METTER, Ga. (WSAV) – Welcome to 15 Teams in 15 Days! This is WSAV’s annual high school football preview series where we do a deep dive on a new team for each of the first 15 days of August. This year, we will ask and answer four standard questions of each team, which are all listed below:

Why are you interesting?

Twenty-four straight games.

That’s how many regular season contests the Metter Tigers have won in a row. This streak dates back to Oct. 4, 2019, when the Tigers lost a close 14-7 contest to Swainsboro. Ever since that day, Metter has been pretty much unstoppable, winning all but one of their regular season games by double digits.

Metter is coming off a season where they went 13-1 and claimed a region title, their third in a row. The Tigers made it all the way to the A-Public state semifinals before losing 49-7 to eventual state champion Brooks County.

Despite their dominance, Metter is still looking for their first state title in school history.

“We just have to put in a little more work,” said senior Brooks Longgrear. “Weight room, on the field, we just can’t give up at the end and have to keep going.”

“You just got to be healthy, that’s the main thing,” head coach Rodney Garvin said. “A couple of years ago, we lost some kids in the quarterfinals and we did not have them in the semifinals. You’ve got to be healthy throughout the season and you’ve got to be strong. We’ve got a long grind at the start of the season.”

Who are your dudes?

The entire Metter backfield is full of dudes.

Senior Kaliq Jordan returns after a season full of long runs. Primetime pass rusher C.J. Donaldson is shifting into fullback duties along with his defensive responsibilities. Reco Coney returns to the team after an injury kept him sidelined during 2021.

Having a deep pool of running backs and fullbacks doesn’t necessarily make Metter unique; what makes the Tigers unique is their willingness to put several of them on the field simultaneously. Run-heavy formations like the Flexbone are not particularly common anymore, but they’re what Metter does best.

“It’s very satisfying,” Jordan said. “Sometimes we get tired, but when we pound the ball down their throat, the other team gets tired too and we succeed at it so we keep doing it.”

“We don’t have a lot of speed here so running at people may be our best option,” Garvin said. “If we were a little faster, we might do some different things. But I don’t know those things. We just stay in our wheelhouse of what we do on offense and defense.”

What’s up with your coach?

Rodney Garvin paid his dues as an assistant coach for roughly two decades at places like Vidalia, Jenkins County and Thomson before taking over the head position at Metter.

He’s entering his fifth season with the Tigers after compiling a 43-8 overall record through his first four campaigns. Garvin also has three region titles to his name.

According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, Garvin did not become a football coach until he was almost 30.

However, that late start has not impacted his ability to lead Metter to success using a philosophy that’s pretty simple, all things considered.

“We feel like the kids, if they know it and we know it, that’s all we need to do,” Garvin said. “It’s all about execution and blocking and tackling. We don’t get into schematics or make that big a deal of it. Let’s just do what we need to do to win a football game.”

When’s the big game?

To be the best, you have to beat the best, and in Class A that means Irwin County.

Irwin County has at least made the state finals for the past five years and knocked Metter out of the playoffs in the state semifinal round in 2022.

Metter has a chance at revenge when they travel to Irwin on Sept. 23.

That game was the most popular choice for the team’s biggest, but it was far from the only candidate. Metter opens the season with road games against Swainsboro (8/19) and Emanuel County Institute (8/26) before a home date with Pierce County (9/2).

All of those teams spent time ranked in the Top 10 of their respective classes last season. You will not find many harder three-game stretches in the entire state.