As the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AA, the Elbert County Blue Devils have the home-field advantage and more recent postseason football experience than their opponent in the first round of the state playoffs.
But the Coosa Eagles, who will travel from Rome Friday for the showdown in the Granite Bowl, are not a typical underdog as the No. 3 seed from Region 7-AA. According to WSGC play-by-play announcer and Voice of the Blue Devils, Stewart York, Coosa is a junior- and senior-laden team and will provide a strong test for Elbert County.
“Coosa could have been a No. 2 seed very easily,” York said. “They’re all pretty close together. It’s going to be a big challenge for the Blue Devils. Coosa’s Coach Wheeler played at Georgia and also had a two-year stint with the Saints in the NFL. He loves defense. Their defensive ends are both 6-4, and all the cornerbacks are 6-0 to 6-2. The linebackers are very mobile, and it’s probably the largest line of scrimmage we will have faced on that side of the ball.”
The keys for the Blue Devils to advance in the playoffs Friday, York says, include stopping the Eagles’ rushing attack and making the right adjustments on offense.
“Coosa is going to be predominately defensive driven,” York said. “They do have a 6-2, 215-pound tailback that’s going to be a challenge for us to stop. The Blue Devils have some skilled athletes as well, a three-back tandem that Coosa’s going to have to deal with. The keys for Elbert County to be victorious in the Granite Bowl Fridaynight: we’ve got to contain that tailback. A lot of teams have had success against us running it up the middle. Our linebackers are going to have to have a great game. Offensively, nobody’s really stopped us all year. I expect us to score. But can we stop them?”
Kickoff time will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, with gates opening at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are available at all Elbert County schools. Adult tickets are $8. Advance student tickets are $6. All tickets at the gate will be $8.
Stewart York will be joined by analyst Marvin Denny and sideline reporter Danny Bessinger for live coverage Friday night on WSGC 105.3 FM, wsgcradio.com, and on your mobile device through the TuneIn Radio App.