North Gwinnett, McEachern beat history as No. 3 seeds

It’s rare for a No. 3 seed to make the championship game in the highest classification, but it’s a guarantee this season as North Gwinnett and McEachern – teams that were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 at one point before winding up third in their regions – play Friday at McEachern in the Class AAAAAA semifinals.

Which of these running backs will shine brightest in the AAAAAA semifinals? Each has over 1,000 yards rushing this season.

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Since 1996, when the GHSA first allowed four teams from each region to qualify, only four No. 3 seeds have won their semifinal games in the highest class. They are Colquitt County in 2010, Lowndes in 1999 and Parkview and Tift County in 1997. Lowndes and Parkview went on to win state titles. Only one No. 4 seed, 2006 co-champion Peachtree Ridge, has reached a championship game in the highest class.

It’s hard to think of North Gwinnett or McEachern as a full-blown underdogs, though. North Gwinnett is ranked No. 1 but finished in a three-way tie for first place in Region 7-AAAAAA. A coin toss determined the top three seeds. McEachern was ranked No. 2 after a 7-0 start but lost two of its final three regular-season games.

What else to watch for in the AAAAAA semifinals:

- Colquitt County and Norcross, which play in the other semifinal, are perhaps more known for their defense than North Gwinnett and McEachern. Each has a fierce pass rush. Lorenzo Carter of Norcross is considered the top defensive-end prospect in the country, but Norcross has had six sacks in the past two games by defensive tackles Dorian Kithcart and Khyree Lee. Colquitt County’s best-known defensive lineman is preseason all-stater Jamiyus Pittman, who missed five games in midseason with a leg injury. Junior defensive end Quintin Hampton has had a breakout year with 30 tackles for losses, including four last week against Dacula.

- All four of the semifinal teams have a 1,000-yard rusher. McEachern has two in junior running back Taj Griffin (1,175) and quarterback Ty Clemons (1,171). North Gwinnett’s C.J. Leggett has rushed for 1349 with at least 133 in all three playoff games. Norcross running back Josh Boyd has 1,265 yards rushing. Colquitt County’s Sihiem King has 1,392 yards and has scored a touchdown in all 13 games.

57 comments Add your comment

Tommydawg22

December 5th, 2013
11:37 am

Only one more day and a few hrs and we can throw all this smack talk out the window.

stooge

December 5th, 2013
11:52 am

Hopefully we’ll still here to take part NEXT week.

UncleIndian

December 5th, 2013
12:37 pm

GO MCEACHERN INDIANS, LETS DO THIS!!!!!!!

Max Sizemore

December 5th, 2013
2:39 pm

Is Leggett healthy? A couple of weeks ago he was limping around on the field.

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
2:43 pm

Q: How can you tell if a Packer fan is mad at you?
A: When they grit their tooth at you

:-)

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
2:46 pm

Good article today in our local Gwinnett paper about the Norcross linebackers…
http://www.gwinnettprepsports.com/news/2013/dec/04/linebackers-guide-norcross8217-stingy-defense/

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
2:48 pm

And an article from Moultrie about their QB Mobley who says he is ready to play ball…

http://www.moultrieobserver.com/sports/x439241302/Mobley-healthier-confident-for-state-semifinal

Camden74

December 5th, 2013
2:51 pm

Go Region 1!!!! :-)

stooge

December 5th, 2013
2:57 pm

@Rob-Been waiting all day for a shot like that. Good luck and no injuries to either squad tomorrow night.

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
3:02 pm

Rush Propst is trying to lull Norcross into a false sense of security…

As Reported in The Moultrie Hawgserver…

“Norcross could be better than 2012 state championship team”

http://www.moultrieobserver.com/sports/x853082330/Norcross-could-be-better-than-2012-state-championship-team

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
3:03 pm

@stooge = It has the potential to be epic!

RobFromNorcross

December 5th, 2013
3:06 pm

And good luck to Colquitt as well, nothing but respect for what your team has accomplished these last years.

I hope the winner Friday takes State and gets the ring (or even better another ring :-) )!

Catdoc

December 5th, 2013
5:57 pm

Norcross sack them Packers.

squirrell

December 5th, 2013
6:14 pm

Anybody know if Norcross / Colquitt game will be streamed on the web?

I know it’s gonna be on CSS.

the truth

December 5th, 2013
6:15 pm

It will be interesting to see how weather plays a part in these games. McEachern – N. Gwinnett should be ok because it will be on turf and I am going to assume that McEachern had a quality install done on the field as they appear to have one of the top facilities in the state.
Norcross – Colquitt will be old school football. It has been raining in the Norcross area all week and a 60% chance of rain tomorrow. Norcross may have an advantage due to playing their first two playoff games in similar conditions to tomorrows game while Colquitt has played their first 2 games on turf followed by a dry grass field. The equalizer is turnovers and both teams will have to limit the ones they commit and be able to score then they get them.

the truth

December 5th, 2013
6:41 pm

I don’t think it will be streaming on the CSS web site and I don’t see it on the NFHS although you could check tomorrow. You may find it on Justin TV

WildHawg2012

December 5th, 2013
7:20 pm

Lets go Pack!!!!! Going to be a heck of a game and no injuries either way.

Patrick

December 5th, 2013
7:39 pm

Just to show you how naive and dumb GPB really is, they are showing McEachern/N. Gwinnett tomorrow night. They will have a viewing audience of perhaps a 100 mile radius. If they showed Colquitt Co./Norcross they would have one from the Ga-Fl line all the way to near the Ga-Tn line. They obviously do not care about the largest viewing audience. If you ask this bunch they would probably say “well we have to be fair and give everyone an equal chance”. Doesn’t really surprise me though as they always allow their ideology to come into play. Common sense and logic doth not prevaileth anymore.

Packer_Dad42

December 5th, 2013
8:37 pm

This should be good…..good luck and no injuries to either team.

NGHS 09

December 5th, 2013
8:38 pm

@ Loren…. I’m sure Leggett isn’t 100% and yes he was limping around at the end of the Archer game, but he rushed for 159 yds abd 4 TDs on 39 carries. I’d say he’s feeling good right now.

NGHS 09

December 5th, 2013
8:38 pm

****that performance was against Hillgrove

NGHS 09

December 5th, 2013
8:39 pm

@ Patrick…. Why don’t you cry about it a little more. It might make you get over yourself.

Alex

December 5th, 2013
8:45 pm

@Patrick, it’s not naivety or dumbness on the part of the GPB. They intentionally will not air a game with the same team 2 weeks in a row. They do that to get more exposure to other teams and to avoid the “you all favor that team over ours because you always broadcast there games.” GPB broadcast the Norcross-Lowndes game which did have fans from one end of the state to the other. Let’s also not forget that CSS has a much larger viewing base.

NGHS 09

December 5th, 2013
8:49 pm

@ Patrick…. It appears that you are the “naïve and dumb” one sir LOL Colquitt and Norcross are playing on CSS which can be viewed in about 10 different states besides Ga. I’d say that’s a lot bigger of a viewing audience than what they would get if the game were on GPB. If you don’t have CSS then go to your local sports bar and watch it there.

BTW, CSS requested the right to broadcast the game before GPB did. Get your facts straight.

NGHS 09

December 5th, 2013
8:52 pm

“Common sense and logic doth not prevaileth anymore.” – Ironically a self-fulfilling prophecy LOL

squirrell

December 5th, 2013
9:02 pm

I like the Pack’s chances in a rainy mess for four reasons:

1. Pack’s run and gun, short screens and misdirection will cause even more confusion.

2. Our running backs, King and Sanders, can scoot around like water bugs or pound it strait up the middle all night long.

3. In a rainy mess the sense of football being warfare rises and whatever team WANTS it more wins! And, I believe the Pack WANTS it more!

4. Hawgs love a mud hole! Makes’em happy & relaxed! And, relaxed Hawgs play good football!

Hope the Devil field is left looking like they had a tractor pull.

Go Pack!

Tommydawg22

December 5th, 2013
9:20 pm

We have 4 different cable/sat providers down here and only CNS offers CSS and GPB is offered on every provider. Do all u guys up north get CSS?

HIgh School Football Follower

December 5th, 2013
9:39 pm

It’s going to be fun! I think North Gwinnett and Colquitt County advance. If Norcross has any trouble on offense as they have in every first half in the playoffs they will be in trouble. The D is stout indeed but it cannot afford to be out they over and over again against a team with a better overall defense top to bottom although Norcross has the edge in the secondary.

I think North Gwinnett just has everything working at the right time. McEachern will not roll over though. Both games will be fun too watch indeed.

@TommyDawg CSS is rare anywhere it’s cable only and you still can’t find it on many cable providers. Not a fan of CSS and not dropping my provider for them.

BulldogsStillBite

December 5th, 2013
9:58 pm

@squirrel – Colquitt/Norcross will not be streamed by CSS – it seems they have been alternating with FL schools. Live broadcast first two rounds FL/streamed GA, now live GA/stream FL next two.

Abu Dhabi

December 5th, 2013
10:49 pm

Let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO McEachern!! It’s going down, folks. It’s going down. I LOVE IT.

Suwanee 0wns

December 5th, 2013
11:49 pm

@Patrick. Perhaps you could think a little bit about how GPB makes money and survives.

They depend on donations.

While they wan to maximise exposure, they also want to maximise exposure to viewers who are likely to contribute. I suspect they have statistics about who contributes, and who does not. It includes things like whether they are more likely to obtain contributions from broadcsting football or ballet.

So here is the key question. Have you ever donated money to PGB? Do you know if any of your fellow fans have donated money? Do you think they get more money broadcastimng to viewers boarder to boarder for a Moultrie team? Or by broadcasting a team from Norcross? Will they get more money from Suwanee and Powder Springs? Or Moultrie?

If you answer those questions honestly it will be obvious which game they should broadcast.

I have given money to both GPB AND AJC. Have you ever given money to either of them?

Tommydawg22

December 6th, 2013
12:14 am

Suwanee they show you guys up north all during the reg season. They show teams down here generally when we go up north during the playoffs. North Gwinnett was on GPB 3 of the 1st 4 weeks so why would we donate a lot of money to watch our play maybe 1 game. Think about it. And yes I have donated a few dollars just like I do for other organizations when I play in 5-10 charity golf tournaments each year.

bosshog

December 6th, 2013
12:59 am

northgwinnett all the way coach sphire the best in georgia look what he has done with northgwinnett he has won 10 or more gamesevery year he has been there even when lanier high opened up and lost of good players he still done a great job he lost 2 of his best asst. coaches he still kept winning never missed a beat

Jimb

December 6th, 2013
6:22 am

Norcross is on a roll and determined to repeat, Norcross vs North a region 7 and state final.

Suwanee 0wns

December 6th, 2013
7:25 am

Thank you for helping your community TommyDawg. I am sure that charitable organizations keep track of where the money originates. Believe me GPB will show anything if they think it will make them anothr dime.

Good luck to your team.

BIG CHIEF WHOOPUM

December 6th, 2013
8:18 am

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

Who’d a thunk it? Road to the Dome goes through POWDER SPRINGS!

GO INDIANS!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!

McEachernMom

December 6th, 2013
8:48 am

OMG…OMG…OMG

I/we are so ready for tonight. Love us some McEachern Indians!

Let’s go Indians…LET’S GOOOOOO!!!!

Tommydawg22

December 6th, 2013
9:11 am

Uh-oh guess what day it is, guess what day it is. Anybody. Julie guess what day it is. Aw come on I know you can hear me. Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike what day is it Mike. Leslie guess what today is…Its GAME DAY…whoop whoooop Safe travels to everyone and good luck to your team Well except for maybe Norcross..jk lol

UncleIndian

December 6th, 2013
9:16 am

GAME DAY INDIANS, LETS DO THIS!!!!! GO MCEACHERN INDIANS!!!!

stooge

December 6th, 2013
9:19 am

@BIG CHIEF WHOOPUM- good luck to you guys, you earned it!

Sednwol07

December 6th, 2013
10:02 am

North! GO BIG RED!

Cool_Coach1

December 6th, 2013
11:41 am

@Camden74 (where ya been? I’ve missed the voice of reason from down south) Question if Norcross beats Colquitt tonight are we the Region 1 Champs? Considering we will have beaten every Region 1 powerhouse @ least once in the Calendar year….your thoughts?

Catdoc

December 6th, 2013
1:05 pm

You beat Colquitt and you can be whatever you want. My thoughts are that your just another jack wagon.

Gwinnett_Fan_66

December 6th, 2013
2:20 pm

No more talking. It’s almost Game Time. 2 will win, 2 will lose, 4 should be proud of making it to this elite level of play. Good luck to all. I am cheering for a Region 7 final, but that is just my heart. We all know all 4 teams are capable and should be a great night of football!

R31768 Pack

December 6th, 2013
2:39 pm

@Gwinnett_Fan_66 — I have been nervous all day. No surprises if any of the 4 6A teams make it. No upsets at this point, just execution and fewest mistakes will move on. Good luck to all and GO HAWGS.

Hawg Wild

December 6th, 2013
3:06 pm

anybody familiar if a website will be streaming the cc/norcross game? come on man!

RobFromNorcross

December 6th, 2013
3:26 pm

@HawgWild = If Norcross/Colquitt is going to be online anywhere, it would be here… but I don’t know if they show the same game on-line as they show on TV? http://www.csssports.com/hsfbpulse

RobFromNorcross

December 6th, 2013
3:30 pm

RobFromNorcross

December 6th, 2013
3:36 pm

Live-scoring of the Colquitt@Norcross game will be here starting at 7:30… http://t.maxpreps.com/1b8ltvN

Cool_Coach1

December 6th, 2013
3:36 pm

@ Catdoc LOL …your thoughts amount to the same amount of yards the wing T will get tonight….NOTHING! You too can watch from the comfort of your couch….