Butler finally gets its first home game
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Only four weeks before the conclusion of its season, Butler will play host to its first home game Friday against Westside.

Construction of a new track and high jump pit forced the Bulldogs to flip home contests with Hephzibah and Richmond Academy into road games they lost by a combined 69-6. A nonregion game with Elbert County was also bought out.

The Bulldogs will play two of their final four games at home, including a season-ending meeting with Glenn Hills.

Butler lost its 37th consecutive game last week, 28-12 at previously winless Josey. The Bulldogs trailed 28-0 at halftime.

"Once we settled down, we were able to do whatever we wanted," first-year coach Ashley Harden said. "We moved the ball pretty well in the second half, but we were down 28 points. We fought hard and played hard, but it was just too much to overcome. Give Josey credit."

KEY GAME: The region's playoff picture will become much more clear after Glenn Hills and Richmond Academy meet on Friday.

A loss essentially eliminates Glenn Hills from the playoffs. A loss would mean Richmond Academy would probably need to win out to make the playoffs against a schedule that still includes games with Hephzibah (5-0) and Evans (4-1).

"If we get this one, we're in," Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "But Glenn Hills is dangerous, especially when they have their backs to the wall."

Lakeside humbled the Musketeers last week in a 16-6 loss. Richmond Academy never led and trailed 16-0 late in the game against a team it blasted 30-0 last season.

Lakeside "playing that much harder was very discouraging. ... They wanted it more than us," Hughes said. "But that comes back to us. We have to do a better job of getting them ready."

Glenn Hills played region-leading Hephzibah tough last week in a 26-12 loss. The Spartans have not lost to Richmond Academy since 1999.

STEP UP: The Georgia High School Football Daily newsletter ranked Grovetown as the best of the dozen first-year programs in the state last week.

Then the Warriors lost by one point to Locust Grove in a meeting of first-year teams.

Grovetown, even with that loss, has won plenty of respect this season. One of the reasons is its ambitious schedule. Grovetown plays at Northside-Warner Robins at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Northside is ranked second in Class AAAAA, and went 30-0 with two state titles from 2007-08.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.

From the Thursday, October 15, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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