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ELCA opens defense of region title

Photo by Derrick Mahone
ELCA running back/linebacker Keyante Green is expected to return to action tonight when the top-ranked Chargers take on Holy Innocents’ in the Region 5-A opener for both teams. Green had been out the last two weeks with a leg injury.

Photo by Derrick Mahone ELCA running back/linebacker Keyante Green is expected to return to action tonight when the top-ranked Chargers take on Holy Innocents’ in the Region 5-A opener for both teams. Green had been out the last two weeks with a leg injury.

Holy Innocents’ and Eagle’s Landing Christian have been going in the opposite direction.

The Golden Bears started the season with consecutive wins over Lakeside-Atlanta and Wesleyan, but has since dropped their last two games against Riverwood and George Walton Academy.

ELCA dropped their first game against Washington County, which is a ranked Class AAA team. Since then, the Chargers have climbed to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll as they have won their last three games.

Tonight, the two teams meet at Riverwood High’s Bill Hoskyn Stadium in the Region 5-A opener for both teams. ELCA is the two-time defending region champion.

While ELCA is ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, Holy Innocents’ is currently the top team in the MaxPrep Power Rankings, which will be a part of selecting the playoff seeds this season.

ELCA and Holy Innocents’ are coming off a bye week.

For the first time since the third quarter of its win at Briarwood Christian in Birmingham, preseason all-state running back/linebacker Keyante Green will play. Green missed the last two games — wins over Clinch County and Hapeville Charter — with a leg injury.

In the 32-7 win over Briarwood, Green had 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter.

“I’m real excited with the opportunity to play,” said Green, who has committed to Purdue. “I’m ready to get out there and help my team.”

Also returning for the Chargers is defensive back/wide receiver D.J. Curl, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury. However, defensive end/tight end Isaac Rochell is not expected back this week.

Rochell, who has committed to Notre Dame, is considered one of the top line prospects in the nation. He sustained a broken hand in the win at Briarwood Christian on Aug. 31.

ELCA is currently ranked No. 4 in the MaxPrep Power Rankings, but have been considered by many to be the top contender for the Class A title.

“I’m looking forward to the competition after being out for the last few weeks,” Green said. “It was tough being on the sideline and watching. I’m happy we won the games, and I’m ready to help contribute.”