TIFTON -- After taking a week off, the Tift County Blue Devils return to the football field tomorrow night to take on the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets in Thomasville.
The Jackets will come into the game ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press Class AAAA football poll. Coach Ed Pilcher's team is 2-0 on the year having defeated Colquitt County 35-14 and rival Thomasville by a 56-26 score.
Quarterback Eric Walden leads TCC. An All-State candidate, Walden has rushed for 276 yards on 38 carries. He has scored two touchdowns and has a long run of 70 yards. He also has completed 6-of-15 passes for 70 yards.
He is joined in the backfield by running backs David Dawson and Moses Cochran. Dawson has 186 yards rushing on 25 carries, while Cochran has 171 yards on 26 carries.
"They run the veer and midline and they run it well," said Tift County coach Tommy Seward said. "They have several people back from last year and that shows."
The coach added, "they played for the state championship last year and they are on the course to go back."
Defensively, Kavoris Daniels is one of the leaders for the Jackets. He has returned an interception 100 yards this year for a touchdown.
"Their defense is good. They have given up some points, but they toughen up when they need to," said Seward.
In preparing for the Yellow Jackets, the Tift coaches have taken advantage of their week off. But, as Seward said, "we had two weeks to get ready for them, but they have had two weeks to get ready for us, as well."
But, that has not stopped Tift from taking advantage of the time off.
"Our goal has been to get better. We still have got a lot of kids that have not played football before. We also have had kids that have had to adjust to new positions," said Seward.
The Devils also dealt with injuries during the time off.
"We have had a few nicks, cuts and bruises. They have gotten better," Seward said.
He continued, "The only person we will be missing is Sumner Ellis. He had an eyeball scratched during the Houston County game. The eyeball still has a blood clot and even though it is about well, the doctor wants to hold him out until it is completely dissolved. That is a big loss for us. He is an outside linebacker and punter, so that means that is two positions we will have to replace."
While Ellis will be missed, Seward went on to say several players have performed well so far this season for the Devils.
"Micah Baldwin, Lynn Bryant, Lydell Griffin, Ryan Wilson, James Carter and Stan Summers have all had good years. Our inside linebackers, Leroy Williams and Zach Waldrop, are also doing a good job," Seward said.
While his team will be the underdog, the Tift coach is looking forward to the game against Thomas County Central.
"We have had a good week of practice and we have gotten a lot of things accomplished. If we play well, that will be a big plus for us going into the region," Seward said.
"Right now our plan is to go down there to play the game and win."
Game time is 7:30 p.m. in Thomasville.
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REDDING [mdash] Charles Emory Parrish, age 79, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2020 with his daughter by his side. He was born in Florida and grew up in Tifton, Georgia to Lois and Tom Parrish. He joined the Navy in 1964. During his service he earned four medals and was deployed to Viet…