There was so much going on before and during Friday’s Region 5-AAAAAA game against Creekside that Douglas County could have been easily distracted.
Before the game, Douglas County held Senior Night ceremonies and after the first quarter, former Tiger Charles Thomas had his jersey retired. Throw in the fact before the game two faculty and staff members did the coin toss as cancer survivors.
An Auburn University assistant football coach was on the sidelines scouting the talent.
However, the Tigers stayed focused to get a 49-7 win over Creekside to continue on pace to secure a home playoff berth.
“I’m real happy at the way we played,” said Tigers coach Johnny White, who had several relatives in town for the game. “I thought we played well. I was especially pleased with all three of our quarterbacks.”
The three - Marquise’ Collins, J.J. Richards and Justin Franklin - combined for 250 passing yards and two touchdowns. Collins, the starter, was 9 of 11 for 144 yards with a scoring pass while Richards was 4 of 7 for 90 yards and a touchdown pass.
Franklin, the only freshman among the two juniors, was 2 of 2 for 16 yards. He had a rushing touchdown for the Tigers.
Another positive note was starting running back Uriah West played for the first time since the South Paulding game. West rushed for 17 yards on two carries and scored on a touchdown.
The Liberty commit has been nursing a high ankle sprain.
“It felt like all times,” West said. “I’m happy to get back into the game and play.”
Douglas County compiled 473 yards of offense against the Creekside.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the region and remains in second place alone after Alexander’s 34-24 loss to No. 2 Mays on Friday.
Douglas County travels to Alexander next week in the regular season final for both teams. The winner clinches the No. 2 seed in next month’s playoff and get to host a playoff game.
“We got to have a good week of practice,” Douglas County center Lawrence Lagrone said. “It comes down to one game against your rival.”
Defensively, the Tigers dominated with linebacker Braelen Oliver leading the way. He had 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss and sack.
Oliver also had two rushing touchdowns on offense.
As a team, the Tigers held Creekside to only 73 yards of offense.
“We were just really prepared by our coaches,” Tigers junior defensive end Mataio Soli said. “We did what we had to do to win this game. We just have to practice hard and play hard.”