The Eagles (1-3, 0-1 Region 6A-A) will hit the road to face Southwest Atlanta Christian (0-5, 0-1) looking for their first region win and road win since 2009. That Nov. 6 victory against Gordon Lee was also the last overall win for MZ until it defeated North Cobb Christian, 40-7, earlier this season.
While the focus is just on playing better, the three losses this season have been by a combined nine points with a pair of one-point setbacks, including last week’s 28-27 loss at Christian Heritage.
“These guys amaze me the way they come out every week and put the time in and they’re not giving up. That’s been our big goal this year, play for four quarters and not give up. They’ve done that for four ball games. [Monday] was kind of a wash at practice, but we watched some film and tried to make some corrections. We’re going to put that behind us and focus on the next game,” Holloway said.
The season hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Warriors, who had to forfeit their first two games of the season because of equipment issues and then have gone on to lose the three games they have played by a combined 165-14. Even though the numbers don’t favor a SW Atlanta Christian ball club that has only won two games over the past two full seasons, don’t expect the Eagles to look past any game on their schedule this season.
Defensively, the Eagles will have to be prepared for a lot of different looks, and offensively they will try and continue to run the ball effectively.
“Well, we expect them to be very athletic. They have a lot of skill, they don’t have the big numbers on their team, but they’ve got a couple of big kids. They’ve got two kids at quarterback that they alternate. One’s a little better passer and the other is a little better at running the ball. They give you a lot of different sets. I think I’ve counted six or seven different formations, so we’ve got to make sure we’re paying attention on defense. Offensively, we’re going to keep doing what we do,” Holloway said.
The trip to Atlanta will wrap up the third straight road game for the Eagles, who will now alternate home and away games until the Week 10 region play-in game. MZ has shown it can play on the road this season after being serious underdogs the last two weeks and have continued to play close in those games.
“It will be nice to get back home next week, but we can’t think about that now. Our kids have actually handled the road trips pretty well. We have a routine down and they know what’s expected of them. I think once the game starts, we will be focused and ready to go,” Holloway said.
Aside from the usual mid-season ailments, the Eagles are relatively healthy entering the fifth game of the season. Currently, there is just one player who might be forced to sit out Friday’s game.
“We’ve still got one of our linebackers out, Nate Warren, tight end/linebacker that has some shoulder problems. He’s day-to-day and he’s actually made some improvements. Whether he’ll play Friday night, I’m not sure. Other than him, other than some bumps and bruises, we’re in pretty good shape,” Holloway said.
Every coach tries to make each week about that week’s game — this time around, it might be easier for Holloway and his staff. With the region schedule underway, the Eagles have a chance to win a region game and start making a possible playoff push.
“We tell our kids the biggest game of the season is the next game. It would be big to win a region game, but we take them one at a time. We would love to get a region win this week and see what happens the rest of the year. Any time the region starts, it’s like a whole new season and I’m sure our kids will be focused and ready to go,” Holloway said.