No. 1-ranked North Gwinnett plays at defending champion Norcross on Friday in Class AAAAAA’s spotlight game. Each has won three Region 7 titles since 2006, when Bob Sphire came to North Gwinnett.
The No. 1-ranked team in AAAAAA is 0-2 this season as Norcross and Colquitt County failed to defending their top rankings. Now North Gwinnett gets its shot. For those who follow recruiting, the game features the state’s top two defensive ends in Lorenzo Carter (Norcross) and Dante Sawyer (North Gwinnett). Both are uncommitted.
Five more things to watch this week:
Coffee: Many are calling Coffee under second-year coach Robby Pruitt the sleeper in Region 1. If so, maybe the Trojans can avenge last season’s loss to AAA’s No. 3 team, Burke County, which features wizard QB Donquell Green.
Wheeler: Region 5 seems up for grabs as Lassiter and Walton appear down while Cherokee, Etowah, Milton and Wheeler are 2-0. Let’s see what Wheeler and QB Elijah Staley (448 passing yards, 5 TDs) can do against defending Region 3 champion Langston Hughes and RB Keion Davis (344 yards rushing, 5 TDs).
Marietta: The Blue Devils are ranked this week (No. 10) for the first time since 2007 under fourth-year coach Scott Burton. They’ll know where they stand quickly as they travel to Hillgrove (2-0) on Friday. Expect the winner to be ranked next week. Marietta then faces No. 2 McEachern next week.
North Cobb: The Warriors are ranked No. 5 but haven’t played the same level of opponent as the other highly ranked teams. On Friday, they travel to Walton, a big-name opponent that also has something to prove. Walton needs to win to avoid its first 0-3 start since 1988.
Region 8: Region play begins with two pivotal games involving only one team – Archer (2-0) – that has won a game. Hard to believe Brookwood, Parkview and Grayson are winless. One of the three has won 18 of the past 19 region titles excepting only 2003 (South Gwinnett). Parkview is at Grayson, and Brookwood is at Archer.