Shiloh’s Davonta Henderson (19) gains yards after the catch during last week’s game against Berkmar. (Photo: Craig Cappy)
Shiloh’s football team got off to a great start this season.
The offense put up record numbers in the first two games to start 2-0. It was a similar scenario to last year.
The Generals began last season 3-0 and then dropped their next seven games. After losing the Region 8-AAAAAA opener to Berkmar last week, the Generals are trying to prevent another region slide.
“We ran into a buzz saw last week,” Shiloh head coach Troy Hobbs said. “We still had some chances to come back in the end, but couldn’t. We’re still learning to fight. Now we’re going to play a very good South Gwinnett team.”
Shiloh (2-1, 0-1 region) will host South Gwinnett (1-2, 0-1) in the second region game of the season Friday.
A loss doesn’t put either team out of the playoff picture, but it won’t be easy with traditional region heavyweights Grayson, Brookwood and Parkview still on the schedule.
“The playoffs are a long way away,” South Gwinnett head coach John Small said. “It’s still a young season. We do have to take care of business each week.”
Shiloh could be without Hobbs, who injured his back two weeks ago and has not been able to coach. Offensive coordinator Michael Nash and defensive coordinator Wendell Early have been handling the head coaching duties this week.
“It’s the hardest thing to not be with them,” Hobbs said. “I know Coach Nash and Coach Early will get them going.”
Shiloh began the season with running back Charles Shavers rushing for 261 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Meadowcreek. Both were school records. The next game quarterback Wil Larimore threw a school-record six touchdown passes against Redan.
“The running back is a great player,” Small said. “They have a good receiving corps and the quarterback can make plays.” The record-setting offense came to a halt against Berkmar as Larimore was sacked six times and threw two interceptions.
“We needed it,” Hobbs said of the reality check. “We knew Berkmar was going to be pretty good.”
The Generals now have to rebound against a South Gwinnett team that is coming off a double overtime loss to Dacula.
“It was a tough loss. The kids played extremely hard,” Small said. “We were down 21-6 at the half and came back to make it 29-28. We had a roughing the kicker penalty and a face mask on their last drive. The effort was there.”
The Comets were without standout receiver Coray Kell and running backs Isaiah Robinson and Antonio Woods were injured. Keel is expected to play Friday, while Robinson is doubtful and Woods is probable.
“They are big up front,” Hobbs said of the Comets’ offense. “Defensively, they can run to the ball.”
Despite the overtime loss, Small was pleased with a lot of things his team did last week. The Comets blocked two extra points and a field goal to stay in the game.
“A lot of positive things happened. Our goal is to build off if,” Small said.
That starts Friday against a Shiloh team South has dominated the last decade.
Shiloh snapped a 10-year losing streak to South Gwinnett in 2011, but then fell a 31-0 last year.
“It’s a very important game,” Hobbs said. “With the way things have been so far in the region, it’s important to get a win. And being so close to them, it’s a rivalry game.”
SOUTH GWINNETT at SHILOH
South Gwinnett Comets (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: John Small
Record: 1-2, 0-1 region
Last week: Lost to Dacula 35-29 in 2OT
Shiloh Generals (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Troy Hobbs
Record: 2-1, 0-1 region
Last week: Lost to Berkmar 29-14
Last meeting: South Gwinnett won 31-0 last year
Directions to Shiloh High School: From Ga. Highway 78, go south on Bethany Church Road and school is on the right