It seems clear which team has the advantage going into tonight's battle for the Powder Town crown between the city's two high schools.
McEachern is a perfect 7-0 in Region 4-6A play, securing their region win. The Indians' only two losses came early in the season to Gwinnett County's Grayson and East Cobb's Walton, last year's 5A state champion and runner-up, respectively.
They'll also have home-field advantage. Since last year's game was at McEachern, Hillgrove was to host this year, but construction on the Hawks' new visitor stands hasn't wrapped up yet.
The crowd from 2011 packed McEachern's Cantrell Stadium, the biggest of Cobb high schools, to the brim and more, so ample seating will be surely be necessary.
Hillgrove won that nail-biter, 12-10, on a safety from a bad McEachern snap late (a highlight video from the game is attached). That Indians' loss would be the only one for both teams during the regular season.
This year, the Hawks are 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the region, putting them in a three-way tie for second with Marietta and North Cobb. A playoff spot is likely for Hillgrove, the Marietta Daily Journal says, but grabbing a region seed above fourth will come only after losses tonight from the other tied teams.
Hillgrove opened in 2006, and the two teams have played one another since 2010. McEachern won the first game, 64-48, followed by the 12-10 Hillgrove victory last year.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. It'll be the last regular season game before the playoffs begin a week later. The brackets (attached) are sparse since they largely depend on tonight.