Apalachee Wildcats (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Shane Davis
Last week: Lost to Lanier 42-14
GAC Spartans (6-AA)
Coach: Tim Hardy
Last week: Beat Savannah 41-6
Two teams with very contrasting styles and tempos on offense collide tonight at Spartan Stadium in a rematch of what was a very competitive game a year ago in Barrow County.
Even with one of its most dynamic components, junior running back Micah Abernathy, questionable for tonight as a mild leg injury heals, the Spartans have plenty of other weapons to show off, including speedy receivers Darius Slayton and Chris Williams and quarterback Rafe Chapple.
By contrast, Apalachee’s more deliberate ground-based attack will look to provide a much different pace, one that GAC coach Tim Hardy will look to veteran defenders like linebacker Paul Carothers and safety Ross Wood to quicken and try to put pressure on the Wildcats.
“One thing you can see (from Apalachee) is that Coach (Shane) Davis and his staff will coach those guys hard,” Hardy said. “They’re physical and they’ll play with a lot of energy. The nature of their offense is downhill, running right at you.
“We played pretty well defensively (last Friday against Savannah) and got a lot of hats to the football. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
If Apalachee is to dictate its preferred pace, they must first hang onto the football better.
The Wildcats committed five turnovers in last week’s loss to Lanier, which not only prevented running backs like Alantae Billings and Justin Skinner from grinding out yards and points, but also gave the Longhorns’ quick strike skill players a chance to get back on the field.
Last meeting: GAC won 31-21 last year
Directions to Greater Atlanta Christian School: From I-85, go east on Indian Trail Road and school is on the right.