Semifinal previews: Class AAAAAA

North Cobb at Lovejoy

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Twelve Oaks Stadium, Hampton

Records, rankings: North Cobb is 11-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AAAAAA and unranked; Lovejoy is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAAAA and ranked No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. North Cobb QB Tyler Queen is close to a couple of season milestones with his 2,421 yards passing and 918 yards rushing. WR Xavier Borishade went over 1,000 yards receiving in the quarterfinals, when he had eight catches for 151 yards. He has 51 catches for 1,009 yards on the season. North Cobb has scored 42 points in each of its three playoff games. 2. Lovejoy’s defense didn’t allow a significant drive in the 21-6 victory over North Gwinnett in the quarterfinals. The defensive leader is undersized NG Nathaniel Norwood (6 feet, 190 pounds), who had 33 tackles for losses and 13.5 sacks before last week’s defensive stats were confirmed. RB Travis Custis has rushed for 1,866 yards and scored 32 touchdowns, and QB Alejandro Bennifield has thrown for 2,172 yards and 26 touchdowns. 3. Both head coaches are working in their native counties. North Cobb’s Shane Queen was head coach at his alma mater, South Cobb, before coming to North Cobb in 2006. He’s 82-58 in 14 seasons overall. Al Hughes was head coach at his alma mater, Jonesboro, before coming to Lovejoy in 2001. He’s 108-80 in 18 seasons overall.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Lovejoy by 12

Colquitt County at Norcross

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Norcross Community Stadium, Norcross

Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 10-3, the No. 4 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA and ranked No. 9; Norcross is 13-0, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAAAA and ranked No. 3.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. RB Alvin Kamara, a blue-chip recruit, has averaged 174 yards rushing in Norcross’ three playoff victories. He has 1,959 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns on the season. Norcross’ defense, which has held eight of 13 opponents to seven points or less, is led by LB Tommy Tate (33 solo tackles in three playoff games), three-year-starting CB Shon Akins and DE Lorenzo Carter (18 sacks). 2. Colquitt County QB Cole Segraves surpassed 2,000 yards passing (2,099) and WR Bobby Hill went over 1,000 yards in receiving (1,046) in a quarterfinal victory over Parkview. OL Octavius Jackson has allowed only one sack (it came last week), and junior DL Jamiyius Pittman has 15 tackles for losses. 3. Norcross can reach the state finals for the first time with a victory. Colquitt has been there in 1991, 1994 and 2010. Colquitt can become the first team in the highest classification to win four road games (no neutral sites) in the state playoffs.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Norcross by 18

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124 comments Add your comment

Alex

December 6th, 2012
6:26 am

kpink

December 6th, 2012
6:40 am

the Norcross game starts at 8pm, not 7:30pm

squirrell

December 6th, 2012
7:02 am

“That’s why they play the game!”

The Cross

December 6th, 2012
7:45 am

Norcross by 18??? That can’t be right…it should be more like 35.

The Cross

GoPackGo

December 6th, 2012
8:00 am

The Cross….you will see my friend :)

GoPackGo

December 6th, 2012
8:07 am

Norcross may win, BUT it will be by less than a touchdown.

Hog Wild

December 6th, 2012
8:29 am

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Norcross by 18
Really?

NHS84

December 6th, 2012
8:30 am

The Blue Devils should handle them easily. Yes they play the game and this will be a practice game for the finals.

Hubert Green

December 6th, 2012
8:36 am

I must give credit where credit is due. Norcross has played exceptionally well and seems to have rid themselves of all those procedure penalties, offsides, et al that plagued them in the past. This is far and away your most disciplined team to go along with all the talent. CC has the blueprint for winning on the road in the playoffs. It’s also great to see the football team finally benefitting from all the basketball transfers. Should be a great game.

Todd Holcomb

December 6th, 2012
9:00 am

While I don’t agree w/ the Norcross’ projected margin of victory, I’ll just point out that it’s based on a mathematical evaluation of scores. If you look at scores only, then Norcross should win by a good margin. Norcross was projected to beat Camden by 12, and everybody thought that was ridiculous. Norcross won by 14. Colquitt’s body of scores isn’t as good as Camden’s. Remember that Colquitt has lost to Valdosta and Lowndes, teams that went out in the first round, one by 28 points. Norcross has played about 7 playoff teams and is beating them by an average of probably 14-15 points.

Colquitt Fan

December 6th, 2012
9:02 am

When will we figure out that computers don’t belong in football at any level

Smug

December 6th, 2012
9:03 am

I’ll take Colquitt by 6.

57Cat

December 6th, 2012
9:16 am

Where’s sportsnut? Nobody’s talking about North Cobb-Lovejoy? Did they cancel that game? Okay, North Cobb, you know what you have to do: remember how you played in the 1st round.

sportsnut

December 6th, 2012
9:22 am

Lovejoy vs North Cobb will be different. I know Lovejoy has not faced an offense quite like NC but it is the number 1 D in the state for a reason. The Coach’s. We talk about coachs putting players in position to win or to be able to accomplish their goal well, this coach does that. Kevin Jones will be a head coach soon. For now, he is building his resume’. He has this D playing at a very high level and I don’t know if NC has seen anything like this. I know for a fact that a lot of people haven’t and it is causing an uproar. Consider the overall performance of this group. They have intercepted 13 passes this season. Five of them have been returned for touchdowns. Of the five, 2 have been for over 100, 102 and 105. They have 54.5 sacks as a unit. Everyone gets to the ball. Their team speed is off the charts, both offensively and defensively. Those 54.5 sacks are part of the total 153 tackles for losses. They played 7 games this season under the mercy rule which invokes the running clock. This is the heart and soul of this team. They have the right peices in the right places to do something they will never forget. Thanks to Coach Kevin Jones and his attack oriented style of play. This is a good point to interject the issue of a soft region schedule. For the second year in a row, Lovejoy’s region has been called the softest in the state in that class. For the second year in a row, Lovejoy has come out of it and are fighting for the championship. For the second year in a row, the talk has been about that. For the second year in a row, Lovejoy has stood tall ,and taken down the favorites game after game. They have withstood an assault on their character and remain unfazed. These seniors have set a standard to follow for the rising players. It all started in 10′ with the 10-1 season of learning. Going 10-0 and then losing to a 4 seed as a 1 seed at home is quite humbling. This is when they learned how to win. They have lost one(1) regular season game since. 35 and 3 is pretty good. Especially if there was something to learn from the losses. The team that they lost to is also alive and well in these playoffs. They are on the other side of the bracket and there is a possibility they could meet again for the crown but there is work still to do to get there. ,This week, we welcome North Cobb to 12 Oaks and I look foward to seeing their offense in person. Good luck to them and safe travels to all that have to hit the road

BrunoBars

December 6th, 2012
9:31 am

Keep sleeping on North Cobb. When you wake up Warrior Nation will be in the Dome. North Cobb has one of the most balanced high school offenses I have ever seen. The defense creates turnovers in bunches. Let’s go Warriors.

reggaeman

December 6th, 2012
9:41 am

North Cobb going down, defense wins championships

The Warrior

December 6th, 2012
10:02 am

I got your NC-Lovejoy talk right here. Ok, let me break it down for you: We are gonna push that nose guard (#40) around all night long and his oversized shoulder pads and cowboy collar too! We are gonna pound the ball on the ground with Queen(15) and Herrod(33), and its gonna open up big plays in the passing game with Borishade(12) and Albright(14). We average over 40 points a game all season, and quite frankly, this offense is just now hitting their stride. Am I worried about Lovejoy’s defense? No I am not. They wont intimidate us. Am I calling for 42 points vs them? Probably not, but then again they have made some defenses look pretty silly this year. No disrespect to Lovejoy, of course. I know they have a great defense and a lot of great athletes, but this North Cobb offense is different. They just wear you down. If Queen protects the ball tomorrow night North Cobb will definitely win this ballgame.

On defense, NC is gonna have their hands full. Lovejoys offense is so dynamic. Big tall fast players at the skill positions and a pretty good O-Line. The way I see it, Lovejoys QB is gonna have some decisions to make. I’ve seen him do a few things particularly well, and thats get rid of the ball quickly and accurately, but also be able to scramble and make plays when he has to. The choice he is gonna have to make is committing to his throws. If he doesnt committ, hes gonna hve a rough day throwing the ball because North Cobb has some speed on defense and will confuse him and make him doubt his reads. Valdosta and Mill Creek QB’s had that doubt in their mind in the 2nd half and it showed by forced balls and INT’s. They key to Lovejoy’s success will be how well they can run the ball with GT-bound RB Custis(22). My thought is he will have some success early, but they will get away from the run late trying to keep pace with North Cobb. Both teams use their RB on the screen pass exceptionally well, so expect one or both RB’s on both teams to hit a big play on the screen pass. The advantage I give here is to North Cobb because many times they only rush 3 or 4 guys and still have defenders left for the screen. However Lovejoy seems more aggressive with their blitz with more guys, and could get beat bad on the screen. Also, NC runs quick screens to their WR’s as well that other teams are having a hard time stopping this year.

The predicion has Lovejoy by 12 and that does seem high. I feel like if North Cobb was from gwinnett county or south georgia with this exact same bunch they would be getting all the hype. But like most football games, this one will come down to turnovers. I think both teams can score and score quickly. Who can take better care of the ball? Pressure is on Lovejoy, and ultimately I will give North Cobb the momentum edge, and the victory 30-28.

Gwinnett Is Great

December 6th, 2012
10:36 am

Norcross has already destroyed, on the road, the best that puny region 1 has to offer. They blew away Colquit on their home field preseason. The Devils will finish the drill tomorrow night. Tate will introduce Seagraves to the turf. Kamara will make Pittman and Gray his girlfriends. Norcross by 18? Try 28.

Colquitt Fan

December 6th, 2012
10:50 am

Norcross blew out Colquitt? I’ve heard it all now. Scoring w 3 seconds left to take a 2 point lead is blowing a team out? And Colquitt actually treated it like a scrimmage, we rotated starters and subs every series and rested at least 5 of our starters. Both teams have gotten a lot better since then but Norcross fans are taking that SCRIMMAGE waaaay too serious.

The Warrior

December 6th, 2012
10:56 am

@sportsnut, you are right about Lovejoy’s defense flying around and getting to the football. They are great at that. I have all the respct in the world for their defense. While they will make some plays tomorrow night, they will get gashed. You have to play your assignments vs this North Cobb offense. Its not that they are overly dominant on O, its just that they make you choose. They are efficient. You cannot over-react or key on any given player, much like Lovejoy’s offense I will say. These 2 teams are here because they have proved to be Top 4 teams in the state when it counted. I see 2 football teams capable of winning a state championship, and CSS or whoever is broadcasting the “other game” just might be sorry they missed this one. But one thing is for sure, one of us will get plenty of exposure come Dec. 15th. NC will bring it tomorrow, you can bet your ash.

Squirrell

December 6th, 2012
11:24 am

This is soooooooo fun to watch!

That’s why they play the game!

Pack has been the “underdog” 80% of the time in the play-offs the last few years and they have won 80% of the games.

Suprise, Suprise, Suprise!

Abu Dhabi

December 6th, 2012
11:37 am

Well. Well. Well. Sportsnut, we finally meet. I have had much respect reading your commentary all season. I actually have a lot of love for your boys. But, it’s time. It’s time for only one team to shine. The best of the two…North Cobb, ofcourse. We just have too many weapons, boo. It’s just too much for your defense. The boys are ready and it’s going down. Can we still be friends?

Camden74

December 6th, 2012
11:43 am

Stop Kamara, Colquitt wins! Simple as that, but, easier said than done. Propst will challenge Norcross’ DBs, both running and passing. :-)

PackerBacker

December 6th, 2012
11:56 am

Scrimmage smidgen … It don’t matter. This is a whole nother ball game!! Go Pack!!!

Titletown USA

December 6th, 2012
12:00 pm

Some people just can’t hide their issues with Region 1….the best that R1 has to offer right now is Colquitt not Camden. For a couple of reasons, they beat them and they are still playing. Although I think Norcross has the better athletes, I don’t think anyone is thinking that this will be complete domination.

coACHJ

December 6th, 2012
12:02 pm

gata gata gata….all night…all night..yeah!!!!

stooge

December 6th, 2012
12:06 pm

The starters left Moultrie this morning headed North(again). Everybody is healthy and will be well rested so we can’t use injuries or road weariness as an excuse. Bring it.

sportsnut

December 6th, 2012
12:06 pm

This should be an interesting game. As usual, I will not claim we are going to win. It is good though that you have so much confidence in your team. Lovejoy will come to play. Claims such as yours have been heard many times before. I am sure NC has a fine squad and good coaching. This game will come down to who imposes their will. Both are good at what they do. Do not forget this is Lovejoy. Not Valdosta. Not Hughes. Not Mill Creek. If NC is somehow able to do the things you say they are, they should put a good one on Lovejoy. Don’t be surprised if you look up at the scoreboard at the end of the game and it reads “NSF”. You must remember that Lovejoy knows how to play this game. I don’t think they are just going to let your guys do all that stuff. You are making no one nervous. For Lovejoy, it will be business as usual.

PACKER BACKER

December 6th, 2012
12:09 pm

I.D.G.R.A. WHAT YOUR COMPUTER SAYS GOOO PACK

Decatur 4 Life

December 6th, 2012
12:13 pm

The Warrior

Sounds pretty extensive but one thing you didn’t mention is if this game is stays in the 20’s North Cobb won’t win, they must score 30 plus to win this one. Low scoring game favors Lovejoy, both of your losses North Cobb failed to score 30 points. Mark my words, Lovejoy’s defense won’t allow that many points to anyone

Not a Warrior believer

December 6th, 2012
12:23 pm

I am not a believer, I saw Mceachern score 42 points in the 1st half on N Cobb. Lovejoy’s defense will shut them down.

WILDHAWG2012

December 6th, 2012
12:25 pm

@Gwinnett is great=Really!!!! A 2 point lead is now a blow out!! Wow. I will say this again IT WAS A SCRIMAGE!!! If i recall your prize defense gave up 31 points to our team too and we still had a kids trying to earn a starting spot.We were unsettled at the Rec.spot with only Hill with any experience and we needed another corner and saftey and we only had one LB with game experience.Only one starting RB who is starting for the first time and i am not real clear on the offense and defensive lines as far as experience returning and you guys also gave up an 87 yard TD run to our RB who maybe the third option at that position but everyone knows their roles now with plenty of depth across the board so we ready and we coming!! Hey Norcross outplayed us in that scrimage on our home turf so its only right that we return the favor but this time we will be 100% and not 75%! Go Pack!!

LHS Cat

December 6th, 2012
12:28 pm

Lovejoy’s got it in the bag! See yall at Twelve Oaks, North Cobb!

Abu Dhabi

December 6th, 2012
12:43 pm

Sweetie, North Cobb had injured players for both South Cobb and McEachern games, BUT it really matters not, because neither are in the Semi-Finals. North Cobb has all of their weapons on Offense and Defense (and our Defense is just as lethal, even moreso). Weapons, baby. Weapons. Ya’ll are too funny and I just love it. Keep believing the hype. I just love Saturday mornings when all you can hear are crickets. Let’s Ride NC.

The Warrior

December 6th, 2012
12:52 pm

@ Decatur 4 Life: Which is why I said 30-28. Must have been too extensive for Mr. Decatur to read the whole thing. My bad for putting that at the end.

Ron Mexico

December 6th, 2012
1:02 pm

Lock up the animals, boys! Them Colquitt fans are headed north!
http://www.ajc.com/news/cops-south-georgia-man-684465.html

The Warrior

December 6th, 2012
1:08 pm

@ Not a Warrior Believer,

Good. Cuz McEachern is at home tomorrow. Yall been at home for a while now actually. You just keep Not believing, and we’ll just keep winning ballgames.

@sportsnut,
You seem like a reasonable person. I like how your posts are not overly slanted towards your team and you try to keep perspective. If Lovejoy is the better team, let me be the first to congratulate you and your team. But….. my friend, tomorrow night we comin for you I just wanna let you know. We playin for keeps!

OMacG

December 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

Ease up, The Warrior…the guy just said he saw Mac score 42, did not say he was a Mac guy. That game is on the internet for all to see. I didn’t realize the Warriors were missing any players that night. Bottom line- a regular season game from 2 months back doesn’t mean a thing right now. I’m pulling for my Region 4 brethren to get this next win…but it’s gonna take a heckuva effort. That Lovejoy defense is the best I’ve seen this season, absolutely DOMINATED North Gwinnett. I could do without all of the jaw-jacking they do…gonna come back to bite ‘em some day when they get one of those ref crews that will not put up with it. Could even be this Friday night.

Sportsnut is a class act on the AJC blogs and sets a great example for all of us. He speaks his mind about his team’s chances and is able to do that without putting down another’s team.

sportsnut

December 6th, 2012
1:37 pm

Just trying to be real about it. “AGF” applies to all. I too am confident in my team and would never doubt them. If it is game time, I know I will see their best. Lovejoy has a plan. NC is part of that plan in terms of being an obstacle yet to overcome. Friday they must deal with the issue. Trying to overcome another hurdle on the road to their destination. They know what they want and they know how to get it. Just a simple matter of playing Lovejoy football. Complete this task and they will be closer to their stated goal. I am looking foward to this one big time.

Norcross Blue

December 6th, 2012
1:42 pm

Colquitt!! when are you guys coming up?

VALDAWGSTA

December 6th, 2012
1:55 pm

I agree with Smug. Packers by 6.

The Cross

December 6th, 2012
1:56 pm

Cross by 21!!!!

Norcross Blue

December 6th, 2012
1:59 pm

hmmmmmmmm!!!! Hog stew!!!!!

The Warrior

December 6th, 2012
2:30 pm

Warriors 30
Wildkittens 28

Count on it.

stooge

December 6th, 2012
2:32 pm

Norcross Blue- They should be there in another hour. Don’t know where they’re staying so I guess the welcoming party will have to wait till tomorrow at say…. .8:00?

stooge

December 6th, 2012
2:32 pm

R31768

December 6th, 2012
2:51 pm

This is how I see it. The Pack has a shot but Norcross is a very good team. Probably the best the Pack will face. If the Pack wins they will need to keep Norcross to 24 points. (will be tough) The Pack offense will need to establish a passing game early and limit turnovers (preferrably none). I don’t want to see a shootout. We have got to do this. Go HAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@ Ron Mexico, interesting article!!! lol!! This must be some of those transfers we are getting from the Metro area.

GoPackGo

December 6th, 2012
2:51 pm

GoPackGo

December 6th, 2012
2:56 pm

GoPackGo

December 6th, 2012
2:57 pm

I am from Moultrie and now live in Metro Atlanta. We have WAY more strange stuff going on in this area than Moultrie ever dreamed of! It’s SICK!