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Game of the Week Preview: Habersham Central vs Gainesville

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The BLITZ Game of the Week is Habersham Central vs Gainesville from Mt. Airy under the bright Friday night lights.

HABERSHAM CENTRAL

The Raiders are coming off back-to-back losses and looking to get back on the winning track. At 3-3, this season has been fairly good to Habersham, although it would love the losses to Dawson County and Stephens County back. The 0-1 start to region play means this game means a lot for the Raiders to have a shot at the postseason. Tre Luttrell brings the added intrigue into this game, as he goes up against his former team that he quarterbacked for two seasons, INCLUDING last season when as a Red Elephant, he hurled an 81-yard hail mary touchdown to help beat Habersham Central at City Park (BLITZ WAS WITNESS TO THIS). The Raiders have an all-state QB in Luttrell, a top-notch receiving corp in Donny Curry and DonDon Bailey, and a solid run game with Luttrell, Tracey Lowery and Jackson Clouatre, who have a combined 1,000 yards and 11 TD.

GAINESVILLE

SKINNY AD - DCMM GIFThe Red Elephants are experiencing something we haven’t seen in ages…okay, not really that long, but definitely since the late 90s, which means longer than these players have been on earth. They’ve never seen the Red Elephants at 0-6. Gainesville has shown signs of promise however, under new head coach Heath Webb. It held #6-ranked Jefferson close for most of the game and didn’t do too bad against #5-ranked Flowery Branch for a time. Still, this team has issues, notably on offense, as it splits with two QBs (Walt Dixon and Gionni Williams) and has averaged only 12 points per contest (72 total points) which puts it near the very bottom of all teams in Class 6A. On the plus side, running back Quintavious Hayes provides some punch on the offense.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping WEEK 7. BLITZ will also share highlights with Fox 5’s HIGH 5 Sports, so the highlights will play on Channel 5 at 11 PM. You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates.

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OUR PREDICTION

Gainesville came into 2018 with little varsity experience on the roster, but that’s a thing of the past with six games under their belt. Hayes playing well at the running back position could work to the Red Elephants’ favor, as the Habersham defense for the second year in a row struggles at stopping the run (250-plus yards yielded per game on the ground). On the flip side, Gainesville has proven it can stop the spread attack sometimes, much like Stephens County did against Habersham. Tre’ Luttrell has the added motivation to beat his former team though, and has a ton of weapons. All gas, no breaks needs to be the theme of the night for the Raiders to earn the win. It won’t be a a walk in the park, and the run game MUST find some holes to set up the spread pass attack. FINAL VERDICT: Habersham Wins

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 7:30 pm kickoff
PLACE: John Larry Black Field / Habersham Central High School / Mt. Airy, GA
LAST MEETING: 2017; Gainesville 30, Habersham Central 27
ALL-TIME RECORD: Gainesville 15, Habersham Central 11
RECORDS: Habersham Raiders (3-3; 0-1 in 8-AAAAA); Gainesville Red Elephants (0-6; 0-1 in 8-AAA)

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HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

26 times these teams have squared off, and tonight makes #27. Gainesville leads 15-11, including three straight. Last year was the most gut-wrenching in recent memory, with the Red Elephants facing 4th and a mile from their own 19 in the final minutes, only to see a Tre’ Luttrell (yes, the now-Habersham QB) heave a bomb to midfield where it was caught and taken in for the game-tying TD. Gainesville then got the ball back and knocked home a “walk-off” field goal as time elapsed. Prior to the three straight Gainesville wins, Habersham Central had taken four in a row in 1989, ’90, ’91 and 2000.

Crump GIF 2018
TEAM LEADERS (2018 STATS as available / Projected Leaders)

HABERSHAM CENTRAL

PASSING
Tre’ Luttrell: 84/167 (50%), 1,268 yds, 13 TD, 4 INT

RUSHING
Tre’ Luttrell: 402 yds, 3 TD (5.9 YPC)
Tracey Lowery: 351 yds, 3 TD (6.5 YPC)
Jackson Clouatre: 307 yds, 5 TD (4.9 YPC)

RECEIVING
Donovan Curry: 30 rec, 530 yds, 3 TD
DonDon Bailey: 18 rec, 318 yds, 6 TD
Tarin Westbrook: 13 rec, 164 yds, 2 TD
Luke Wilson: 8 rec, 101 yds, 1 TD

DEFENSE
Daniel Matkovic: 44 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Pass Break-Up
Luke Wilson: 37 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 5 Pass Break-Ups, 3 Forced Fum, 1 Fum Rec
Michael Martin: 35 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 Sacks
Cooper Woodruff: 34 tackles, 4.5 TFL

GAINESVILLE (No Stats Available)

PASSING
Walt Dixon
Gionni Williams

RUSHING
Quintavious Hayes

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