VALDOSTA -- Valwood, the Cinderella story of Valdosta, is hoping the clock doesn't strike midnight this Friday when it faces GISA Region 3-AA foe Southwest Georgia Academy. The Valiants are hoping for their first win over the Warriors since head coach Mike Patrick took over in 2002.
"We all feel like this is the best opportunity we've had in the four years I have been here," Patrick said.
Valwood has had two weeks to prepare for the five-time region champions. Southwest has not lost a region game in the past three years, but they have looked suspect in two of their six games this year. The Warriors (4-2) were blown out in both their losses by a combined score of 77-0. So far this season, they have been averaging 21 points per game, while the Valiants have been averaging 23. Southwest's defense has been allowing 28 points per game.
The Warriors will have momentum with them after their 50-43 win over Sherwood Christian last week. In the game, Coty Mittleton, the region's rushing leader, ran for 386 yards and seven touchdowns.
"(Mittleton) is a guy that we have been preparing for all week defensively. He has a tremendous offensive line to run behind," said Patrick.
The Valwood defense has been tremendous so far this season, allowing an average of only 11 points per game. Last week, they saw one of the better passing offenses in the GISA and stepped up to the challenge. This week they will see one of the better run offenses, and hope to do the same.
"(Southwest) has a tremendous program, but we've worked really hard and feel up to the test," said coach Patrick.
As for the injuries that plagued Valwood at the beginning of the season, Patrick said that every player on the roster will be dressed out.
The game is Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Valwood Stadium. Fans are welcome to show up early.
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