Any time a winless team travels to face an undefeated one, the outcome seems obvious.
That’s exactly the boat Central Coosa will be in tonight when it heads to Reeltown for a Class 2A Region 4 showdown. And although the Rebels are looking to secure their second straight region title with a victory, they aren’t going to take anyone lightly.
“We want to be good; we want to be great, but at the same time what goes with that is we want to teach our kids to be humble,” Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said. “If you come out feeling someone out or being complacent, that’s arrogance. That’s disrespecting the game and the program, so we’ve talked about that.”
Central Coosa (0-6, 0-3) would be an easy team to overlook.
The Cougars haven’t won a game since 2016 and have struggled to even put points on the board. They’re averaging just 9.3 points per game and that includes a 36-point outing against Fayetteville. Meanwhile, they haven’t given up fewer than 36 points in a contest and that was against the one-win Horseshoe Bend.
That being said, the Cougars have the ability to make big plays happen and that’s what they’ll be shooting for against the Rebels (7-0, 4-0).
“It’s kind of like coach (John) Calipari when he had those four guards at Kentucky that lived and died by the 3,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of like how Coosa was last week (against Vincent). They were going to throw first and they were going to throw deep.”
Johnson estimated about 70% of Coosa’s plays were passing attempts of 20 or more yards, and the Cougars have quite a few receivers who can bring down the ball.
Coosa also boasts one of the best athletes in the region in Donta Daniel, but with his injury last week when a splint went through his hand, he will not be able to play this week. It’s unlikely Daniel will return next week either as he must be kept out for at least 10 days from any physical activity.
“Dawson Duncan came in and subbed for Donta (last week) and played a great game,” Coosa coach Brett Thomas said. “Not only is he a great receiver, he turned out to be a pretty competent quarterback. We’re actually realizing Ryan is a better receiver. He has a lot of mobility. Dawson is quick and he can see over the line.
Johnson did say the Rebels have been preparing for the fake punt because Central Coosa has done it in several games and it’s proven successful.
But other than that, the Cougars are a bit of a question mark. They’ve had so many personnel changes throughout the year between people leaving the team, injuries and bringing players up from JV.
“The part that I don’t know is they’ve looked different offensively every week so that’s hard to prepare for,” Johnson said. “We can sit here and talk about scores and their record, but once again, we’re dealing with teenage kids.”
But it’s no secret Coosa, which is struggling to find any kind of footing, will be the clear underdogs against the No. 4-ranked Reeltown.
“Realistically some of the boys that we’re going to play, they do have speed but it’s just inexperience,” Thomas said. “It’s going to be an uphill battle. We’re down speed and we’re down personnel. It’s only going to get harder as the game goes on because we don’t have players we can sub.”
Not only is Daniel out with the injury, but Coosa’s top lineman, Levi Krause, has left the team. J.R. Chapman will take over the center duties and the Cougars are bringing up seven JV players but they still expect to dress only 19.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Central Coosa but had to be moved to Reeltown due to logistical reasons.