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Wesleyan prepared for push from Westminster

Photo: Brian Morgan Wesleyan's Jahmai Jones runs the ball up field during a game earlier this season.

Photo: Brian Morgan Wesleyan's Jahmai Jones runs the ball up field during a game earlier this season.

WESTMINSTER AT WESLEYAN

Wesleyan Wolves (6-AA)

Coach: Franklin Pridgen

Record: 4-3, 1-0 in region

Last week: Beat Hapeville Charter 37-20

Westminster Wildcats (6-AA)

Coach: Gerry Romberg

Record: 2-5, 0-1 in region

Last week: Lost to GAC 30-0

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions: From I-85, take I-285 west to Peachtree Industrial Blvd./Ga. 141 north exit. Veer to the left on Peachtree Parkway/Ga. 141 and turn right on Spalding Drive. School is on the left.

NORCROSS -- Wesleyan's football players had a spring in their step this week after snapping a three-game losing streak with a convincing region win over Hapeville Charter.

"A lot of that has to do with the win," Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen said. "A lot of it has to do with knowing we're in the playoffs. But it also has to do with the fact that the kids are eager to show something.

"We're playing a team that, in spite of what happened against GAC, is very good."

The Wolves (4-3) are back home for the first time in three weeks and prepared for Friday night's clash with Westminster (2-5), which was shut out 30-0 by GAC last week.

"That game was a lot closer than the score indicates," Pridgen said. "GAC was able to score on some big plays. Westminster was never in the wrong place, so we know they're well-coached and they have a gameplan.

"The game was far from a blowout. On several drives, they made a couple mistakes and stopped themselves."

Wesleyan and Westminster have met many times in other sports and the football teams have many connections, including Pridgen having played for the Wildcats. But this is the first gridiron matchup between the two Atlanta-area private schools.

"They're twice our size and they have every advantage on paper," Pridgen said. "It's never been a game they, or us, were really interested in playing because there was no benefit.

"This year, we were put together by the state. We're going to bring our best and we know they will bring their best."

The Wolves are led by quarterback Will Anderson, who has thrown for 1,516 yards and 15 touchdowns. His primary target is Jamai Jones, with over 700 yards receiving. They were highly effective last week against Hapeville Charter, a game Wesleyan led 34-6 after three quarters.

"We're trying to build some depth," Pridgen said. "We've got to continue to work on protection schemes for Will Anderson, who really makes us go. Westminster plans to bring pressure from all sides.

"Defensively, we've got to keep our heads among all the shifting and motion."