However, the Cougars have gained four victories in their 2013 campaign, the most since 2010, and are seeking their first winning season since 2008. With three games left, Alexander has placed itself in playoff contention.
“We have a group of players with strong senior leadership,” said head coach Matthew Combs. “The veteran players have taken control of the team.”
Offensively, the Cougars have an experienced unit up front, starting five senior offensive linemen. Running back Mikell Lands-Davis, who has emerged as one of the top junior running backs in Georgia, has rushed for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. He had 209 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in Alexander’s 52-42 loss to Sandy Creek, the top-ranked team in Class AAAA and fellow Region 5B-AAAA member, on Oct. 18.
Sophomore quarterback Baylor Whitefield has thrown 11 touchdown passes for the Cougars while senior Brian Dansereau’s seven receiving touchdowns are a team-high. Receivers Derrell Mims, Logan Mushro and Isaac Zico, who had two touchdowns against Sandy Creek, have each had highlight moments this season as well.
Senior Taylor Schartle leads a strong defensive line unit and has a season-high 82 tackles on the season. Outside linebacker Leundre Agree (46), defensive end Collin Giesey (44) and Dansereau (46), from the defensive back position, are among the team leaders in tackles. Junior Caleb Freeman has a team-high three tackles for loss this year.
Prior to the Sandy Creek defeat, Alexander was on a two-game winning streak, earning victories over Shaw (27-7) and LaGrange (33-19). The Cougars’ other victories this year came on a 41-14 season-opening triumph over Bremen and a 49-13 win against Carver-Atlanta on Sept. 13.
The Cougars return to action this Friday in a region contest against an undefeated Carrollton team that is ranked among the top five teams in numerous polls.