By Anthony Rhoads
There's no doubt about it; the Lovejoy Wildcats want another shot at Westside-Macon.
Westside beat Lovejoy 35-13 in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs last year and this Friday, the Wildcats take on the Seminoles for a re-match.
"I want it," Lovejoy senior Aaron Williams said after Lovejoy's 45-22 victory over Coffee Friday night. "For 365 days, I was wanting this and now we have our chance to play them again. We had a good week of practice this week and now we'll have a another good week of practice and take on Westside."
This time, Lovejoy will have the home-field advantage. Last year, Lovejoy had to travel to Macon for the second-round contest but this Friday, the Seminoles will have to play in Twelve Oaks Stadium.
"Westside-Macon is the next step up the mountaintop," Lovejoy Al Hughes said. "They're absolutely for real. We're looking forward to playing them up here."
Last season, Lovejoy may have been overconfident going into the Westside game. Hughes said the guys this year know what they're up against.
"Our kids didn't know; they just didn't know Westside," Hughes said. "I think our kids felt a little too confident; now they know. Maybe this year we'll get to return the favor."
Lovejoy (11-0) had little trouble in Friday's victory over Coffee County while Westside (9-2) destroyed Brunswick 60-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Making a statement: Lovejoy senior quarterback Kisan Flakes had a career night Friday against Coffee by completing 13 of 20 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns. And if that wasn't enough, he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown.
"I think he made a statement," Hughes said after the game. "He had a great game tonight."
Defensive standouts: In Friday's game, David McHone, led Lovejoy defensively with six tackles. Shannon Mayfield and Aaron Williams picked off one pass each, with Williams running his interception back for a 72-yard touchdown.
Tough schedule: Mt. Zion went 6-5 in 2003 and three of the defeats were to teams that are currently 11-0 (Lovejoy, Northside-Warner Robins and Camden County). The other two losses were to teams that are still alive in the playoffs (Houston County and Westside-Macon).
Mt. Zion made the playoffs this year but lost 35-0 to Camden County in the first round.
"It was a good year and we kind of overachieved," Mt. Zion head coach Jackie Green said. "I was proud of the effort."