Tough road ahead for Grangers

Published 10:30 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – The grind continues.

The LaGrange Grangers have played an enormously challenging schedule through their first six games, and there’s no let-up now.

Beginning with today’s game at Cedartown, LaGrange’s next four games are against teams with two losses between them.

First up is Cedartown, which fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with last week’s 41-7 loss to top-ranked and unbeaten Cartersville.

LaGrange then hosts Cartersville, which hasn’t lost a game since 2014, before facing the unbeaten Troup Tigers on Oct. 13.

After playing once-beaten Sandy Creek on Oct. 20, LaGrange finishes the regular season on Oct. 27 at Chapel Hill, which is 3-2.

A week ago, LaGrange (0-6) was hoping to break through for its first win of the season, but it was Central-Carroll taking the 32-6 victory.

Now LaGrange will go on the road to play a Cedartown team that, before being limited to seven points against Cartersville last week, hadn’t scored fewer than 34 points in a game.

It’s a tough road ahead for the Grangers, but they’ll keep fighting.

“It’s a test of character. It really is,” LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks said following the Central-Carroll game. “Right now, we’re going to see where we are. We’re 0-1 in the region, and we’ve got five more games to go. Anything’s possible. It’s just are they going to keep believing? As long as we keep believing and working hard, anything can happen.”

Cedartown will bring an offense that, at least until a week ago against Cartersville, had been impossible to stop.

After scoring 34 points in the opener against Rockmart, Cedartown scored at least 41 points in each of its next three games.

It’s an offense led by Trevon Wofford, who completed 13-of-16 passes for 169 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-10 win over Pepperell on Sept. 8.

Tony Mathis, who headlines Cedartown’s rushing attack, had 14 carries for 119 yards in the Pepperell game.

LaGrange, despite remaining winless with last week’s loss to Central-Carroll, took some positives from the game.

Even though the Grangers were limited to six points, they had their most productive passing game of the season with DeAundre Towns completing 9-of-13 passes for 120 yards with a 23-yard touchdown completion to Andreka Martin.

Jordan Ogletree, who has stepped up to become one of LaGrange’s top offensive play-makers, had four catches for 74 yards, and Martin, Myles Johnson and Koby Patton each had one reception.

The Grangers did struggle to run the ball, with Martin leading the way with 17 yards on six attempts.

Defensively, Lequincy Shepard and Dexter Fitzpatrick each had nine tackles, and

linebacker Vondez Taylor continued his big season with seven tackles.

Dezhaun Artis tied Taylor for the team lead with six solo tackles, and Daz Williams had six tackles.

Jequavious Bowles, a sophomore defensive lineman, had two tackles for loss.

In the special-teams department, Wesley Kuhn averaged 39 yards on his five punts, and he had one that traveled 50 yards.