Will this be the week?
The LaGrange Grangers sure hope it is.
The Grangers have played two games, and they’ve lost them both.
One of those losses came in heart-breaking fashion to the Callaway Cavaliers.
The Grangers were up 14-0 late in that game, and they ended up losing 20-14 in overtime.
The second loss was a tough one to take as well for a different reason.
In a 36-14 loss to Troup, by the time the fourth quarter came around, there was no suspense.
The outcome had actually effectively been determined by the half, with Troup rolling to a 36-0 lead.
As LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks said, the team has “lost in every form or fashion” so far this season.
This week, the Grangers have been going at it hard in practice as they look to reverse their fortunes.
LaGrange will play its first regular-season game away from Callaway Stadium when it visits Spalding County on Friday.
Spalding County opened its season with a 22-7 win over Spalding County.
After Friday’s difficult loss to the rival Tigers, Burks said the players came back ready to go to work on Monday.
“They were focused. They were loose,” Burks said. “We didn’t grind them out or anything like that.”
Nothing went right in the first half against Troup.
The Grangers had a fumble, an interception, and a muffed kickoff return that helped the Tigers build the huge halftime lead.
The Tigers didn’t have to go further than 45 yards for any of their touchdowns.
One of the touchdowns came late in the first quarter, and the other four came in the second quarter.
“They scored three touchdowns in a matter of 2 ½ minutes it seemed like,” Burks said.
The Grangers did show a lot of pride in the second half by outscoring the Tigers 14-0.
Troup got a touchdown run from Mon Denson, his first of the season, as well as a 46-yard scoring pass from Amad Ogletree to Mike Hardy.
It was still an immensely frustrating night for the Grangers, but when the game was over, it was over.
“We just want to move along and put it past us,” Burks said. “We still have two more non-region games and then the region games are when it really gets going.”
Spalding County is a program that has suffered through some difficult times over the past decade.
The Jaguars went 12-2 and made it to the state semifinals in 2003, but they haven’t had a winning season since then.
Things have been particularly bleak of late, with the Jaguars winning a combined six games over the past four years, and they were 1-9 in 2013.
The Jaguars have already matched that win total with their opening-night victory over Forest Park.
The Jaguars, who won their opener for the first time since 2008, were led by sophomore quarterback Naricuss Driver, who made a nice debut as a starter.
Driver had a touchdown run to get the scoring started Friday night, and A.J. Moses added a pair of scoring runs.
LaGrange will play its final non-region game of the regular season next week at Mary Persons.
LaGrange’s final six games of the regular season will be against Region 1-AAAAA opponents, beginning with a Sept. 26 game at Hardaway.
Burks said his hope for the rest of the season is that the players will continue to give it their all.
“As long as these guys come out and grow as young men, and compete their tails off, that’s all any coach wants,” Burks said.
LAGRANGE VS. SPALDING COUNTY
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Griffin, Memorial Stadium
LAST WEEK: LaGrange (1-1) lost to Troup 36-14, Spalding County (1-0) beat Forest Park 22-7