Sports Columns

September 6, 2013

Chris Whitfield: So let the Guru act as a guide

Like the start of a race, the gun fired last week, and now we are all off and running. Well, some of us are running, while others stumbled out of the blocks.

It’s all right, gentle reader, if you didn’t hit all of your picks last week. But it is a good thing that you have the Guru of Gridiron Guessing to guide you, because I was 4-0 in the area’s first full week of prep football for the 2013 season.

I came close to predicting the exact score of the North Murray at Southeast Whitfield game — I guessed Southeast would win 34-17 and the Raiders almost made me a psychic as they prevailed 35-12 — correctly gave you the exact number of points Coahulla Creek was going to score, let you know just about how many points Pepperell was going to score (I was off by one) and let you know those cuddly little Lions at Christian Heritage weren’t quite ready for prime time.

For the year, your Prep Pigskin Prognosticator is 4-1. (Thanks a lot, Dalton.)

So stand in awe of this week’s display of awesomeness.

Game of the Week — Gordon Central at Southeast Whitfield: Oh, you Catamounts fans thought it would be your game, didn’t you?

Games of the week are supposed to be close. (Rimshot!)

Instead, let’s see if Southeast can make a little history.

It has been so long ago since the Raiders started a season 2-0 that the players on this year’s team weren’t even born yet. We’re talking decades, folks — 1989 to be exact.

On paper, Gordon Central shouldn’t pose too much of an impediment to history in the making, having lost 33-7 to Coosa last week. But the real question is how much of a celebratory hangover the Raiders have this week.

Taking things for granted can get you in trouble in a hurry, but after so many difficult seasons the Raiders should have gone back to work like it was just another week. There were some troubling aspects to last week’s win over North Murray.

The power game of the Raiders was less than impressive. Between the tackles, Southeast struggled to move the ball. The defense, however, looked stellar. Maybe the Raiders need to get their feet under them a little bit on the offensive side of the ball.

Gordon Central should provide that lift.

Whit’s Pick: Southeast 33, Gordon Central 7

Dalton at Calhoun: According to the computers at maxpreps.com, the Cats come into this game as a 33-point underdog. The silver lining, Big Red, is that Ridgeland lost to Calhoun by 37 last Friday, so the computers see you as better than Ridgeland.

We all know how this rivalry has turned over the past few years in favor of the Jackets, and unless the injured Kelvis Rhodes — who is a game-time decision after already missing the season opener — comes back and is all of a sudden Herschel Walker, the Calhoun streak keeps rolling on to five straight wins. Cats linebacker/safety Eder Mora is a beast after racking up 20 tackles against Ringgold, but Calhoun is much faster than Ringgold and he won’t be able to be all over the field at once.

The computers are wrong about the score, but Calhoun still wins.

Whit’s Pick: Calhoun 34, Dalton 20

Christian Heritage at Murray County: The Lions showed some bite last week by putting up impressive offensive numbers, but they were declawed by turnovers. Do that again this week and give Murray County some early hope and this could be a good game.

Whit’s Pick: Christian Heritage 35, Murray County 15

Coahulla Creek at Gordon Lee: The Colts got off to a gallop last week, but Trojans ride horses.

Gordon Lee running back Zack Cobb has another big night.

Whit’s Pick: Gordon Lee 36, Coahulla Creek 28

Dade County at North Murray: I have nothing productive to offer on Dade County since I really know nothing of North Sand Mountain, the Alabama school that beat the Wolverines 19-13 last week.

A sand mountain would seem to be harder to climb than a real mountain, but I am giving North Murray the benefit of the doubt.

Whit’s Pick: North Murray 14, Dade County 13

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. You can write to him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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