Monroe Area clinched its first region championship since 1969 by beating Chestatee last week, and the Hurricanes are looking for more heading into their regular-season finale against Eastside-Covington.
“We want to go 10-0,” said Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg. “That’d be the first ever in the history of the school.”
At the same time, quarterback Stanton Truitt has missed two games with an ankle sprain, and Fligg said he’s questionable this week. The Hurricanes haven’t missed a beat with receiver Michael Gallup moving over to quarterback. Gallup has led the ‘Canes to 98 points and two victories.
Just the same, Fligg would like to have him back at receiver.
“Stanton’s our quarterback and we want to have him back,” Fligg said. “For us to make a big run in the state playoffs we’ve got to get all of our people back.”
Rematch time …
The region play-in setup in four of the eight regions resulted in three rematches in Class AAAA involving ranked teams this week.
Though it’d be hard to predict a reversal from the first result in any of the three, they all carry some amount of intrigue.
In Region 4-AAAA, Division A top seed Stockbridge (8-1) meets Division B fourth-seed North Clayton (2-7). The records would seem to indicate a mismatch. The No. 5-ranked Tigers have won eight straight since a season-opening loss to Class AAAAA M.L. King, and they’ve run roughshod over four opponents since beating No. 6 Griffin on a last-second field goal. Yet Stockbridge narrowly escaped its game with North Clayton on Sept. 21, a 15-14 win that came a week before the game with Griffin.
In 7-AAAA, River Ridge (5-4) makes a return trip to No. 10 Ridgeland (8-1) in the region title game. The visiting Knights suffered a blowout loss the first time around on Sept. 21, when Ridgeland won 42-8, which would also seem to indicate a mismatch. On the other hand, the arc of River Ridge’s season hints that the Knights have made significant strides since that game. The Knights started 1-4 and have won four straight, three of them by a touchdown or less. Last week they made a huge comeback to down Pickens and earn a spot opposite the Panthers, but they’ll have to figure out a way to slow down Ridgeland’s Vonn Bell and Darrell Bridges.
In 3-AAAA, a similar scenario plays out in, where Wayne County was 0-2-1 after three games but has won five of six since. The loss in that stretch was to Burke County on Oct. 5, a 50-21 setback in which Burke quarterback Donquell Green compiled more than 400 yards of total offense. This week, the Yellow Jackets (5-3-1) get a second shot at last year’s Class AAA state champions. No. 3 Burke lost its season opener to Class AAA Thomson but has not been slowed down since, topping 50 points four times.