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Game of the Week: Southwestern Randolph vs Randleman

Week one of the 2017 football season was crazy as some teams were forced to postpone games due to weather and others picked up a win after the other team forfeited. The forecast looks good for this Friday, so everyone should be able to play. With only one cross-county match-up this week, picking the “Game of the Week” was easy. The Randleman Tigers will travel to Southwestern Randolph to take on the Cougars in this week’s “Game of the Week”!

These two programs have a lot of history with one another. Since 2004, the Cougars and the Tigers have played each other 13 times (once a year). Randleman currently holds a 10-3 advantage over the Cougars including a 47-16 win last season to move the Tigers’ winning streak to six games. The last time the Cougars defeated the Tigers was back in 2010 when they picked up a 21-0 victory. Things should be interesting this time as the Cougars have a new head coach on the sidelines in Seth Baxter.

The Tigers have already been battled tested this season as they held off a talented Asheboro team last week for their first win of the season. Should Friday’s game go back and forth, Randleman has already proven they have what it takes to pull out the victory. Execution will be key for the Tigers especially on offense. Southwestern Randolph’s defense made things difficult for their last opponent, so Randleman will need to move the ball quickly and efficiently. That all starts with senior Tanner McGee in the quarterback position. He will be the on field play maker and he will have several options to get the ball up the field. He has the ability to hold on to the ball and run it himself or he can throw the long pass to one of the speedy wide receivers like Tyson Green. Nick Holder, Umar Abdul Matin, and Levi Kennedy will need strong performances on defense to hold off the Cougars.

Since before the season started, Southwestern Randolph head coach Seth Baxter praised his team for the hard work and progress they showed during the offseason. In their game against the Eastern Randolph Wildcats last week, the Cougars looked like a different team from last season. Quarterback Brayden Jones and running back Tyler Hoover led the offense against the Wildcats and they will be looked upon to do the same this week. Paxton Staker came up big defensively for the Cougars against the Wildcats and he will definitely cause problems for the Tigers. Braxton Davis provided the Cougars with a spark on defense as they kept the Wildcats in check. The Cougars’ win against the Wildcats was an entire team effort and they are going to need that same effort to try and put a stop to the Tigers on Friday. Calm and collected play by the Cougars will go a long way on Friday.

Randleman may have the advantage on Friday with the Cougars having such a short turnaround from their game against Eastern Randolph. However, I would not count out the Cougars just yet. Coach Baxter has got something special going at Southwestern Randolph and only time will tell just how good this Cougars’ team can be. Tigers and Cougars fans better be ready because Friday night’s game is going to be a battle.

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