The Patriots kicked off their season Aug. 24 against New Manchester, the youngest school in the region which opened in 2011. The Patriots drew first blood and the game remained close as both teams fought hard on defense, but the Jaguars came away with the 23-20 victory. The Patriots lost to Hiram 33-0 Friday night.
According to Paulding County head football coach Scott Hamilton, execution was a major reason his team lost their season opener.
“[It was a] disappointing loss in the fact that we beat ourselves…just simple assignments on offense and execution problems such as throwing and catching,” Hamilton said.
Another reason why the Patriots struggled in the game against New Manchester was the absence of four starters.
“[We] have had several injuries at the start of the season. Hopefully they will be back versus Allatoona,” Hamilton said.
The four missing starters were senior defensive end Mitchell Brice, junior linebackers Yann Mondon and Dylan Peeples and junior fullback Thomas Sieh.
Looking forward to this Friday’s game against Allatoona, there will be a game whether those four starters are back or not and Paulding County High must be prepared.
Hamilton said he expects a “very sound and physical football team” from Allatoona and the Bucs’ head football coach, Gary Varner, said he hopes to deliver what Hamilton expects.
“We hope to play a very physical game and that we can minimize our mistakes on offense,” Varner said.
Allatoona is coming off an undefeated regular season in 2011. They swept the competition with a perfect 10-0 record and advanced to the third round of the Class AAA playoffs, beating Franklin County and Mary Persons before losing to Burke County High, the eventual 2011 AAA state champions.
Both teams are new to class AAAAA football, but Paulding County High has a slight advantage on the Bucs since the Patriots have played several of the teams in the region in recent seasons.
“We have never faced anyone in this region, so we have no past experience to pull from,” Varner said
With no experience playing each other, the Patriots have to focus on their own individual game and Hamilton said there is one thing that could definitely keep his team in the game.
“If we don’t turn it over we have a chance,” Hamilton said.