NORTH FULTON, Ga. — The region title is the goal for each team at the outset of the season. Next Friday, Chattahoochee and Alpharetta will both have a shot at earning that objective when the two square off in a winner-take-all game for the Region 7-AAAAAA title.
From the beginning of the season, Alpharetta was favored to be in the running. With a senior-laden squad with talent throughout the ranks, an offensive with multiple playmakers and a stout defense, the Raiders are undefeated in region (7-0) entering the game.
Chattahoochee, meanwhile, is playing the role of underdog.
Hooch hadn’t put together a winning season since 2012 entering this year. But the Cougars have continually put together solid performances throughout the year and find themselves poised to capture their first region title in seven years.
The Cougars will have to do so without their starting quarterback and leader, Jack Corrigan.
Corrigan suffered a grisly leg break in the Cougars win over Pope on Oct. 20. But backup Damon Stewart, called up from the JV team, performed well against Northview despite some youthful mistakes.
Stewart and Hooch’s running game, led by Max Webb and Andrew Thomas, will face an Alpharetta defense coming off its best performance of the year.
The Raiders gave up just 62 total yards to Dunwoody in a 41-0 thrashing Friday night. Led by All-American cornerback Jaycee Horn, Alpharetta’s defense has surrendered less than 14 points in five straight games.
The Raiders are led up front by defensive ends Nick Markus and Jack Stanton who have combined for 15 total sacks this season. Linebacker Reid Schultz and safety Dane Motley add to the Raiders’ strong defensive core.
But the Alpharetta defense will face a test against Hooch who have put together over 400 yards per game of total offense in four straight contests.
“They have athletes all over the field,” Alpharetta head coach Jacob Nichols said.
Nichols said they his team will focus on film work to account for Hooch’s new starting quarterback. He said it is a “shame” his team won’t get to face Corrigan, who Nichols called a great player, but he said Stewart has looked impressive in what he has seen so far.
Chattahoochee’s defense will need to buckle down in Friday’s game after giving up 30 or more points in three of their last four contests.
They will face a Raiders offense led by quarterback Matthew Downing who has over 1,500 yards passing this season. The Raiders also have a dual-threat backfield as Downing has running ability along with a powerful one-two punch from Nolan Edmonds and Kevin Watkins.
The Raiders have the advantage in special teams play as Corrigan also handled kicking duties for Hooch. Alpharetta’s Dylan Schorr is 27-28 on PAT’s and has made 11 field goals this season.