The Battle of the Lions will be fought once more. For the first time since 1983, the Lovett Lions and the St. Pius X Golden Lions will butt heads on the gridiron Friday night at George B. Maloof Stadium off I-85.
Prior to their last meeting in 1983, the teams played 12 times with the Golden Lions carrying an 8-4 record despite dropping four of the last six games played. The two programs have each won a state title as St. Pius X won the state championship in 1968 while Lovett won it in 1970.
MEET THE LIONS
Class AA No. 4 Lovett is headed by coach Mike Muschamp, who has been at the Buckhead school since 2005. Muschamp has done a tremendous job with the Lions in guiding his program to the playoffs in each year he has been at Lovett.
The Lions started the season with impressive wins over Woodward Academy (7-3) and Blessed Trinity (24-7). Both games showed how good Lovett is this season, as each is a potential playoff team.
The Lovett defense has been stellar so far in 2012. An opportunistic unit, the Lions have picked off five passes and recovered three fumbles despite giving up 21 first downs and 204 rushing yards.
Quarterback Willie Candler leads an offense that has turned the ball over just twice. Candler has rushed for 116 yards and a score while throwing for 97 yards and another score. Spencer Lee, meanwhile, has added 91 yards on the ground while Grant Haley has totaled 38 yards and two scores.
Class AAA No. 3 St. Pius X also started the year 2-0 with wins over Westminster (21-3) and North Oconee (50-14). North Oconee came into the game last weekend ranked No. 8 in the Score/GPB Class AAA poll, but left Atlanta wondering what happened.
The Golden Lions defense intercepted four passes against the Titans, including two by Michael Sikorski, who returned one of them 72 yards for a score right at the halftime whistle. St. Pius X led 36-0 at the half. Coach Paul Standard’s offense was ignited by Ryan Braswell, who rushed for 83 yards and three touchdowns.
Standard has guided the program since 2001 and has seen the Golden Lions make the postseason nine times, including each year since 2006.