toughest opponents recently,” Sorrow said. “Piedmont is very big, and their speed is going to be challenging for us. They have more speed on their team this year than they did last year. This is a big game for both schools.”

Keeping their offense on the field will be a priority for the Spartans on Friday night. “Our two main goals for the game are to not give up the big play and to keep the ball in our possession as long as possible,” Sorrow said. “We don’t have to necessarily score on every possession, but keeping the ball away from them is crucial.”

A win for the Spartans would be a huge benefit in more ways than one. “The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat as far as seeding goes for the state playoffs,” Sorrow added. “Whoever wins will have a much better shot at the region title and will possibly secure the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. A win for us would also give us home field advantage throughout the state playoffs.” Kickoff for the GISA’s most anticipated game of the week is set for 7:30 p.m.

Team Stats vs. Opponents Total Points EBA – 207 Opponents – 51

Total Rushing EBA – 244 for 1640 yards Opponents – 155 for 559 yards

Total Passing EBA - 25 of 44 for 327 yards Opponents – 15 of 52 for 221 yards

First Downs EBA – 93 Opponents – 53

Penalties EBA – 22 for 180 yards Opponents – 20 for 121 yards

Turnovers EBA – 2 Opponents - 13

STAT LEADERS (Stats are based on a combination of the first five games of the season)

Offense Rushing Clint Saxon – 47 carries for 357 yards, 3 touchdowns Dakota Garber – 33 carries for 250 yards, 2 touchdowns Brandon Sharpe – 30 carries for 243 yards, 5 touchdowns Logan Christian – 25 carries for 240 yards, 3 touchdowns Dawson Atkinson – 26 carries for 197 yards, 4 touchdowns Hagen Wade – 18 carries for 112 yards, 1 touchdown Trey Deason – 17 carries for 73 yards, 1 touchdown Michael Taylor – 17 carries for 58 yards, 4 touchdowns

Receiving Brandon Sharpe – 6 catches for 110 yards, 1 touchdown Ben Murray – 5 catches for 66 yards, 1 touchdown Dawson Atkinson – 5 catches for 40 yards, 1 touchdown Logan Christian – 1 catch for 40 yards Hagen Wade – 3 catches for 38 yards, 1 touchdown Lane Clark – 1 catch for 23 yards, 1 touchdown

Passing Logan Christian – 21 for 39, 224 yards, 3 touchdowns Lane Christian – 3 for 3, 80 yards, 2 touchdowns Brandon Sharpe – 1 for 2, 23 yards

Defense Josh Gradous – 21 tackles, 14 assists, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recoveries, 1 touchdown Michael Taylor – 23 tackles, 10 assists, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception Dawson Atkinson – 19 tackles, 8 assists, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery Lane Christian – 10 tackles, 8 assists, 1 sack Lane Clark – 9 tackles, 7 assists, 1 forced fumble, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery Mason Winkler – 12 tackles, 4 assists, 1 fumble recovery Hagen Wade – 10 tackles, 4 assists Clint Saxon – 10 tackles, 2 assists Brandon Sharpe – 8 tackles, 3 assists, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery

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