‘Don’t know if we’re the favorites, but we’re the defending champs’

Two weeks ago, No. 1 Sandy Creek trailed upstart Alexander with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter.  It was the first time they had trailed in the fourth quarter since last season’s quarterfinal playoff game against Burke County.

The Patriots didn’t panic then and didn’t panic against Alexander, rallying for two late touchdowns to remain unbeaten.

Now, the question is – Will the top-ranked Patriots panic this week, if they fall behind at No. 2 Carrollton in a huge game to decide the Region 5-AAAA championship?

“They’re a good team, and they’re going to make some plays,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker said about Carrollton.  “Our kids have to understand that. You don’t play in these type games, and they go exactly like you drew it up.”

Sandy Creek won last season’s meeting convincingly, 30-7. But there’s a feeling that the Patriots haven’t lived up to expectations this season. Some believe Sandy Creek isn’t even the favorite heading into Friday’s game, let alone in the state playoffs.

“I don’t know if we’re still the favorite,” said Walker, “but we’re the defending champs, though.”

Walker talked about his team’s performance to this point and about a wide-open AAAA state championship race in a Tuesday phone interview.

Q: Has your team lived up to your expectations to this point?

Walker: We haven’t played quite as good at times as we’d like to, but all our goals are still very much in front of us, region championship and state championship. We haven’t played with our original starting lineup since the first game. That’s been the biggest thing. So I don’t if expectations can be met in terms of that. We’ve been banged up a lot.

Q: Are you healthy heading into Friday’s game?

Walker: I think we’re probably as healthy as we’ve been.

Q: Are there any key injuries heading into Friday’s game?

Walker: That’s going to have to be one of those deals, where we’ll just have to wait and see.

Q: When you look at Carrollton on film, what stands out?

Walker: I just think they have really good players, and they are well-coached. That’s the big thing. They’ve got a really good football team. I don’t think there can be one thing that can stick out to you. I think it’s a combination of all the things.

Q: Special teams were a factor in last year’s game against Carrollton, with the Trojans committing a couple mistakes in the kicking game. How comfortable are you with your special teams heading into Friday’s game?

Walker: They have a huge advantage in special teams. They have a kicker (Tyler Newsome) that’s committed to Notre Dame. Obviously, that’s something plays in their favor. We have not done as good in kickoff coverage as we would have liked. We don’t have as talented as kicker or punter as we had last year. Have (special teams) been up to par compared to what they were last year? No. But have they been up to what we expected? Probably.

Q: How do you assess Class AAA at this point?

Walker: There’s a bunch of really good AAAA football teams in the state this year. You can go to all corners of the state, and you’re going to find a team that has the ability to make a run in the playoffs. You can go to Marist, Monroe, Cedartown, Wayne County, Burke County, Statesboro, Mary Persons … our region has a couple good teams in it, too.  Veterans is playing really good right now … Stockbridge, Griffin … Eagle’s Landing is playing really good right now. You can anywhere in the state and find a lot of teams that, when it comes playoff time, you’re going to have your hands full.

Note: The winner of the Carrollton-Sandy Creek game will earn the Region 5 top seed and be placed in the same playoff bracket as the No. 1 seed out of Region 4 and could draw the Region 8 2-seed in the second round. Griffin is the favorite in Region 4. If No. 4 Monroe Area loses at Chestatee on Friday, the Purple Hurricanes, who reached the semifinals last season, could face the Region 5 winner in the second round.

The No. 2 seed out of Region 5 is slated to face the No. 1 seed out of Region 8, the likely Chestatee-Monroe Area winner.

59 comments Add your comment

DDSTODD

October 29th, 2013
11:36 am

Creek remains the favorites and number one till someone beats them.

DDSTODD

October 29th, 2013
11:48 am

Creek remains the favorite and number one till someone beats them

FayettecountyFAN

October 29th, 2013
12:42 pm

Carrollton starters have yet play a complete game this season by halftime their playing JV team. On the hand SC starters have played well into second half in several of their games. I’m not making no excuses but, SC have had key players missing in every game since they played Plant. I think coming into this game undefeated and healthy since the first game we shouldn’t give Carrollton victory just yet. Carrollton have talent all over the field and so does SC and we know both team can put up points. I know SC struggle with Alexander and Carrollton took them to the woodshed. I think this game will come down to who plays mistake free ball and coaching adjustments. I don’t expect SC come into Grisham Stadium to be blown out or to blow ot Carrollton, but I do expect a hard fought game by both teams. Defensively I would have give the advantage Carrollton but, I at the end SC will show why they are #1 in the state.

Creek Rising!!!

October 29th, 2013
1:27 pm

That Plant game took the starch out of our players. They were so much bigger and add to that all of those illegal chop blocks and you’ve got multiple injuries. Defense plays banged up weekly. They are playing hurt, but they have big hearts. After a couple series, they come out the game in pain only to try again a few plays later. The offense is still missing what probably is there best lineman, but the talent on that side of the ball is lethal.

Just a Fan

October 29th, 2013
1:32 pm

I think SC will be favored-they are ranked ahead of Carrollton in most all polls-I also see the game as a tossup at this point-neither team can give up many big plays and win-looks like a high scoring game also as both teams are loaded offensively. Cannot agree with coach on all the teams he predicted to make a run in the playoffs-Cedartown,Veterans,Stockbridge,Eagles Landing and possibly others would have to score upsets to make a serious run unless placed in a weak bracket. Just my take on it.

Trojan94

October 29th, 2013
1:53 pm

Quarterback advantage even
Runningbacks advantage even
Wide recivers advantage even
Offensive line advantage even
Defensive line advantage carrollton
Linebackers advantage carrollton
Secondary advantage carrollton
Special teams advantage carrollton
Coaching advantage sandy creek can’t argue with 3 state titles

I welcome all debates but please lets keep it above the belt!

Casual Observer

October 29th, 2013
2:10 pm

Trojan 94-
Carrollton has a great team but you can’t be a homer and invite real debate.

Quarterbacks are even? Based on what? Stats? Wins as starting qb? Rings? Carrollton qb loses in every conceivable category.

Running backs are even? Based on what? Stats? Rings? Level of competition? Again, Carrollton’s don’t stack up. Plus, one of the running backs at SC already has offers from every major school in the south. Carrollton is good here, but SC is better

Carrollton’s wide receivers are better? Now I know you are joking.

You are wrong on the offensive line too. Carrollton has the advantage.

Correct on d line.

Incorrect on linebackers.

Correct on secondary.

Correct on special teams.

Correct on coaching.

That Dude Says...

October 29th, 2013
3:29 pm

Trojan 94 I stopped reading after you stated the quarterback’s were even.

Trojan '85

October 29th, 2013
3:34 pm

@Casual Observer, wait a minute now Trojan 94 is not being a homer. From what we know (and have seen in person) he has some valid points. If our Quaterback was in an offense that featured the pass his numbers would be a whole lot better (also if he could play more games past halftime). He was injured in the scrimmage game last year and only returned before we saw SC, before that he was behind three year starter and the guy that split time with him and both went on to play college ball. As for the Running backs trust me they are about even, they had to wait their turn also only starting last year because of very talented athletes before them that were seniors. I will give the slight edge on receivers but do not under estimate ours. All the other points I agree with Trojan 94.

manblk22

October 29th, 2013
5:01 pm

I’ve never seen polls or stats win state or big games. I read between the lines in coach walker’s interview. He’s saying , just in case we get blown out. I told in reporter we have injured players. Sounds like a copout. Last time I checked. Its 11 on 11. Coach against coach. Mono un mono. The Trojan nation did make any excuses the times y’all beat us. Man up and strap up. LETS PLAY BALL.

Trojan '85

October 29th, 2013
5:51 pm

@manblk22, thats right. We could have used any excuse we wanted but that ain’t Trojan football.

Trojan94

October 29th, 2013
6:27 pm

I don’t care what anybody say giving up 27 to plant 28 to newnan 19 to fayette co(with your starters in the game) 35 to east coweta and 42 points to alexander do not qualify sandy creek defense to win any defensive category sorry folks!

TROJAN FAN

October 29th, 2013
6:46 pm

here’s my thoughts! I don’t know if anyone can run on Carrollton. Most points scored on us in the first half(and there hasn’t been many) have come off big pass plays or the result of them! That’s what keeps SC scary. Both Carrollton QB’s can throw a clean deep ball, but it’s all set up by the Wing-T.
Really, Really hope this Carrollton’s year. Going to be there! Even if it’s a cold rain.! Rain? Who does that help? SC’s passing game? The Wing-T doesn’t like a wet ball. CAN’T WAIT!!!! BE THERE TROJAN NATION!!!!!!

Trojan94

October 29th, 2013
6:55 pm

Both teams are avg. around 45 to 50 points a game that alone lets me know both offensive lines have been doing there jobs. As far as wide receivers kitt is a special kid no doubt about it but what about other receivers I was at the plant game the ball never went to anybody else but kitt who are your other playmakers at wide out you gonna need some going up against the best secondary (13 int’s on the year) in the state. As for carrollton we have several deep threats jarrell rowe donte widgly andrew turner trey chivers cole cook need I go on?

trojan power

October 29th, 2013
7:43 pm

Look guys! I think carrollton has looked way better than sandy creek. But this is Chip Walker. Who probably is one of the top3 coaches in the state. Trust me he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Word is around carrollton , the carrollton job is the only one he would leave Sandy Creek for. Carrolltons coach Teague makes over $100,000 year. Wow! Just think if we lured Chip away. Word also is Teague has to win this game to keep his job. So im going with the MIGHTY TROJANS! LETS GO!

Trojan '85

October 29th, 2013
8:23 pm

@Trojan Power. Lets not start the fire Teague stuff. We have one of the best coaching staffs in Georgia. Its unfortunate that we have not won state titles lately but it takes an exceptional TEAM to pull it off and thats what we have now. Even with some of our better teams in the past if you are honest with yourself we probably overachieved a bit thanks to good coaching. Teague and his staff do a great job every year keeping our boys very competive. One example would be last years team with all of the starters we lost off of the 2011 team and to see where they have them now. Impressive!

TROJAN FAN

October 29th, 2013
8:25 pm

@Trojan power I really hope that is BS! Averaging 10+ wins a year! Winning, Discipline, getting his kids scholarships. Never met the man! Don’t keep up with the politics! He got my respect a few years ago when he kicked 2 D-1 defensive ends off the team for violating team rules. Both players played at neighboring schools that year. Oh yeah C’ton had championship potential that year(as most years during his tenure).

Just a football fan,who became a Carrollton fan when my kids when to high school. Look at what went on at the Monroe Area game last week. Would something like that happen C’ton? NO!

Just a Fan

October 29th, 2013
8:53 pm

If a succesful coach could lose his job because of a 9-1 record then maybe there is no hope for high school football. $100,000 for a job with the responsibilities Teague has is not that much compared to the private sector. Get real and enjoy it for what it is-a game. If Carrollton does not win Friday night will it change your life?No! A consolation for the losing team:The bracket quadrant for the #2 seed is probably an easier route.

THEHILLISREAL

October 29th, 2013
9:33 pm

I’ll take Carrollton by 14…. possible 21 pt over the Creek.

Jeff Turner

October 29th, 2013
10:40 pm

Looking forward to a very competitive game on Friday night. I think that this game will be a true measuring stick for both teams. The State Championship is the ultimate goal for both, but we are going to have one hell of a state championship atmosphere at Grisham Stadium on Friday night. Go Trojans!!!

FayettecountyFAN

October 30th, 2013
6:04 am

@THEHILLISREAL. SC is 73-3-1 since 2008 and you don’t win that many games without a combination of good coaching and athletes. Even though we’ve given up a few points defense I would never disrespect Carrollton like that. SC have been a better second half team for exception of the Alexander game where they new players all over field. Even though they were young and inexperience during they Alexander game they made plays on both sides the ball to pull out the victory. Now if Carrollton were to lose some key players Friday night could they do the same. Like I said before this game is going to much closer than people expect.

Just a Fan

October 30th, 2013
6:57 am

Everybody has a right to express their opinion-its not a matter of respect.SC will move the ball on Carrollton . Both teams should score,defense may be the key to the game. If either team loses by a large margin their hopes for bigger things will be all but over. Game will be televised on CSS.

Just a Fan

October 30th, 2013
7:02 am

Fayette Co Fan-you questioned whether Carrollton could lose a few players and still perform as SC did-that has been answered-Carrollton had 5 starters out for the opener against Oxford and did not get everyone back until the 5th game of the year. This is not peculiar to any good established program-if a team is to be exceptional they must have players past the first 22.

Creek Rising!!!

October 30th, 2013
8:05 am

For the person who asked about the wide receivers at Sandy Creek…#’s 15, 16 and 12 are all D1 receivers. I’ve stated since the start of the season that Carrollton is the best team in the state, but I also realize that Carrollton averaged just as many points when they faced Creek in the dome and they didn’t win by 14 or 21 points. Fact is, they only scored 7. Last year their offense didn’t score at all. Styles make games and Carrollton’s style of offense will benefit SC because Teague doesn’t want to get into a passing game, he will want to keep the ball as long as possible. SC will be ready to stop the run. Good luck and see you there!

FayettecountyFAN

October 30th, 2013
8:07 am

@ Creek Rising
Well said

DDSTODD

October 30th, 2013
11:11 am

We are in trouble if we don’t do what got us here. If we get conservative we lose.
We can’t allow Creek to load the box. We must use those two D-1 TEs.
Also Teague makes 150,000 a year for being the football coach and a weight lifting teacher.
His job is safe no matter what happens. He will retire on his terms when he wants.

Bear_Backer

October 30th, 2013
11:12 am

Yes…keep on sleeping on Griffin.

Wolf Dawg

October 30th, 2013
11:20 am

Sounds like a whale of a gridiron contest this weekend!!

Good luck to both Sandy Creek & Carrolton!!

hollywoodraiders

October 30th, 2013
11:31 am

carrollton must stop the run and that li delayed draw play and bubble screen they use.if they can do that and get pressure on creek qb.they will have a great chance to win.teague and his coaching has been much better he has to take chances u have not beat them being safe everplay u have athletes to give them a chance to make plays.

FirstDownCreeek!!!

October 30th, 2013
1:51 pm

As Coach Walker said in the article, SC has two goals: (1) win the region & (2) win the state. There has been a method to his madness on who he has played at various points this season given the injuries and talent. He has limited the snaps of his FBS recruited talent becasue he knew he could win games and be in the region hunt without them on the field all of the time. It all has been pointed to 11/1/13 @ 7:30 pm. All of his Big Dawgs are ready to roll. Come Friday night, there will be some BIG BOY football being played at Carrollton!

trojan power

October 30th, 2013
4:29 pm

Cant wait to here the pa announcer say(Welcome to Grisham Stadium). Creek fans don’t be culture shocked when u see our facilities! The best in the state! Those Creek players better not get overwhelmed. Cause we play on turf and u can watch yourself run into the endzone on our Jumbo Tron! Go Mighty TROJANS!!!

Trojan94

October 30th, 2013
5:27 pm

Just one question how are all those other WR become D-1 prospects so soon. No one ever hear of any of the other outside of kitt? Even the blogger didn’t name the names. Who are they?

Trojan '85

October 30th, 2013
6:13 pm

@Bear_Backer, this is #1 vs #2. Everything that has been talked about all summer and during the season comes down to this Friday night. We in the Trojan Nation are a very proud bunch and thier. It is not time to be even thinking about you Mighty Bears. Why don’t you come on up and enjoy and enjoy the game. Better get their early though because word around town is we are expecting 15,000 fans. We already have a huge Stadium and they are bringing in extra bleachers, that tells me they have already sold a big number of tickets at the school and today is just Wednesday.

Trojan '85

October 30th, 2013
6:15 pm

Sorry for the error on my blog I deleted some of what i had to say.

FristDownCreeeeeK!!!

October 30th, 2013
7:15 pm

@trojanpower, remember SC played in the Ga Dome for state titles 3 of the last 4 years and all of the JRs and SRs have played in the Dome. While Carrrollton’s facilities are nice, a football field is a football field. It’s all about blocking, tackling and execution. Being in awe of Carrollton’s facilties will not be an issue.

FristDownCreeeeeK!!!

October 30th, 2013
7:22 pm

@Trojan94, the other receivers referenced are #15 (senior – GT, Western KEntcuky, Ball State, & App State) is Justin Sumpter. #16 is a junior and #12 is a sophomore (you can catch their names when they score Friday night). All following in the tradition of outstanding WRs at SC. Watch #15 and #16. Both are 6′ – 3″, can run and catch. Pay too much attention to Kitt and Sumpter will steal the show.

Trojan94

October 30th, 2013
7:39 pm

Bear backer I agree with Trojan 85 nobody has forgot about griffin trust me . But this is war. they have what we want. A yard and a half was all that stood between us and a tie championship game, We’ve been waiting for a long time to get this team inside grisham stadium, Griffin will have there chance with one of these teams but for now its all about payback region titles and state titles are out the door this Friday this is gonna be a good ole fashion street fight for supremacy.

Trojan94

October 30th, 2013
7:56 pm

We are not worried about creek’s WR’s! They are going against the best secondary in the state… bring it!

FristDownCreeeeeK!!!

October 30th, 2013
7:59 pm

@trojan94, don’t have cardiac arrest before friday night…LOL. Whie we love our high school foootbal in the souht, it’s still just a game. Have some fun!

Trojan '85

October 30th, 2013
8:14 pm

Its not like we have small corners 6′1″ Cammons, 6′0″ Johnson, 6′0″ Wigley and 6′0″ Turner.

manblk22

October 30th, 2013
9:11 pm

I’m glad to see both sides can enjoy the back and forth jarring. Both sides can talk about the past championships. But , Friday nite. It doesn’t matter how many D-1’s are on the field. It depends on whose hungry for the win. No excuses. 11 on 11. I don’t want to hear nothing about whose hurt, who didn’t play or who stomach didn’t feel good. I don’t want to hear neither coach say, we’re saving ourselves for the playoffs. NO EXCUSES. LETS PLAY BALL

Patriot Power

October 30th, 2013
9:28 pm

Carrollton probably doesn’t have a losing record against too many teams and probably hasn’t had a a running clock put on them too many times. So the intensity on their side to beat us is understandable.

Football parent

October 30th, 2013
9:58 pm

When will Sandy Creek step up and start playing 5A are even 6A teams . Because that the caliber team they brag and say there are. We’ll get out of the pond and jump in the lake with the big fish. Are stop bragging on how your 6A team beat up on some 4A team.

That Dude Says...

October 30th, 2013
11:40 pm

@ trojan power… The GHSA is having an emergency meeting today at 1 pm. They are thinking of making Sandy Creek forfeit the game. Due to the fact that SCHS’s fans might get severe culture shock over carrollton’s facilities. They are mainly concerned about SCHS’s players having to play on turf in a stadium with a jumbo tron. They just aren’t sure we can all collectively handle it.

@ Trojan94… You must be one of Carrollton’s finest. You said this is war. Really dude? What’s wrong with you? Unlike war where people actually die this is just a high school football game. A game dude. It’s just a game. There’s a whole lot more to life than football believe it or not. You seem consumed and very worked up over this game. It’s a big world out there. You should get out and live a little.

@ Football parent… What? Just what are you talking about?

Bear_Backer

October 30th, 2013
11:43 pm

Thanks guys, i’ll be there Friday. Can’t miss the GAME OF THJE YEAR! I’m pulling for the Trojans, and plan on sitting on the home side.

FayettecountyFAN

October 31st, 2013
5:51 am

Playing in Grisham stadium is just like playing in our second home the Georgia Dome.

badbrad

October 31st, 2013
7:50 am

@football parent
We opened the season with Plant…a perennial power from Tampa Fla, much larger school than we are.
Pretty ignorant comment. We also play East Coweta every year and they are one of the largest schools in the state of Ga (go look it up) and also a traditional football power.

Just a Fan

October 31st, 2013
8:35 am

With that many quality wide receivers -one must wonder :are they homegrown or part of the mass transfers that seem to be the norm in the urban sprawl areas?Just wondering.

Yawner

October 31st, 2013
9:06 am

Go Trojans!

October 31st, 2013
9:46 am

It’s going to be a great game and atmosphere on Friday night for sure!