Alexander, Douglas County open region slate

Douglas County High junior linebacker Shakai Woods leads the Tigers with 41 tackles in the first three games of the season.

Ready or not, it’s region time.

Alexander and Douglas County open their Region 5-6A schedule on Friday against a pair of Paulding County teams.

Alexander hits the road to take on the Paulding County Patriots while Douglas County will host East Paulding.

Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Lithia Springs will play its final non-region game when it travels to Leesburg to take on Lee County.

Chapel Hill and New Manchester are idle this week.

“It is a new season for everybody now,” Douglas County coach Johnny White said. “Whatever you did in the previous three games really doesn’t matter now. Anybody can win this region. You just have to step up and play.”

Alexander will be looking to step its game up after a sluggish 20-17 win over Lithia Springs last week. It was the Cougars’ first game in 21 days after the program paused because of COVID restrictions.

“We are 2-0 now, and that is a good feeling,” Alexander coach Olten Downs said. “We played a hard-fought game against Lithia coming off COVID. It was rough, but we fought through it.”

This will be the first time that the Cougars will play back-to-back games this season. After a big win over Chapel Hill to start the season on Aug. 20, Alexander had to pause its practices and games.

The team postponed the Lithia Springs game from Aug. 27 to Sept. 10.

It canceled the Cartersville contest that was scheduled for Sept. 4.

“It was a challenge getting back into football shape,” Downs said. “We just have to make sure we continue to make the plays.”

The Douglas County defense will have its hands full trying to contain East Paulding running back Justin Williams.

In last week’s non-region win over Hiram, Williams, who has committed to West Virginia, had 358 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries and completed a 21-yard pass in the 31-28 win.

Douglas County’s defense is giving up only 91.6 yards rushing per game and 2.8 yards per carry to opposing teams.

Overall, the Tigers are surrendering 320 yards per game as they enter the contest.

White calls this the biggest challenge of the young season for his team.

“He will get the ball a lot in the game,” White said.

White said last week’s bye week gave the Tigers a chance to heal.

“It came right on time,” White said. “We have played three physical games. Our focus during the week off was on the young guys. We wanted to help them get better.”

Lee County has an explosive offense that put up 414 total yards in a 24-21 win over Lowndes last week.

Of the 262 yards it got on the ground, freshman running back Ousmane Kromah had 227 yards and three touchdowns.

Lithia Springs is averaging 401 total yards per game. Junior quarterback Jai’que Hart has passed for 901 yards.