Bacon County will finally play for keeps Friday night when the Red Raiders open the 2014 season at Lanier County in a non-region matchup.
BCHS split its two pre-season scrimmages. After blanking Atkinson County 24-0, the Red Raiders fell to Class AAAA Cairo 9-0 last Friday.
The tradition-rich Syrupmakers, one of just a few schools in the state with over 600 wins, managed just three field goals.
Lanier County doesn’t have that type of tradition, though. The Bulldogs haven’t even reached their 20-year anniversary.
They have, however, already started the regular season falling 18-12 to Randolph-Clay last week in Cuthbert.
Friday’s meeting will be the seventh in the short history of the series (tied at 3-all) that began in 2006 with a Lanier County 38-6 victory. The Bulldogs would win the first three encounters taking an 18-12 overtime win in 2007 and a 30-8 decision in 2008.
Bacon County finally notched its first win in 2009 escaping with a 20-17 victory. The Red Raiders would slip past Lanier in 2010 winning 14-6. BCHS evened the series with a 20-14 decision in the last meeting in 2011.
Lanier County will run a spread-type offense that is geared more towards the run, according to Cofer. The Bulldogs’ quarterback is a lot like Atkinson County’s Tyree Johnson. He’s left-handed and athletic.
“They (Bulldogs) will run the jet sweep and counters,” he said. “They are going to run the ball down hill. They’ve got some good looking athletes from what I can tell on film.
“The quarterback likes to run around and throw the ball up. Like most high schools, they’ve (coaches) put an athlete in there to let him make plays. He’s going to put the ball up and let another athlete go catch it.
“Their offensive line is bigger than us. They may have the biggest line in Class A and might be comparable to an Appling County.”
Cofer says Bacon County is going to be aggressive on the defensive side and try to create turnovers.
“We’re going to pin our ears back and come after them,” he said. “We’re going to be coming from somewhere on every play. We’ll mix up our coverages, but we’re going to put pressure on their offense and try to create turnovers and score.”
From the film study, Cofer says Lanier County will run a 4-4 scheme similar to what the Red Raiders faced against Cairo.
“We’re going to practice against what we just faced,” said Cofer, “but I’m sure that’s going to change by game time. People play us different and I’m used to that because it’s been that way for the last five years when I was at Cook.
“We’re going to do what we do. We’re getting in the gun and rolling. We’re going to throw the screen game and throw the ball downfield. We’ll (coaches) see what there going to give us and make in-game adjustments. I do think I know what they’re going to do, though.”
Bacon Co. vs. Lanier Co.
Series tied 3-3
2007(OT) 1218
2011(OT) 2014