VALDOSTA -- For a coach who has never been a fan of the bye week, Lowndes High head coach Randy McPherson says this year's free Friday couldn't have come at a better time.
The Class AAAAA No. 2 Vikings are off this week after a 5-0 run through the non-region schedule and are coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 44-13 win over Ware County.
"We got a chance to work on some things we weren't quite as good at as we wanted to be," McPherson said. "We've got several things in our offense that I'm not really pleased with that we're working on."
McPherson said the passing game has been his main concern this week on offense, particulary in pass protection on certain play action plays. Vikings' quarterback Doug Belk is second in the region with 319 passing yards behind only Tift County's Donnell Cullins' 510 yards passing.
Lowndes is also working to involve the option more in its wing-T offense, which worked well last week against Ware. After keeping on an option play that fooled the entire Gators' defense and most of the stadium crowd, Belk broke off a 50-yard run that set up a Vikings' score.
In addition, the off week gives the Vikings time to recover from bumps and bruises. Lowndes' senior fullback Octavius Everett took a hit on his knee in the third quarter against Ware and didn't play for the remainder of the game.
Everett had the knee examined this week, which revealed only a sprain and no ligament damage, McPherson said. Everett should be ready for the Oct. 1 region opener at home against Colquitt County.
From a players' standpoint, bye weeks are never any fun because there's no game to look forward to on Friday.
"I don't really like it because we don't have a game," Lowndes' senior offensive tackle Jacquinn Wrice said. "It seems to me like (the bye week) is harder than the rest of them. We're doing more work trying to get ready for the region."
Last year's off week gave an undefeated Lowndes team two weeks to prepare for Camden County, but the Vikings couldn't pull off the upset in Kingsland, falling 7-0.
With no game to prepare for this week, Lowndes' coaching staff will hit the road Friday to scout upcoming region opponents.
The staff will be able to see Coffee County host Thomas County Central, Houston County and Northside in Warner Robins, Valdosta host Ware and Colquitt County host Worth County.
"For the most part we'll just go in and draw straws to see who goes where," McPherson said.
So which coach will get the raw end of the deal?
"Whoever is going to Northside," McPherson.
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