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Lamar-Spalding football preview

By Ken K. Green Lamar County opens the 2012 high school football season tonight against the Spalding High Jaguars in ‘The Border War’. The Trojans were 12-1 a year ago while AAAA Spalding was 2-8. When and Where: Griffin’s Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. To Get There: Take GA 7/US 41 N to the Williamson Rd. exit. Take Williamson Rd. to Meriwether St. Take Meriwether St. to West Poplar St. Take a right onto West Poplar. Memorial Stadium is on the right. Weather: There is a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 80s at kick-off. The chance for precipitation will continue throughout the game changing to mostly cloudy with temps in the upper 70s by game’s end. ADVISORY – The first Blue Thunderstorm of the season is expected to hit Griffin fast and hard at 7:30 p.m. Last week: This is the regular season opener for both schools. Spalding beat Pike County 25-13 in a pre-season scrimmage two weeks ago while the Trojans beat Upson-Lee 48-3. Series: This will be the fifth meeting between Lamar and Spalding dating back to 2002. Tied at 2-2 with both teams winning two games on their home turf, the Trojans won the last meeting 31-0 in 2009. Jaguar defense: Base 3-5 front Jaguar offense: Multiple spread Top Jaguar players: #1 Ben Allen (Sr. RB/DB), #14 Brandon Thomas (Jr. RB/DB) Jaguar coach: Nick Davis (2-8) in his second year at Spalding. 49-75-1 overall in 12 seasons including stops at Riverdale, Shiloh, Columbia and Burke County. Prediction: calls Lamar a 10 point favorite. Rankings: The Trojans are ranked #3 in the state by the Associated Press and #5 by both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and MaxPreps. Spalding is unranked by AP and AJC and 48th of 50 schools in Class AAAA by MaxPreps. Injury report: Lamar had several projected starters miss the Upson scrimmage with various injuries. Coach Stephens reported that those players would be re-evaluated this week and their status would be a game-time decision. What you should know: Trojan fans are invited to participate in an impromptu ‘bring your own’ tailgate party in the Memorial Stadium parking lot from 5-7 pm. Fans who cannot make it to Griffin can keep up with the game via’s realtime scoring provided by Walter Geiger. Interesting tidbit: Both head coaches have been friends for years, first as players at Georgia Southern and later when they worked for six years on the same coaching staff at Burke County between 1996 and 2001. Since then both have gone their separate ways, never once meeting on opposite sidelines until tonight.

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