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Lamar-Cook Co. preview

By Ken K. Green Lamar County hosts Cook this week in the first round of the GHSA Class AA state playoffs. The Trojans (9-0-1) are champions of Region 4-AA while the Hornets (7-3) are the number four seed from Region 1-AA. When and Where: Friday 7:30 p.m. at Trojan Field. Tickets: All tickets $10 per the Georgia High School Association. There are no discounted tickets and only GHSA members and working media with official passes will be admitted at no charge. Weather: Mostly clear skies with a slight chance of precipitation. 50 degrees at kick off with temperatures hovering around 50 throughout the game. ADVISORY: A category 9-0-1 Blue Thunderstorm awaits a swarm of hornets at Trojan Field ready to swat them into oblivion. Last week: Lamar County beat Crawford County 54-0 while Cook lost to Early County 27-22. Cook’s other opponents: The Hornets have victories over Worth County (36-2), Crisp County (37-0), Dougherty (42-14), Thomasville (17-3), Pelham (42-10), Jefferson County (20-6) and Berrien (57-22). The Hornets lost to Brooks County (35-21) and Fitzgerald (21-15). Series: Cook leads 1-0 winning the only meeting 27-26 in the state quarterfinals in Adel in 2000. Hornet offense: Scoring 30.9 points per game. (Lamar yields 7.4 ppg) Hornet defense: Allows 14.0 points per game. (Lamar scores 37.2 ppg) Top players: #3 Grant Wilson, Jr. RB, #8 Ross Pickle, Sr. QB, #11 Spencer Joiner, So. LB, #13 Matt Foster Sr. DE, #14 Chris Lissimore, Sr. DB and #15 Collies Mathis, Sr. SS. Cook Head Coach: Ken Cofer 26-9 3rd season (went 12-1 in 1st season (2010) losing to Buford in semi-finals) Rankings: Lamar County is ranked 4th by Max Preps, 4th by the Associated Press, 5th by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and 6th by Maxwell. Cook is ranked 8th by MaxPreps, 12th by Maxwell and 13th by the AP. The Hornets are not ranked by the AJC Top Ten Poll. Prediction: Maxwell Ratings has the Trojans a 6 point favorite. CalPrep projects a 27-21 Lamar County win. Game notes: Cook runs a spread offense led by a very talented quarterback in Ross Pickle. He is joined in the backfield by Grant Wilson, a very strong running back. Defensively the Hornets employ the 3-3 stack led by Division 1 prospect Matt Foster at defensive end. The Cook defense also includes big play makers in linebacker Spencer Joiner, defensive back Chris Lissimore and strong safety Collies Mathis. Former Trojan Drew McCall is a defensive line coach for Cook. What you should know: The Hornets will travel 150 miles from Adel to Barnesville for the game. The winner advances to the second round to play the winner of Laney vs. Benedictine which will be played Saturday in Augusta. This is the fourth straight appearance in the post-season for Lamar County and 15th overall. The Hornets have been in the playoffs 26 times including the last 13 years in a row. Cook boasts one state championship in 1949. The Trojans and Hornets met in the 2000 quarterfinal round of the state playoffs in Adel. Cook led 27-0 at halftime but Lamar County scored 26 unanswered second half points coming up just short of advancing to the semi-finals in the Georgia Dome. Other Region 4-AA and area first round games: Bleckley County vs. Early County, Northeast Macon at Fitzgerald, Macon County at Brooks County, Jackson at Thomson, Pike County at Washington County, Mary Persons vs. Statesboro and Griffin vs. Monroe.

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