Valdosta Daily Times

October 5, 2012

Column: Friday night fever

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Can we get back to playing football? The answer for tonight: Yes. But I am not saying that the Lowndes-Colquitt County spy gate or binocular watching, cheating scandal is over with just yet. But at least for tonight we will get to watch high school football and I will get the opportunity to write about what happens between the big white lines. As for next Monday? I am not sure what will come from this whole Lowndes situation.

As for whether or not I believe Lowndes cheated or not, I will keep my opinion to myself while the Georgia High School Association’s process works itself out. Plus, my job here at the newspaper is to report the facts and provide insight from coaches and administration.

My view on this will come when the investigation towards the Vikings is closed.

As for tonight’s action, there are several interesting games, although Valdosta and Clinch County are off.

In the weekly standings, Christian Malone and I were both an impressive 7-0 last week. So to the Wildcat fans that blasted me via my voicemail here at the office for choosing Lowndes to win and not Valdosta, where was my call saying sorry? I didn’t expect one anyway.

Christian is still up one game on me. He sits with a 31-8 record and I am 30-9.

Brunswick at Lowndes

The Vikings are beyond ready to return to the playing surface tonight and to get the opportunity to just play football. Can you imagine if the Vikings were to lose tonight? I can already hear people saying things like, “Buzz Payne wasn’t stealing signs,” and immature stuff like that. At the end of the day, the Vikings are a good football team, and they beat Colquitt County because the players played hard and for a full 48-minutes.

Tonight, I expect Lowndes to come out and welcome the Pirates back to Martin Stadium for the first time since the 1999 state championship game, when Lowndes won 17-0.

Coach Randy McPherson won’t let Lowndes lose tonight, especially after the week they had this week and the fact that Winnersville is right around the corner. Man, Winnersville is next week! That just hit me while writing this column. I can’t wait.

Ed: Lowndes wins 31-17

Christian: Lowndes wins 35-10

Cook at Fitzgerald

This might be the best game of the night. The Hornets and Purple Hurricanes played a close battle last year in Adel, with Fitzgerald sneaking away with a three-point win. The Purple Hurricanes then blasted Brooks County to win the region championship. Tonight, the Hornets are looking for some blood, and are looking to stay in contention for the Region 1-AA championship. Tonight’s loser may very well find itself out of the race for the region title. I mean, I don’t see Brooks losing twice this year, nor do I really see the winner of this game losing twice. Personally, I think the winner of tonight’s game will align itself with Brooks County for a region championship-type game. At the end of the day, I think Cook’s defense is too good. That makes the difference in this game.

Ed: Cook wins 21-14

Christian: Cook wins 17-14

Brooks County at Thomasville

The Trojans are on track to have one of the best seasons at Brooks County ever. That is a bold statement to make, since the Trojans won the state championship in 1994. But at the end of the day, Brooks County is good. I mean, real good. Tonight, the Trojans should have no problem rolling through Thomasville. The Bulldogs aren’t very good this season. Brooks County quarterback Malcolm Parrish should be in for another big night following his five touchdown performance last week against Early County.

Ed: Brooks County wins 38-12

Thomasville: Brooks County wins 21-7

Sherwood Christian at Valwood

The Valiants are back home following a tough battle last week in Macon. It is homecoming tonight at Goddard Field. Valwood’s 17-14 win over Mount de Sales last week was a tough fight, and one where the Valiants nearly gave the game away with five turnovers. At the end of the day, Valwood is back home, no rain is in the forecast (it poured last week) and tonight is the start of region play. No way Valwood is losing tonight.

Ed: Valwood wins 42-20

Christian: Valwood wins 38-14


Lanier County at Wilcox County

The Bulldogs are losers of three of the last four, and head to Rochelle to face a Wilcox County team looking to avoid its first losing record, at any point, in a season since 2008. It is a big task for the undersized Bulldogs tonight. I think Wilcox County wins.

Ed: Wilcox County wins 42-10

Christian: Wilcox County wins 49-13

Valdosta State at West Georgia

This game is huge! The Blazers have lost four straight conference games (dating back to last year) for the first time since the 1980s. I wasn’t even alive the last time they did that. Last year, the Wolves beat the Blazers with a game-winning touchdown with five seconds to go, reclaiming the Peach State Basket for the first time since 2005. The Blazers haven’t stopped talking about the loss, and how it helped the season get out of control. A loss nearly eliminates VSU from playoff contention. That won’t happen this week.

Ed: Valdosta State 35, West Georgia 21

Christian: Valdosta State wins 24-21

Upset picks

Ed: Dacula over Parkview

Christian: Athens Academy over Prince Avenue Christian