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Breakdown: Winder-Barrow At Madison County

Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs (8-AAAA)

Coach: David Wagner

Record: 0-2, 0-2 region

Last week: Lost to Flowery Branch 64-7

Madison Co. Red Raiders (8-AAAA)

Coach: Randell Owens

Record: 0-2, 0-2 region

Last week: Lost to Salem 36-7

Two struggling teams meet hope to create something positive to build the rest of the season on. The Red Raiders recorded their only win of the season in this game last year, and the Bulldoggs hope to get a little payback Friday and end their 16-game losing streak dating back to 2009 in the process. But to do that, they must get several players to produce in areas they are not normally asked to do so in.

“Our biggest challenge this week is overcoming injuries,” Wagner said. “We have seven starters we may have to replace. (Last week’s loss to Flowery Branch) was a physical game, and we have a few guys dinged up. So, we’ve got to make sure we can put 11 guys out on the field that are on the same page.”

Perhaps the most important area in which a new starter will have to step up is at running back, as leading rusher Jamonte Riden (34-176, 2 TDs) is not expected to play due to injury.

It will fall on a combination of players that includes Chad Platt, Chandon Sullivan and Brandon Jackson to help the Bulldoggs move the ball on the ground.

But Wagner has liked what he’s seen in practice so far this week.

“We’ve had a good week,” Wagner said. “I think (the players) know this is a game that they can be more competitive in (than last week). We’ve just got to have some guys take initiative and make plays.”

Last meeting: Madison Co. won 22-16 last year

Directions to Madison Co. High School: Take Ga. Highway 316 east into Athens and then take U.S. 29 north into downtown Danielsville. Make a right on Madison Street near the courthouse. The school is less than a mile ahead on the right.