When: Friday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hugh Mills Stadium, Albany
2011 records: Both teams are 4-5 overall, 2-3 in GHSA Region 1-AAA
Last week: Monroe defeated Dougherty, 29-14. Westover lost to Americus-Sumter, 14-12.
All-time series record: Monroe leads 24-16-1
First meeting: Monroe 14, Westover 14 (tie)—(1970)
Last meeting: Westover 28, Monroe 18 (2010)
Analysis: The Monroe Comprehensive High School Tornadoes and the Westover Comprehensive High School Patriots will play for the 42nd straight time at Hugh Mills Stadium Friday night, with a lot more at stake than just mere bragging rights.
While Westover is hoping to win their second straight mythical City of Albany/Dougherty County School championship with a win over Monroe, the Patriots also enter their latest tilt against the Tornadoes knowing they not only must win, but also hope that the Worth County Rams lose to Crisp County 20 miles east of Albany, in Sylvester.
Both teams have been in multiple close games all season long, with all of Westover’s losses coming by a combined total of 20 points. The Patriots have lost all of those contests by an average of four points.
On the other hand, Monroe has played in four games that were decided by nine points or less, winning just one of the contests; a 14-6 victory Northeast (Macon) on Sept. 2. Their losses in single-digits came against Albany High (14-13), Brooks County (21-12), and Americus-Sumter (6-0).
If there’s one thing both Monroe and Westover have in common, they’ve beaten their fellow Dougherty County archrivals, the Dougherty Comprehensive High School Trojans. The Patriots downed Dougherty in convincing fashion, 47-0, in their region opener on Sept. 24, while the Tornadoes defeated the Trojans, 29-14, last week.
A second common opponent for both teams this season has been Worth County. While the Patriots fell to the Rams, 23-18, on Sept. 29, the Tornadoes hit the road, and earned the first of their two critical region wins over head coach Scotty Ward in a 27-6 victory the following week.
Additionally, both Monroe and Westover split their games against yet another common GHSA Region 1-AAA foe in Crisp County. The Patriots picked up their second region, 20-6, over Crisp on Oct. 14, while the Tornadoes lost to that same squad, 28-25, a week later.
Both the Tornadoes and Patriots not only need a win to have a shot at the playoffs, they also need some help from the winner of Crisp-Worth game in Sylvester this week. A Monroe win, plus a Worth loss, would put the Tornadoes in the playoffs for the fifth time since 2005 (their other playoff appearances were 2006, 2007, and 2009).
A Westover win, combined with a Worth loss, would give the Patriots their first trip to the postseason since 2007. They reached the quarterfinal round of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs before bowing to Chamblee, 41-26.
With so much at stake, expect both the Tornadoes and Patriots to have a fight to the finish, on the final Friday night of the regular season.
Source: Georgia High School Football Historians Association (http://www.ghsfha.org/)