Rockdale, Loganville face off in last games

CONYERS - The Rockdale football team will take on Loganville on Friday in both team's gridiron season finales.

The Red Devils have a 3-6 record and were 2-4 in Region 8-AAAA North play.

But Rockdale coach William Johnson knows that records can be deceiving.

"They're a real athletic team. They've lost two or three close football games that could have had them on the other side of where they are currently," Johnson said. "I think it'll be a good matchup Friday night if we come to play."

Johnson said he's impressed with several aspects of Loganville's offense and defense.

"They throw the football around a little bit this year. They've got a quarterback who's not bad and their receivers look like they run pretty good routes. They're well disciplined. They're defensive line does a great job of getting off the ball and their linebackers aren't too bad either."

Johnson said the key for his team will be protection.

"We've got to do a good job of protecting. Our scheme has kind of changed now that we have a new quarterback," Johnson said. "We're doing things that we're a little more comfortable with."

Freshman quarterback Isaiah Gresham will make his second start of the season Friday night.

Gresham is one of many freshmen who are seeing playing time this year on a youthful Rockdale football team.

"The time that these young players are getting on the field is invaluable. I hate that we've had to play so many young players this year, but it's one of those deals where you take it now or you take it later," Johnson said. "I told them the other night that no one is a freshman anymore. We've played nine games now at the varsity level. Along the way we've gained experience and we're starting to do certain things a little bit better."

By the numbers, Loganville appears to have the advantage. The Red Devils have won more games this year, scored more points offensively and allowed less defensively. Loganville's offense is averaging 14.3 points per game with a defense that is allowing 16.2.

Meanwhile, Rockdale is averaging 10.9 points per game with a defense that is allowing 31.4.

And although neither team is vying for a spot in the state playoffs, Johnson knows how important getting a win Friday night would be to his team.

"Getting a win in this last game is important," Johnson said. "For our few seniors, we want to give them a lasting memory. A win would also be big for our young kids and what we're trying to do here. It would be good for our young kids to experience another win, especially that last win to help take us into the spring."

SideBar: Rockdale vs. Loganville

' Who: Rockdale Bulldogs

(1-8 overall, 1-4 Region

8-AAAA South) vs. Loganville Red Devils (3-6 overall, 2-4 Region 8-AAAA North)

' When: Friday night, 7:30

' Where: Red Devil Stadium

' Outlook: Friday night will mark the fifth time Rockdale and Loganville have played. Rockdale has won three of four games. The last time the two teams played was in 2005, a game the Bulldogs won 14-0.