VALDOSTA –– Rolling on a four-game win streak the Valwood Valiants (5-2, 2-0 Region 3-3A) want to keep their momentum alive this Friday against Loganville Christian Academy (4-4).
Coming off the heels of Valwood’s 30-14 win against Southland Academy the Valiants proved to everybody that they can stop the run.
They’ll be confronted with the same test again this Friday. Loganville averages just 60 passing yards a game but average 197 yards rushing and just shutout Notre Dame Academy 55-0 last week, rushing for 254 yards as a team.
“What a great opportunity as a defense,” Valwood head coach Justin Henderson said. “To go out there against another heavy run team and show that we’ve gotten better number one, show that we can stop the run and we will stop the run. So that’s the challenge for the defense, that’ll be the challenge for them from here to the end of the season. So, what a great opportunity we have.”
Loganville Christian’s leading tailback, Keon Mcghee, hasn’t played since he left the game against Southland six weeks ago with a reported knee injury. If McGhee remains absent for Friday’s matchup that’ll be a bonus for Valwood.
But if he suits up, he’s a player to watch out for. In his first three games he racked up 408 yards and 4 touchdowns while averaging 12 yards a carry. He also creates big plays and broke off a run for 50 or more yards in all three games. Look to see if number nine suits up for Loganville this Friday.
In either scenario, Valwood is built for the test. Against Southland Academy their star rusher Clay Owens was forced to fight for every yard. His final stat line won’t say it, but his 167 yards and two touchdowns were quiet. Big chunk plays came late in the game that was already put away for the most part.
Valwood discovered their true potential after that performance and now they know what it takes to reach it.
“I think they understand how good they can be and what needs to be done week in and week out to play at that level,” Henderson said about his players this week. “They’ve kind of answered the bell this week so I’ll be interested in seeing how we come out Friday because (Loganville’s) record may not reflect it but they’ve played everybody tough as nails, and if we go to sleep on them it’s going to be a sad homecoming night. The kids have done a good job responding so we’ll see. I’m excited about Friday night.”
If Valwood by chance forces Loganville to throw the ball it will be in their favor. Loganville rarely throws but it’s not wise to test the ball hawks on Valwood’s defense. The Valiants have totaled seven interceptions this season and even recovered five fumbles, combining for 12 takeaways this season.
Expect Valwood’s offense to come out fast and try get points early. Their somewhat balanced attack takes what’s given to them, running back Blaine Cooper has tallied eight touchdowns on the year and receiver Aalah Brown averages 85 yards a game and has caught four touchdowns.
The way this game pans out will heavily rely on Valwood’s ability to contain the run game and keep their defense off the field. If they succeed at that then they’ll likely have their way with this one like they did against Southland last week.
Kickoff is at Goddard Field on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.