Football Fridays In Georgia: A Clash of Titans as Nationally Ranked and Undefeated 7A Powers Square Off
On this week's Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, Hannah and Jon preview the big showdown between nationally ranked and undefeated 7A powers Mill Creek and Buford. And Hawks Coach Josh Lovelady discusses how to prepare for the big game and the emotions of being the father of a Homecoming queen. Plus, Flag Football is back!
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: We wonder, hey, what's our future like with our young people? That was one night. I'm like, You know what? We have a chance.
Hannah Goodin: The whole team comes running over.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: I think every position has a scholarship offer. There are not too many weak spots.
Jon Nelson: If I get trampled, fine. Are the microphones okay? And are the cameras and lights okay? That's the number one priority.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us, however, are you doing so: large device or small. Very, very busy week last week. Very, very busy week coming up this week, especially here on GPB. We'll get into our game of the week and all the other news that is going on here coming up in just a little bit. But Jon here, Hannah there. And so now it's time to catch up with what is on your mind over the next little while here with the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, jam-packed podcast as well. Here's what we got coming up on the show will recap our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week, North Cobb versus Walton. Take a look at what happened in region openers around the state, preview Friday's matchup between Mill Creek and Buford, and tell you what's to come in our brand new flag football coverage. A lots to get to today, Jon.
Jon Nelson: All right. So, you want to start with what was before we go into what will be.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. Yes, let's do that. So, we had a Region 5 7A showdown between North Cobb at Walton. This one was at Raider Valley. The Warriors got their first region win of the season, 33 to 6, to go 4 and 2 on the year 1 and 0 in region play. They were leading 33 to nothing heading into the fourth quarter, Jon. That's when the running clock started.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: What a shocking ending to a game that was supposed to be super close in all of our eyes.
Jon Nelson: No doubt about it. And you end up with you kept looking at the scoreboard and every single chance that North Cobb had to be clinical, they were clinical. It took advantage of everything. They were stout defensively going up against Walton, but this one was one of the top stunners of the week. A that you got the upset and B the margin that it was 33-6 the final with that six being scored in the running clock in the fourth quarter. It was just a wow. It was a wild game on Friday night.
Hannah Goodin: Grimstead was six of eight passing, 186 yards, and three scores. Georgia Cotton Commission player of the game, like you, said, Jon, and here's what he had to say after that big win.
Nick Grimstead, North Cobb Quarterback: It's very, very humbling. You know, it's a lot to learn real fast, but most of all, it's humbling for yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Big game for the kid.
Jon Nelson: Yep. And a sophomore learning as quickly as he has been learning when it comes to this offense, and you've got all of these offensive weapons behind you. The running game has been absolutely stout for North Cobb, and it's given Grimstead a bit of a cushion and a learning curve to get integrated into this offense as quickly is as he has. And we also caught up with the North Cobb head coach, Shane Queen afterward. Very emotional as always, because he's been through a lot this season and the team continues to strive.
Shane Queen, North Cobb Head Coach: Our kids believe in what we're doing at North Cobb. They know that we love them in the adverse. This is because of the adversity they've been through. And when our quarterback went down, nobody pouted and looked around as Nick Grimstead, jump in there and let's go. And that's what our kids, they love each other. They want to play for each other. And that's the difference in our program than some of the others.
Hannah Goodin: And right after that, the whole team comes running over, basically Jon.
Jon Nelson: Save the microphone,.
Hannah Goodin: Piling on.
Jon Nelson: Save the microphone. Save the audio and video equipment, please. You got —
Hannah Goodin: Oh, my God. You got trampled, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Well, actually, Shane got trampled. I was just trying to make sure I could get into the pile from the side to make sure that the microphone didn't end up like, you know.
Hannah Goodin: Dented.
Jon Nelson: To where you hear one of these BOUF one of those moments. I just had to make sure that the mic stand in the microphone were going to stay as pristine as possible. They all went on top of each other, and it was great to see that kind of camaraderie for a team that has been through a lot, especially with one of their star players. But yeah, to see that, just to make sure, had to make sure the audio was going to be okay. All the TV equipment had to stay safe. That was the biggest thing for me. Forget forget me. If I get trampled, fine. Is the audio —
Hannah Goodin: Forget Jon.
Jon Nelson: Are the microphones okay? And are the cameras and lights okay? That's the number one priority. Forget Jon in this situation, it's the cameras, the lights, audio, and video. Jon is like —
Hannah Goodin: Jon comes away with scratches and bruises.
Jon Nelson: Jon is ninth on the list when it comes to making sure that everything is fine.
Hannah Goodin: One more thing about the game. We talked about the offense, but the defense.
Jon Nelson: Mm-mhmm.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: Yep. No doubt. And, you know, you hold Walton, who is now four and two to just you know, they were hamstrung the entire night and they were kept guessing on defense and on it. Just you run out of words sometimes.
Hannah Goodin: So well-coached.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So well-coached.
Jon Nelson: When you have a game and an outing like you saw from North Cobb on both sides of the ball, Shane Queen said after the game, he says "I've got the best defensive coordinator state of Georgia, no doubt about it." And they wanted the shut out so badly, hopefully.
Hannah Goodin: They can hang on to it.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, but yeah. And just and trying to do a Shane Queen impression really does hurt. You can only do that in very short bursts.
Hannah Goodin: Take a sip of your lukewarm Mountain Dew that you've been sipping on for a week.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I will. I will in a bit. All right.
Hannah Goodin: That's disgusting, Jon.
Jon Nelson: So, what else is on your dossier there?
Hannah Goodin: Well, let's take a look around the rest of the state, and we'll kind of blow through my scoreboard here because I know you've got some games that you want to talk about. So, before Friday began, there were 43 unbeaten teams. It's not that way anymore. We'll start with Region 7 AAAA where 7-0, Cedartown handed 6 and 1 now. Heritage, Ringgold, its first loss of the season final score on that one 42 to nothing, and then in Region 1 AA Worth County gave Fitzgerald its first loss of the season as well at Miller Field. That score was also 42 to nothing then it was a big Region 3 AAAA opener for Elbert County and Benedictine. The Cadets beat the Bears 28 to 3 on Thursday at Wildcat Stadium and Region 4 AAAA for a Trinity Christian beat Whitewater 27-23 And, we saved one of the best for last Jon. Definitely need your take on this.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: The biggest rivalry game in Georgia. Well, one of them, the Winnersville Classic, was played at Martin Stadium this year between Valdosta and Lowndes. The Wildcats pulled it out 13 to 6. Vikings won it last year, 21 to nothing. What do you think about that game?
Jon Nelson: Under 200 yards of total offense for Lowndes? And with everyone that was watching this game, for me down in south Georgia, they're like, okay, touchdown, you know, touchdown Valdosta, a field goal Lowndes, and a touchdown. But you can't. They weren't able to match. Lowndes wasn't able to match what they were seeing offensively with Valdosta. But the defense is really been stout for Shelton Felton. They've kind of adapted his own philosophy when it comes to attitude and effort and those kinds of things. They really are Shelton Felton's defense and it's been it's been really intriguing for me to see them respond to the call against Florida teams and now in region play against Georgia teams. The Winnersville classic out of the blocks in region play tremendous work by Shelton Felton and their crew across the board.
Hannah Goodin: Our web game.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: You know Kennesaw Mountain beat Osborne.
Jon Nelson: Mm-hmm.
Hannah Goodin: 49 to nothing.
Jon Nelson: Yep. I know, but you know, Kennesaw Mountain.
Hannah Goodin: Poor Osborne. I'm happy for Kennesaw Mountain, but Osborne was- they were getting a go in this year.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, 49 - nothing, it was 35 - nothing at the half came in Prangley, 15 and 20 for 295 and 4. Cayden Lee had eight catches for 139 and a score. Dominant effort by Caleb Carmean was great to catch up with Caleb on the postgame show, by the way.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, he was great.
Jon Nelson: To see what it's like for him going back to his alma mater and bringing that program forward. Double-digit wins last year. I know the expectations are just as high this year for Kennesaw Mountain, but a dominant effort for them against Osborne. But still a great season so far for the Cardinals to this point.
Hannah Goodin: So, 6 and 0, Kennesaw Mountain is 1 and 0 in region play. So they're sitting atop the Region 5 AAAAAAA standings, right, with North Cobb, right? Yeah.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And that one that match up piled up in short order. So, you'll end up with. Yeah, I mean it's, I think it's two weeks from now.
Hannah Goodin: October 21st.
Jon Nelson: Yep. So, North Cobb has Wheeler this week. Kennesaw Mountain has Walton this week. So, you have Kennesaw Mountain taking on Walton, then you have Kennesaw Mountain taking on North Cobb. That round-robin will determine your one, your two, and your three.
Hannah Goodin: Right. Let's preview our game of the week, because that coincides with our guests this week. It's a Region 8 AAAAAAA showdown between two of the country's best teams. Mill Creek is ranked No. 18 in the country. Buford number 7. This should be an incredible matchup between two powerhouses, some of the best in the country, Jon. Wolves, trying to make Georgia high school history this season by winning a state championship in all classifications after reclassification, brought them up to 7A, and Mill Creek trying to get to the state championships for the first time in a while. What are your thoughts on this match?
Jon Nelson: I mean, I know that we're all looking at the likes of Caleb Downs from Mill Creek and we're looking at Justice Haynes for Buford. And I know that a lot of folks will have them in the spot shadow when it comes to your own personal TV open in your head. But it's more than just those two. It is the depth that you see from Buford on both sides of the ball. It is the the effort that is there from Mill Creek trying to to sit there and assert their personality when it comes to Gwinnett County football and being a top 20 program. And this is where we get to catch up with our guest Mill Creek head coach Josh Lovelady about this matchup and what it's been like to see Mill Creek evolve as a program.
Hannah Goodin: Mill Creek head coach Josh Lovelady joins us now. And Coach, I know you join us on the postgame show a few weeks ago, but we haven't talked and you haven't been on the podcast in a while. So how are ya?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Well, doing well. This practice field trying to get ready for another big region matchup with Buford. So, we've got a lot preparation to do for that team.
Jon Nelson: I've heard of those two schools and last time I checked, you're both pretty good when it comes to having two teams that are nationally ranked. You're you've got an afternoon practice because of holidays and you're coming off of fall breaks and things like that. How difficult is it to keep focus knowing all of this attention like stuff that we're doing here is kind of descending upon you for this week?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Well, it's not never easy because like you said, you just hope to dove into the football part of it. But, you know, you've also earned this, right? You know, what the kids have done in the season or what their opponents done to make this a key matchup. And let's be honest, we've had Corky Kell, we've had other ranked teams we played. So it's kind of one of the things that we do the best we can. And but also look at the flip side. It is another thing to add to your to do list and handle with the logistic wise, but it makes it more exciting as far as Friday night.
Hannah Goodin: 6 and 0. 1 and 0 with your first and region play with your first region win over Central Gwinnett, September 29th. You have a by week this week, though, what sort of things were you focusing on to get ready for this huge top 20 matchup of of the top one, two of the top teams in the country?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: It's about us. You know, we did a summary as coaches and said, okay, this is what we feel like, our guarded strength and who we are after six games. And a lot of those guys, those teams exposed some things that are weaknesses or things that we need address as well. So, we made it kind of like a to do-list and say, let's do these things. As far as offense, defense, special teams also kind of handle some situations that have that come up, you know, like a two-minute drill. We haven't had to do it, but it's but you know, you better have it ready to go. You know, if we need to pull it out or handling taking a safety or where it may be. So, a lot, it mostly was about us, but I won't lie we did start trickling in Tuesday and Wednesday, some game plan for Buford.
Jon Nelson: How much tape do you and the staff watch for a game like this, knowing its import and its impact over a ten game schedule and a region game and all those kinds of things and everything, all the bells and whistles that we're attaching to it. How much filmed you actually go back and watch for a team that is as nationally ranked as you are?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Well, to be honest with you, it's every week. And it didn't matter who we were playing every week early in the year. It's tough when you play a Walton that had, you know, game one where you kind of going back to the end of the year and say, okay, what do they do? And but also then you have change in coordinators things like that to we're now it's kind of a little easier in the season because you just look up the last four or five games and say what, what is it they do? Well, what are some formations, alignments, things like that we need to address or can we attack them or feel like there's good matchups? But I'd say, you know, every game they played we watched from game one on of theirs and we, you know, we use the Hudl app that allows us to collect data and see how many times in certain formations certain plays ran. And we just it's really almost like you hear in the NFL and college. It's data analysis and say, okay, you only have so much time at practice, let's work on what is it they do well or what is it they do the most? And within their limits, they may only do one or two things at this formation. Well, that'll go down to the bottom of the list. So, that's what our coaches do a great job of finding out those kind of this is what they like to do and run the numbers, and then we practice around it.
Hannah Goodin: After all that data collection, what would you say your keys to the game are? What are some of the soft spots on the Buford team?
Jon Nelson: Hannah is going to go ahead and lay this stuff out.
Hannah Goodin: No. I'm not.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Put the bulletin board up there. I appreciate it.
Hannah Goodin: I want to know what you're going after. I mean, y'all know what I'm saying?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Yeah, I hear you.
Jon Nelson: She is bulletin board material, that's what she said, what she's looking for.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Yeah. Well, first of all, that they're so well coached, go up and the staff does a great job of there. And you can tell you're if you're they put a quality product out and that's a reflection of how he runs his program and the coaches and the players that that are participating that I would say probably this year, you know, is their dynamic is and offensively is probably one of the biggest things as they shift in motion a lot. I'm talking about moving people all over the place and it creates some issues as far as lining up on defense to where you're not and the wrong place. So, you'll see if you go back and really look at the film, they move a lot of people around and then you get, you know, three or four running backs back there that that are can check out any play it doesn't matter. So, that's the biggest concern there as far as our defense is making sure we line up and gaps found. Offensively, you know they have what I don't know y'all probably had the stats.
Jon Nelson: An 11 million.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: 11 guys probably over there that I think every position has a scholarship offer. So, that's there's not too many, you know, weak spots in the armor there that you can go attack. So, you know, we kind of just going to be who we are as far as offensively and and tried to, you know, create some some things on offense that, you know, stay stay who we are. That got us this point. Don't, you know, scrap everything and say, let's just go run this and beat, because we got to throw up our hands and say, well, there's nothing there. So, trust in our kids and what we do offensively to, you know, stretch people not only vertically but also horizontally. I think we've got the best skill position we've ever had here at Mill Creek where we've kind of been linemen-U. We can still run the ball. We've got, you know, Cam Robinson is one of the top in the state as far as that, averaging within 40 yards of gain rushing, but also the guys on the perimeter that we can attack folks and bring some guys up from the defense side of the ball. That's really helped us as well playing two ways and spot playing. So, special teams, it can be a toss up. I think we've got some great special teams, Jacob Ulrich doing our punching and kicking week where we can definitely flip the field on some things. But, you also have a kid back there in Justice that’s a kickoff returner that can check out at any moment, too. So, I think that's one of those coin flips on special teams as far as execution. So, we just got it, really. It's about, I think, as far as us being prepared to to keep it a close game and take advantage of opportunities.
Jon Nelson: What's it been like for you to see this program, meaning the Mill Creek program, grow over time? Because it was you know, it was Shannon and Shannon and Andy and all US Georgia Guys. I want to ask you about that coming up in a little bit, but what's it been like for you to see this program grow to where it is right now when we're talking about programs, capital P here in the state of Georgia?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Yeah. You know, it's ironic you said that because we did some, charges did a little history lesson on Mill Creek because, you know, we're in Year 19. So, we went over and talked about the first three years how they weren't done with our school. So, we had to go to Norcross over that area, bus kids over to do spring. We had to go the first two years where we had 90 freshmen and we only had back then. Back then nobody transferred from Dacula north. They were two established programs when we opened up, so nobody transferred unless they either A hadn't played the game of football or B they were not going to play. There's we had a lot of freshmen. We had to grow up, went three and seven a couple of years, and then we ended up starting cracking the playoffs, jumping in region play and things like that. So, we had to kind of talk to our kids and say, this is the foundation that we started solid in and y'all reaping the rewards of it right now as far as not having to have rebuilding years, but just to reloading years and understand how. I think it's a correlation as far as also our culture, as far as how do we be, how we treat our bottom half. You know, talking about our we were getting reps for the Caleb Downs. Are we getting that sophomore reps and coaching him just as hard? That's going to be that dude in the year that two year going can replace Caleb once he goes on to Alabama. That's that's where I think our staff does a tremendous job of taking that program and saying, hey, this isn't just a one hit wonder for this year. We got to realize that this is a long term investment in our program.
Jon Nelson: All right. Now, the West Georgia connection. I wanted to get into that here a little bit. There are a lot of you across the state and our friends at the Georgia High School Football Daily came up with this massive, like three page printed list of all the coaches that came out of the University of West Georgia who are coaching here in the state, and Coach Lovelady and a lot of his friends, they're on this text chain and it's been fun to see who's on the text chain, what these conversations are like. So okay, so coach, I need you to pull back the curtain a little bit. Who is on this text chain of yours? What do you guys talk about? And there are rules that are attached to this text chain to?
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Yeah, I was finally added. I was.
Hannah Goodin: Congratulations. Yes.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Last year Dyer was just wearing me out, and John Small and the few that guys at East Coweta because it's all iPhones, you know, they have a group text and have it all that stuff. So, I had to get an iPhone to be part of the group to be involved in there. So, yeah, there's rules. The rules are, you know, you can only go so late. I think it's at 10:00pm at night, and then you can't be in the middle of the night. Someone watch the game and comment or what it may be. And then you get in the mornings, you can't you know, you get this kind of like a pause period because otherwise when your phone goes off and you got, you know, 30, 40 guys on there.
Hannah Goodin: We have a group text chain at GPB that I would like to be off of. Can I go ahead and put in a request to get off of this Saturday morning? We're rehashing the game that we all just lived. Ding, ding, ding. So, this Saturday morning, we'll be talking about Mill Creek Buford all over again. I've got girls. I am up early, y'all. I've got girls.
Jon Nelson: Hannah is trying to Portal into your text chain, coach.
Hannah Goodin: I'd rather be into his than y'alls. Okay, well, I've got one more question, Coach. And we talked about this on the postgame show, but the podcast is a totally different audience. So, I wanted to give your daughter one more shout out here. Ruby Reese She's the freshman homecoming queen. That was a couple of weeks ago. Tell us a little bit about that experience and just how proud you are as her father.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Tell you what, it was one of those moments, a special night. Holy cow. You know, I mean, I have a picture on my desk, and I think, Jon, you saw her sitting on my lap that had the headphones on. It looks like it just engulfed her head when we first opened up. And Shannon Jarvis always had a family first, you know, a field house. And what I mean by that, some coaches are kind of like, hey, this is a working environment. You know, we need a professional. You know, kids are you know, we don't need a bunch of kids running around here. You know, it's always been that way. Mill Creek. I mean, you'll find, you'll reach down, and say what's on the floor? And it's going to be you know, they'll have a Nerf gun fight in the summer. You know, the whole fieldhouse will have Nerf guns over and we got to pick them up or, you know, some kid scraped knees, or you got a kickball go in the middle of practice what it may be. So, it's the family environment here at Mill Creek, but then we're a Special ED hub here at Mill Creek High School, meaning we have some folks that have special classes that come here to Mill Creek from other districts. So, our student council in our ladies, Megan Holmstrom, took lead and said, you know, with that population is not. They don't get to be in regular classes. Let's have some representatives from those people, from those Special ED pods. And so, we did. And then they went in to vote, and I wouldn't have thought anything about it. But then Jason, Jason Lane our principal, said in whenever she was named the ninth grade princess, which is by vote by a whole student body. Gosh, it wasn't even close. And I mean, I just I had a little fan in mind at that moment, how special that was. And then she was just excited to be out there. She has her favorites of kids that. Ang again, going back to being on the field house, you know, with the kids in there injured and not in practice, the kids are running around here. They're doing rehab or whatever it is. Those they get to go in the training room and go get a cup of ice and they'll sit down and say, what's wrong with you? You know, playing. And then they'll get to it form relationships and these kids knowing that they have little ones around them, as we all know, high school kids can, you know, get a little, you know, with the language, everything else. It's a also accountability piece where someone's always watching them. So, that was very special when she was she was named. I'll be honest with she's like her daddy, though. She's going like she's ready. She kept asking my wife, Shannon, when do when do I get to have another dress?
Hannah Goodin: Awww.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: She's a shorts kind of gal and, but she loved it. Dressed up. For it, my folks were in town from Kansas, so my dad subbed for me to take pictures before. And then at halftime, I went and walked her down. And then we had to picture anything else. And then what? And this is kind of ironic. I don't know if I told Jon this is afterwards. I'm a big on, you know, being first class, doing the right thing, you know, for the lov-the purity of the game has got, you know, the purity of the game. And afterwards we beat Central and afterwards they were whooping and holler and kind of gathered around, circled around and like, what's going on? And that was the answer. I was mad. I was going like, Zach, Evan, are they celebrating? We don't do that. That's a locker room deal. You know, if you want to whoop and holler or you don't because it could be perceived wrong. You know, I'm saying like , yeah, it's celebration. And so, I went around there, and I asked beer and one of my coaches said, "What do they doing? And I said, I'm going to- I'm fixing to light them up." And I go around the corner and one of my coaches is like "they're all getting lined up for a picture with Reece." I went, Oh, you talk about flipping a switch. I went from anger to like, Holy cow. How special is that? I mean, we just had a victory, first region victory. And all these kids are, you know, stacking around her and she's in the middle. That was a moment. That was a moment, you know, with all the stuff that's going on in the world that's, you know, that's kind of negative or the scary for kids. And you wonder, hey, what's our future like with our young people? You know, what are they? Are they making good decisions? That was one night. I'm like, You know what? We have a chance. It maybe is, you know, with these group of kids as far as taking 5 minutes and saying, hey, let's get some of our seniors: Hayden Clark and some of the other guys got together and said, "Hey, when we get done handshake, let's all get around Reese and get a picture. And she has that picture framed up as we speak. So, it was a special moment for not only for her, for our family, but also for those boys that realized that she's that she's Mill Creek Hawk though and through. That's, for sure. And also goes back to sacrifices as, you know, I mean y'all you have to miss a lot on Friday nights for your families. There's not-it doesn't matter at our family, and I can probably speak for a lot of folks on that text line or all the coaches around the state. Do you have a birthday on a Friday night? We're celebrating Saturday. It's not that we're not going to celebrate it, but we're going to go with anniversary, anything, you know what I'm saying. We're going to celebrate it. But, if it's home game night, that's what you do. You know, I'm saying we go that we go to the football game and then we'll do that. So, there's been sacrifices by her and all of our the coaches kids around the state that it's good to have that moment, that's for sure.
Hannah Goodin: My twins' birthday is on championships, so we are doing it the following weekend.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: There you go.
Jon Nelson: Uh huh
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: You know. Exactly.
Hannah Goodin: Well, she looked yeah, she looked stunning. And, I was going to give your Twitter a shout out. So, if people want to go see that picture, it's @CoachJ.Lovelady, and people can go in and look at that picture with her in the center in the whole team. It's really cute.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Awesome. Thank you.
Jon Nelson: Well Coach, thanks for hanging out with us and letting everybody know what's going on up there at Mill Creek. It's a big match up. Two nationally ranked teams going at it on Football Friday's coming up this Friday. Thanks for hanging out with us here on the podcast and talking more than just the game with the two top 25s.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: Well, thank you for having me and go on.
Hannah Goodin: So, it's going to be a great one again. Mill Creek versus Buford. Tom Riden Stadium, Friday 7:30 p.m.
Jon Nelson: But remember the night starts before that.
Hannah Goodin: Of course, Recruiting 2022 airs right before at 7 p.m., and I was able to catch up with running back Justice Haynes —
Jon Nelson: There you go.
Hannah Goodin: From Buford this week. So, if you guys want to check that out and we'll air it during halftime and posted on social media and stuff too. So, he was a great interview committed to Alabama. He had some things to say about his dad, too. Varon Haynes great story there.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, mean, let me guess, was there a hot meal boot question?
Hannah Goodin: Of course, there was.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Stepped on a stepped on their face with a hot meal boot and broke their nose.
Hannah Goodin: Of course, there is.
Jon Nelson: That's what Buford is trying to do this week against Mill Creek, I'm sure.
Hannah Goodin: I asked him, how many times have you been asked that in your lifetime?
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Eleventy billion, I think, is the answer.
Josh Lovelady, Mill Creek Head Coach: So, quite a bit. Quite a bit. I hear that all the time still to this day probably here. And I think everyone that talks to me about Alabama and, like the whole recruiting thing, they are like "the hot meal boot." Everyone always has to bring up the hot meal.
Jon Nelson: So, we got the-.
Hannah Goodin: As promised, we had some more games you wanted to take a look at from last year? So, what were the big storylines?
Jon Nelson: Yeah. I mean, for me, you kind of you talked about Winnersville. You talked about Fitzgerald's big win against Worth County. The one for me, Appling, was the last time you heard of a team playing twice in five days.
Hannah Goodin: What?
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Get this. The game remember the podcast last week, Appling and Pierce. Yes, they got pushed because of the hurricane.
Hannah Goodin: We previewed the game endlessly, and it didn't happen.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. So, they pushed it to Monday.
Hannah Goodin: Okay.
Jon Nelson: So, they play it on Monday. Pierce County loses to Appling. 28-17. John Coon was down there for me and he's like, Yeah, Appling County's offensive line is just huge, and they're just pushing everyone around. So that's, something to keep an eye on with Appling County. So, they play on Monday, then they play on Friday. So, basically, it's like Tuesdays recovery, Wednesdays what maybe a little bit of practice Thursdays your walk through, and then you go and play Toombs County and you win, 34-21. So, Appling County had two wins in five days last week.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: So that was pretty, pretty. That's pretty funny.
Hannah Goodin: So, they at least get a bye week?
Jon Nelson: No, they're at Windsor Forest by the way, this week. So yeah, they play Windsor Forest, so it'll be three games in 12 days for Appling County to get back online.
Hannah Goodin: What if they get all three wins? That would be pretty epic.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. So, those are just some of the highlights for me this week.
Hannah Goodin: Well, we have another game to look forward to. It's our web game. Region 2 AAAAA Jones County versus Dutchtown in Hampton, Georgia. The Bulldogs are 6 and 0. 2 and 0 in region play looking to maintain that undefeated schedule and Jones County for 3- 2 and 1 in region play. What are your thoughts on that one, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Offense versus defense. And literally and that is literally what you're staring at when you look at the Dutchtown Bulldogs and head coach, Niketa Battle. It is defense, defense, defense. And did I mention defense? They suffocate you on defense, and they have done a tremendous job doing that. Jones County with their very talented junior pitching catch combo, Mike Chastain. He wants to light up the scoreboard all night long. So, it's going to be contrasting styles. And which one of you wins out? Literally, it's the defensive of Dutchtown, the offensive of Jones County, which one of you is going to sit there and get the Duke? And, it will be the the interesting clash of styles on the web game, by the way, Jones County, some of the home of the best barbecue on the planet, by the way.
Hannah Goodin: Is there an example?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, Old Clinton. It's right there on the right there on the Gray Highway as you're heading into Gray itself on the way to Jones County High School, Old Clinton barbecue, best barbecue in the state.
Hannah Goodin: What's your order for me?
Jon Nelson: It was straight up barbecue sandwich, double mac and cheese. And, I left with a big tub of their vinegar based barbecue sauce.
Hannah Goodin: Oh that's the best. That's the best.
Jon Nelson: And also, what, like three extra pounds of their pulled pork?
Hannah Goodin: Oh, my gosh. Vinegar-based sauce. Drink it.
Jon Nelson: So, there you go.
Hannah Goodin: Okay. Most importantly.
Jon Nelson: Yes. Other than the food?
Hannah Goodin: We're getting to-. Yes. More important than the food.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: Flag football is starting this week. I am so excited. So, we have our kickoff tournament called The Clash of Champions.
Jon Nelson: The Clash of Champions.
Hannah Goodin: Which is — thank you, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Mmhmm.
Hannah Goodin: Which will be hosted this Thursday, October 13th by West Forsyth. And we've got a loaded lineup at 6 p.m. It's Southeast Bullock versus Hillgrove, 7 p.m. Archer versus Portal, 8 p.m., West Forsyth versus Marietta. And these are state champions, runner-up, semifinalists. I mean, these are really good. Some of the best flag football teams in the state. This is going to be so fun, and I'm so excited to showcase these girls and what they can do on the on the football field.
Jon Nelson: And, I mean, these are these are athletes that get scholarships because of.
Hannah Goodin: And job offers now.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And so you're getting this and being able to this is our third year being able to show it on Georgia Public Broadcasting and it's going to be on our streaming platforms here with the Clash of Champions is kind of a build up to the championships at Georgia State, where we get to to showcase the best there as well. Remember, Dodge beat Lithia Springs last year in the AAAAA and AAAAAA title game. So, you're dealing with the single the quad champ, the single quad runner up, AAAAAAA state champ, AAAAAAA semifinalist, the 2020 6A and 7A champion, West Forsyth, and the 7A runner up in Marietta. And this one's going to be fun. We've had folks reach out to us on social media when we would show the championships and sit there and go, This is the addiction that I didn't know that I had until I started watching. And it has been the downloads on YouTube are tremendous. It's some of our most downloaded games across the board at GPB Sports. And to be able to to have this is kind of our kickoff for the flag football season. Very, very cool to be up there at West Forsyth.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. And I heard the games are being rewatched like crazy right now on YouTube to get ready for this. So then, after this Thursday, we will have a flag football stream every single Thursday. Follow us at GPB Sports for the announcements on which games we will be at. Okay. Before we go today, we gotta do our quick staff whip around. Lassiter lost to Roswell 58 to 0.
Jon Nelson: You see how she blows through that?
Hannah Goodin: Central Macon lost to ACE Charter 32 to 6. Parkview was off. They play Archer this week. Okay then the winners. What are the winners, Jon?
Jon Nelson: Well, Commander Sandy's Decatur beat Arabia Mountain 23 to 8. So — see how she blows through the losers of the week?
Sandy Malcolm: I did notice that. That — that went very —
Jon Nelson: Especially that Lassiter score.
Hannah Goodin: We're out of time. We're out of time. Out of time, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Lassiter scored just kind of just —
Sandy Malcolm: What did you — guys, what did he say last week? He was going to take care of business, I guess. Yeah. Well, did.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: I was trying not to talk about this.
Jon Nelson: See, Coach Pruitt, he held — he held himself to his word, the postgame show on Football Friday.
Hannah Goodin: I quote. Yeah, we'll take care of them for you.
Jon Nelson: We'll take care of them for you? Yeah. How's that for a double sided quote? We know what we know what he meant now. But yeah, Central Macon Chargers loses to Ace Charter. Ace Charter has been putting up some really strong numbers. Coach Hatcher and that offense, but Central Macon loses. Jake the Snake's Parkview was off. Parkview and Archer, that's a big Gwinnett County battle. All right. So now, Decatur wins — they go 3 and 4 — Lakeside beat Drew. We're now 5 and 2, but we play a non-region schedule. And once again, Ambassador Jeremy's Darlington team. Ambassador Jeremy's Darlington.
Hannah Goodin: Ahh, got it.
Jon Nelson: Beat Chattooga 48- 21. 7 and 0.
Hannah Goodin: 7 and 0.
Jon Nelson: 3 and 0 in the region, so that's strong there in A for Ambassador Jeremy to get the-he's out there.
Hannah Goodin: They might be the only 7 and 0 in the team in Georgia.
Jon Nelson: No.
Hannah Goodin: I'm just joking, Jon.
Jon Nelson: I think Early County is 7 and 0. See now you're going to have me look up Early county really quick.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. What teams are 7 and 0. I need all of them.
Jon Nelson: Well, we got, we got a lot of 6 and 0. Darlington's at 7 and 0. Elbert and Rabun. And that's another big matchup coming up this week, Elbert and Raven both 7 and 0. Early County 7 and 0. So you've got a handful of folks that are 7 and 0. That are chasing after it. We still have a lot of 6 and 0, but yes, 7 and 0 trying to get to their by week's late in the year so they can rest up for season three.
Hannah Goodin: We'll give you all the best games to watch on Countdown to Kickoff on Thursday. Join us on CTK, GPB Sports, Facebook Live, noon Thursday.
Jon Nelson: Yes, book him, aloha.
Hannah Goodin: What you're writing about this week on your blog?
Jon Nelson: Probably, 'Hey, you're still undefeated'. Some of the more some of the more undefeated folks that are still hanging in there.
Hannah Goodin: How many are there now?
Jon Nelson: See, now, you want me to do math? You don't want that. I'd be.
Hannah Goodin: Here TBD. Well, we'll let you know on Countdown.
Jon Nelson: There you go. So, it sounds like a column. It sounds like a show.
Hannah Goodin: That sounds like a show to me.
Jon Nelson: All right, so let's see for everybody here. So who's behind the glass? Let's see for Hannah. Who's right there? Let's see. It's Jake, the Snake, Ambassador Jeremy, Commander Sandy, King James. And that's and-.
Hannah Goodin: That's it.
Jon Nelson: I think that's everybody and you. So that's you. ].
Hannah Goodin: You're welcome.
Jon Nelson: Yes. Yes. Thank you. You know, I like how the thank you's just work their way backwards. It's like you're welcome.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you're welcome for another great show. You're welcome because I did this.
Jon Nelson: Yes, you're welcome. Because I did this. We are going to put that on the board in the office.
Hannah Goodin: Let's make shirts.
Jon Nelson: It's another quote from Hannah that goes in the office. So, for all of us here at GPB, I think it's time to go because Hannah needs some caffeine, and I need some lunch. So, for everybody here at GPB, play it safe, everybody enjoy your games. We'll see you next week.