GPB’s Jon Nelson will be on hand to provide coverage of tonight’s high school football game between Monroe Area and Apalachee at R. Harold Harrison Stadium in Winder via Facebook Live.
Here’s a look at both teams:
Monroe Area Purple Hurricanes
Coach: Kevin Reach is starting his second season at the school. Monroe Area was 10-2 last year and lost to eventual state champion Calhoun 28-20 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Best players: QB Chandler Byron was a true force last year, when he was named region player of the year. He threw for 1,749 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,813 yards and 24 touchdowns. He rushed for 100-plus yards in 11 of 12 games. RB Jakia Thompson rushed for 803 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 18 passes, six for touchdowns. LBs Jayden Davis and Jermonte Davis lead the defense.
Coach: Tony Lotti is starting his first year as head coach. He replaced Steve Sims, who was 3-26-1 in three seasons, 1-9 in 2017. Lotti spent six seasons as head coach at West Hall, where he led the program to its first region title and five playoff appearances.
Best players: The battle for starting QB will come down to A.J. Forbing, who became the starter halfway through the 2017 season, and Todd Jones, a left-handed sophomore who threw two touchdown passes in the preseason scrimmage. LB Josh Agbenou had a pick-six in the scrimmage.
Series: Apalachee leads the series 5-3.
Last meeting: Monroe Area won 42-0 in 2017.