Gilmer is off to a 3-0 start for the third straight year, but Bobcats coach Wesley Tankersley said his team will have its hands full with the speedy Rhodes returning.
“He can bust one at any time,” Tankersley said. “He is that type of back. With him in there, they are definitely going to be a lot harder to handle. Looking at film, they haven’t won yet, but remember the competition. You have to take that into account. I think our players understand who Dalton is.”
Running out of their wing-T offense, the Bobcats have been keyed by junior quarterback Chris James, who has brought an added dimension to the usually run-based Gilmer offense. The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound James threw for 240 yards in the season opener, and the Bobcats have even run some shotgun sets this year.
But pass production has been hit or miss. Last Friday against South-east, Gilmer had 349 yards of total offense with 308 coming on the ground. Fullback Tyler Bertolini — the only returning skill player from 2012 — finished with 30 carries, 196 yards and two touchdowns in the 18-6 win over the Raiders.
Fellowship Christian (3-0)
at Christian Heritage (2-1)
With Fellowship Christian and Christian Heritage — two of the highest-scoring teams in Class A this season, according to ga.prepcountry. com — clashing at Lions Stadium, somebody better play a little defense.
Lions coach Preston Poag believes his team can handle that chore.
“We’re playing good defense,” Poag said. “But we have to execute and do what we’re supposed to do.”
A year ago, Christian Heritage pitched a shutout in a 48-0 rout of the Paladins, who went 2-8 but were blanked only one other time in 2012. The Paladins’ offense scored 15.7 points per game, but their defense gave up an average of 38.7 points last season.
“Our defense has made some progress,” said Paladins coach Al Morrell, who led the program at Creekview High School from its beginning in 2006 until last season.
Fellowship has won its three games this year by an average score of 42.7-12.3. The offensive unit has been spurred by a pair of seniors — quarterback Hunter Bryant, who has 449 passing yards and seven touchdowns, and running back Taylor Cookson, who has 228 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
But Morrell expects a challenge from Christian Heritage, which has yielded just nine points over the past two games.
“They don’t give you many holes,” Morrell said.
Offensively for the Lions, running back Ahmaad Tanner and fullback Austin Lowe are each averaging 10 yards per carry, quarterback Trevor Brown has passed for 774 yards and nine scores, and receiver Nich Bartley has snagged 23 passes for 482 yards and six touchdowns.