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Locals playing old school football

Posted: September 29, 2013 - 12:07am  |  Updated: September 29, 2013 - 1:24am

Even with the pistol, shotgun snaps and no-huddle offenses all the rage, I think I’ve enjoyed the past two weeks of the high school football season the most so far.

It was fun covering Harlem High and Augusta Prep, schools that play a style of football that harkens back to the days of old.

Well, not the leather-helmet era necessarily, but at least the 1970s and ’80s.

That was a time when the rules didn’t favor the offenses so blatantly and teams had to have a balance of running and passing to get the job done.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is fun to see a team like Lakeside, for example, put pressure on the other team by hurrying to the line of scrimmage after each play and trying to put up video-game scores.

The funny thing is, Harlem and Augusta Prep are doing the same thing thus far with dominating ground attacks and stifling defenses.

Through the first four games, with both sitting at 4-0, Harlem and Augusta Prep’s average margin of victory is 28-5 and 39-11, respectively.

As always, I hope my writing this in advance of their Friday night games didn’t put the hoodoo on them.

Augusta Prep is running the triple-option, which they’ve been utilizing since the inception of their program five years ago.

They have the horses up front to move the line of scrimmage, a quarterback in Nate Pylant who appears to be making all the right decisions and a pair of bruising running backs in Nolan Brandon and Kevin Huggins.

Brandon abused the Georgia Force team from the get-go Sept. 20, slamming through the line and dragging would-be tacklers. He reminds me a little of Redskins Hall-of-Famer John Riggins. I would hope Ashley Brown, who did the Prep-Westminster television game on Friday, had an oppportunity to use John Madden-esque words such as boom and bam on Brandon runs.

Harlem was a shotgun team in 2012, but head coach Jimmie Lewis made the decision to put quarterback Hunter Rippe under center to help
minimize turnover issues that plagued the team last year.

It’s worked, with the team firmly planted on the positive side of the turnover ratio and running back Austin Burt averaging over 100 rushing yards-per-game.

 

Postseason plans

Greenbrier locked up a No. 1 seed and Evans locked up a No. 2 seed in Region 2A-Class AAAAA softball and will play host to the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds from the other half of the region, respectively, on Saturday, while Grovetown and Lakeside will be on the road.

With a win over Dublin Tuesday, the Harlem Lady Bulldogs clinched the No. 1 seed in Region 3-AA and will play host to Screven County in the region tournament’s first round on Wednesday.

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