0

PREVIEW: Winder-Barrow at Salem

Winder-Barrow's Chad Platt

Winder-Barrow's Chad Platt

WINDER-BARROW BULLDOGGS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: David Wagner

Record: 0-3, 0-1 region

Last week: Lost to Gainesville 69-0

SALEM SEMINOLES (8-AAAAA)

Coach: John Starr

Record: 1-2, 0-1 region

Last week: Lost to Heritage 21-7

Despite another bruising loss last week, this time to No. 8 state-ranked Gainesville, the Bulldoggs remain undeterred in their goal to finally get in the win column.

They will try to do so this week against a Seminoles team that is also struggling after last week’s loss to Heritage in their region opener.

“The thing about our region is there’s not a team without size and speed,” Winder-Barrow coach David Wagner said. “Salem is team that’s tog athleticism and got some size — maybe not like what Gainesville brings to the table, but they’ve got it.

“They played tough in those (losses to Heritage and Wesleyan the last two weeks). They’ve made some mistakes, and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they made those mistakes (tonight), though we’re not counting on it.”

Mistakes — specifically turnovers — have also plagued Winder-Barrow so far this season, with 12 turnovers in the first three weeks.

Those obviously must stop if the Bulldoggs are to execute their game plan of controlling the clock and the ball with their running game, though that task will receive a boost with the return to the lineup of running backs Chandon Sullivan, who missed last week’s game with a hip flexor injury, and senior Chad Platt, who is back after playing only sparingly few minutes in the opener against Jackson County with a hamstring injury.

“Chandon should be back, and Chad Platt may be the fastest skill kid we’ve got,” Wagner said. “So, that will be a huge lift for us. We have to establish the running game, move the ball effectively and give our defense some breaks. We can’t do that if we turn the ball over. We’ve probably had more (turnovers) in the last three weeks than we had all of last year.”

Last meeting: Salem won 42-7 last year

Directions to Salem High School: Follow Ga. Highway 20 into Rockdale County. Turn left onto Sigman Road, which becomes Salem Road (Ga. Highway 162). Turn right onto Old Salem Road. Turn left onto Underwood Road. School is about 1/2 mile ahead on the right.