The No. 5 Trojans (2-2, 1-0 Region 5-AAAA) are aiming to play their best football now with the region slate underway and showed it last week with a 66-0 victory against Columbus in the region opener. It was the first time Carrollton scored at least 60 points in a shutout since back-to-back games two seasons ago.
"We're just at the point of the season where we have to show improvement if we're going to be at our top performance by playoff time. This is another step in that direction. Competition is stepping up every week. Everybody's going to get tougher and tougher, so we have to get better and better," Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said. "I felt like we've had a good week of preparation and we continue to get people healthy."
The Carrollton coach noted the Tigers (0-4, 0-1) are experiencing a feeling many teams have and will this season following a loss to Sandy Creek. Fayette County had a chance to make it a 14-7 game at halftime, but threw an interception close to the end zone and that was all the 2010 Class AAA state champions needed to put the game away, 55-14.
The main target for the Tiger offense is 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver Antonio Messick, who has already accepted an offer to play at Georgia Tech next season. From there, Fayette County boasts several athletes and a lot of size the Trojans will have to keep an eye on.
"A lot of people are going to lose to Sandy Creek, so you really can't take a lot from that," Teague said. "They are a very athletic team with a lot of size. Their offensive line is going to average about 300 [pounds] across the front. They've got a receiver that's already committed to Georgia Tech that's a game-breaker ... defensively, they've got two big linebackers that play downhill."
With the return of Duffee Dortch, Deion Webb playing with a cast on his arm, Jake Sanders coming back after missing last week and Sam Turner at about 80 percent, even with quarterback Wil Garrett, guard Tyler Britton and a cornerback out, the Trojans are the healthiest they have been this season.
"If we can continue that progress, we can hopefully get close to full strength by the time we get to the meat of this region schedule," Teague said.
The gameplan for the Trojans is to get up early and to stay up.
"I think the fact that they haven't been too successful over recent years is a big advantage to you if you jump on them. But they're athletic enough that if you let them hang around, they can be very dangerous," Teague said.