“We start region play Friday,” head coach Rick Casko said. “It’s important we get off to a great start.”
Pickens has a 3-1 record, and it has established itself as an offensive force. It is Region 7A-AAAA’s second-most prolific offense, putting up an average of 35 points on the scoreboard, trailing only Cedartown in that respect, which tallies 42 points on average.
The Dragons, coached by Chris Parker, have been surrendering 13 points per evening.
The Colonels, who are 2-3 overall, have scored an average of 25 points per game while yielding 29 points.
Pickens has defeated Sonoraville, 47-0; Heritage, Catoosa, 42-0; and Ridgeland, 41-28. They lost to Northwest Whitfield, 25-13.
Cass opened the year with a 23-14 victory over cross-county rival Adairsville, then took on state power Cartersville in the season’s second game, falling 42-7. The Colonels defeated Heritage, Catoosa, 42-7; tackled a stout Northwest Whitfield, who they fell to 52-35; and knocked heads with always strong Dalton, which left the field with a 30-17 victory.
Casko said the Dragons have shown big-play potential in their games.
“They have a very talented running back,” he said. “He rushed for 261 yards last week. They have a quarterback who is capable of making big plays, too.”
The Cass coach said the Colonels will focus on stopping those big plays.
“We can’t allow 35 points and expect to win,” he said. “We need to eliminate big plays and find ways to keep them out of the end zone.”
Casko said the Colonels need to cut down the drives and its offense needs to score.
“They’ve given up some points,” he said. “We have to score and we have to keep the football away from them.”
Casko said the Colonels also must reduce turnovers, which he said kept Cass from having a chance to win at the end of several games. “We had three turnovers against Dalton and we can’t do that and have a chance to win against good teams.”
He said the important thing for Cass to recognize is that the next four games are its season.
“This is the most important game on our schedule because it is the next game,” he said. “This is not a crossover game or any of that. It starts our region. It’s important now we get off to a great start, that we protect the football and play very hard.”
He said the Colonels have played some tough teams, with three of them likely to make the playoffs, and through those challenges the team has played hard.
The Colonels have been challenged in the early going and appear to be slowly gaining confidence.
In those losses, the Colonels’ quarterback Trevor Lowe showed signs of growing as a runner while making some strides as a passer.
“Against Northwest we turned the ball over and it could have been lopsided but our kids continued to work very hard,” he said. “We are improving. Our quarterback is growing and we’re trying to not put him in bad situations. He is a great kid and he wants to be good.”
Also, the Colonels’ bevy of veteran playmakers also grew more adept at putting on an offensive show as well. Showing big-play potential were players like wide receivers Chris Morton and Justin Reed, and running backs Kelin Wells, Colin Rogers and Chaz Rokins.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.