Augusta Stallions coach Mike Hold insisted this week there's no quarterback controversy.
Despite Glen Gauntt's struggles the past three weeks, he will be in the starting lineup at 7:30 tonight against the Tallahassee Thunder (9-5) at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
"We were 11-1 with him and everything was peachy," said Hold, whose Stallions have fallen to 11-3. "He hasn't played well the last couple of weeks, but he knows it, and I know it. ... He just has to bounce back from it. He's ready to go and ready to answer his critics."
Lineman Dirk Lincicome said: "We have all the confidence in the world in Glen. He's the one who got us here."
In the past two games, Gauntt completed just 49 percent of his passes for 331 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Gauntt was sacked in the end zone for a safety in the third quarter of last week's 36-34 loss at Charleston.
Entering the fourth quarter, Gauntt was replaced with backup Chris Gicking. Gicking led Augusta to a touchdown on his first drive but failed to convert the two-point pass attempt.
Augusta had the ball on its own 23 with 26 seconds left in the game, and Gicking threw three-straight incompletions. Keith Gispert missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.
Lineman Blaine Mensch is willing to put the two losses out of his mind.
"We've got six games left to go, and these last two are the most important ones right now," he said.
Augusta beat Tallahassee 41-30 on June 15 on the strength of two key plays by Carl Lyles in the final four minutes. Lyles caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Gauntt to put the Stallions ahead 34-30. Lyles then picked off a Vic Penn pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown with 2:16 remaining.
"Hopefully, I can have a good game Saturday," Lyles said. "I'm more involved with the offense. I'm feeling more comfortable every time I practice."
The Stallions will need Lyles to play well again. Lyles will start at offensive specialist in place of Undre Williams who is out with a hamstring injury.
WHO: Tallahassee Thunder (9-5) at Augusta Stallions (11-3)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
RADIO: WKSP-FM (96.3)
UP NEXT: Norfolk at Augusta
NOTES: After losing two straight, Augusta hopes to get back on a track with a win tonight ... A win would ensure the Stallions of a home playoff game in the second round, if they defeat Macon in Round 1 ... Tallahassee is second in the league in sacks (40) and is allowing just 199.4 yards of total offense per game.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.