Both having last Friday off, the two teams have had plenty of time to clear their heads.
McEachern (0-2) has been reflecting on a tough early season, which includes a 31-12 loss to defending state champ Grayson from Gwinnett County, and a last-minute, 37-35 defeat from Walton, a state runner-up last year and ranked No. 3 this year.
An issue from the Walton bout will carry over into the Indians' 7:30 p.m. game tonight at Pebblebrook (0-2), the team tied with McEachern for last place in Region 4-6A.
Linebacker Kell Parham, who has a team-leading 17 tackles, was ejected for a hit on Raiders star running back Tyren Jones, and he will also have to sit out tonight, the Marietta Daily Journal reports.
“It’s not that I agree with the calls, but it’s a different game than it used to be, and that’s the way life goes,” Coach Kyle Hockman told the MDJ. “I think (the ejection) hurt us quite a bit. It takes the wind out of our sails as far as aggressiveness when they’re calling every crazy thing. Then again, it’s a different game. We have to learn how to adapt to it.”
Meanwhile, Hillgrove's 1-1 record might not sound at all bad for the first two games, but the Hawks set the bar pretty high for themselves last year by finishing the regular season at a perfect 10-0.
The Hawks will look to return to above .500 tonight as they head to 4-6A rival Marietta (1-1) for a 7:30 kickoff. The Blue Devils trounced Pope, 27-7, but fell to Coweta County's Newnan, 38-29.
Hillgrove routed Marietta last year, 48-8
In other West Cobb action, Harrison (1-1) will travel to Campbell for a 7:30 p.m. game.
See each team's full 2012 schedule: