Christian Heritage (4-1, 1-0) at Gordon Lee (3-1, 0-0)
A year ago, Gordon Lee’s Zack Cobb scored touchdowns on offense and defense while leading the Trojans to a 20-7 victory — all the scoring occurred in the first half — at Christian Heritage.
The looming question for tonight’s Sub-region 6A-A matchup in Chickamauga is: Will Cobb even play?
“He didn’t play at all last week,” Lions coach Preston Poag said. “We understand he broke his leg in the Coahulla Creek game (on Sept. 6) and hadn’t played since.”
Other media reports have Cobb out with a knee injury, but Gordon Lee coach Charlie Wiggins didn’t return phone calls seeking a status report on his star running back and cornerback.
In the Trojans’ first two games against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Coahulla Creek, both with Cobb playing, they scored 58 points. Without Cobb, the Trojans have scored just six points in two games and last week were shut out by Whitefield Academy, which held them to 117 yards of offense. Gordon Lee crossed midfield twice.
Wiggins did talk about last year’s game when contacted earlier in the week.
“It was a barnburner, a really close game that went back and forth,” he said. “The second half became a defensive slugfest.”
The Lions average 376 yards of total offense — 233 through the air — and 37.8 points per game. Defensive coordinator Bill Mitchell’s unit yields an average of 198 yards per game and 13 points. The Lions have two shutouts and 35 of the 65 points scored against them came in a season-opening loss to Model.
The Lions have several players who are enjoying good seasons from an individual standpoint as well, and quarterback Trevor Brown and wide receiver Nich Bartley — both are seniors — and junior linebacker Evan Townsend particularly stand out in that group. Brown has completed 73 of 125 passes for 1,162 yards, with 15 touchdowns against six interceptions. He has a reliable target in Bartley, who has compiled an eye-popping 30 catches for 644 yards including nine touchdowns. No other receiver in Murray or Whitfield counties has more than 250 yards.
Townsend is the area’s leader with 73 total tackles.
“We’re a confident team right now,” Poag said. “We have a different mentality this year and I like what I see. There is good focus. We’re getting great senior leadership. Good things are happening.”