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Longtime rivalries highlight week’s football action
by Greg Oshust
September 17, 2013 03:12 PM | 3228 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo<br>
Westminster’s Rankin Woley leaps past a couple of Laney defenders during the Wildcats’ 24-6 win Sept. 6.
Special Photo
Westminster’s Rankin Woley leaps past a couple of Laney defenders during the Wildcats’ 24-6 win Sept. 6.
Two longtime rivalries will be renewed Friday when Westminster goes on the road to play Woodward at Colquitt Stadium and Lovett hosts St. Pius X at Conley-Oakley Field.

Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Westminster (2-2) and Woodward (2-1) have a long history together, with the two playing their first game in 1955. The War Eagles lead the Wildcats in the series 23-19.

“In many ways, it’s like playing your brother,” Westminster assistant coach Joe Sturniolo said. “There are families with kids at both schools. Our players know many of their players from summer sports teams, church, clubs and other local organizations. Being only 15 minutes away, we should have a great crowd on both sides of the stadium. It’s the kind of game that you want and expect in Georgia football — hard play, but with great respect.”

Woodward beat Westminster 24-3 in last year’s battle and the War Eagles have won 12 of the last 14 contests between the two teams.

The Wildcats bounced back after losing their first two games with a 24-6 victory over Laney Sept. 6. as well as last Friday’s 24-14 win over Thomasville.

Woodward beat Woodland of Henry County 34-0 last Friday after losing to Lovett and beating Fayette County in its first two games.

Lovett (3-0) and St. Pius (3-0) have their own history as well, with the teams playing each other for the first time in 1962. The Golden Lions have a 9-4 advantage over the Lions in the series.

The rivalry resumed after a long hiatus last year, when St. Pius beat Lovett 24-0 — the first time the two squads played each other since 1983.

The Lions enter the game with plenty of momentum after an exciting 41-38 overtime victory over Marist last Friday as well as earlier wins over Woodward and Blessed Trinity.

“We are always excited to play a quality opponent like Marist or St. Pius,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “They are always well coached and their kids always play hard. You know that you are going to be challenged as a coach to give your kids the best chance to have success. Our players know they are going to be challenged as well. It makes for a great night of football.”

The Golden Lions are coming off of a convincing 41-14 win over Thomson last Friday after starting the season with wins over Westminster and North Oconee.

St. Pius coach Paul Standard expects Lovett to be yet another tough challenge in what has been a demanding early, non-region schedule for his team.

“Lovett is an outstanding team that is well coached,” Standard said. “We’re fortunate to have had the opportunity to play them the last two years, because they’re one of those teams that helps prepare us so well for region play.”

Messages left with Woodward coach John Hunt seeking comment on his game with Westminster were not returned at press time.

Which game on Friday will be the better one -- Westminster vs. Woodward or Lovett vs. St. Pius X?

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