Oconee County’s best players are Jake Johnson, C.J. Jones, Whit Weeks and Jacob Wright. Johnson has 42 receptions for 696 yards and eight touchdowns. Weeks, who plays both ways, has 16 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns and leads the team in tackles with 34 solo, 86 assists and averages 10.9 tackles per game. Wright is 120-of-187 passing for 1,832 yards and 18 touchdowns. Jones has 196 carries for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Their linebacker, Whit Weeks, he is an absolute stud,” Patrick said. “They have just a really good football team, and they have the best defense we will have faced all season. Coach (Travis) Noland does such a great job and his staff, as well. So we have our work cut out for us.”
Crisp quarterback Jack Carter is 97-of-170 passing for 1,516 yards and 16 touchdowns to lead a balanced Cougars offense that is averaging 155 rushing and 151 passing yards per game. His favorite targets are Trae Walker (41 receptions, 601 yards, five touchdowns), Ahmad Brown (21 receptions, 484 yards, six touchdowns) and Eric Ivory Jr (15 receptions, 267 yards, four touchdowns).
“We have had a balanced offense all season,” Patrick said. “Our running back, Marquise Palmer, has done an excellent job running the ball for us. He is over 4,000 yards for his career and with over 50 touchdowns in his career. Our quarterback, Jack Carter, has done an amazing job for us this season. We have a couple of guys who can make some plays -- Ahmad Brown, Trae Walker and Eric Ivory. So our plan is to be balanced and keep them honest and get the ball to our playmakers like always.”
And how does home-field advantage factor in for Crisp?
“Well, it does help,” Patrick said. “We have a young football team that doesn’t have to travel this week, and that home-field advantage will, for sure, play to our favor a little bit.”
According to the Maxwell Playoff Projections, Oconee County is a 24-8 favorite to win.
But don’t tell Crisp that. It doesn’t care.
Here is the second-round schedule with predicted winners in bold.
Class 3A Second Round (Nov. 19)
R3#2 Southeast Bulloch at R5#1 Cedar Grove
R8#2 Oconee County at R2#1 Crisp County
R1#2 Appling County at R7#1 Cherokee Bluff
R6#2 Ringgold at R4#1 Thomson
R8#4 Stephens County at R4#2 Burke County
R5#2 Carver-Atlanta at R3#1 Liberty County
R2#2 Peach County at R8#1 Monroe Area
R7#2 Dawson County at R1#1 Pierce County