PREVIEW: Lanier at Eastside

Lanier's Brandon Ramos

Lanier's Brandon Ramos

Lanier Longhorns (8-AAAA)

Coach: Billy Wells

Record: 3-2, 1-1 region

Last week: Had a bye

Eastside Eagles (8-AAAA)

Coach: Rick Hurst

Record: 3-2, 1-1 region

Last week: Had a bye

Two games into its first region schedule, the young Lanier program is in good shape. Not 2-0, but still in good shape in terms of a possible playoff trip. Two weeks ago, the Longhorns nearly knocked off favored Monroe Area.

“When the weather turns cool and the humidity goes down and you’re still in the thick of (the playoff race), that’s a good sign,” said Lanier head coach Billy Wells, who was in the playoffs regularly during his years at Collins Hill. “Especially being our first year in region play and not knowing what we were getting into.”

After a bye week, Wells’ team should be back to 100 percent with the return of starting cornerback Grey Lee Williams.

“It was good to have an off week, we were fairly beat up and knocked around,” Wells said. “It was nice to have an opportunity to heal up, work on fundamentals and focus on us.”

Williams joins a strong defense led by Izzy Sam, Onyx Berrios and Brandon Ramos, who had 24 tackles, an interception and a caused fumble the past two games.

“(Ramos) is a tough kid,” Wells said. “He’s been the unsung hero of our team the last two years.”

Ramos and his teammates will be challenged by an Eastside offense that has scored 98 points in its first two region games. The Eagles also have a standout at defensive end, heavily recruited Sheldon Rankins, a 6-foot-3, 255-pounder.

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions to Eastside High School: From I-85, take Ga. Hwy. 20 east to Scenic Hwy./Ga. Hwy. 124, turn right. Turn left on Ga. Hwy. 20 east, left on U.S. Hwy. 78 and take the first right onto Ga. Hwy. 81. Take a slight left on Ga. Hwy. 142 south and school is on the left.