Valdosta Daily Times

Sports

November 28, 2013

Lowndes battles Norcross for semifinals appearance

VALDOSTA — One day after Thanksgiving, the Lowndes Vikings will take I-75 North for the third consecutive week, this time to face the defending AAAAAA state champions, the Norcross Blue Devils in a huge quarterfinals showdown.

Lowndes has seemingly hit its stride oner the last several weeks after a bit of a dip early in the season. The Vikings have been playing their best football of the season in all facets of the game — defense, offense, and special teams.

While the offense and special teams have certainly done their jobs, it's been the defense that has been simply dominant for the last six weeks.

Lowndes' defensive line has made life difficult for running games and quarterbacks alike,  consistently beating blocks and getting penetration in the backfield. A fantastic linebacking crew of Tre Jackson, Brian Bell, and Dante Robinson clean up anything that manages to make it past the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, the Vikings trademark wing-T has gotten rolling behind the strong play of the offensive line. Georgia recruit Dyshon Sims heads a group that has physically dominated opposing defensive lines so far in the playoffs.

Through two playoff games, Lowndes has gained 546 yards on the ground and dictated the tempo of each contest.

Norcross represents another level of competition.

The Blue Devils have the talent — the consensus top player in Georgia, defense end Lorenzo Carter — and the playoff experience — back-to-back finals appearances — to make life very difficult for Lowndes.

With a mobile quarterback and the threat of run and pass, Norcross has the type of offense that has given Lowndes some trouble this season.

In the Vikings two worse defensive performances of the year, a 37-7 loss to Colquitt County and a 38-30 victory over Brunswick, the opposing team has been able to spread Lowndes out with multiple receivers and take advantage of the space afforded to them around the line of scrimmage.

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