What's already being dubbed the "East Cobb Super Bowl II" has prompted some unheralded steps to deal with heightened interest in the game.
Walton will play host to East Cobb rival Lassiter Friday for the right to play for a state championship. Preparations for the Class AAAAA semifinal at Raider Valley have been keeping Walton school officials extraordinarily busy all week.
The Walton ticket window will be open at 5:30 p.m. today to sell what Walton athletic secretary Lisa Sager said will be "at least 3,000 more" tickets on top of the 4,000 already sold -- 2,000 for each school -- during the week.
"The purpose was to provide each school with an equitable amount and take the heat off the lines at 5:30," Sager said on East Cobb Patch's Facebook page Friday morning.
The ticket prices are $10 each.
According to an e-mail sent out to the Walton community Thursday, special parking arrangements also have been made to handle overflow traffic. The lots on the Walton school grounds are expected to fill up fast.
But that lot also is expected to fill up quickly, so another Johnson Ferry Baptist shuttle will run between Walton and Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 1770 Johnson Ferry Road. That service will start between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
You can also watch the action on WSB-TV's online streaming service and on Comcast Channel 248. A televised replay also can be seen at 1 a.m. Saturday on WSB-TV.
The Walton-Lassiter winner will be the first Cobb team to reach a state football final since Wheeler in 1973. Next Saturday night at the Georgia Dome, either the Raiders or Trojans will face the winner of Friday's Grayson-Colquitt County game.
A packed house at Walton witnessed the first game of the season between the Raiders and Trojans, who were both undefeated at the time. Walton prevailed 34-10 and has set a school record for wins, with a perfect 13-0 slate.
Walton's Tyren Jones, who transferred from Lassiter over the summer, has been the most prolific running back in the state, rushing for more than 2,000 yards on the season. The Raiders' defense has been exceptional all season long, led by defensive back Zach Blaylock, who also caught the go-ahead touchdown in last week's quarterfinal victory over Dacula.
But Lassiter (10-3) has been one of the biggest surprises in the playoffs, coming off upsets over McEachern and M.L. King. The passing-oriented Trojans feature quarterback Eddie Printz and wide receiver Charlie Hegedus and cornerback Niles Clark.
"Getting to the game will be easy," the Walton e-mail said. "Thousands of people leaving the game at the same time will be more challenging. So we ask that you are patient and flexible after the game."
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