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October 8, 2012

‘On the road again...’ for area teams

Cook is the only area team at home this weekend

TIFTON — Seven of eight area teams will be traveling this week for their region contests Friday night. The one fortunate team avoiding the long bus trip are the Cook Hornets, who host another swarm of Hornets, a squad from Pelham.

Tift County (2-4): The Blue Devils will attempt to snap their three-game losing streak in Kingsland when they meet the nationally-ranked Camden County Wildcats (6-0) at Chris Gilman Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The Devils were defeated last week by the Colquitt County Packers, 49-7, while Camden topped Coffee, 39-12. The two teams have only met one previous time in history when the Wildcats slipped past Tift, 21-14 in the first round of state in 2007.

Tiftarea Academy (1-5): The Panthers won’t be traveling quite as far as Tift, but still have a long journey as they meet the Pinewood Christian Patriots (3-2) in Bellville for their region opener. The game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Lowell Coley Field. Tiftarea won its first game of the season Friday for first-year head coach Ryan Branch when they defeated the Crisp Academy Wildcats, 28-12, at homecoming. Pinewood was idle last week, but in their last game, they defeated Bethesda Day of Savannah, 39-36. The all-time series between the two schools is knotted at three wins each. Last year: 41-14, Pinewood.

Fitzgerald (5-1): The Purple Hurricanes have another big game this week, as they travel to Quitman to face the undefeated Brooks County Trojans (6-0) at Veterans Stadium  at 7:30 p.m. Last week saw the Canes knock off Cook, 21-15 at homecoming. Brooks defeated Thomasville, 28-10. The Trojans’ only two close games this year have been with larger opponents - Class AAAA Monroe and AAAAAA Valdosta. The Canes hold the advantage in the series, 11-3 and have won six of the past seven. Last year: Fitzgerald, 39-0.

Irwin County (3-2): Homerville is the location of the Indians’ next game, where they meet the Clinch County Panthers (3-2) at 7:30 p.m. at Donald Tison Field in attempt to continue their hot streak. Irwin trounced Telfair County Friday, 55-21. Clinch was off last week, but their previous opponent was also Telfair, who they defeated, 17-9. This will be the 34th game between the schools, the Panthers holding a slim 17-15-1 advantage. Last year: Irwin, 32-31.

Turner County (5-1): The red hot Rebels are traveling to see the Wilcox County Patriots (3-2) for a 7:30 p.m. contest at Patriot Stadium. Turner won its first game in nearly 20 years over Charlton County last week in a 38-6 blowout. Wilcox rebounded from their loss two weeks ago to Charlton with a 40-0 thrashing of Lanier County. The Rebels are off their best start since 2008, when they began 7-1. Though Turner has the all-time lead in the series, they have lost the last four games. Last year: 27-0, Wilcox.

Berrien (2-3): The Rebels go to Veterans Memorial Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Thomasville Bulldogs (1-5). Berrien is coming off a tough night against Early County, as they dropped a 43-19 decision. The Bulldogs lost last week to the Brooks County Trojans, 28-10. Thomasville is off to its worst start since 1994, when they finished 2-8. The all-time series between the two schools has been all Bulldogs as Berrien will be attempting to gain its first ever victory. Last year: 35-7, Thomasville.

Cook (4-1): The lone team staying at home this week, the Cook Hornets will be meeting the Pelham Hornets (1-4) at Cook Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Fitzgerald won over Cook, 21-15, last week in the meeting of top five teams. Pelham was idle last Friday and their last game also against Fitzgerald, a game they lost 40-11. Cook is undefeated in the all-time series, having won all eight games. Last meeting: 34-8, Cook, in 2005.

Worth County (2-3): After a week off, the Rams go to the Syrup Bowl for a 7:30 p.m. game with the Cairo Syrupmakers (3-2). Cairo was also idle last week. In their last games, Worth lost to Americus-Sumter, 40-14, and Cairo was dropped by Westover, 31-7. The Rams have lost their last 11 against the Syrupmakers, last winning in 1998. Last year: Cairo, in overtime, 33-27.

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20140726 John Gamble.JPG

John Gamble (right) is joined by John Reid at the Tiftarea YMCA Saturday.

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