The Upson-Lee Knights and the Eagle’s Landing Golden Eagles have one huge thing in common. Both teams are looking for their first victory of the season after starting 2012 with a 0-2 record.
The two teams have not played since 2005, when Upson-Lee handed the Golden Eagles a 14-7 loss. However, this Golden Eagles team looks a little different from the one which the Knights saw seven years ago.
“They will be the biggest team we will see this season,” said Knights’ head coach Tommy Watson. “They are big on both sides of the ball, so we will have to take care of the football on offense, and make tackles on defense. They have big players up and down their roster.”
One of those big players is senior tight end Bill Teknipp. The 6’6” 235-pound senior is one of the Golden Eagles’ main offensive threats. They will line him up on the line of scrimmage, or they can send him out wide off the ball. The Knights have faced two teams in 2012 which have tried to get to the edge of their defense, but this week the Golden Eagles have other plans in mind.
“In our first game we had eight new players starting on defense,” said Knights’ defensive coordinator Steve Chafin. “We have gotten better defensively each week, and this week we will see a little different type of offense. These guys like to throw the ball a lot, and they like to take advantage of their size. They would just as rather run you over than try and run around you or make you miss a tackle. I think we as a defense are getting a better understanding of what we are trying to do. We need to have a good pass rush, force some turnovers, and not give up any big plays. If we can do those things, we give ourselves a chance.”
The Golden Eagles lead their sub-region in points scored, but they also lead their sub-region in points allowed. In their first game of the season, they lost by a 38-30 score to Ola, and last week after being down 35-6, they came back to score 30 points against Lamar County in a losing 41-30 effort.
Offensively the Golden Eagles have multiple weapons, and run the spread offense. According to coaches, their quarterback throws the deep ball very well, and likes to throw the ball as much as he can. Defensively the Golden Eagles play a 3-5-3 defensive scheme, led by their best defensive player, middle linebacker #49 Shawayne Lawrence (6’3, 250).
The two teams battle on the field tonight at Eagle’s Landing Stadium in McDonough. Both teams are looking for that elusive first victory of the year, in hopes that it will jump start their 2012 season. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. tonight.