Milan Turner brings his Warhawks (1-4) into tonight’s game needing a win before starting a grueling region schedule which includes Wayne Co., Ware Co. , Coffee and defending state champs, Warner Robins. There are several reasons not to read too much into the Veteran’s record to date. Not the least of these reasons, the tough non-region schedule of Northside, West Laurens, Perry , Jones County and Oconee County.
After dropping the opener to AAAAAA Northside, Coach Turner’s team got its lone win of the season by surprising Jones County in an overtime game in Gray, then it dropped a game to rising AAAA power, Perry. The team played well enough to win but fell just short on the road to West Laurens . Veterans had AAA power Oconee Co. on the ropes early in last week’s contest before the visiting Warriors pulled away in the second half.
Coach Turner is 2-1 overall when facing Houston County as the Warhawk’s head coach. His team won 35-33 in 2018 and 7-2 in 2019 before getting shut out 7-0 in last year’s contest.
Key to success for Veterans: Stopping the ground game of Houston County.
Ryan Crawford’s team features a strong running attack with Simeon Askew racking up over 1100 yards on the ground (7.3 average per carry). Askew needs just 444 yards to capture the HOCO single season rushing record set by Eric O’neal in 2006 (1609 yards). The Bears have battled through injuries along the offensive line, but have still found a way to move the football via the turf.
Freshman QB Antwaan Hill, Jr. has 443 yards through the air on 43 attempts (4 TDs- 4 Ints).
Houston County has six players with double digit tackle totals. Bryce Parrish and Ryan Mackey (20 each) lead the group.
Key to success for HOCO: Contain the option attack and box up Jr. QB – Matthew Bruce.
Bruce has shown great mobility and a strong down field passing arm, the bears will have to contain him both in the option game and on scramble plays to be successful.
Both teams want to play defense and control the ball, both have 1st year starters at the QB position. The team who can establish the run, limit penalties, and complete a few play action passes down field will come out on top.
Look for the kicking game to make the difference in this battle over shared ground – Freedom Field.