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Lamar – Bleckley Co. preview

By Ken K. Green Lamar County (7-0, 4-0) travels to Cochran this week to take on the Bleckley County Royals (6-1, 4-0). The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the Region 4-AA title. When and Where: Friday 7:30 p.m. Royals Stadium at Shelly Hayes Field 1 Royal Dr. Cochran, GA 31014. To Get There: I-75 S toward Macon. Take exit 165 on the left to merge onto I-16 E toward Jim L Gillis Hwy/’‹Savannah. Take exit 6 for US-23/’‹US-129/’‹Ocmulgee East Boulevard toward Golden Isles Hwy. Turn right onto GA-87 S/’‹US-129 Alt S/’‹US-23 S/’‹Ocmulgee E Blvd. Turn left. Bleckley County High School is on the left. Royals Stadium at Shelly Hayes Field is behind the school. The trip is approximately 76 miles or an hour and a half. Weather: Clear skies and cooler temperatures ranging from the low 50s at kickoff to the mid 40s by the end of the game. No chance of rain but there will be an abundance of Thunder. Last week: Lamar County beat Putnam County 55-13 at home. The Royals outlasted Taylor County in Butler and also have wins over Macon County, Crawford County, Putnam County, Dodge County and Hawkinsville. The Royals lone loss was to West Laurens. Last year: Lance Austin ran for three touchdowns and threw for another to Lawrence Austin who also ran for a score and the Trojan defense forced seven turnovers in a 39-7 win at home. Bleckley went on to an 8-2 regular season finishing second in the region and losing in the first round of the state playoffs. Series History: 13th meeting since 1980. Lamar has won the last three and leads 8-4. Last Bleckley win was 27-19 to open the 2010 season in Barnesville. Cochran High School was 2-0 vs. Lamar with wins in 1974-75. Barnesville A & M beat Cochran A & M 19-0 in 1925. Lamar offense vs. Bleckley defense: The Trojans are scoring 43.6 points per game while the Royals are giving up 14.9. Bleckley offense vs. Lamar defense: The Royals balanced run-and-shoot scores 31.4 points per game while the Trojans yield 12.6. Top Royal players: Bleckley is led by senior Tavon Ross (#9) who has committed to play collegiately at Missouri. The 6′ 1’, 200 pound quarterback/defensive back has rushed for nearly 300 yards and thrown for 500 while accounting for six touchdowns on offense and another two on interception returns on defense. Other players to watch include #19 Jr. RB/DB Jeremy Marshall, #14 Jr. FB/DL Tije’a Randall, #1 Sr. WR/DB Dre Pitts and #2 Sr. WR/DB Mario McLendon. Bleckley coach: Tracy White 2nd season 14-4. Rankings: Lamar County is 3rd in Class AA in a composite ranking of six polls including a number one ranking by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bleckley is the 17th best team in AA according to Max Preps. Prediction: Lamar County 39 Northeast 14. Maxwell Ratings projects Lamar to win by 21.

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