Valdosta Daily Times

October 4, 2012

Friday night previews

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The second half of the high school football season begins Friday night. One of the marquee games of the week will feature the Class AA Cook Hornets visiting region rival Fitzgerald. Lowndes will put aside all the allegations from last week’s game with Colquitt County and will host Brunswick Friday night, while Valwood will open region play against Sherwood Christian.

Brooks County visits Thomasville, Berrien hosts Early County and Lanier County is at Wilcox County. Valdosta and Clinch County are idle.

Brunswick Pirates (3-1) at Lowndes Vikings (5-0)

The Lowndes Vikings host region newcomer Brunswick Friday night at Martin Stadium. It will be the first meeting since Lowndes’ 17-0 win in the 1999 Class AAAA state championship game at Martin Stadium.

The Pirates are off to a 3-1 start this season, with wins over Wayne County, Glynn Academy and Groves. The Pirates’ only loss came to Ware County three weeks ago. After four non-region games to begin the season, the Vikings opened up Region 1-6A play with a win over Colquitt County last week. Brunswick was idle.

Sherwood Christian Eagles (3-3) at Valwood Valiants (5-0)

The Valwood Valiants open region play Friday night by hosting the Sherwood Christian Eagles for homecoming at Goddard Field. It’s the first meeting between the teams since 2009, when Sherwood Christian won 28-13. Valwood is 7-6 all-time against the Eagles, as the series dates back to 1988. The Valiants are 8-2 in region play since the start of the 2010 season, including 2-0 in region openers during that same span.

Cook Hornets (4-0) at Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes (4-1)

Under the direction of head coach Jason Strickland, the Purple Hurricanes are off to a 3-1 start, including a 40-11 win over the Pelham Hornets in region play last week. This week, the Cook Hornets, who beat Thomasville last week, make the trip up I-75 North to face Fitzgerald. The winner of this game sets itself up for a possible showdown with Brooks County for the region championship, pending everything else falls into place. The loser faces a tough uphill battle to win the championship. The Purple Hurricanes won the region championship in 2011, while Cook won it in 2010. The Hornets are 14-26-1 all-time against the Purple Hurricanes, including a 21-14 loss in 2011. During the Hornets’ region championship season in 2010, they beat Fitzgerald 42-14. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jaycee Stadium in Fitzgerald.

Brooks County Trojans (5-0) at Thomasville Bulldogs (1-4)

The Trojans beat the Bulldogs at Veterans Stadium in Quitman for the first-ever time last year. This year, the Trojans head west to visit the Bulldogs are Veterans-Memorial Stadium in Thomasville. The two teams are experiencing different kinds of seasons. The Bulldogs are 1-4, and looking like a bottom-tier team while the Trojans are ranked second in the state with an undefeated record and looking like state championship contenders. Brooks County is just 4-12 all-time against Thomasville, but has won 2 of the last 4 meetings, including a 14-6 win in 2008 at Thomasville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Early County Bobcats (3-2) at Berrien Rebels (2-2)

If the playoffs started today, the Berrien Rebels would be postseason bound for the first time since the 1990’s. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the playoffs don’t start for another 8 weeks and there is plenty of work to do to before they start celebrating a playoff berth. That work starts Friday night when the Early County Bobcats visit Raymond Jones Memorial Stadium in Nashville. The Rebels are 2-2 after wins over Brantley County and Lanier County. Last time out, the Rebels lost to Turner County 35-8. They were idle last week. The Bobcats are 3-2 this season, but have lost two of their last three games, including last week to Brooks County. The Trojans won the game 42-8.

Lanier County Bulldogs (2-3) at Wilcox County Patriots (2-2)

Losers of three of their last four games, the Lanier County Bulldogs visit the Wilcox County Patriots Friday night in Rochelle. Lanier County is 0-4 all-time against the Patriots, including a 37-7 loss last year. Wilcox County is off to its worst start since 2004, when the Patriots finished the year with just a 2-8 record. The Patriots lost to Charlton County, 32-26, last week.

Idle: Valdosta, Clinch County