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Shiloh, South still seeking first win

Photo: Craig Cappy South Gwinnett's Mark Watts (1) tries to break away from a Lowndes defender after making a catch in their game in week one.

Photo: Craig Cappy South Gwinnett's Mark Watts (1) tries to break away from a Lowndes defender after making a catch in their game in week one.

This isn't the position John Small and Brian Montgomery thought they would be in this early in the season.

The South Gwinnett and Shiloh head football coaches are still winless this year, but there's good news ahead.

The losses were in non-region games. The hopes of making the playoffs are still a possibility and it begins Friday with the Region 8-AAAAA opener.

"You play your non-region games and we didn't get the results we would have liked, but we played those tough opponents to get ready for the region," Small said. "It's a fresh start for everybody."

The Comets graduated a talented senior class and are feeling the growing pains early this season.

Small felt like his team matured in the second half off of last week's loss to No. 9 M.L. King. The Comets' defense allowed just one TD and made several key stops to allow the offense to get back in the game.

"With a young football team, we've got to learn to put four quarters together," Small said. "We don't have time to sit around and feel sorry."

South has won the last 10 meetings against Shiloh, but the Generals appear to be a lot more competitive than recent years.

"They've got athletes all over the field," Small said. "We're going to have our hands full this week."

Shiloh led 14-7 early in the fourth quarter against Tift, before giving up 21 unanswered points. Points off turnovers have hurt the Generals in both losses. They've had three turnovers returned for touchdowns, including two interceptions for scores in last week's loss.

"It was a tough game. We improved from Week 1, but we've got to play a complete game," Montgomery said. "Any other world we could be 2-0. In both games we beat ourselves. We have to stop being our own worst enemy."

Shiloh can't afford any major miscues tonight against South. The Comets still have an explosive offense, led by running back Jourdin Shiloh and receiver L.J. Gainey.

"They are a fast-paced team offensively," Montgomery said. "Our defense has to be ready and not out of place."

Vanderbilt commitment Stephen Weatherly, Tyler Claytor and Austin Lang have been the main contributors on defense for the Generals. Montgomery is still trying to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball.

"We just have to execute," Montgomery said. "Once we get rolling on offense, there's no telling how successful we can be."