On Aug. 25, the East Coweta Indians and the Newnan Cougars marked their 32nd meeting between the two cross-town rivals, and East Coweta’s fifth consecutive victory.
The game was held at Newnan High School’s historic Drake Stadium on a blistering hot day, with temperatures above 90° at the time of kickoff.
With this game being one of the greatest rivalries in the state of Georgia, emotions were high from both sides, with passionate fans filling out every corner of the stadium leading to an attendance reported to be around 5,000.
After the game ball was hand delivered by the pilots of an AirLife Georgia helicopter, the game was ready to begin.
Newnan won the coin toss and elected to kick off to start the first quarter. The game started off slow, but Newnan showed promise early as their first play on defense resulted in a sack against East Coweta’s quarterback, Cohen Peeples. However, this was short-lived after their first drive on offense led to a quick 3 and out.
East Coweta got the ball rolling at the end of the first quarter as the starting quarterback completed a pass to receiver Seth Gritton for a 43 yard catch for the first touchdown of the game.
They kept the momentum going as they ran the score up to 28-0 before the half with touchdowns coming from Dionte Jones, Tyler Horsley and Walter Maestre.
East Coweta’s senior receiver, Seth Gritton, was the player of the game with a whopping 138 yards from only four receptions, averaging 34.5 yards per reception.
Other standout players included East Coweta running back Dionte Jones with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown, quarterback Cohen Peeples with 146 passing yards from five completions leading to two touchdowns and no interceptions, and star safety Josh Anderson with six tackles on the night.
In an interview prior to the game, East Coweta head coach John Small mentioned that he tells his players that they are blessed to have the opportunity to participate in this type of ball game. Additionally, coach Smart expressed that this is the craziest game that he has coached.
The penalty flags were accumulating rapidly by this point, as both teams ended the night with over 100 yards worth of penalties.
Newnan’s misfortune continued as a pass from their quarterback was intercepted and ran back for a touchdown by Malachi Dugger. Although it was called back for an illegal blindside block, East Coweta still managed to score within three plays to make it 35-0 for the visiting team.
A 53 yard reception by Newnan receiver Gus Anderson, which was followed by back to back rushing plays gave Newnan their sole touchdown of the game. Running back Antevious Berry scored the touchdown for Newnan, which was his first touchdown of the season. Though it was too little too late, with 35-7 by this point and only the fourth quarter to go.
The game ended as a one-sided exhibition rather than the nail-biter that many had hoped for.
East Coweta advances on with a 2-0 record going into their home game next week against Hillgrove, while Newnan will have to look past their 0-2 record while they wait until Sept. 8 to play Hardaway at home.