LAKeVIEW ACADEMY LIONS (8-A)
Coach: Matthew Gruhn
Last week: Beat Fellowship Christian 32-12
HEBRON CHRISTIAN LIONS (8-A)
Coach: Sal Battaglia
Last week: Season opener
After waiting an extra week, Hebron finally opens its first season of full region football against one of its most familiar foes in Lakeview, which the Lions have played in each of their first four seasons of varsity football, with each team winning twice.
And with the new point system involved in the new split public/private school state playoff format in Class A, coach Sal Battaglia points out any win against a region foe comes at a premium.
“We’re very eager to get started,” Battaglia said. “And with the point system, and you realize Lakeview’s already played and won once, George Walton (Academy) has won once, Prince Avenue has won twice — this is a big game. For us, it’s like every game. We’ll just try to get (the players) focused on every play.”
Focus will be particularly important for the Hebron defense, which must find a way to slow down Lakeview’s option attack, which put up 32 points in its opener against Fellowship last week behind two touchdowns from Caleb Faulkner and one each from Trevor Price, John Cox and Ted Reynolds.
“It’s essential that we shut down their option midline,” Battaglia said. “But when you play high school football, you’ve got a lot of 15- and 16-year-olds, and guys are going to make mistakes. If we make a mistake (against Lakeview), they’re going to go for a while.
“As long as everybody on every play remembers their assignments, we should be in good shape.”
Offensively, the Lions will feature a lot of youth, such as freshman quarterback Connor Holliday, that will have to group up in a hurry.
So, they must also rely on a handful of of experienced players, like senior receiver/quarterback Lew Stephens to provide leadership during key situations.
Last meeting: Lakeview won 10-7 last season
Directions to Hebron Christian Academy: From Ga. Highway 316, go north on Ga. Highway 8 approximately one mile and turn left at the traffic light onto Dacula Road (after passing Dacula High School on the left). Stadium is about a mile ahead on the right.