MILLEDGEVILLE — Recognized as the highest-ranked matchup of the weekend for the National Junior College Athletic Association, fifth ranked Georgia Military College looks to defend its home turf Saturday against second-ranked Iowa Western Community College.
Currently touting a 5-0 record, the Bulldogs approach the highly anticipated contest with confidence.
“I think at this point in the season, as we’ve looked back at what we’ve accomplished, we’ve been able to go on the road and beat tough opponents, even when we weren’t playing particularly well, like in the ASA [Atlanta Sports Academy] game,” Bert Williams, head coach, said. “I think there should be a particular confidence to get the job done. I also feel like there are several things we can do to improve.”
GMC made great gains last weekend against Arkansas Baptist College, giving up only one turnover.
Having made crucial mistakes against Iowa Western last season, the Bulldogs look to continue their positive momentum this weekend against the defending national champions.
“We also know their success last year was on large measure to our mistake-making,” Williams said. “We know, we can get out there and handle what needs to be handled. I think we’ve done pretty well this week across the board at doing what needs to be done.”
Saturday’s matchup will feature a Bulldog defense that has held its opponents to 15.2 points per game, but will have its hands full with a patient offense.
“Offensively, they have a patient short-passing game. It will be important that we stay patient on the other side of the ball as well,” Williams said. “I think they’re a little more diverse, and in some ways that’s more dangerous because you’ve got to divert your attention to the whole field.”
The GMC offense will also have a tall order on Saturday against a strong Iowa Western defense.
“I know defensively, they are very strong once again,” Williams said. “They line up and play hard.”
Leading the league in rushing and scoring, Bulldog tailback Jovon Robinson will be looked upon to provide the spark for the team, as well as Robinson’s partner Akeem Judd.
“It’s always a comforting thought to have a running back that can make a lot of things happen,” Williams said. “Knowing you have those guys, and an offensive line that’s created some space for them to run in is comforting.”
Williams expects the Reivers to present the Bulldogs with a similar look from last year though he is certain they will have something up their sleeves to try and throw his guys off.
“I think the basics of what they want to do on both sides will be the same as what we saw last year,” he said. “There will be some changes. I’m sure there will be some wrinkles on how they want to attack us.”
Both teams will look for a win to keep their national championship dreams alive.
GMC hopes to have a large turnout of support on Saturday, as both teams will field future BCS level athletes in what is sure to be an exciting game.
“I think that that’s one of the biggest things that people that don’t come out to the games locally, miss out on,” Williams said. “The quality of football, or the quality of the athletes on the field, is not immediately recognized, but if they come out it’s something they’ll enjoy because it’s going to be a great one.”