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Monday, 13 November 2017 17:05

Seven Gwinnett 7A teams advance to second round of GHSA playoffs

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Archer v Medowcreek RD 1 TR

Archer fans were all smiles follwoing the Tigers win ovrer Meadowcreek in the opening round of the 7A playoffs. Image courtesy Tony Rowe.

The second round of the Georgia High School Association football playoffs will include seven Gwinnett teams playing in four games from the state’s largest classification, AAAAAAA. Archer, Brookwood, Grayson, Mill Creek, Mountain View, North Gwinnett, and Parkview all earned trips to the second round, but at least three will see their title dreams dashed because they are facing other county teams.

Archer v Meadowcreek RD 1 2 TR

While the loss ends the Meadowcreek season, the Mustangs had their best season in recent memory and should be proud. Image courtesy of Tony Rowe. 

Other than Brookwood (9-2), which is home against Milton (9-2), all the Gwinnett teams will be battling another county team. Mill Creek (8-3) will be at Archer (11-0), Mountain View (9-2) visits Parkview (8-3), and Grayson (10-1) heads to North Gwinnett (10-1) in a battle of one-loss teams.

The pairings are sure to deliver some outstanding football. While the Tigers are the lone county unbeaten and the favorite to move to the next round, the Hawks three losses are misleading and this one is going to be a battle

The Bears @ Panthers, Rams @ Bulldogs contests should be considered toss-ups with the combatants being equal. While Parkview has a rich football history, Mt. View, which opened in 2009, just got their first postseason win last week, but look for the Bear’s to make this one a heavyweight fight while the Rams will do the same against the Bulldogs.

The Georgia High School Football Daily 7A second round preview is below with Gwinnett teams in red

Milton (9-2) at Brookwood (9-2): Milton is in the second round for the first time since its 2014 region-championship team made the quarterfinals. Milton QB Jordan Yates, a junior three-star recruit, rushed for 151 yards and scored on a 64-yard run in a 44-15 first-round victory over Collins Hill. Yates has 803 yards rushing and 1,782 passing on the season. Solomon Vanhorse has rushed for 1,137 yards. Milton DB Joe Charleston is committed to Clemson. Brookwood, ranked No. 7, is trying to break a four-game losing streak in second-round games since 2010, the season of its last state title. Dante Black rushed for 125 yards in a 28-0 victory over South Gwinnett in the first round. Black has more than 1,500 yards rushing. WR/RB Matthew Hill, an AJC Super 11 pick and Auburn commit, has more than 1,000 all-purpose yards.


Tift County (10-1) at Hillgrove (8-3): Tift County led 35-0 in the first quarter of its 59-13 romp over Newnan. That gave Tift County its first 10-win season since 2006 and first playoff win since 2008. Griffin Collier threw for 214 yards, giving him 2,536 on the season. Rashod Bateman, a Minnesota commit, has 66 receptions for 1,353 yards after his 104-yard effort last week. Hillgrove is in the second round for the first time since 2014 after a 49-7 victory over Roswell. Hunter Arters was 7-of-10 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns. TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, a preseason all-state pick, is committed to Maryland. DB Jaylen McCollough is a top-50 national recruit among juniors.


Mill Creek (8-3) at Archer (11-0): Archer head coach Andy Dyer was on Mill Creek coach Shannon Jarvis's staff when Mill Creek started up in 2004. Archer beat Mill Creek 16-13 on Sept. 8. Keegan Strickland rushed for 131 yards. That ended Mill Creek's 28-game winning streak in the regular season. Mill Creek, ranked 10th, has made the semifinals each of the past two seasons. In the first round, Mill Creek led 20-0 in the third quarter of its 29-14 victory over West Forsyth last week and was never in danger. Uriah Leverette and C.J. Johnson each rushed for more than 100 yards. Archer has reached 11 wins in four of the past five seasons after an anomalous 4-7 finish last season. Carter Peevy threw three TD passes in a 37-0 victory over Meadowcreek in the first round.


Colquitt County (8-3) at Walton (11-0): Colquitt County, ranked No. 8, has beaten 11 top-10 teams in the playoffs under coach Rush Propst, five when Colquitt was the lower-ranked team. Propst is 5-0 against Cobb County teams. Walton is ranked No. 3. Walton WR Dominick Blaylock, who is committed to Georgia, had eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown in the 28-14 win over North Cobb. Austin Kirksey was 11-of-11 passing for 181 yards. Colquitt County QB Steven Krajewski passed for 320 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-0 victory over Pebblebrook last week. Krajewski, a UConn commit, has thrown for 1,877 yards on the season. Ty Leggett is more than 1,000 yards rushing. Colquitt County defensive coordinator Mo Dixon was Walton's head coach the past two seasons.


Mountain View (9-2) at Parkview (8-3): Mountain View, opened in 2009, got its first playoff victory in history last week in a 31-13 victory over ninth-ranked South Forsyth 31-13. Mountain View led 17-13 early in the fourth quarter when LB Blake Carroll returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown. Mountain View WR Malachi Carter has 1,282 yards receiving, second-most in AAAAAAA. Parkview RB Christian Malloy rushed for 179 yards in a 42-35 overtime victory over Newton last week. He has rushed for 1,104 yards despite missing the first four games with an injury. Parkview is trying to make its first quarterfinal since 2012.


McEachern (8-3) at Lowndes (11-0): Lowndes, ranked No. 1, led 32-0 in the first half of its 60-6 victory over Campbell last week. Tyson Shaw returned an interception for a touchdown, and Tayvonn Kyle returned a punt 66 yards for a score. QB Michael Barrett has 1,468 yards rushing and 1,031 rushing on the season for an offense that averages 8.1 yards per offensive play. McEachern RB Paris Brown rushed for 91 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 39-7 victory over Etowah. Brown has a team-leading 690 rushing yards. McEachern is 3-14 all-time against No. 1 teams. One of those wins came against Lowndes in 2011. McEachern and Lowndes both reached the quarterfinals last season and lost.


Grayson (10-1) at North Gwinnett (10-1): This is the classification's first playoff game between top-five teams as Grayson is ranked No. 4 and North Gwinnett is No. 5. Grayson RB Camron Thompson, back after missing eight games with a broken collarbone, rushed for 193 yards in a 31-14 victory over Norcross. QB D.J. Irons passed for 157 yards and rushed for 87. North Gwinnett QB Jimmy Urzua was 10-of-12 passing for a career-high 302 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-7 win over North Forsyth. The teams have met twice in previous seconds rounds with Grayson winning in 2010 and North Gwinnett winning in 2012. Both teams have first-year head coaches. Grayson's Christian Hunnicutt replaced Jeff Herron, and North Gwinnett's Bill Stewart replaced Bob Sphire.


Marietta (7-4) at Woodstock (7-4): Marietta got this classification's at-large playoff bid that goes to the best fifth-place finisher. After a first-round 34-7 win over Region 2 champion Westlake - Marietta's first playoff victory since 2013 - Marietta is one step from its first quarterfinal since 1993. Woodstock hasn't been to the quarters since 2008. Neither team has been ranked this season. In the Westlake game, Marietta's Harrison Bailey, a blue-chip sophomore QB recruit, returned from injury and passed for 171 yards, and Marietta held Westlake to four first downs and less than 100 yards in total offense. Woodstock QB Garrett Bass was 25-of-40 passing for 384 yards in a win over North Paulding win. Bass has 3,162 yards passing on the season. Noah Frith had 159 receiving yards, giving him 1,201 on the year.

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