Cherokee, Woodstock, and Creekview all suffered losses to their respective opponents — Lassiter, Walton and Kell.
Only Etowah, which played at home, managed to win against a Cobb foe in a 31-27 victory over undefeated Wheeler.
The two local teams that did not face county-line opponents also had a mixed bag. River Ridge cruised past LaFayette, but Sequoyah fell short with Riverwood.
Woodstock coach Brent Budde felt Cobb’s control of Friday’s games was the result of it having a much larger pool of potential players to draw their talent from.
“I think they just have more talent because they have a larger pool of kids,” said Budde, whose Wolverines are 0-2 against Cobb schools this year. “It’s not that we don’t have talent here in Cherokee, but some of the schools in Cobb are almost twice the size of the ones here, population wise. Walton manages to get over 100 kids in their varsity squad each year, while we have around only 60. They just have more kids to choose from.”
Etowah’s Dave Svehla, who is in his first year as a coach in Georgia, admits to not knowing much about the history between the two counties, but he doesn’t believe Cobb will always have the upper hand.
“Honestly, I don’t think that there is a big difference, talent wise, from county to county,” Svehla said. “Everything goes in cycles. Our county is going to continue to get better, and teams from (Cobb) will have down years, so eventually it’ll come back around in our favor.”
The Cherokee-Cobb series will continue next week with four more games between the counties, all across the county line — Cherokee at Walton, Creekview at Osborne, Sequoyah at Sprayberry and Woodstock at Lassiter.
Though the results weren’t kind to most of the local schools, Friday night did see a drastic reduction in penalties given across the board.
Not only did every Cherokee team get penalized less than their opponent, no team in the county registered more than five penalties in a game — the first time that has happened this season.
Though Svehla made sure that Etowah practiced to prevent penalties this past week, he was quick to credit the officiating crew for his team’s low number of infractions.
“Week to week, games are officiated differently — there is no doubt about it,” said Svehla, whose Eagles were only penalized twice for 10 yards. “I thought (Friday) night’s officiating crew did a good job of letting the players decide the outcome of the game.”
For Budde, it was the players growing familiarity with their positions that led to Woodstock being penalized only twice for 20 yards.
“As the season goes on, players just get settled into their positions more,” he said. “Early in the year, you see a lot of silly penalties because the guys aren’t comfortable yet. As the season goes on, it’s natural to see the number of penalties drop off.”