While it won't officially lock up a spot in the SCISA 3A football state playoffs, a victory by Wilson Hall over Augusta Christian School on Friday would put the Barons in a strong position to secure a berth.
"We've got to win games like this in …
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"We've got to win games like this in order to get in the playoffs," said WH head coach Adam Jarecki, whose team will be traveling to Martinez, Georgia, for the 7:30 p.m. contest. "If we win this game it probably puts us in the playoffs, but we can't look ahead. We just need to focus on this game. It's a big game for us."
Wilson Hall and the Lions are both 1-4 in SCISA 3A action. That's good for a tie for eighth in the 10-team classification. The top eight teams qualify for the state playoffs, so a victory would be advantageous for both teams securing a playoff berth.
The Barons are coming off of a 28-14 loss to Ben Lippen. WH led 14-7 at halftime, but the Falcons scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.
Jarecki was pleased with the effort with which his team played, but he was not happy with the execution.
"Our attitude has been great all week (in preparing for ACS), as it has been all year," Jarecki said of the Barons, who are 1-4 overall. "We've got to clean it up. We had four turnovers (against BL), and we're just not good enough to turn it over like that and expect to win. We've got to hold on to the football"
The Barons are being led offensively by Graham Van Patten. The junior is averaging just under 100 rushing yards a game. He has 497 yards and three touchdowns on 76 carries. Van Patten also leads in receptions with nine for 102 yards and another touchdown.
Emory Moore has 314 yards and three scores on 42 carries, and Doc Walker has 150 yards and two TDs on 43 attempts.
Sophomore quarterback Tate Sistare has completed 16 of 46 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown against five interceptions.
Augusta Christian is 2-4 on the season after losing to 3A Goliath Hammond 47-0 last week. The Lions' 3A victory came against Cardinal Newman by a 19-14 score. Their other losses were 35-14 to Ben Lippen, 27-25 to Heathwood Hall and 28-16 to undefeated Laurence Manning Academy.
Along with the 14-point loss to Ben Lippen, Wilson Hall lost to Heathwood Hall 10-7 and to Hammond 48-7. The Barons take on LMA in the season finale.
WH rolled to an easy victory over ACS last season, winning by a score of 45-0. However, Jarecki isn't sure what to make of this edition of the Lions.
"We beat them pretty easily last year, but Augusta pretty much has a new team this year, a lot of new faces," Jarecki said. "They've literally got 15 new players on their roster, so we've been trying to figure some things out.
"We're still working mainly on us, on us getting better, but it's been a tough week."
Jarecki was pretty pleased with his team's defensive effort, pointing out that two of Ben Lippen's four touchdowns came after a turnover and a short punt gave it a short field on which to operate.
Campbell deHoll leads the Baron defense in tackles with 48, 25 solo stops and 23 assists. Jagger Hebert is second with 41 tackles, 27 of them solo. He also leads in tackles for loss with four. He had 13 total tackles and two TFLs against Ben Lippen.
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