GAC at Columbia

GAC Spartans (6-AA) Coach: Tim Cokely

2010 record: 9-3Columbia Eagles (5-AAA) Coach: Mario Allen

2010 record: 6-4

The Spartans defeated Dawson County in their preseason scrimmage, providing some bright spots (like tailback Lavondre Nelson's 80-yard touchdown run on the game's first play) and some things to work on.

"We've got work to do," second-year GAC head coach Tim Cokely. "Most coaches are like me, I'm hard to please. We saw some things we can improve on."

Cokely's first game as GAC coach was last year vs. Columbia, which turned into a lopsided rout for the Spartans. It was just the beginning of a turnaround season as they returned to the playoffs after missing in 2009.

The challenge tonight for GAC is similar to last year's opener. It must slow down powerful Kenno Loyal, a 5-foot-10, 215-pounder who is considered one of the state's best running back recruits.

"That running back, he's as good as billed," Cokely said. "We've got our hands full with him."

Defensive lineman Parker Fair, coming off a strong showing in the scrimmage, and his teammates will need to match their defensive intensity from last week again Loyal and his speedy teammates.

Nelson should be heavily involved tonight in the GAC offense, which will continue to rotate quarterbacks Jarod Chapple and David McTier.

Lastmeeting: GAC won 42-7 last year

Directions to Avondale Stadium: I-85 south to I-285 east. Take Exit 41/Ga. Hwy. 10/Memorial Drive and turn right toward Avondale Estates. Turn right onto Columbia Drive and take the next right onto Clarendon Avenue.