Rivalry week arrives for local teams
LAGRANGE – It’s rivalry week.
When the schedules were released for the local football teams, two games stood out.
For Callaway, it was a game against Heard County.
They’re not only long-time rivals, but the winner of the game figured to have a great chance to win a region championship.
For LaGrange and Troup, the game that jumped out was the one against each other.
Those rivalry games are here, and they’ll be played on back-to-back nights at Callaway Stadium.
First up will be the game between Heard County and Callaway on Thursday at 7 p.m., and Troup and LaGrange will face off on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The game between Callaway and Heard County features a pair of teams with one loss between them.
Callaway is 6-0 overall, and it crunched Lamar County 38-7 last week in its Region 5-AA opener.
Heard County (5-1 overall) began its region schedule with a 41-0 trouncing of Temple on Sept. 23, and it hasn’t played since then.
While both teams will have three region games to play after this week, there’s no question the winner of Thursday’s game will be the strong favorite to win the title.
Beyond the region implications, Callaway defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard said this is an important game, regardless of records.
Heard County is Callaway’s fiercest rival whether the two teams are in the same region or not.
“It wouldn’t matter if we were 0-6, and they were 0-6,” Hubbard said. “When you play those guys, it’s a lot of fun. This game does have a lot riding on it. I figure it be a packed house, and a fun atmosphere for the kids. You just try to do your best and prepare like you always do. You just tell the kids to control what you can control.”
Following this week’s game, Callaway will be on the road against Temple on Oct. 21, and it closes the regular season with home games against Spencer and Jordan.
Heard County’s final three region games are against Jordan, Lamar County and Spencer.
On Friday, it’ll be time for Troup and LaGrange to resume their long-standing rivalry.
There’s plenty on the line for both teams.
LaGrange (2-5 overall), which fell to 1-2 in Region 5-AAAA with last week’s loss to Cartersville, is looking to strengthen its playoff position in the region.
At the moment, LaGrange still controls its playoff fate, but that wouldn’t be the case if it loses to Troup.
“I don’t care who we’re playing,” LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks said. “It doesn’t matter. Whoever’s next, you have to get it.”
While LaGrange is looking to climb the ladder in the region, Troup needs a win to remain in first place.
Troup (5-1 overall) moved to 2-0 in the region with the big 28-20 road win over Sandy Creek on Sept. 30, and it didn’t play last week.
“The next one gets even bigger, just because the more you win the bigger the games get,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We’ve just got to stay grounded. It’s another region game. We’re 2-0 in the region in first place right now. It feels good.”
While LaGrange will have two region games to play following Friday’s game, Troup will have three more.
Troup hosts Cedartown on Oct. 20, and it closes the regular season with games at Central-Carroll and Cartersville.
If Troup keeps winning, it will likely have a region-championship showdown with defending state-champion Cartersville on Nov. 4.
LaGrange won’t have to leave Callaway Stadium for the remainder of the regular season.
Troup will be at home against Sandy Creek on Oct. 21 and Chapel Hill on Oct. 27.
Also this week, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars will return from their off week when they visit Colonial Hills on Friday for an eight-man game.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports