Former No. 1 Archer looks for redemption

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

No. 2 Grayson at Archer

Other than Colquitt County, Class AAAAAA’s power teams have largely been a disappointment. Especially if you look at our preseason rankings. Archer, ranked highly in every preseason poll, has nose-dived into an 0-2 start with losses to Sandy Creek and Peachtree Ridge. The offense, which dazzled last year and in summer 7-on-7′s, has largely been the culprit. The Tigers need QB Gabe Tiller to hit his stride – and fast. Grayson appears to be back after a rough 2013. This is Archer’s chance to get back on its feet in region play.


Eastside at Class AAAA No. 3 Griffin

Following their state championship season, the Griffin Bears encountered some controversy and coach Steve DeVoursney was forced to resign. The Bears, however, have started the season 2-0 including an impressive 36-22 win over Burke County last week. Griffin is led by a talented cast of playmakers, including Auburn commitment Jordan Colbert, Georgia commitment Christian Owens and Duke pledge Keyston Fuller.

Eastside QB Austin Holloway will need to have a spectacular game to help the Eagles overcome the talent-rich Bears.


Class AAA No. 6 Westminster at No. 10 Elbert County

Based on ranking, it would be a slight upset if Elbert County pulled of a win over the 2-0 Wildcats, who have opened the season with quality wins over Lovett and Laney. However, the Blue Devils just so happen to play in one of the most intimidating venues in all of Georgia high school sports: The Granite Bowl.

Westminster comes in with a staunch defense that has allowed just 16 points, while Elbert County counters with an offense that has totaled 77 points in wins over Cedar Shoals and Stephens County. Elbert County will be tough to beat at home, despite being ranked below Westminster.


Class A No. 8 Commerce at Class AAA No. 5 Jefferson

One of the top rivalries in the state, Commerce and Jefferson have been going at it since 1947. The Commerce Tigers own the series record with 42 wins in 68 games, but the Dragons have won six of the past seven. However, Commerce put the lone loss on Jefferson during the Dragons’ 2012 state championship campaign.

Jefferson QB Evan Shirreffs should help lead the Dragons to a win at home, but don’t count out Commerce in this rivalry.


Hillgrove at Class AAAAAA No. 4 Lovejoy

Hillgrove has started out strong, and nearly upset North Gwinnett last week in a tight 28-21 loss. The Hawks, however, get another chance to pull off a shocker this week when they travel to Clayton County to face the Wildcats. Lovejoy is led by WR Preston Williams, who is arguably the top pass-catching prospect in the state.

Lovejoy has struggled to beat quality Class AAAAAA teams in recent history, nearly losing to Alpharetta, East Coweta and Marietta last year, none of which advanced past the second round of the playoffs. Lowndes eventually eliminated Lovejoy from the postseason in Round 2. Hillgrove has been battle-tested over the years under coach Phillip Ironside, pulling off playoff upsets over Camden County and Stephenson in recent seasons.

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One Response to “Former No. 1 Archer looks for redemption”

  1. Morrell Productions
    September 14, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    The Lovejoy vs Hillgrove contest was a Barn Burner of a football game!!!!

    Watch Ga. State Ranked Lovejoy vs Hillgrove football game and #1 National Ranked Wide Receiver highlights

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