Facing Hart and looking to playoffs
By Nick Nunn
Monday afternoon, the wind was still whipping, and the temperature still hadn’t climbed above 60 degrees, but the weather isn’t the only atmosphere changing around MCHS this week.
As the festivities of Homecoming Week are being left behind and the school year is returning to normal, the football team is getting prepared for two of its biggest challenges of the year: the upcoming games against Hart County and Jackson County, which will determine the Bulldogs’ playoff possibilities.
“In a nutshell, we could finish second, third, fourth, or out,” said Malone.
Although the fate of the postseason is up in the air right now, there are two other games that will largely determine where the team stands two weeks from now: the Elbert County/Jackson County matchup this Friday and Hart County’s game against North Oconee in the final week of the regular season.
“There are a number of scenarios. It would be a ridiculous attempt to play them all out this week,” reiterated Malone.
That being the case, he turned his attention back to this week’s challengers, the Hart County Bulldogs.
“Whenever you have to play someone that is 5-0,” began Malone, “go up two hours to play them in a school that has rich football traditions and with a first-year head coach that took them to the dome the last time he was their head coach, it is a pretty daunting task.”
As always, however, Malone has complete confidence in the abilities of the team.
“I think our guys can play anybody.”
“I don’t want anybody else’s kids. I don’t want to wear any different color. This is exactly where I want to be, with who I want to be here with. And I know the other coaches feel the exact same way. So, we’re excited about going to play Hart.”
Since it is Hart’s homecoming game this Friday, and they will be playing North Oconee away next week, Coach Malone hopes that Hart won’t be completely focused on the game, and that Morgan County will be able to take advantage of that.
Morgan County’s offense this week will be preparing to face a number of different defensive formations, which Hart has utilized in the past against varying teams.
Hart’s quarterback will provide the biggest impetus for their offense.
“Their quarterback is the man that makes the whole thing go. If he isn’t throwing to somebody, then he is very likely to be carrying the ball.”
Morgan County will have to keep Hart’s offense on a tight leash the entire night.
“Their ability to make the big play happen is a trademark of Hart County football. They’ve always had guys that can run like deer.”
And again Coach Malone’s mind turned back to the season as a whole, not just as a way to get to the end, but as a process.
“It’s the struggles that we encountered the first and second weeks of August that make a football season special, but just the last two weeks when it’s cold outside.”
“But the cold and the wind and the changing colors signifies that a season is changing, coming to an end, or possibly beginning. And that adds a little bit of nostalgia.”
“I like this time of year; this is football season.”
Printed in the November 1 2012 edition.