Originally created 09/17/99

Early clash pits favorites for division



It's just the third week of the high school football season in Georgia, but Monday night's contest between Josey and surprising Statesboro pits two top region contenders in an early season battle.

The game was postponed from tonight because Statesboro was unable to practice this week because of the threat of Hurricane Floyd. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Josey and defending region champion Dublin were the preseason favorites to win Region 3-AAA, but new coach Buzz Busby has Statesboro talking region title after blanking Greenbrier 27-0 last week in Statesboro. The Blue Devils have outscored their first two opponents, Class AAAA Effingham County and Greenbrier, 55-2.

Like the Blue Devils, Josey has piled on the points while its defense has been pretty stingy. The Eagles have outscored Butler and Westside 77-17 in their two games this season.

INJURIES MOUNTING:

Nice guys don't always get the breaks in life, just ask Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick. In his first season as the Wolfpack coach, two starters are out with another doubtful for this week's contest at Dublin.

Starting quarterback Will Caywood broke his left arm and is out for the year while defensive lineman Chad Thornhill is still out after tearing ligaments in his hand. And running back Michael Hicks is doubtful after turning an ankle in practice last week and missing the Statesboro game. But Derrick doesn't want to her any sob stories.

"Normally on Sundays, I come home and conk out in the recliner," he said. "But I watched film on Dublin all day and we're trying to figure out a way to beat these guys."

Caywood's injury will likely open the door for junior Kent Adcox, who will get the nod at quarterback until Hicks, who was the team's starting quarterback last season, returns.

GETTING BETTER:

Everyone knew Burke County would be very young this season, with only four seniors on the squad and a team with mainly sophomores and freshmen. The Bears have yet to win a game for first-year coach Nick Davis, but Burke did show significant improvement in Friday night's loss to Thomson.

The Bears moved the ball successfully on two drives, but couldn't get the ball in the end zone. But one improvement Davis was pleased with was the decrease in penalties. The Bears had 16 penalties against Jefferson County in the first week, but trimmed that number to nine last week.

"Every time we did something good, we had a penalty that brought us back," Davis said. "We have to learn to overcome those things and I think as we learn to grow up and learn to overcome our mistakes, we'll be a pretty good football team."

INSPIRED:

No loss is ever a good loss, but Westside's loss to Josey Friday night may have been more positive than a lot of people think.

The Patriots trailed 12-7 with less than eight minutes to go in the game only to watch Josey explode for 30 points in the final seven minutes. Despite the final score, the Patriots played Josey very tough. Westside is hoping to build off last week's defensive effort when it meets Richmond Academy Saturday night.

"Our defense played very well; the outcome of the game was a lot different than it actually was," said Westside coach Gerald Barnes. "We had some opportunities, but (Josey quarterback) Marvin Stone is a good quarterback."