Johnny White admits he has been pleased with his team’s defensive effort so far this season.
But the first-year Douglas County coach knows that the Tigers will face their toughest offensive challenge when Langston Hughes visits tonight.
The Panthers are averaging 330 yards of offense per game, and have some of the top skill players in the region. Langston Hughes is led by quarterback Isaiah Green, who has completed 57 percent of his passes for 772 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Green, who has committed to Marshall, has thrown only three interceptions. His favorite target is Sean Nelson, who has 18 catches for 242 yards and four touchdowns. Nelson has committed to Maryland.
“They are definitely the best offense that we have faced,” White said.
But Langston Hughes is also the team that White knows the best. He spent the last five seasons on the Panthers staff as a defensive line coach.
Tigers offensive coordinator Travis Smith held the same position at Langston Hughes before coming over with White last February.
Panthers coach Willie Cannon says Douglas County staff probably had a scouting advantage coming into the game.
“They know our kids and their tendencies,” Cannon said. “I don’t know anything about the Douglas County kids. I will say you can do all the scouting and knowing, but it just comes down to execution. They have a little advantage but hopefully they want expose us too much.”
“I know who can do what and that kind of helps,” White said. “Cannon knows how I think. It would be kind of crazy for me not to think that he will add a few new things and have something up his sleeves.”
It will also be homecoming for the Tigers at Jimmy Johnson Stadium this evening.
Both teams come into the 7:30 p.m. game with 1-1 records in Region 5-AAAAAA as they look to keep pace in the playoff race.
Because of the closeness of the staffs, White said it makes for an even emotionally game.
“It is going to be bittersweet because we both pull for each other,” White said. “Johnny is one of the closes friends that I have in coaching. We both love to win and compete.”
The Douglas County players say they are looking for to the challenge of stopping the Panthers, who boost several college prospects.
“We are definitely up for this game,” said Douglas County linebacker Kendall Lawrence, who has committed to Georgia State. “They have a lot of college prospects and you definitely want to test yourself against them. This will be real fun to see if we deserve all the offers we are getting.”
Douglas County defensive coordinator Shawn Austin said his defense will be tested.
“I think our guys will rise to the occasion,” Austin said. “We have some coaches on our staff that worked over there and they have given us some insight on what to expect. The bottom line is that we have to execute.”
New Manchester at Alexander
Chapel Hill at Troup
Langston Hughes at Douglas Co.
Riverwood at Lithia Springs