It’s that time of the year in Coweta County high school football.
The Newnan Cougars will once again end the regular season with a contest against the East Coweta Indians, and this year’s game between the Region 2-AAAAAAA rivals looks to be a riveting contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Newnan’s Drake Stadium.
Both Newnan (3-6 overall, 2-2 region) and East Coweta (5-4, 1-3) are coming off losses last week and with this being the final regular-season game of the season, a lot is at stake at Drake.
For the Cougars, it’s simple: win and they’re in. A win over EC would make Newnan the region’s third seed and end the Indians’ season at the same time.
A loss to EC would put the Cougars in serious scoreboard-watching mode, as they would need Campbell to lose to first-place Westlake on the road Friday. If Campbell does fall to Westlake and Newnan loses to EC, the Indians would be the third seed and Newnan would be the fourth and final state-playoff seed. Campbell and Newnan would finish with identical 2-3 region records, but Campbell would be miss the playoffs because it lost to Newnan on Oct. 13.
The only way Newnan doesn’t make state is if the Cougars lose to EC and Campbell upsets Westlake.
“All we have to worry about is us winning on Friday. We just have to make sure we show up and play,” said Cougars first-year head coach Chip Walker. “It’s going to be a big game with a big-time atmosphere, but we’ll be fine if we just do what we’re supposed to do.”
Walker admitted that EC is a good team and first-year head coach John Small has done a good job with the Indians. Walker believes his team has improved leaps and bounds from an 0-3 start, and he said they had a good week of practice preparing for the Indians.
“We’ve continued to get better all year long, and we’ve worked hard to get more physical,” Walker said. “We have definitely grown as a football team, and I hope it shows on Friday.”
Cougars’ players said they look forward to a strong start, unlike last year’s 28-0 loss at EC.
“We have to punch them in the mouth first, especially on offense. If we start well early, we will help our defense out,” said Newnan senior wide receiver P.J. Harris. “We’ve gotten closer and we’re a better team now than we were earlier. Nobody has seen our best yet, so it’s up to us to show everyone on Friday.”
“Defensively, we’ve got to attack and get after the ball and be physical. EC is a good team and we’ve got to go after them,” said Cougars senior linebacker Brandon Moore. “We also need to stay focused. My position coach always says if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.”