The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lowndes High Vikings have had a week off to prepare for their match against the East Coweta Indians in the first round of the GHSA 6A playoffs.
Lowndes is coming off a much needed bye week after a regular season in which the Vikings played in a game on 10 consecutive Friday nights, not including preseason scrimmages. Rest was sure to be on the menu at Lowndes this past week to help some weary legs.
Two weeks ago the Vikings fell to the eventual Region 1-AAAAAA champion, the Camden County Wildcats, 28-7, in Kingsland. Turnovers were the Vikings undoing as the Wildcats were able to capitalize on two special teams gaffes in the first quarter. Camden built up a quick 21-point lead and Lowndes was never able to recover.
However, in the weeks leading to the Camden game Lowndes was on a bit of a tear.
The Vikings were riding a four-game winning streak which was a product of the entire team stepping up when it mattered.
It began following a tough loss to the Colquitt County Packers at Martin Stadium to open the Region 1-AAAAAA schedule. The Vikings went on the road to Brunswick looking to regroup.
Lowndes found themselves in a shoot out as they won a close 38-30 contest. The Vikings racked up 443 yards of offense, 359 of those on the ground, showcasing the strong run game that has gotten Lowndes to this point.
In the next game, the storied Winnersville Classic, Lowndes scored a historic win with a defensive performance against rival Valdosta Wildcats, 3-0.
In the next two games, against Coffee County and Tift County, Lowndes put together full team performances in 35-10 and 28-7 wins, respectively.
Lowndes is in the playoffs for the seventh straight season.
East Coweta has had a bit of a roller-coaster season on its quest for the playoffs.
The Indians suffered three straight losses after a season-opening win over Henry, but that losing streak could be a bit deceiving.
During East Coweta's three-game slide, they faced Archer, Sandy Creek, and Lovejoy, who are a combined 28-1-1 this season with the only blemishes coming from a Sandy Creek draw with the football factory of Plant High School from Tampa, Fla., and a 17-13 Lovejoy loss to Region 1-AAAAAA's own Colquitt County.
Once the schedule eased, the Indians were able to get things turned around and win three straight to get themselves back to 4-3.
East Coweta then dropped two more games with a 42-14 debacle against Valdosta's first round opponent, Hughes, and a bad loss to the 3-7 Douglas County Tigers.
In the final game of the season, the Indians were able to down Newnan, 21-7, and extend their impressive streak of consecutive playoff appearances to 17.
Lowndes has followed a similar narrative this season, dropping two games to some very tough competition Colquitt County and Camden County are a combined 18-2 along with a head-scratcher to the Newton Rams.
The Vikings and the Indians last played in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Lowndes rolled East Coweta 52-14 at Martin Stadium.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. today Viking fans can listen to a live broadcast of the game on 99.5 FM.