By Anthony Rhoads
The Lovejoy Wildcats have a chance at redemption tonight.
Last year, the Wildcats lost on the road to Westside-Macon 35-13 in the second of the Class AAAAA state playoffs and tonight, the teams meet again in the state tournament.
This time, Lovejoy (11-0) will have the home field advantage as the game will be at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
"We've been thinking about last year and we really wanted the chance to play Westside-Macon again," Lovejoy quarterback Kisan Flakes said. "Now we've got the home-field advantage."
Last year, Westside (9-2) running back Travis Evans ran all over Lovejoy en route to the victory and Evans again has had a great season.
In 2003, Evans has racked up 1,755 yards on the ground and he's scored 23 touchdowns. Even though Evans has enjoyed another phenomenal season, he's not the only offensive threat for Westside.
Running back Wanza Williams has gained 1,030 yards with 14 touchdowns.
Even though Westside doesn't go to the air that much, quarterback Bobby Stewart has had a solid year with 551 passing yards.
"Westside-Macon is the next step up the mountaintop," Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes said. "They're absolutely for real. We're looking forward to playing them up here."
Lovejoy is loaded with offensive weapons, including Flakes. In last week's 45-22 victory over Coffee, he accounted for 454 yards. He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 109 yards and a touchdown.
At the receiver positions, Santini Washington and Vernard Hoover have been two of Flakes' favorite targets. Last week, Washington caught five passes for 71 yards and Hoover caught two passes for 68 yards.
When it comes to running the ball, Lovejoy can go to Aaron Williams and Mark Pettaway. Both Williams and Pettaway can also catch the ball and have put up solid receiving numbers for Lovejoy this year. Last week, Williams caught two touchdowns passes for 88 and 18 yards while Pettaway caught four passes for 104 yards.
"I want it," Williams said. "For 365 days, I was wanting this and now we have our chance to play them again."
This is the second season Lovejoy has won 11 games. In 1999, the Wildcats went 10-0 in the regular season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.