AAAAAA blog: Five things to watch this week

Five things to watch this weekend in Class AAAAAA.

Grayson vs. Miami Central – It’s the unofficial national game of the week with Grayson (ESPN’s No. 1 team) vs. Miami Central (USA Today’s No. 1 team). There will be 11 players in the game who are committed to FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools. For Central, they are LB Marquez Hodge (Syracuse), DB Ahmad Thomas (Oklahoma), DB Da’Wan Hunte (N.C. State), RB Dalvin Cook (Clemson), RB Josephy Yearby (Florida State) and OL Trevor Darling (Miami). Yearby rushed for 2,160 yards as a sophomore last year. For Grayson, they are DE Robert Nkemdiche, LB Wayne Gallman and DB David Kamara (all Clemson), LB Zach Barnes (Tennessee) and DE Jack Banda (Arizona). The game will air live Friday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN3 and at 11:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

East Cobb vs. West Cobb – McEachern is having a double-header Friday featuring Cobb’s four most prominent AAAAAA teams. It’s Hillgrove vs. Lassiter at 7 p.m., with Walton vs. McEachern to follow. Both games will be televised by GPB. The four teams have won six of a possible eight region titles over the past four seasons, with each winning at least one. The East Cobbers are favored, as Walton is ranked No. 3 and Lassiter is No. 4, both state semifinals from 2011 who have AJC Super 11 players (Tyren Jones, Brandon Kublanow of Walton, Eddie Printz of Lassiter).

North Gwinnett Challenge – North Gwinnett is playing host to its annual double-header on Saturday. It was supposed to be a tripleheader, but Stephenson’s 3 p.m. opponent from the Gulf Coast canceled, so now it’s North Gwinnett vs. A.C. Flora (6 p.m.) and Valdosta vs. North Augusta (noon). The non-Georgia opponents are from South Carolina. The Georgia teams are favored, and they’ve got two of the best football minds on the sidelines in Bob Sphire at NG and Rance Gillespie at Valdosta. The games can be viewed online at at

Rivalry games – Region play has not begun. Instead, it’s time for many schools to get in a good rivalry game. I count 10 non-region games this week involving Class AAAAAA teams playing county rivals.

Using the Maxwell Ratings and projected margins of victory, here are eight that involve a AAAAAA team playing an opponent in a lower classification. The bigger school is favored only half the time. –

Glynn Academy vs. BRUNSWICK -3
NEWTON at Eastside -1
NEWNAN vs. LaGrange -24
Chapel Hill vs. DOUGLAS COUNTY -11
Creekside at HUGHES -11
CHEROKEE vs. Creekview -1
NORTH FORSYTH at Forsyth Central -9

Here are the other two.

Roswell vs. Centennial -2
Alpharetta vs. Milton -12

They involve two AAAAAAA teams. It’s odd how north Fulton County teams are split between regions 5 and 6.

Maxwell thinks Roswell will break its 11-game losing streak. We hear that Roswell brought in alumnus and NFL player Chris Reis to get the team fired up this week. Centennial coach Jeff Carlberg, who did wonders as a coordinator at Lassiter and Alpharetta, is Centennial’s first-year coach. He’s turned Centennial’s option offense into the spread.

Meanwhile, the Milton-Alpharetta game is full of college prospects. Alpharetta QB Josh Dobbs (Arizona State) and WR Carlos Burse (Vanderbilt) could be the top passing combo in the state this season. Milton has three offensive linemen who are committed in Eason Fromayan (TCU), Josh Harris (Wake Forest) and Cory Helms (Wake Forest).

Region 7 vs. Region 8 – There are seven crossover games Friday this week between teams in regions 7 and 8. Only Habersham Central among the 18 teams in those regions is not from Gwinnett County. Grayson and North Gwinnett, the region champions from 2011, are playing other opponents, but these seven games should provide clues about the balance of power.

According to the Maxwell Ratings, Region 7 will win four of the seven:

Collins Hill vs. Central Gwinnett -18
Duluth at Berkmar -12
Norcross at South Gwinnett -9
Peachtree Ridge at Parkview -7

Region 8 will win these:

Archer vs. Mountain View -13
Dacula at Mill Creek -3
Shiloh at Meadowcreek -27

I like ‘’underdogs’’ Parkview and Mill Creek, but that’s still 4-3 for R7. And R8 has Grayson. So yeah, they’re about even.

19 comments Add your comment

Titletown USA

August 30th, 2012
10:30 am

I think Grayson-Central qualifies as the national game of the week..

Titletown USA

August 30th, 2012
10:32 am

By the way…first….and second (lol). I actually laugh when people do that…but if you can’t beat ‘em….


August 30th, 2012
1:58 pm

Just FYI- kickoff for Hillgrove-Lassiter is actually at 6:30, for anyone wanting to attend. GPB will begin their broadcast at 7:00 p.m. on tape delay and reportedly “catch up” to a total live feed at some point.

Will be a tall task but would love to see a sweep by the two teams without the Super 11 guys or ranking.

HS Football Fan

August 30th, 2012
4:45 pm

I don’t believe I have ever seen point spreads listed for High School games. I am a bit suprised and a little disappointed. Looking forward to the East-West Cobb Classic. Go West!


August 30th, 2012
4:52 pm

The games at North Gwinnett, including Valdosta v N. Augusta and N. Gwinnett v AC Flora, will NOT be televised. The games can be viewed online at at

Todd Holcomb

August 30th, 2012
8:56 pm

Thanks, Ken. Will update the TV situation.

Todd Holcomb

August 30th, 2012
8:59 pm

”I don’t believe I have ever seen point spreads listed for High School games. I am a bit suprised and a little disappointed.”

It’s simply a computer prediction of the margin of victory. You are not the first to express concern about that, but I’ve never quite understood the anxiety. It’s just an objective way to get a rough idea about who might win and lose, and by how much. It’s helpful, IMO, to have a computer that can spit that out for 200+ games/week.

HS Football Fan

August 31st, 2012
7:02 am

I understand your explanation but the anxiety comes from the fact that this “objective way to get a rough idea who will win” is used by 98% of the people to gamble on the games. Thanks for taking the time to explain though.


August 31st, 2012
10:08 am

@HS Football Fan – I *think* they listed the spread last year as well but I could be wrong. Seems like I have seen it before. Truth be told, gamblers are going to gamble no matter what. I seem to have been born without the gambling gene but I find the numbers useful as a guess to the relative strength of the two programs. It help me understand why someone might be picking one team over the other for discussion.


August 31st, 2012
10:39 am

I thought the Grayson-MC game is supposed to be a LIVE national televised game, what happened? :-)


August 31st, 2012
10:42 am

Isn’t the Grayson-Miami Central game supposed to be a LIVE nationally televised game, what happened? :-)

HS Football Fan

August 31st, 2012
4:11 pm

I understand your situation and I am not a gambler either. I am not against gambling but i was just suprised that it has gotten into the high school arena. Certainly the point spreads are helpful in dissecting the games. Hope your team does well this weekend.


August 31st, 2012
4:49 pm

Y’all sleeping on South Gwinnett.


August 31st, 2012
5:48 pm

It is not live. You can watch online (live) at ESPN3 or wait a few hours and watch it tape delayed on ESPNU at 11 or 11:30 pm tonight. It works well for me. I will watch it after I watch our Northside Eagles make an example of Flowery Branch Falcon football. :-)


August 31st, 2012
5:50 pm

@ Aaron: We are hybernating on South Gwinnett. That school’s athletics program is toast. How bad can you be if Scott Bracco (national championship basketball coach – at Dunwoody – lives your school running towards Forsyth County)? Do not bring South Gwinnett into a conversation about state heavyweight like Grayson.

Mighty Mighty Wildcats

August 31st, 2012
10:37 pm

Looks like Grayson is handing Miami central a ga beatdown.


August 31st, 2012
10:48 pm


Fred, Ole Ram,……………….and all the other fellow GRAYSONERS. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!

They don’t know about Georgia Football!!!!

Ram Dad

August 31st, 2012
11:14 pm

Grayson handed down it tonite talk is over its only
One #1 and that’s Grayson Go Rams!!!


September 1st, 2012
1:40 am

It was…..satisfying (channeling my inner Spock!) Oh heck, I was so fired up it wasn’t even funny! I thought the spread might be 3-7, not 33! The visitors’ side was pretty full. If i had to guess, I’d say maybe 6-7K people there. There were lots of people milling around so it was hard to tell. There were lots of Clemson folks that are in-town for the game tomorrow (or today!) that came out to see the game. I thought we did what we needed to. You could tell that the air went out of their sails early on. When they came out after the half, I told the people around me that their heads were down and they had no life in them. I can only hope we keep that edge all season.