The East Coweta football team has posted 7-4 each of the last three seasons and that streak will be extended unless the Indians can find a way to knock off Colquitt County in a first-round Class AAAAA state playoff game on Friday at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
The 7-3 Indians broke a three-game losing streak when they knocked off longtime rival Newnan 28-25 last Friday to qualify for the playoffs as the No. 3 team from Region 2.
A loss to the Cougars would have meant at trip to face Valdosta, which won the Region 1 championship over the Packers in overtime about the same time the Indians were finishing off their satisfying win.
East Coweta trailed Newnan 19-0 in the second quarter, but rallied.
“We didn’t play well last week in the first half, but our kids did a good job of responding in the second half,” Indians coach Clint Wade told the Newnan Times Herald. “I didn’t sprinkle any magic dust on them at halftime. They just sort of gathered around, and we told them we weren’t playing up to our capability.”
Wade is in his fourth season as the Indians coach after taking over from Danny Cronic in 2008.
Cronic had coached at East Coweta 18 seasons and was on the sidelines when the Indians fell to the Packers 24-19 in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals in 1994.
It was the only other time the two schools have faced each other.
Wade’s teams have been ousted in the first round each of the last three years, falling to Bradwell Institute 19-7 in 2008, Lowndes 52-14 in 2009, and McEachern 31-19 last year.
This year’s tribe has played strong defensively much of the year and is giving up just 15.0 points a game.
The Indians have blanked Troup, given up six to Chapel Hill and eight each to Luella and Newton.
Colquitt County quarterback Cole Segraves will have to throw against an East Coweta defense that has intercepted 15 passes this season.
Indians linebacker Edwin Rivera picked off a Newnan pass last Friday inside the East Coweta 30 to stop a second-quarter Cougars drive.
The Indians gave up three first-half touchdowns to Newnan last Friday, but buckled down in the second and surrendered just one score.
The Indians are led on defense by 6-foot, 233-pound end Willie Holloway who has been credited with 100 tackles this season.
The second-leading tackler is safety Michael Collins, who has 96 tackles.
Cornerback David Singleton leads the team with seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Dee Godfrey, who starts on both sides of the ball, also is a presence in the secondary with 12 pass breakups.
Offensively, East Coweta is directed by 6-foot-5, 247-pound quarterback Garrett Schrepfer, who has completed 82-of-157 passes for 982 yards and four touchdowns. He has not been intercepted this season.
Schrepfer also is East Coweta’s second leading rusher, with 375 yards on 86 carries and a team-leading eight touchdowns.
The Indians leading rusher is Godfrey, who has 513 yards on 59 carries, averaging 8.7 yards and scoring six touchdowns.
Jay Warner has gained 257 yards on 46 carries, Michael Willis has 247 on 31 attempts and Weylin Orr has 216 on 39 attempts.
But East Coweta struggled offensively against Newnan and had just 44 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Godfrey, Jay Warner and Michael Willis combined to gain just three yards on 10 carries. Much of the rest came from Schrepfer, who scored twice in a 48-second span to lead the comeback.
Those scores were set up when East Coweta partially blocked a punt and recovered a fumble on a Newnan kickoff return.
PACKERS NOTES: The FTE numbers have been received from the Department of Education and the GHSA Reclassification Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, to place member schools in their proper classifications for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.
The meeting will take place at the GHSA office in Thomaston. ...
Westlake football coach Greg Minnis has resigned.
In four seasons with the Lions he was 20-21 overall and 4-6 this year.
His team played the Packers three times, losing all three.
Westlake and Colquitt first met in the first round of the state playoffs in 2009, with the Packers winning 10-0.
The Lions came to Moultrie the last two years in a pair of non-region games, losing 43-27 in 2010 and 21-10 this year.
According to Colquitt County officials, the Colquitt County-East Coweta will not be webcast on Friday night.
Those outside WMTM-FM 93.9’s broadcast area can listen online on the station’s web site at www.cruisin94.com.