Dodge and Bleckley have long football rivalry

You know you can feel a rivalry in your blood - the excitement, the joy, the anger.

And this area is no different. Friday night, neighbors become like the Hatfields and the McCoys.

But the battle is on the field, and the winner gets all the glory.

Here is how deep this runs between Dodge and Bleckley counties.

"Everyone needs to be in Bleckley County, Cochran, Georgia, 7:30 Friday night, although I'm quite confident the seats will run out," says Allen Long.

Allen Long can hardly contain his excitement.

He's a banker and his place proudly displays the Dodge County football schedule on the door, and this game sits on the marquee. Also, his wife is the principal at the high school.

"Dodge-Bleckley County is the biggest rivalry in the area, goes back a long time. Bleckley County has won recently. Dodge, looks like this year will be the year Dodge turns the table."

"I like Bleckley as people and all, but on Football Friday nights, I dislike them."

Fredrick Miller is the Dodge County booster club treasurer, and he wore the red uniform in 1974.

"Bragging rights. This town likes to say they beat us and we like to say then but the main thing is 17 miles away, you're going to be rivals," says Miller.

"Neighborly communities they tend to have that spunk against each other."

In purple country, players get goodie bags before a game. It's a delivery of good ole fashioned sugar and messages to make sure the guys get the those bragging rights for the fifth year in a row.

"Dodge County and Bleckley County has been the biggest rivalry we have."

Danny Mathis should know. He's lived here his whole life and owns the funeral home, and he's hoping the Bleckley winning streak doesn't die Friday night.

"The closest game I've seen was 7-6, and it was just wonderful," says Mathis.

"I was fortunate enough to play on the first team that ever beat Dodge County, and then I coached for two years and some of my favorite people in the world live in Dodge, and of course, I coached up here for seven years," Sam Barrs says.

Retired coach Sam Barrs has the most unique view of all of this. He's coached the Indians and the Royals.

"It's a good rivalry. It's a lot of fun. It's one of 4-500 rivalries in the state but it's one of the big ones. People have asked me how does it feel to be on both sides... well when I was down there I wanted to beat the Royals... and when I was here I wanted to beat the Indians."


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