A week after capturing their first win of the season in a 31-29 shootout on the road against Eagle’s Landing, the Upson-Lee Knights will try to avoid letting the Central-Macon Chargers accomplish the same goal. The Chargers enter tonight’s game with an 0-3 record in 2012, and although the team has athletes as always, their offensive struggles have kept them from scoring an offensive point in 2012.
New head coach Jesse Hicks takes over a program which once was a perennial playoff team in the early 2000s, but last season’s 2-8 record has been more indicative of the types of season which the Chargers have had lately. Hicks, who once went deep into the playoffs while coaching at Baldwin High School, is beginning to see firsthand how tough it can be to turn a football program around in his first season. A win tonight against Upson-Lee would give the Chargers momentum as they head into region play, but according to UL coaches, this game is important for the Knights with their bye week looming next week.
“We need to get a win tonight at home, their is no doubt about that,” said Knights head coach Tommy Watson. “It makes it a lot easier on the players and coaches when you head into your bye week coming off a victory. You don’t want to leave a bad taste in your mouth headed into the bye week coming off a loss. That alone makes this a very important game.”
The Chargers, who lost to Westside-Macon 69-7, NE Macon 21-0, and Rutland 34-0, run multiple sets on offense according to UL coaches. They will line up and run some power I formations, with an emphasis on running the football. They are a run-oriented football team, but have been forced into more passing situations, due to being down early in games. The Chargers’ main threat on offense is their running back #34 Jordan Colbert, but it’s on defense where they boast on one of the best linebackers in the state of Georgia.
The Chargers Nigel Bowden (6’1, 238), who has verbally committed to Vanderbilt, is on nearly every publication’s pre-season All-State Team, and was an All-State player last season as a junior. Bowden chose the Nashville school over Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Tennessee, where he also had offers.
Defensively the Chargers play an eight-man front, and cover three in the secondary. The Chargers are giving up 41 points per game, however the defense did record the only touchdown of the season thus far for the Bibb County school.
The Knights and Chargers will battle on the gridiron tonight at Matthews Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.