AAAAAA blog: Who is for real? We’ll find out about Lovejoy, Norcross & others this week

The assignment for today is ‘five things to watch in Class AAAAAA’ this week.

In my mind, this week helps us find out who’s real and who is not. These are teams, and even one player, that I’m curious to find out more about.

Are they for real?

Lovejoy: It won’t surprise me if Lovejoy beats North Gwinnett. Let’s get that out of the way. What we’re saying is that Lovejoy has played fewer games that define a team than anyone else still standing in AAAAAA. The Wildcats have played one ranked opponent, Colquitt County, and lost 14-7 in early September. Taking out perennial power North Gwinnett would change the perception of a program with a great record (35-3 over the past three seasons) but without a defining victory in the highest class.

Jacorey Lewis: No player in AAAAAA has had a better post-season than Jacorey Lewis, the senior running back from Mill Creek. He has rushed for 595 yards and eight touchdowns in his two playoff game. For the season, he has rushed for 2,040 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. Those are all-state numbers, to be sure. Lewis wasn’t in that conversation at mid-season. Mill Creek plays at North Cobb on Friday in a game that could send Mill Creek to its first-ever semifinals and give Lewis more ammunition as a potential player-of-the-year candidate.

North Cobb: Here’s another team that hasn’t been to the semifinals in the highest class. North Cobb did make the Class C semis in 1959, when Acworth was the size of Hooterville. North Cobb is the only Cobb County team left in a classification that has been won almost exclusively by south Georgia and Gwinnett County teams since 1996. Gwinnett teams (of which Friday’s opponent Mill Creek is one) are 2-0 against Cobb in these playoffs. No Cobb teams outside of east Cobb (Walton, Lassiter) has made the semifinals since Harrison in 2000.  And no one would’ve seen North Cobb as the one to break that drought. The Warriors haven’t had a winning season since 2007.

Norcross: The Blue Devils’ dominance of their schedule this season is so impressive that the computer Maxwell Ratings have made Norcross a 12-point favorite at Camden County this week. That’s intuitively absurd, but rather than dwell on the prediction itself, consider how the prediction came to be. It’s based purely on scores, not history and common sense. For example, Norcross has never made the state semifinals. Norcross has never played a game below metro Atlanta. This is a school that opened in the 1950s. That’s history. But here are some scores: Norcross has beaten Parkview by 20, North Gwinnett by 10 and Mill Creek by 8 after leading 49-14. Who has Camden County beaten? Nobody with a winning record that made it past the first round. It’s something to think about.

Parkview: No coach could be having more fun this season than Parkview’s Cecil Flowe. Here’s a guy with four state titles but a program that had been in decline – no playoff win since 2005, no region title since 2004. Parkview was 4-6 last season. Then came the upset of Grayson, but later a heart-breaking loss to South Gwinnett in the final regular-season game to cost the Panthers the region. Now, Parkview has won its first two playoff games in overtime on road. No team had ever done that before. And Parkview has played without leading rusher Chris Carson. On Friday, Parkview plays its first playoff game in its Big Orange Jungle since 2008 against Colquitt County with a chance to prove this is not just a good story, but a legitimate championship contender.

86 comments Add your comment

Playoff Vet

November 29th, 2012
9:55 am

Good luck to all the teams this Friday. The Lewis kid from Mill Creek I have watched on film every game he’s played this season. He is indeed a worthy candidate for Player of the Year in this state. His stats aren’t inflated by cup cake opponents. He has size, speed and just the right amount of power to wear defenses down and this time of year, passing is flashy, but those teams that can take the ball and grind it out on the ground and run clock in the second half move on, those that live by the pass better hold serve.,

sportsnut

November 29th, 2012
9:59 am

Todd, you have Parkview upsetting Parkview.== Grayson.

Tipp Smooth

November 29th, 2012
10:02 am

Todd,

Camden is a totally different animal than Parkview, North
Gwinnett, and Mill Creek. 12 point underdog, are they for
real. Camden by 8, Git H’er Done…..

sportsnut

November 29th, 2012
10:16 am

Lovejoy is for real. Take s survey of those they have played. Those that have had top level players. Cole Seagraves, Joshua Dobbs and Anthony Jennings. Three of the better Qb’s in the state. Question them on the Lovejoy D. Not as tough as it was last year but just as good. We lost two D-1 corners to graduation but they have been replaced and one of their replacements is Lovejoy’s version of “Honey Badger”. Brandon Davis has scored in a variety of ways. He has returned a failed field goal attempt 70 yards for a TD. He has 6 int’s and returned 4 for TD’s. He has a kickoff return for a TD. He has a punt return for a TD. Many of these returns have been for 50+. People think they know Lovejoy. They know nothing. Travis Custis, Arshard Jackson, Alejandro Bennifield, Jeff Murphy, JuMichael Ramos, Terry Henderson, Jonathan Griffin,Jai Murphy, all offensive weapons.

BamaBornDukie

November 29th, 2012
10:19 am

I attended the Norcross vs Parkview game. Norcross has athletes across the board. The only way I think they lose is turnovers. Otherwise, I expect Camden County to struggle with the most athletic team in Georgia. Keep an eye on Norcross DE Lorenzo Carter. The 6′6″, 235 pound Carter has 18 sacks so far through 12 games.

57Cat

November 29th, 2012
10:33 am

All North Cobb has to do is pretend Mill Creek is Valdosta. I’m not saying that to disparage Valdosta, ’cause I love my Wildcats, but the Warriors put together a game plan and executed it to perfection. They were playing a storied program and came out of the gate fully motivated. Play the same way on both sides of the ball against Mill Creek and they will be playing in the semis. They’ve got the talent.

stooge

November 29th, 2012
11:58 am

Packers left at 10:00 heading north for the rumble in the jungle. Best of luck to both.

Dum-Bass

November 29th, 2012
12:28 pm

The bias and partiality continues, unashamedly, if I must say so. So there’s nothing at all about the 6A teams in South GA that should be included in the “5 Things to Watch in 6A” huh? The consistency of this is simply amazing. I pointed it out yesterday in all the players mentioned(none from Colquitt or Camden in the top 10) and now it happens in the team category. You either cover ALL of GA or you don’t.

OMacG

November 29th, 2012
12:36 pm

“Who has Camden County beaten? Nobody with a winning record that made it past the first round. It’s something to think about.”

Dang- that is indeed something I haven’t considered before. Interesting info, Todd…but that’s still a crazy point spread, regardless of how it’s attained. Since Herron showed up, Camden has lost only one playoff game at home by a margin that large (Warner Robins 2006).

OMacG

November 29th, 2012
12:41 pm

Well, Dum-Bass…the web page I’m reading says the “5 things to watch this week” is who’s real and who’s not. I guess Holcomb/AJC thinks Camden and Colquitt are for real, so no need to include them in the article.

Blue DEVIL

November 29th, 2012
12:42 pm

Camden is going to get pummelled on their home field on Friday. The Devils roll at Chris Gilman

Camden74

November 29th, 2012
12:50 pm

I’m glad the game is played on the field and not on blogs, in Newspapers or betting pools. Roll on Camden County Wildcats, Roll on! :-D

manateedawg

November 29th, 2012
12:50 pm

I’ll take Camden and 12 all day long if someone’s offering!!!!

Blue devil fan

November 29th, 2012
12:51 pm

COUPLE OF CHARTER BUSES OF FANS, THE BAND BUS AND THE NORCROSS TEAM HAVE LEFT METRO ATL!!!!! CAMDEN HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

57Cat

November 29th, 2012
12:54 pm

My picks:

Camden – because Norcross has not travelled nor have they played in the environment they will see at Camden

North Cobb – if they play like they did against Valdosta.

Colquitt – they are road tested, but I do like Coach Flowe.

Lovejoy – because I’m betting @sportsnut knows what he’s talking about.

I would like to see North Cobb and Camden in the Dome.

SouthGA

November 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

Camden moved from the region 3 because everyone said they don’t play anyone. Now that they are in Region 1 you are still saying they aren’t playing anyone. Camden tries hard to play teams out of the state because no school wants to play Camden during the regular season outside there region. I don’t see Norcross winning by 12. I think it will be a good game and who ever wins, it won’t be by much.

topper

November 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

Blue devil fan – Enjoy your trip look forward to a great game tomorrow and I am glad you are bringing the band.

WildcatManiac

November 29th, 2012
1:06 pm

Norcross has the tools to pummel anyone, however, they will be playing a pretty darn good defense that is giving up less than ten points a game (with over half of those points against the 4th and 5th string/9th graders), and an offense that averages a spread of 30. I do not see a beat down at all by either side. I know folks like to talk up their boys but I am anticipating a slugfest in Chris Gilman tomorrow, with the winner taking it all. All due respect to all of the other teams left in the brackets, but IMHO everyone else, barring a major upset, is playing for the short trophy. Stranger things have happened (do we need to talk about interceptions that weren’t or holding penalties that called back three touchdowns in one game) but barring all of that I just don’t see anyone else stacking up on BOTH sides of the ball better than Norcross and Camden. See all you Norcross fans on friday that make the trip, and everyone be safe out there, it looks to be a chilly one. And finally, regardless of what happens, everyone remember that this is a game played by kids because they want to play, so demonstrate your sportsmanship so they can be as proud of their fans as we are of them.

High 5

November 29th, 2012
2:54 pm

Lovejoy matches up well with any team in the state. Keep watching and stay tuned. I’ve been telling y’all all season. They have size, speed, strength, and good coaching! Not boasting but they overwhelm people!!!

how 'bout

November 29th, 2012
3:14 pm

@sportsnut

…a guess for all those who won’t be at games of their own …they can tune in to gpb & gbp.org to see live if not in-person if Lovejoy is all you say it’s cracked up to be…

…GOOD LUCK ALL THE PLAYERS & SAFE TRAVELS TO ALL THE THE BANDS, CHEERLEADERS AND FANS TO AND FROM THE GAMES THROUGHOUT THE STATE :D

Hubert Green

November 29th, 2012
4:23 pm

I’m curious if Norcross will be able to run their backyard offense of hike it directly to a running back and just take off; no handoff, no option, no read; just hike and run. 12-0 with a backyard offense; amazing.

The Cross

November 29th, 2012
4:47 pm

Hubert-what in the world are you talking about. Norcross has a fairly complex offense with over 40 formations and balanced play calling. Over 2000 yards rushing and over 2000 yards passing. When you have a tremendous O-line and mega skill players in every slot, you can be successful I’m Amy offense. Including the 1970 vintage Wang T.

It is better to remain silent and appear ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all possible doubt Hubert.

The Cross

The Cross

November 29th, 2012
4:53 pm

Camden The Cross is on the Way!!!

175 miles out with a five car caravan!

I can’t wait until kick off!!!!

This is going to be a great game!!!

The Cross

Camden1902

November 29th, 2012
5:04 pm

@the Cross, travel safe. It should be a great game!!!!!

Dum-Bass

November 29th, 2012
5:27 pm

***OMacG****your convoluted thought process leaves me bewildered and surmazed(that’s a combination of surprised and amazed). You shot your own retort right in the foot! As YOU said, it says “who is real and who’s not?” One would think Colquitt Co. would have been the first team listed on such an article. After all, they are a #4 SEED, and are having to do lots of traveling. Who else better to represent what the article is all about? As I said earlier, when these writers write these high school articles the only teams in their biased brains are those primarily from the Atlanta area, and then next, North GA teams. It shows up on a weekly basis every year.

cat doc

November 29th, 2012
5:40 pm

Turn it up Norcross is coming to town. Its going to be a blowout, with C-high rolling on into the next round. Safe travels for you coming into town.

RobFromNorcross

November 29th, 2012
5:40 pm

Leaving for Camden before sunrise tomorrow. Can’t wait for the Camden-Norcross game…

topper

November 29th, 2012
5:45 pm

Norcross fans safe travels to you and look forward to a great game tomorrow.

Olde Towne guy

November 29th, 2012
5:52 pm

“The Warriors haven’t had a winning season since 2007″

better check your history books Todd.

NG17

November 29th, 2012
5:57 pm

My Newnan friends say they wished Lovejoy played them first because they would be home right now.

Blue DEVIL

November 29th, 2012
6:01 pm

This will likely be a blowout. The Cross will roll!!

Fred

November 29th, 2012
6:36 pm

@Dum-Bass – Have you read the articles from the Moultrie Observer or the Valdosta Times? Not exactly unbiased reporting either.

david kidd

November 29th, 2012
6:45 pm

all this talk about norcross speed. that may well be true but they have not seen a defense this year that gets to the ball as fast as the bluecats. it should be a great game in a great environment! safe passage blue devils and have fun. lets play some ball!!!

jimb

November 29th, 2012
6:47 pm

Mill creek put up 41 on Norcross and 56 on brookwood who beat Lassiter, North cobb who are you kidding, speed? Mill creeks two losses are 23 and 2, they avenged the brookwood loss, two linemen out and Jacory Lewis out the last half. 56-21 and It wasn’t that close. I keep hearing about speed, Mill Creek sees speed every week in 7AAAAAA, I just watched North Cobb replays, guys, all world Kelsey Griffin 298 6′2″ and 4.7 speed defensive tackle South Carolina committ will have a field day.

camdenfan2013

November 29th, 2012
7:01 pm

Norcross fans safe travels on the long ride here, because its going to be a longer ride back. You guys aren’t giving CAMDEN any respect really? We have been there and done that. I am going to come and sit amongst you tomorrow night, and show you how region-1 fans treat their guest. Get ready, because you haven’t seen anything like this before.

jimb

November 29th, 2012
7:11 pm

We keep hearing we don’t see that, but for the past three years you guys keep loosing down there. I have great respect for Camden the weather is nice, the streets are narrow, the birds are beautiful and THE CROSS WILL SHINE.

Columbia Blue

November 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Blue DEVIL

Lets say we get LUCKY and win—-will you talk that much crap the next time we play—U know NOTHING about Camden—I recon we need to forfeit the darn game

jimb

November 29th, 2012
7:18 pm

NO forfeit we are driving to far, plus we need to get ready for next week.

jimb

November 29th, 2012
7:22 pm

I heard Jacksonville needed some good players, we could lend them Kamara for Sunday, after the warnup Friday night.

prof. jess

November 29th, 2012
7:27 pm

The big suprise will be Colquitt County. Those country boys will be in the finals and I am not a fan of theirs. They have improved tremendously.

Columbia Blue

November 29th, 2012
7:29 pm

Jimb

Hey we drive that far all the time–we have 3 rings—and I can promise you that we will be ready Friday night. The last time someone made a statement like (plus we need to get ready for next week.) we hung 33 on them. Jimb believe it or not—we are not the bad news bears. You better hope Autrey and Kamara make it to the fourth quarter. Our team is pissed and ready to play. Enough of the crap talking from Norcross. We have been there and done that. Good luck

jimb

November 29th, 2012
7:34 pm

I like it when your boys get ticked off, they make mistakes like Colquitt who lost to North Gwinnett who lost badly to Norcross.

Columbia Blue

November 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Jimb

Go ahead and compare scores of other games—That means nothing—Heck Norcross or Camden may turn to ball over several times tomorrow night. It will 48 minutes of pure hell for both teams. Camden will not roll over and play dead. I wish you the best of luck. I hope your running backs have the best game of their life because I do not want to hear any excuses after the game. Camden has received no respect from the AJC or the Norcross fans. All the articles and comments have been in Camdens locker room all week. We may not win but we will play as hard as we can. We have something to prove. We will be ready. I have never seen our team as focused and ready to knock the hell out of someone. They are pissed. You will understand tomorrow night.

jimb

November 29th, 2012
7:55 pm

I am not a Norcross fan, I am a realist. I had Camden #1 all year with Norcross and Grayson very close. Then you guy lost to Colquitt and I realized Valdosta was weak and lowndes lost to a cobb county team who all lost to Gwinnett teams last week but one still standing. Yes good luck, I just don’t believe you guys match up well. This year 7AAAAAA is to strong

Columbia Blue

November 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

Jimb

You Never know what can happen in a football game. Turnovers etc–I know one thing—our kids are sleeping in their own beds—Norcross is sleeping in a hotel with several other team mates. Who do you think will get the best nights rest. WE WILL BE READY

NG17

November 29th, 2012
8:07 pm

My wife was class of 82 at Norcross and this is the best team they have ever had in my opinion.
Good luck Blue Devils !

WILDHAWG2012

November 29th, 2012
8:34 pm

Safe travels to the mighty pack and the pack nation!!! Lets paint that orange jungle another color(black&gold) would be nice. Camden plse show your guess some southern hospitality before the game and then give their team a good region 1 ##$%% kickin

squirrell

November 29th, 2012
8:45 pm

November 28th, 2012
10:47 pm

A Packer Fan’s opinion…..Packers have played Camden in 2009, 2011, 2012

I cannot believe that anyone would pick Norcross over Camden. I watched the Norcross/SG game from last week and I was not that impressed with the Blue Devils. I honestly don’t have anything against the team and I am sure they are great athletes with good coaches but they’re in for a rude awakening when they face the speed, violence and dicipline of Camden football. Mark my words, “Norcross will be embarressed!”

I hope that Norcross makes me eat my words and rises-up to take down the Blue Cats.

If we make it passed Parkview (and we should), I would much rather face Norcross than Camden.

My prediction….Kamara gains no more than 50 yrds rushing…Camden wins 35-7

Gwinnett's Finest

November 29th, 2012
9:42 pm

Parkview knocked Kamara completely out of their game in the first half.

PackerHawg

November 29th, 2012
9:49 pm

What a great state for high school football!….we are all lucky to be apart of it!….Go Pack!