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Lamar-Lovett preview

By Ken K. Green Lamar County travels to Atlanta to take on Lovett in the quarterfinal round of the GHSA Class AA state playoffs this week. The Trojans are 11-0-1 and the Lions, Region 6-AA champions, are 8-4. When and Where: Friday at 7:30 at Kilpatrick Memorial Stadium, Conley-Oakley Field To get there: Take I-75 N to exit 255 for US-41/Northside Pkwy toward W Paces Ferry Rd. Turn left onto Northside Pkwy NW. Turn left onto West Paces Ferry Rd NW. Turn right onto Paces Ferry Rd NW. Turn right onto Northgate Dr NW. Turn right. Turn left. The Lovett School will be on the left. The stadium is on campus. The trip is about 65 miles or an hour and a half. Admission: $12. Tickets are available at the local high school office until Friday at one o’clock. Weather: Clear and cold temperatures around 50 degrees throughout the game. ADVISORY: An 11-0-1 BIG BLUE Thunderstorm is churning its way north up the Chattahoochee River and will make landfall at Lovett at 7:30 Friday night. Last week: Lamar County beat Benedictine 24-21. Lovett beat Manchester 23-0. Lions’ other opponents: Beat Woodward Academy (7-3), Blessed Trinity (24-7), Hapeville Charter (33-0), Wesleyan (24-21), Westminster (10-7), Greater Atlanta Christian (31-30) and Coosa (27-0). Lost to Marist (24-16), St. Pius X (24-0), Fort Payne, Alabama (28-14) and Washington County (48-35). Series: First meeting. Lovett played Gordon Military in 1964-65 beating the Bulldogs both times. Lion offense: Averaging 20.3 points per game (Lamar allows 9.0 ppg). Lion defense: Yielding 16.0 points per game (Lamar is averaging 37.3 ppg). Top Lovett players: #7 Willie Candler, So. QB (6′, 165), #55 John Coletti, Sr. LB, (6′ 1″, 215). Lovett head coach: Mike Muschamp, 77-28 in 8th season at Lovett. 102-58 overall including five at Savannah Country Days. 20-10 in the postseason. Coach Muschamp is the brother od former UGA standout and current University of Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp. Prediction: MaxPreps has Lovett a 3 point favorite. CalPreps projects the Trojans a 24-17 winner. Rankings: The Trojans are ranked 3rd by MaxPreps, 4th by the Associated Press, 5th by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and 6th by Maxwell Ratings. The Lions are 5th by Maxwell, 6th by MaxPreps and the AJC and 8th by AP. Game notes: The Lions run a Pro-style “I” formation and shotgun spread offense. They will try to pound the ball between the tackles from the “I” while using shifts and motions from the spread in an attempt to confuse the defense when they throw the ball. Candler runs the balanced attack offense and has been efficient both running and passing the ball. He has completed 56% of his pass attempts for an average of 120 yards per game and he scored two touchdowns rushing in last week’s win over Manchester. Defensively, Lovett is similar to Lamar in that they employ the 3-3 stack and play man-to-man coverage in the secondary. They have not been scored on through two games in the post season. Colletti anchors the Lion defense averaging 10 tackles per game. All four of Lovett’s losses were to higher classification schools that made the post season. Things you should know: Lovett’s stadium sits on the banks of the Hooch and the only seating on the visitors side is five row bleachers stretching from the 25 yard line to the end zone on both ends. The home side has ample seating in a very large grandstand. Word is the wind comes off the river pretty good making the visitors side feel about ten degrees colder than it actually is. A 55 seat chartered spectator bus is available for adult fans only at $20 per person. A student only school bus also available at $10 per student. Reservations to ride the buses may be made at the high school office. The fee to ride both buses is required at the time of reservation and does not include admission to the game. More buses will be made available according to demand.

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