Lithia Springs will travel to Paulding County High School Friday night to take on the Patriots in the final game of the 2014 season for both schools. The Lions are in desperate need of some offense, after being shutout in three consecutive games, and they will look to upset the Patriots at LSHS.
The Lions opened the season with a promising start, which included a 12 point loss to Landmark and a 20 point victory over Chapel Hill. Lithia bounced back and fourth between hot and cold games during the middle stretch, falling badly to Allatoona and Hiram, but losing close games to Alexander (10 points) and Villa Rica (7 points).
However, since their Homecoming loss to the Wildcats of VR, the team has struggled. In their last three games against East Paulding, South Paulding and New Manchester, Lithia was outscored 142-0. Last week, against the Jaguars, Lithia could not slow down their opponent, who struck with long, quick drives. The offense went in with a plan to run right at New Manchester, something Chapel Hill did with success in the first quarter the previous week. However, Lithia was hit with a penalty to start the game and nothing seemed to go right from there.
“It’s frustrating for all of us,” said Lithia coach Craig Chatman after the game. “I want something positive for them. We’re going to go back to work and try to send our seniors out on a good note.”
The Patriots come in with two quality quarterbacks that they like to switch out depending on the offense they want to run. Bailey Johnson was the primary QB to start the year. He has completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,251 yards and nine touchdowns. He has thrown four interceptions. Marquis Tre’von Lewis is a guy who has really taken over the position the last three weeks. He is a duel threat QB. Last week against Chapel Hill, Lewis threw 16 times and completed nine passes for 147 yards. He also rushed 16 times for 70 yards and two scores.
Antonio Gandy-Golden is the team’s top receiver. He has 54 catches for 891 yards and five TDs. Bandy-Golden rushed 10 times last week for 142 yards. Lewis leads the ground attack this year with 406 yards on 79 carries. He has nine rushing touchdowns.
Paulding is currently tied for sixth in the region with East Paulding and Villa Rica with a 3-5 region record and a 4-5 overall record. They are averaging 26 points on offense and allowing 27 points per game on defense. Lithia Springs is 1-7 in the region and 1-8 overall, putting them in ninth place. They are averaging 12 points per game on offense and allowing 36 points per game on defense.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lithia Springs.