On Sept. 21, the Trojans wrapped up non-region play and earned their second straight win with a 29-7 triumph over Redan. Jalen White rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns and James Boyd threw a TD pass to Jahmmir Taylor.
This home victory was also significant for the Trojans since it was their first home win since the 2010 season due to stadium renovations.
“Last year, it was challenging having 10 games on the road,” Banneker coach Tony Slaton said. “It really feels great for our community, school and players to finally have a place we can call home.”
However, Slaton credits this win and the team’s first of the season, a 20-18 victory against Westlake, to the lopsided outcomes against Sandy Creek and Tri-Cities.
“That is what sort of helped us get over the hump with Westlake and Redan,” he said. “I think our intensity has picked up. Our toughness has picked up. Overall that has put us in good condition going into region play.”
Even though the Trojans (2-2 overall, 0-0 Region 6B-AAAA) will also be coming off a bye, Carver will be the hotter team, thanks to a 4-0 start this season. The Panthers edged Columbia 28-27 on Sept. 21.
“Carver has always been a team that is very athletic,” Slaton said. “But I think we match up well with their athleticism. “I think they like to throw the ball around but they ran the ball a lot [against Columbia].”
If the Panthers decide to air it out, Slaton believes his secondary – “the strength of our defense” – will be ready.
“It just boils down to execution and giving maximum effort at the end of the day,” Slaton said.
In addition to this being Banneker’s first-ever matchup against Carver, it will be the beginning of the Trojans’ contests against teams from the Atlanta Public Schools system.
“Those programs have always been really good programs,” Slaton said. “Very athletic and well-coached, physical teams. I think we will be able to matchup across the board. Have a good opportunity to finish high in the region and make a run for the playoffs.”
After Carver, Banneker faces South Atlanta, Grady, Therrell and Washington before the region play-in game.