Grangers set for home stretch
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange Grangers were riding high and hoping to perform some Friday-night magic against a stout Carver High football team.
For much of three quarters, it looked like the Grangers were going to have an opportunity to make that happen and come away with a massive region win, but it wasn’t meant to be.
An untimely turnover gave Carver the ball deep in LaGrange territory late in the third quarter, and it scored a touchdown to build a 14-point lead, and it added another touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure 36-14 victory.
Despite the loss, the Grangers (4-2 overall) are still in excellent position in Region 2-AAAA with a 3-1 record, and they’re tied for third place with the Troup Tigers.
LaGrange is off this week, and it will host Jordan on Oct. 29 before visiting Spencer on Nov. 5. LaGrange closes the regular season with two critical region games against Troup and Hardaway, and both games will be at Callaway Stadium.
“When you fight and you work like the kids have, it’s understandable when you’re mad and you’re upset about losing,” said LaGrange head coach Matt Napier. “The big deal is you have to put it behind you, keep our family tight, and just keep pushing and growing to get better.”
There were some bright spots in a tough loss.
Offensively, senior running back Kale Gibbs had another big night, rushing for 134 yards on 24 carries, and he has more than 800 yards this season, despite missing most of two games with an injury.
Quarterback Jaylan Brown threw for 64 yards, and he ran for 26 yards on eight attempts with two touchdowns.
Defensively Kway Coverson and Isaiah Jordan were both in double digits in tackles with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
Linebacker Jarno Huzzie, who is having a big senior season, had nine tackles, and defensive lineman Lataurus Swindle had five tackles with a sack.
David Paredes and Thad Dixon each had three tackles, and they both had sacks late in the first half that thwarted a Carver drive.
“We came out, and we played really good ball for the first half, and we just let a couple of mistakes and momentum get on top of us,” Napier said. “We had a couple of turnovers, and let them pop a big play on a long-down situation It happens in those type of games. We’re building, we’re growing. We’re so close to being there, we can taste it. It’s a matter of how we’ll respond now that we got hit and it didn’t go our way.”
LaGrange is looking to make it to the state playoffs for the first time since 2015, and it will need to finish fourth or higher in the region to make that happen.
LaGrange can secure a playoff spot with wins over Jordan and Spencer, and it will host a state game if it finishes first or second in the region.