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PREVIEW: Lanier at Stephens County

Lanier's Izzy Sam

Lanier's Izzy Sam

Lanier Longhorns (8-AAAA)

Coach: Billy Wells

Record: 3-4, 1-3 region

Last week: Lost to Chestatee 43-36 in overtime

Stephens County Indians (8-AAAA)

Coach: Travis Noland

Record: 5-2, 2-2 region

Last week: Beat Madison County 49-0

Lanier nearly saw its losing streak come to end last week, but fell to Chestatee in overtime.

“It’s definitely tough to lose in overtime,” head coach Billy Wells said.

After starting the year 3-1, the third-year Longhornss have dropped three in a row. Two of the losses have been by seven points or less.

“The level of competition the last few weeks has been high,” Wells said. “We’re trying to mature and get better.”

The Longhorns are still in the thick of a playoff berth, but need a win Friday night against Stephens County to stay in the hunt. The Indians feature running back Chaz Thornton, who rushed for 2,000 yards a year ago. They also feature one of the region’s top receivers and two three-year starters at linebacker.

“It’s a big week for us,” Wells said. “We’re trying to improve every week.”

Linebacker Izzy Sam posted 20 tackles in last week’s loss and is the county leader in tackles with 97. Jahbril Jones came up with two big catches for touchdowns. Marty Sanders leads the team in receiving with 29 catches for 700 yards. Chauncy West continues to play well along the offensive line.

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions to Stephens County High School: I-985, follow signs to Toccoa. At dead end, turn left and school is just over a mile on left.