The Red Devils stumbled out to an 8-6 halftime deficit in their Region 5-AA opener against Kendrick before righting the ship in the second half for a 34-14 home win.
Needless to say, Bowdon coach Dwight Hochstetler said staying 100 percent focused on this Friday’s 7:30 p.m. contest against Chattahoochee County down in Cusseta will be something that’s reiterated throughout practice this week.
“That’s true. Chattahoochee I think has got a pretty good ball club. I don’t know if they went into Bremen not expecting a contest or what — plus when you see Bremen’s Wishbone for the first time, if you’re not really ready, it can catch you by surprise — but Chattahoochee’s got some good athletes. I’m impressed with their defense, really,” Hochstetler said.
“Then they’ve probably got the best quarterback in the region, as far as a kid that can throw the ball and run with it. They’ve got a scat back that reminds me of a water bug. It looks like he’s going up the middle and then all of a sudden he’s bouncing outside. So we’re going to have to play a very discipline football game.”
The Panthers (2-1, 0-1 Region 5-AA) were blown off the field by Bremen this past Friday in a 35-0 setback, but Hochstetler thinks that game may be more of an aberration than anything.
The No. 10 Red Devils (3-0, 1-0) used a strong rushing attack to take down the Cherokees on Friday, with junior halfback Jarod McKey rushing for four touchdowns and sophomore Darnell Holland added another rushing score for Bowdon. Quarterback Marcus Thurman, along with backs Chris Keith and William Drummond, also had several nice runs.
Hochstetler said the offensive line was the biggest difference between a shaky first half and the solid final 24 minutes.
“I liked the way we came out in the second half and dominated the line of scrimmage. In the first half, we were missing some key blocks and it got us in bad situations. We corrected that at halftime and I thought our line of scrimmage did a pretty good job controlling the line in the second half,” Hochstetler said. “We’ve got about five backs that can go, so we had about five backs that contributed in the second half. So it was a team effort.”
And with every Friday from here on out having playoff implications, Hochstetler said there’s no room for any slip-ups in what is expected to be a tight region race.
“It’s big. I think Chattahoochee County may be one of the four playoff teams this year. I’m impressed with them. They’ve got skill and they’ve got a good-sized line of scrimmage. I’m just thinking they weren’t ready to play last Friday night. But they’ll be ready for us. We’ve got to go down there. It’ll be a home game for them, and they haven’t been home in the last two weeks. So it’s going to be a big challenge,” Hochstetler said. “We have to ride two and a half hours down there and get ourself mentally ready to play.”