Every Top 10 team in Class AAAAAA survived the first round, but at least three will be eliminated Friday as the playoff bracket has conspired to produce some second-round blockbusters.
Those would be -
No. 8 Hillgrove at No. 2 Camden County
No. 3 Colquitt County at No. 10 North Cobb
No. 1 North Gwinnett at No. 4 Archer.
The home team is perhaps the underdog in two of them. Archer (11-0) is the only unbeaten team in the class but seeks the respect that only a victory over a team such as North Gwinnett can give it. North Gwinnett has two victories over Top 10 teams. Archer has none.
Region 1 champion Camden County is expected to defeat Hillgrove, but Hillgrove has won in the playoffs at Camden before (2010).
Other things to watch for this week in AAAAAA –
Jordan Ellis of Peachtree Ridge and Preston Williams of Lovejoy inserted themselves as player-of-the-year candidates with huge games last week. Ellis rushed for 263 yards and scored six touchdowns against Lassiter, and Williams caught seven passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns against Marietta. Peachtree Ridge as at Dacula. Lovejoy is at home against Lowndes.
Two other running backs went over 200 yards in the first round. Brookwood’s Jesse Brown will be facing Norcross’ tough defense, which pitched a shutout against Etowah in the first round. Hughes’ Keion Davis is up against McEachern.
Though ranked only No. 7, Collins Hill is the team to beat in its quarter of the draw. Perhaps no team has a better running back/quarterback pair than the Eagle’s Tyler Herman (2,530 yards passing) and RB Tyler Henderson (1,410 yards rushing). Collins Hill is at Alpharetta.