By Stephen Black
Some rivalries were meant to be. It took a while, but Carrollton and Sandy Creek seem headed down that road. Despite being two of the top programs in Class AAA in recent years, the Trojans (5-2) and Patriots (7-0) have only faced each other three times in history. One of them was a hotly-contested state final in 2010 that Sandy Creek won 14-7.
Both programs have rich tradition and both have been regularly appeared deep in the playoffs. Chip Walker’s program has won at least 11 games every year since 2008 while making the playoffs each year since 2001. Further west in Carrollton, Rayvan Teague’s squad has won 10 or more games all but once in the past eight seasons while making the playoffs an astounding 24 times in a row.
As far as state titles, neither program is needy. Carrollton has won seven, the last coming in 1998. Sandy Creek captured state titles in 2009 and 2010. It is safe to say that these two programs will have something to say about who wins state gold in AAAA this season as well.
Under Teague, Carrollton has run the ball and run it well. The Trojans are averaging 265.9 yards per game through seven contests this season. Meanwhile, opponents have only been able to run for an average of 109.9 yards per game. Carrollton outscores its opponents 42-16.7.
However, Carrollton does shy away from tossing the pigskin around the ballpark. Trojans quarterback Will Hesterlee has thrown just 39 passes this season, completing 16 of them for 276 yards and four scores. Meanwhile, Carrollton boasts five rushers with more than 100 yards on the ground this year. Leading the way is Trey Chivers with 641 yards and eight touchdowns.
Sandy Creek has a few players highly sought after by SEC programs. Junior wide receiver Demarre Kitt was a Georgia commitment until recently while senor defensive back Shaquille Wiggins is still with the Dawgs. Senior offensive lineman Alan Knott is committed to South Carolina.
Like Carrolllton, Walker’s club prefers to run the ball, but quarterback Cole Garvin will try to hook up with Kitt in the passing game. In a 42-6 shellacking of Alexander on Oct. 19, Garvin completed six passes to Kitt, including one for a touchdown. Rushers Eric Swinney and Delvin Weems each ran for touchdowns in the rout.
Coverage begins on GPB-TV at 7:30 p.m. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.