That phenomenon happened to Grant Chesnut's team last week, as it lost seven fumbles in a 28-7 loss at Rockmart. What the second-year Central High School football coach does know is that his team will come out strong at 7:30 p.m. against Jackson, Atlanta on Friday night at Roy Richards Memorial Stadium.
"I think our kids know the importance of the game. We don't have to stress it as much. If you ask me are we doing anything different? No. We prepare for each game the same way with the same emphasis, because we want to win every game we play," Chesnut said. "We work just as hard every week ... Hopefully, we won't make the mistakes we made last week."
Chesnut went back to the tape to look at the seven lost fumbles from last week's loss against the Yellow Jackets and he didn't see plays that should have led to that many turnovers.
"Quite honestly, there were a couple instances of poor ball-security. But of the seven, there was only a couple I can really say, 'That's poor ball-security.' Otherwise, it was just one of those nights," Chesnut said.
While the Lions (4-4, 3-2 Region 4-AAA) have dropped their last two region games — their first two region losses of the season — Jackson (4-3, 2-2) comes in with back-to-back region wins in victories over B.E.S.T. Academy and Douglass. Like the other schools out of Atlanta that Central has faced this season, there are players that can make big plays.
"They've been a pretty consistent team all year in films we've seen on them. They're very athletic, they've got several kids that can really run and a big defensive lineman who's a very good player. Their coaches do a good job with them. They're going to be a challenge. Definitely a tough opponent," Chesnut said.
In a situation where the Lion coach would have understood a less-than-impressive attitude coming into Monday's practice, his team showed up like it has all season. Central can still host a playoff game, and it doesn't need much help to do it. With a win Friday and next week in the regular-season finale against Chapel Hill, all the Lions would need is a Rockmart loss and the Yellow Jackets still have to play region leader, Callaway.
"I think that's important that they understand they still control what happens to them. That's a credit to what we've done so far this year to be in that position. It definitely gives them some incentive. But regardless of that, right now I think our kids are so hungry to show everyone how much improved they are. I think it's important that they know the playoff implications, but I think they're going to finish strong, regardless," Chesnut said.