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October 18, 2013

Lowndes travels to Coffee, seeks another region win

VALDOSTA — After a win in the Winnersville Classic, the Lowndes Vikings are on the road again as they travel to Douglas to face the Coffee Trojans in another important Region 1-6A game.

Coffee has been a tough football team to gauge this season. The Trojans began the season with four straight wins, but they haven't won since opening region play, dropping three in a row resulting in a 4-3 record.

Despite their winless region record, the Trojans will be no push-over for the Vikings in Douglas.

This has all the makings of

another trap game if Lowndes doesn't stayed focus on the task at hand.

Coffee is the definition of a desperate team in danger of falling to 0-4 in a loaded Region 1-6A. One more region loss for the Trojans will effectively end any chance at the postseason.

Despite their 0-3 region record, the Trojans have been extremely competitive in all three of those region games, including two on the road, losing by seven or less points in each contest.

Lowndes, on the other hand, is coming off an emotional 3-0 victory over arch-rival Valdosta in the annual Winnersville Classic a week ago.

It would be easy to predict an emotional letdown for Lowndes, but Vikings head coach Randy McPherson has preached the one-game-at-a-time philosophy all year, so expect the team to come out ready to play in the second road trip of the year.

“Coach McPherson has us take it one game at a time,” said Zack Copeland after Lowndes’ Winnersville victory last week. “We’ve got to keep up the intensity every week.”

A win would push Lowndes’ record to 6-2 and 3-1 in the region, keeping them in control of their playoff hopes.

The Vikings will have the luxury of facing a team that played in a football game the week before for the first time in its last four contests.

Colquitt, Brunswick, and Valdosta all had a bye the week before facing Lowndes, providing the teams with two weeks to game-plan for the Vikings.

Lowndes will finally be back on even ground with Coffee coming off a loss in Brunswick a week ago (Lowndes won there 38-30).

The game will be a clash of offensive styles; Lowndes with the ground and pound rushing attack against Coffee’s spread air attack.

Lowndes’ multi-headed rushing attack has provided most of the Vikings offense with the top four leading rushers combining for 720 yards on 140 carries — 5.1 yards per carry — compared to 523 yards on 111 carries for the Trojans’ top four.

Coffee likes to sling the ball around the field with quarterback Tyree Paulk attempting 177 passes this season for 1,309 yards and 18 touchdowns to only five interceptions.

The Vikings have relied on steady sophomore quarterback Austin Dixon to create room for the running game by completing some passes down field. Dixon has accounted for 427 yards and eight touchdowns with only two picks in his 56 attempts this season.

Lowndes will be looking for another big game from the defense against a potent passing attack.

If Copeland can get off blocks and disrupt Coffee’s passing game similarly to what he did last week against the Wildcats, it could be a long night for the Trojans.

Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. today at Jardine Stadium in Douglas. Fans can still purchase tickets today from 9 a.m. until noon at the  Board of Education or they can listen to the broadcast of the game on 99.5 FM.

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