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Grangers eye breakthrough win

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – They’re hoping to put one in the win column.

The LaGrange Grangers opened their season against the Callaway Cavaliers last week, and while they did some positive things, they were held scoreless in the 26-0 loss.

On Friday, LaGrange will be back at Callaway Stadium as they look for their first victory of the season.

LaGrange’s opponent will be Villa Rica, which thumped Central-Carroll 41-13 last week in its opener.

Villa Rica is led by Rico Zackery, who enjoyed tremendous success at Central-Carroll before stepping down following the 2015 season.

“We know what coach Zackery brings,” LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks said. “He’s a good friend of mine. He’s very passionate about the game as well. He knows how to motivate his guys. You saw it in the game against Central. Their defensive line is very impressive. Defensively, they run to the ball, they tackle. They’re trying to hit everything moving. We just have to match their effort. If we math their effort with ours, then it’s going to be a really good ballgame.”

For the Grangers, there were some encouraging signs last week, particularly on the defensive side.

Callaway managed two offensive touchdowns, one on a 62-yard scoring catch by Courtney Williams where he was double-covered, and the other on a 4-yard run by Kedrick Ramsey that capped a 48-yard drive.

“We’ll continue to stay at home and play good assignment football,” Burks said.

Offensively, the Grangers had a difficult time getting anything going in their Wing T attack.

LaGrange had a handful of scoring opportunities, but it was unable to take advantage of any of them.

Late in the first half, the Grangers attempted a potential game-tying field goal, but it was blocked, and DQ Wilkerson returned it for a touchdown to give the Cavaliers a 10-0 lead.

“We were in position to put up some scores,” Burks said. “We didn’t. We were either giving up ground up front, or we were dropping balls.”

Burks said it has been a productive week of practice as the Grangers look for win number one.

“We wanted to come out and focus on that this week, just the fundamentals, make sure we’ve got guys in the right spots,” Burks said. “We’re trying a couple of new guys out, moving them around to different spots.”

Burks said the idea is to “just keep getting better each week, and we’ll put it all together.”