Friday Night Preview: ‘Do or die’ for region bragging rights

Brandon Nguyen

Collins Hill at North Gwinnett (CSS TV GAME OF THE WEEK)

2012 Result: North Gwinnett 38-24

Collins Hill at No. 7 North Gwinnett [rankings based on CSS Southeastern top 25 Poll] features two teams that are built to throw the football. Last week Collins Hill quarterback Tyler Herman tossed touchdowns to four different targets before the Eagles entered halftime with their lopsided 68-0 advantage. The 6-1 Eagles are off to a record-setting pace and a 20 of 36 passing, four touchdowns and school-record 426-yards passing performance by their leader earlier this season earned Herman Gwinnett County Player of the Week honors when his big game lifted the Eagles over ranked and previously unbeaten Peachtree Ridge 35-28. CLICK HERE FOR FULL PREVIEW


Valdosta at Colquitt County

2012 Result: Valdosta 38-36

Colquitt County’s only loss this season came to Alabama powerhouse Hoover. On the season Colquitt County has built an impressive resume with wins over Grayson, Lovejoy, Carver-Columbus, Lowndes, Tift County and Brunswick. It does not get easier for the Packers and they finish the season with Valdosta, Coffee and Camden County. A win over the Wildcats tonight would send Valosta to 1-3 in Region 1 and leave them with must wins against Brunswick and Coffee to close the season.

The Packers and Wildcats have been great defensively all season, but Colquitt County quarterback Daniel Mobley has progressed well as the season has unfolded to greatly improve the offense. Last Friday Mobley completed 13-of-25 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns in Colquitt County’s 41-16 win over Brunswick. If Colquitt County can continue this healthy offensive balance, it will be hard to beat them.


Tift County at Lowndes

2012 Result: Lowndes 42-7

Lowndes hit some turbulence mid-season with a 37-7 loss to Colquitt County, but three-straight region wins have the Vikings in position to get home field for a first round playoff game. The visiting Vikings outscored Coffee 28-0 in the second half last Friday and intercepted Coffee quarterback Tyree Paulk three times including one that was returned for a touchdown by Eric Hart. Arvin Berry led Lowndes with 85 rushing yards as the Vikings rushed for 276 yards while Coffee was held to just 17 rushing yards.

Tift County has fallen victim to Region 1 this season and in consecutive weeks has faced Coffee, Colquitt County and Valdosta prior to tonight’s rumble. With a 1-3 region record, a win over Lowndes and Brunswick in the season finale is the only chance for the Blue Devils to reach the postseason. Tift County fell to Colquitt County 17-14 and Lowndes can expect another Region 1 battle.


Harrison at Hillgrove

2012 Result: Hillgrove 41-14

Harrison is right in the midst of the race for the playoffs in Region 4-AAAAAA with a 4-1 region mark. First year Hoya head coach Matt Dickman has done an exceptional job this season, and his superstar junior quarterback Lorenzo Nunez is blossoming into one of the county’s rising stars. Like Harrison, Hillgrove owns a 4-1 region record after losing its matchup with North Cobb this season.

The Hawks appear to be back on track offensively and gained 517 yards last Friday in their 47-18 win over Kennesaw Mountain. Quarterback Elijah Ironside was 21-for-38 passing with four touchdown passes and had completions to eight different receivers. Justin Denton caught two touchdowns and finished with eight receptions for 75 yards and Harrison will have to slow down this deep receiving corps.


Peachtree Ridge at Norcross

2012 Result: Norcross 36-3

After losing two of its first three games, Norcross has dominated, allowing just 5.0 points per game over its last five matchups. Peachtree Ridge struggled to get anything going offensively last season, but there are weapons on this year’s team that give the Lions a fighting chance. Peachtree Ridge is quarterbacked by Chance Thrasher and averages 36.0 points per game. The Lions come off a bye week, which gave them plenty of time to prepare for their biggest game of the season.

Virginia-commit Jordan Ellis scored four touchdowns in Peachtree Ridge’s 38-13 win over Mountain View and Auburn-commit Myron Burton makes plays all over the field. Norcross quarterback A.J. Bush has gotten more comfortable each week and threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more in the Blue Devils’ 37-6 win over Mountain View last Friday.


McIntosh at Creekside

2012 Result: Creekside 21-13

In a crucial Region 4 game last Friday, Creekside led 14-3 at the half, but had to score with three minutes left in the game to avoid its first loss of the season in a 27-23 victory over Whitewater. Creekside running backs Bryson Terry and Dexter Knox each rushed for two touchdowns in the win.

McIntosh saw its perfect record come to an end last Friday in disappointing fashion. The Chiefs led 20-0 in the first half, but were outscored 42-7 the rest of the game and fell 42-27 to an improved Starr’s Mill team.


Woodward Academy at St. Pius X

2012 Result: Woodward Academy 20-14

A 28-7 loss to Lovett early in the season sent a message to the 2012 Class AAA runner-ups and St. Pius X has been on a tear since. The Golden Lions have dominated their three Region 6-AAA opponents by an average by 32 points per game.

St. Pius X comes off a 39-12 win over Cedar Grove and the offense rushed for 256 rushing yards. Fullback Dalton Wilson had a game-high 96 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

Woodward Academy fell to Blessed Trinity in region play last Friday 27-17, but can still grab a top seed in Region 6 with a win over St. Pius and a Blessed Trinity loss next week when the Titans host the Golden Lions. In the War Eagles’ 42-6 win over McNair last Friday, Woodward Academy quarterback Terry Googer had first-half touchdown runs of 10 and 25 yards and also threw a 27-yard touchdown to Antone Williams. Quincy Wolff added a 60-yard interception touchdown return for Woodward.


Stephenson at ML King

2012 Result: M.L. King 49-28

Vanderbilt-commit Dallas Rivers led Stephenson to a dominating 31-7 win over Miller Grove last Friday with two rushing scores. Dexter Neal caught two touchdown receptions and the victory gave Stephenson its 150th program win, all under head coach Ron Gartrell.

M.L. King is the defending Region 6-AAAAA champions and if the Lions top Stephenson, Tucker and Miller Grove they will repeat in the region. Four-star cornerback Wesley Green is a playmaker capable of matching the talent of Stephenson and winning his matchups.

Brooks County at Cook

2012 Result: Brooks County 35-21

Cook comes off a 10-6 win last Friday over Jefferson County. The defense thrived against a dangerous Warriors offense, and the unit will face a bigger challenge this week with Brooks County quarterback Malkom Parrish. The Trojans can wrap up Region 1-AA with the win and have averaged 33.0 points per game this season.

Brooks County’s only loss came to Class AAAAAA Valdosta and Parrish is one of the few players that can single-handingly control a game. In last week’s 44-22 win over Pelham, Parrish passed for 249 yards and two scores and added 139 yards rushing on just 10 carries and a pair of rushing touchdowns.

Mt. Pisgah at Mt. Paran

2012 Result: Mt. Pisgah 42-28

Last Friday, undefeated Mt. Pisgah quarterback Aaron Winchester led the Patriots by completing 15 of 24 pass attempts for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his touchdown passes went to Oz Dixon, who also rushed for a 5-yard touchdown. Ian Ainsworth added a 77-yard interception returned for a touchdown for a defense that is allowing just 8.0 points per game.

Mt. Paran’s only loss was to Landmark Christian 14-7 and the offense has exploded since the defeat with a 39.0 points per game average. Last week, the Eagles scored a season-high 52 points in their 52-21 win over Fellowship Christian, rushing for 249 yards and amassing 435 total yards of offense.


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