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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
September 18, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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September 18, 2019

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September 18, 2019 Page 3C Reporter Continued from 1 C think there's a greater chance now. Note that Peach County hasn't lost two straight in the regular season since 2013, to a top- 10 4A Baldwin and top- 10 5A Warner Robins. It's non-region, but non-region games are big for momentum, confidence, reps, and learning. They won't be overlooking Mary Persons by any stretch, and will be trying sort of to re-establish themselves. And a thumping of Mary Persons does that. Q. ) The Bulldogs are struggling this year after losing so many starters and are obviously the underdog. Besides scoring more points, what would MP have to do to have a chance in this one? A.) On paper, the simple stuff, a lot of what Houston County did: short memor do your job on that play and don't worry about any- thing else. Really, every game with remotely similar teams is the same. Don't make a play you can't make. The difference is that Peach County won't in any form or fashion be too fiat against a team that beat them last year, and in a game that's usually physical and dose. And playing at q-he Pitt can get area opponents a little more amped up, too. If Mary Persons can cut down on mistakes and take some advantage of any Peach County mistakes, it can go to the fourth quarter. But if your most dynamic player, Rico Harden, isn't 100 percent, that obviously makes it tougher. Q.) Peach has so many highly touted players, Gibson the quarter- back, Whittington the running back, Ferguson the big tackle (choosing between UGA and Bama), Allen the linebacker committed to Clemson. Which one is the most impressive to you and why? A.) Noah Whittington and Justin Harris. WhiRington can play receiver or running back, and he's been playing forever, and just makes plays and makes few mistakes. He can make the big play or the simple play He may not stand out as much to the average fan, who's not watch- ing away from the ball or downfield blocking, but he's the kind of player coaches love. And Chad Campbell said he's as good and hard-working in practice as anybody he's ever had. Harris is a DB and kick returner who gets time on offense, and makes plays wherever they pm him. Q) MP and Peach have been two of the best football schools in Middle Georgia lately. Where would you rank these two programs and how important is it that they play every year (for now)? A.) It's a game that ira fan's team is too far away or off on Friday, it's very much worth going to because of the history and success. As good a job as Brian Nelson and his under- rated staff have done, they may have done better than people think or realize. Chad Campbell has built one of the most consistent programs of any dassification in the state, and straightened up a lot of things that sort of kept Peach County a notch lower than where it is now. According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Associa- tion Website, MP is 613-260-9, 70.01 percent and Peach County is 403- 175-6, 69.52 percent. In percentage, that puts them both in the top 25 in the state of active programs. Brian is 76-18 (80.85 pct.) and Chad is 134-27 (83.23 pct.). Those are moderately stupid numbers. (Now, if we can just get MP and Washington County in a regular- season home and home ' Q) You've covered high school sports a long time in Middle Georgia. I know our fans want to hearyour prediction for the game. They won't hurt you. I'm almost sure. A.) Probably overlooked in Mary Persons' record is that they could be 4-0 or 0-4, which is interesting and different and not terribly surprising. qqae'lr point differential is, well, even. Being in a close game is no big deal, and those are huge leaming experi- ences. That's a boost the Bulldogs will need. They have to avoid a flurry of big plays and points from Peach County, which can very easily de- liver a first-half knockout punch. Mary Persons has to look at Peach as the team that lost to Houston County, not the one that hammered Lee County. There are some its, as always, but it feels like Peach County 39, Mary Persons 17. Q) As this is MP's last non-region game, our eyes will turn to Region 2-AAAA. Obviously West Laurens is looking pretty good. What chances do you give the Bulldogs of getting our fifth straight region title? A.) I love the weekly drama that will be 2-4A. Contrasts in coaches, in styles, in history. West Laurens has been my pick since the summer, from returning experience to the offense making big progress to a defense that has been burly for awhile (I still remember with a smile the 14-2 MP win in Dexter a few years ago with as good a collection of defensive linemen that did not go power- 5 as you can get on a high school football field, from both teams). I think Howard is the next best team; the Huskies lost a lot ofplayers, but are on a roll. Still can't quite figure out Upson-Lee and Perry, and Spalding doesn't look like a contender. The battles with MP, Perr and Upson-Lee - and the schedule (timing of who and where) favors MP a bit - are almost elimina- tion games. Almost. While I think WL and Howard are a little better, this region champ can easily have two losses. And we can very easily get down to people checking phones for scores (*cough- cough* @CentralGaSports and on that final regular season night to see the difference between second place, maybe first, and packing away the equipment. And about 5-10 plays will be that difference. Custom Screen Printing 478-315-9944 57 N Jackson St. ~t~'~'~ Forsyth, GA By Appointment Only Peach Co. at MP PREMIER~: : :i ~ "Staying One Step Ahead of Everyone Else" {478) 992-0044 I www.headhvae.eom License #CN210324 Notre Dame at UGA Wed Thu Fri. 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Michi( We are a full deli and bar with a terrific atmosphere, live music during the month, friendly faces and a welcoming staff to greet you! 22 West Main St. Forsyth; GA "1478-993-2 S. Carolina aflMis$ou 33 W. Johnston St. Forsyth, GA 31029 (478) 994-4993 Hours: 11:00AM - 3:00 PM . 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM California at Ole Miss GO MP BULLIIOGS! 323 Join us before or after the game for a great meafl Eat in or carry it with you! 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