They visit a talented LFO team on Friday night in a battle of undefeated Warriors.
Gordon Central (4-0, 1-0) held off Ringgold last week in their Region 5-AAA debut. The Warriors held a 27-6 halftime lead, and needed every bit of that, holding on for a 27-26 win thanks to some clutch defensive plays at the end.
“We just didn’t play well in the second half,” said Gordon Central coach Chad Fisher. “We made some mistakes as coaches and there were some mistakes on the field. We didn’t execute in all three phases, and we know we’ve got to get better.
“Even with the way we played in the second half, I thought that game made our kids grow up some. We found out we could be physical and tough, and we found a way to win that game.”
Now, attention focuses to LFO, who also sit at 4-0, 1-0 in the region after they defeated Adairsville, 24-17, in their region opener last week. They are much improved since the mid-point of last season, and Fisher said they are 8-2 since Gordon Central beat them last year.
“LFO is a really good team,” said Fisher. “They are big, physical and quick. They’ve got several good players on both sides of the ball, and they are coached well.
“They will create some size matchup problems for us, but we’ve just got to go out there and do what we can do well to be successful.”
Most expected Cartersville, Ringgold and Gordon Central to be the top teams in the region looking at it from the outside. LFO, however, along with North Murray have both been surprise teams. Fisher said even with the win over Ringgold, his team can’t focus too much on how the region is shaping up.
“We can’t be trying to figure all that out right now,” said Fisher. “All we can do is to continue to get better, and that’s our biggest focus.
“We’ve got to learn how to play four quarters, execute better and tackle better. We really have to improve in all three phases of the game.”
The offense looked good in the first half last Friday, with quarterback MJ Reynolds and receivers Chandler Curtis and Tyshaun Clemmons all making big plays.
But it was the defense that stood tall at the end to hold on for the win with several clutch plays down the stretch, including an interception by Bryan Brookshire and a fourth-down pass deflection by Curtis.
Fisher said his team will need to play a more complete game against LFO to earn the win.
“The biggest thing for us is we have to play great on defense because they can hurt you,” said Fisher. “We have to contain their speed and make tackles.
“On offense, we have to execute better and be able to run the ball. We haven’t had that consistency in the running game so far this year that we need.”
Gordon Central did look gassed last week in the second half after the starters haven’t played much in that point of the game in their first three contests of the season.
That will be a point of emphasis this week as they prepare for LFO, who is surprisingly 4-0 at this point. They impressed a lot of people with a win over Adairsville last Friday after beating three weaker teams earlier.
LFO hasn’t played a team as good as, Gordon Central though. That will show on Friday as this battle of the Warriors goes in favor of the ones in blue and white.
Gordon Central 34, LFO 17