Photo by Derrick Mahone
North Clayton fullback Marquis Sconiers (5) and quarterback Dennis Johnson are a big reason the Eagles are 3-1 this season.

Photo by Derrick Mahone North Clayton fullback Marquis Sconiers (5) and quarterback Dennis Johnson are a big reason the Eagles are 3-1 this season.

At the halfway point in the season, teams take stock of where they are in terms of meeting preseason expectations and goals. Most teams will be making that final approach towards securing a playoff berth in the coming weeks.

Sports editor Derrick Mahone takes a look at who is making the grade, and what teams need to make some improvements.

Drew (2-2): The Titans have proven that their near-upset at Cairo wasn’t a fluke, as they have already equalled last season’s win total. The next two games will show if the Titans are a true playoff contender. P

Dutchtown (3-1): After a slow start, the Bulldogs have been on a roll with three straight wins. The kicking game might not be as solid as a year ago, but the defense is what the Bulldogs rely on. P

Our grading system

P for PASS. Not much tinkering left for these teams, who look poised to stay in the playoff hunt through the final weeks.

S for SATISFACTORY. They’ve got a shot, but it’s going to take some critical adjustments to finish strong.

E for EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS. Even we didn’t see this coming from these teams. We’re eager to see how they finish.

N for NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. It might be back to the drawing board for these teams, which aren’t adequate in several crucial areas.

Eagle's Landing (1-4): After snapping an 11-game losing streak with a season-opening, come-from-behind win at Rutland, the Golden Eagles have struggled in their last four games. Eagle’s Landing hosts Spalding, which is also winless against Region 4-AAA, today. N

Eagle's Landing Christian (3-1): A lack of depth and special teams miscues cost the Chargers an opportunity to be undefeated. Keyante Green and John Tatum give ELCA one of the best running back combinations in the state, regardless of classification. P

Forest Park (0-4): Although the record might not reflect it, the Panthers seem to be making strides under first-year coach Edmund Coley. The team must learn to cut down on its mistakes if it hopes to get in the win column. N

Henry County (2-2): The offense is led by a major college prospect (Chris Moody) and the defense has highly-recruited Dalvin Tomlinson as its leader. Running back Jonathan Jean-Bart is quickly becoming an all-state candidate. S

Jonesboro (4-0): Senior Cedric Nettles has stepped in and solidified the offense at quarterback, and junior Cameron Sutton has been unstoppable on offense and special teams. This could be a special season for the Cardinals if they remain focused. E

Locust Grove (1-4): A tough early stretch of games at Tift County and Coffee County has not allowed Clint Satterfield to pad the schedule against some cupcakes. The team has dedicated the season to former offensive lineman Forrest Jones, who died prior to the start of practice. N

Lovejoy (4-0): If defense wins championships, the No. 10 Wildcats should make a deep playoff run. The team has not given up an offensive touchdown to an opponent so far this season. E

Luella (3-1): The Lions started the season with three straight wins before last week’s region-opener loss to East Coweta. In the next three weeks, the Lions will know if they are a playoff contender with games against top reams. S

Morrow (0-5): The once-proud program has hit hard times lately, and this season has been no exception. The Mustangs have yet to score through its first five games, while having given up 259 points. N

Mount Zion (1-3): Replacing some talented skill position players has not been an easy chore for the Bulldogs. The offensive line, which has several new starters, has struggled at times, which has put a lot of pressure on junior quarterback Montel Buchanan. N

Mundy's Mill (1-4): The hightlight of the season so far is that the Tigers can lay claim on being the only team to score a touchdown on Lovejoy this season, a kickoff return. Team is still trying to adjust to another turnover in the coaching staff for the second straight season. N

North Clayton (3-1): Although they are averaging 22 points per game, the offense has struggled at times in the early part of the season. Coach Max Wiltz has stated that the team will get back to the basics on offense to produce more points. S

Ola (0-5): The Mustangs had too much to replace on both sides of the ball to be a serious playoff contender this season. A young team has taken is lumps throughout the first half of the season. N

Riverdale (2-3): First-year coach Olten Downs has brought a sharp defensive emphasis to the program that he instilled while at powerhouse Carver-Columbus. The team still remains in the playoff hunt, but still has games against Jonesboro, Creekside and Lovejoy. E

Stockbridge (4-0): Ranked for the first time in 43 years, the Tigers have generated a lot of excitement and school pride. Games against Drew, Henry County and Eastside will show if the Tigers are really playoff contenders. E

Strong Rock (2-3): First-year coach Mark Miller will have to preach patience as the Patriots continue to built their program. The Patriots are one win ahead of last season at this point in the season in their second year in the Georgia High School Association. S

Union Grove (2-3): A midseason offensive shuffle might be what jumpstarts the team to a playoff berth. The first two games in October will give coach Paul Burgdorf a better indication of his team’s playoff hopes. S

Woodland (1-3): Quarterback David Williams has put up some good numbers, but the offense has still struggled. The Wolfpack are only averaging nine points per game, the lowest point production in the region. N