For the moment, Dougherty County schools rule Region 1-AAA. Last Friday, Monroe knocked of Crisp County, Dougherty beat Worth County and Westover topped Perry placing all three in an early tie for first place in the region. Of course, there are two other squads that might have something to say about that.
Defending AAA state champion Cairo and undefeated Peach County have not played a region contest, but that will change soon as the Tornadoes host the Syrupmakers Friday at Hugh Mills.
If Monroe were to lose that contest, Westover could claim first place in the region with a victory over Crisp County on Saturday night in the same venue.
The Patriots are 3-1 with their only loss coming to Mitchell County when senior quarterback Rashad Jackson was sidelined with an injury. The dual-threat signal caller has enough weapons around him in running back Dal Green and fullback Shon Armstong to keep defenses guessing. Last week, the Patriots amassed more than 240 rushing yards, and Jackson threw for 112 in a 14-9 victory over Perry.
“We did some good things, but we tried to give ball game away at the end. We had two touchdowns called back and did not protect the football,” explained Patriot head coach Jeff Caldwell. “Our defense played the best they have all year and they deserve the credit for that win.”
Westover will try to be the second school from Albany to beat Crisp County in as many weeks. Danny Blaylock’s defensive unit will have another challenge trying to contain two year Cougar starting quarterback Chris Yowe. Defensive ends DonShawn Carter and Richmond Harrison will be crucial to the Patriots’ success.
Meanwhile, Cougar senior linebacker Tommy Sanders will lead the charge to chorale Jackson. Sanders has already committed to play at the collegiate level for Central Florida. Last week, his unit was befuddled by Monroe quarterback Justin Pride in a 20-0 loss.
“He is a Division I signee, and the other linebacker they have is pretty good, too,” said Caldwell. “We have a real challenge in front of us.”
Jackson has been recruited by Georgia Southern and Auburn, but no offers have been extended.
A Patriot win would bring even more significance to the matchups next weekend: Monroe will host Peach County and Westover and Dougherty High will square off next Saturday.