Upson Lee Knights (1-0) @ Northeast-Macon Raiders (0-2)
When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Thompson Stadium (Macon, GA)
Last Week: UL def Pike Co 40-0, NE lost Rutland 32-28 (2 OT)
Last Season: UL (7-3), NE (3-7)
Last Meeting: Upson Lee 44, NE 6 (2014)
Series Record: Upson Lee leads 1-0
Head Coaches: UL- Tommy Parks (8-3 in 2nd season at UL) 62-57 in 12th season overall, NEM- Bruce Mullen (61-56 in 12th season @ NE) 61-56 overall in 12th season
Key Radiers: #12 DB- Phillip Thomas, Jr (5’7, 155)
#36 OL/DL- Zarnarion Howard, Sr (6’0, 215)
#55 OL/DL- D.J. Jones, Sr. (6’0, 235)
#34 RB/ATH- Rontravious Williams, So. (6’, 183)
#3 QB/ATH- Nolan Ussery, Fr. (5’9, 170)
After dismantling the Pike County Pirates by a 37-0 score last Friday in their season opener at Matthews Field, the Upson Lee Knights will travel to Macon tonight to face the Northeast-Macon Raiders out of Region 4 in Class AA.
Last season Upson Lee easily cruised to a 44-6 victory over the Raiders at Matthews Field. However, this season UL Head Coach Tommy Parks expects the Raiders to bring the fight to Upson Lee tonight.
“They have some really good athletes over there,” said Parks. “They have a really athletic quarterback and a running back who runs hard and has good vision. They lost last week in overtime, but they had several key players that missed the game due to suspension.”
The Raiders are currently 0-2 on the season, but have lost two close games, losing to rival Southwest-Macon 38-32, and Rutland last week 34-28 in double overtime.
“They can put some points on the board,” said Parks. “They like to run a spread offense and get the ball out to their athletes in space. We are going to have to play well and tackle well defensively.”
Last season Kenderious Pennyman rushed for four touchdowns and the Knights tallied four interceptions, tying a school record. Upson Lee rushed for 216 yards against Pike County last week and rushed for 203 yards against the Raiders last season. Tonight, look for Quay Reviere and Markevious Robinson to get plenty of chances to equal those totals.
Defensively Northeast-Macon runs a 3-3-5 scheme, and athleticism is another key aspect for the Raiders.
“They have some pretty good linebackers and a really good safety,” said Parks. “We are going to have to execute offensively and stay on our blocks. We had numerous holding calls last week, and that’s something we have to cut out this week.”
In other games around the region, Howard will look to move to 4-0 for the first time in school history, as they will take on the same Rutland team which Northeast lost to last week.
Baldwin will will travel south to take on the 6A Blue Devils from Tift County. Baldwin has yet to allow a point this season, blanking Hancock-Central 12-0 and Alcovy 27-0.
West Laurens is currently ranked No. 5 in the state accoring to the GSWA (Georgia Sports Writers Association). They have a 3-0 record, after beating Bleckley County, Vidalia, and Thomasville, all three in class 2A. They will travel to Macon to take on Westside-Macon at the Ed Defore Sports Complex.
Veterans plays probably the stiffest out of region competition of any team in class 4A. They have lost to Houston County, Macon County, and take on Washington County in Sandersville tonight. The road doesn’t get any easier next week, as they travel to Valdosta.
Mary Persons hits the road this week and play their neighbor Lamar County. Last season the Bulldogs defeated the Trojans in Forsyth by a 29-27 score after the game was called in the third quarter due to lightning. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 5 in 4A by the AJC, while the Trojans are ranked No. 6 in class 2A.
Perry look to get their first win of the season after giving Peach County a close game last week. The Panthers travel to Macon County, who beat them 35-6 in Perry last season.
The Knights and Raiders kickoff tonight at Thompson Stadium in East Macon at 7:30 p.m.
Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.