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Dawgs off the leash
Team will roam south to face McIntosh
FCHS FB practice 2 esbw
Forsyth Central running back Ben Hamilton is brought down by lineman Jason Wood during a recent practice.
Forsyth Central's region opponents might feel relatively nearby after this Friday.

Before diving into nine straight games in the Atlanta-centric Region 6-AAAA, the Bulldogs will kick off the season south of I-285, taking on the McIntosh Chiefs in Peachtree City.

Wins have been scarce for McIntosh in recent years, with the team going 2-8 a year ago, following an 0-10 season in 2006.

Central coach Chris Bennett takes nothing for granted, though, as his bunch looks to break out of their own competitive rut this year.

"They have struggled in the past, but they have a new coach ... I spoke with him and met with him and he seems very knowledgeable," Bennett said of McIntosh coach Glenn Griffin, who came over as a defensive coordinator from Starr's Mill.

"They're changing their whole system — new offense, new defense, new coach," Bennett said of McIntosh. So far, all the Bulldog coaches have to go on is a tape of the Chiefs' scrimmage against Rockdale County, but Bennett said they appear to have some skill at quarterback, running back and middle linebacker.

"It's hard to tell from a scrimmage ... They look like they've done a good job coaching the guys up," Bennett said.

"Really with the lack of film on the [other] guys, we're just  having to focus on ourselves."

Bennett said the Dawgs are looking to be a little more multiple on both sides of the ball this year. The wet weather this week hasn't been a big concern for practice. With no lightning in the vicinity, it's probably added a little fun for his players.

"A lot of times kids enjoy being able to go out in the rain," the coach said.

Bennett said the team will leave at 2:30 Friday, five hours before game time, to make the haul to Fayette County, likely taking 285 to avoid Atlanta construction.

This will be Central's sole non-region test before heading into a nine-game region schedule.

"The philosophy is still the same. We're going to take care of ourselves, protect the football and hope we can get something out of it," Bennett said.

"We're just ready to play. We're tired of playing each other. We're ready to go."