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Locust Grove, Drew, Union Grove all make trips outside the metro area for their season openers

Photo by Derrick Mahone
For the second straight season, Drew coach Jarrett Laws will take his team to South Georgia to open the season with a game against Cairo tonight.

Photo by Derrick Mahone For the second straight season, Drew coach Jarrett Laws will take his team to South Georgia to open the season with a game against Cairo tonight.

Drew coach Jarrett Laws is not as worried about how long of a trip his team will take for tonight’s season opener at Cairo, but he wants to measure how far they have come in the last three seasons.

It will be the second straight season that Drew has adventured into South Georgia to take on the perennial playoff powerhouse for its opener. Laws is hoping for better results than last season’s 49-0 slashing that started the Titans on a five-game losing streak to start the season.

With its first senior class since the school opened three years ago, Laws is hopeful that the team can challenge for a state playoff spot.

“If you want to be in the playoffs, you have to try and simulate that atmosphere, because you want to say you have seen it before,” Laws said. “If you want to measure yourself, you have to play the best teams. Since moving here from Florida, I’ve always been told that you have to prove yourself in South Georgia.”

Apparently Locust Grove, which is also in its third year, is adopting that philosophy. The Wildcats will open the season with consecutive games in South Georgia. Locust Grove travels to Tift County tonight and then return next week to play Coffee in South Georgia.

Last season, Locust Grove lost 34-7 at Tift County, which finished with a 5-5 record overall record. The Blue Devils didn’t make the playoffs out of traditionally-tough Region 1-AAAAA, which also includes powerhouse Colquitt County and Lowndes.

A Locust Grove defense, which returns six starters, will be tested against an athletic Tift County offense, which has five starters back on both sides of the ball.

Tift County quarterback Tadric Jackson, a sophomore, is back after passing for over 1,000 yards as a freshman last season. A two-sport standout, Jackson already has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Purdue in basketball.

He will have a pair of 6-foot-5 wide receivers to throw to.

Union Grove will face a highly-motivated Northside-Warner Robins team tonight.

The Eagles made a rare early exist from the playoffs last season by losing to Whitewater in the first round. Northside went undefeated in the regular season, but lost in the openiong round of the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

“That’s a pretty big motivation for all of our guys,” head coach Kevin Kinsler told the Macon Telegraph.