PREVIEW: Atlanta Still Searching for First Victory as it Hosts Pleasant Grove
Pleasant Grove Hawks (2-0)
Atlanta Rabbits (0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Rabbit Stadium, Atlanta
- Pleasant Grove: Josh Gibson
- Atlanta: Matt McClure
- Pleasant Grove: vs. Gladewater, Sept. 21
- Atlanta: at Liberty-Eylau, Sept. 21
Players to watch
- DE Landon Jackson, Soph., 6-5, 222 (11 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
- DT Marcus Burris, Soph., 6-4, 240 (4 tackles)
- RB Bruce Garrett, Jr., 5-11, 187 (30 carries, 192 yards, 1 TD)
- RB James Wiggins, Sr. (17 carries, 66, 2 TDs)
- QB Ben Harmon, Jr., 6-1, 185 (12-of-24, 221 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 9 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/DB Jackson Cobb, Jr., 5-10, 155 (6 catches, 149 yards)
- CB Tyler Kelley, Sr., 5-6, 155 (6 tackles)
- DB Kam Woods, Sr., 6-3, 170 (3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 INTs, 6 PBUs)
- LB Caleb Hemphill, Sr., 6-0, 190 (8 tackles, 1 recovered fumble)
- LB Bladen Reaves, Sr., 6-0, 195 (17 tackles, 2 for loss, 2.5 sacks)
- OL Connor Stanfill, Jr., 6-1, 250
- RB Jawan King, Sr., 5-10, 180
- QB/DB Andrew Samples, Sr., 5-11, 185
- OL/DL Shun Hunter, Sr.
- WR/DB Kade Wood, Jr.
- WR/DB Jordan Brigham, Jr., 5-11, 162
- RB/DB Dra Nelson, Jr.
- OL/DL Cade Fant, Jr., 6-0, 225
Just the facts
- Atlanta holds an 8-6 lead in the series since 2004, but Pleasant Grove took the most recent matchup, 48-17 in 2017.
- Despite throwing for only 221 yards through two games, Pleasant Grove is averaging 20.6 yards per catch.
- Sophomore defensive lineman Landon Jackson set the Pleasant Grove school record for sacks as a freshman with 11.5.
- The Hawks snapped West Orange-Stark's 40-game winning streak to claim their first state championship in 2017.
- Atlanta running back Jawan King committed to Rice this offseason.
- Despite an 0-2 start, the Rabbits have lost by an average of only 11 points per game.
- Atlanta made the drop down from 4A D-II to 3A D-I this offseason.
- The Rabbits are averaging 31 points per game over two games this season.
Key matchup: Pleasant Grove front line against Jawan King and the Atlanta rushing attack. It's no secret that Pleasant Grove is strong up front. One glance at Landon Jackson and Marcus Burris, who stand 6-5 and 6-4 and are a combined 462 pounds, is enough to make an accurate guess at the skills level the Hawks have there. Jackson has already forced two fumbles this season and recently picked up an offer from Texas.
Jawan King will be a tough task for the line, though. King possesses a blend of size and speed that makes him difficult to bring down. Dra Nelson will also see touches in the backfield and will be one to watch. An offensive line that is headlined by Shun Hunter and Cade Fant will do its best to make holes for the backs to run through.
Whichever group wins this matchup will increase its chances of coming away with a victory.
Don't be surprised if: Pleasant Grove's passes go for long distances. The Hawks didn't pass much in 2017, but when they did it was almost guaranteed to go for big chunks of yardage. The same has held true through two games this season. Pleasant Grove is averaging 20.6 yards per catch. Although Carson Cox graduated this offseason, Jackson Cobb has filled in nicely and has nearly 150 yards receiving through two games. Ben Harmon is back and should be more comfortable with a full year as the starter under his belt. Expect the Hawks' offense to keeping humming along as usual.