Gwinnett County assured of 10th state title in 18 seasons

Gwinnett County will win its 10th state championship in the highest classification in 18 seasons next Saturday at the Georgia Dome. What’s unusual this time is that the result is known in advance.

Gwinnett rivals Norcross and North Gwinnett won their semifinal games on Friday and will play for the Class AAAAA championship. Norcross is the defending champion. North Gwinnett has never won a state title in football.

North Gwinnett beat Norcross 36-17 on Sept. 13 in a Region 7 game. Their rematch will mark the eighth time that county rivals have played for a state title, first since Tucker beat Marist 15-3 in the 2008 Class AAAA final.

It has happened twice for Gwinnett teams, both in 2002, when Parkview beat Brookwood 28-7 in AAAAA and Buford beat Greater Atlanta Christian 34-10 in AA.

What else we learned in the semifinals:

- North Gwinnett can run the football. The Bulldogs were the most pass-oriented team in the AAAAAA semifinals, getting 64 percent of their yardage through the air. But C.J. Leggett rushed for 292 yards (unofficially) on 36 carries in a 27-21 victory over McEachern.

- Norcross can play defense. The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games, with six victories over playoff teams. None of the playoff teams has broken 10 points. Colquitt County, which had averaged 45 points in its previous three playoff games, was held to 11 first downs and 183 yards in total offense. Norcross won 14-9.

Gwinnett County champs in the highest class –

1996 Brookwood

1997 Parkview

2000 Parkview

2001 Parkview

2002 Parkview

2006 Peachtree Ridge

2010 Brookwood

2011 Grayson

2012 Norcross

2013 Norcross/North Gwinnett

96 comments Add your comment

WolfDawg

December 7th, 2013
12:33 am

Ho Hum…

Saw this coming at the beginning of the playoffs…

Gwinnett County – Georgia’s Best!!

PS – Would like to see the Dawgs get their first…

Patrick

December 7th, 2013
12:41 am

No teams from below Macon in the playoffs in any region. What has happened to South GA football?

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
12:44 am

Our defense is amazing. Can’t wait for the rematch with North Gwinnett next Sat in the Dome.

Patrick

December 7th, 2013
12:45 am

I see I did miss one, Charlton County, who I was unfamiliar with. They won by one. They are so far East though I don’t know if they would count as South GA or not?

WolfDawg

December 7th, 2013
12:56 am

Patrick – Charleton Co was a mini dynasty… & has always had competitive teams. Beat Buford a few years to breakup our domination this century… Also – home to the Bailey Brothers – Ronald, Champ & Boss.. You might have heard of them…

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
1:09 am

Norcross yards rushing allowed:
North Gwinnett game one 10
Duluth 17
Mill Creek 136
Collins Hill 52
Peachtree Ridge 62
Etowah 81
Brookwood 110
Lowndes 96
Colquitt 80
North Gwinnett rematch ???

Suwanee 0wns

December 7th, 2013
1:48 am

Wow. Very impressive Rob!

There seems to be a game missing on that list. Did Booker T Washington run the ball against Norcross? How many rushing yards did they have? Or did they just clean your clock scoring 55 points purely with passing?

I also noticed that North Gwinnett is back in the MaxPreps list of Excellent 25 – but I do not see Norcross on that list?

You may have some interest in the list of teams that scored fewer points in the same game than North Gwinnett:

Camden
Grayson
Norcross
Meadowcreek
Duluth
Mill Creek
Habersham
Mountain View
Peachtree Ridge
Milton
Archer
Hillgrove
McEachern
Norcross AGAIN?

I think that is most of the teams rated in the top 15 by Maxwell.

Gwinnett Fan

December 7th, 2013
2:07 am

What is better than beating Norcross?

Beating Norcross for a State Championship.

Go North!!!!!

bosshog

December 7th, 2013
2:14 am

bob sphire for mayor of suwanee

NGHS 09

December 7th, 2013
3:21 am

@Rob… Yals defense in the playoffs has been everything it was advertised to be during this past off-season. They are making last year’s stellar playoff run look less appealing LOL.

I have to point out one fact though, in regards to next Saturday’s game. NG was not trying to run the ball on Norcross earlier in the season. Leggett had turf toe and was not 100%. Also, Norcross’s defense was not playing anywhere near the level they are at right now. Given those two facts, the stat you listed above about NG’s rushing yards against Norcross earlier this year is irrelevant.

Since you’re a stat guy, check these out. You’ll notice that NG started to run the ball significantly more after the Norcross game and especially in the playoffs.
car. yds ypc lg TD
08/24 W 34-14 Camden County 22 146 6.6 19 1
08/30 W 35-0 Grayson 4 10 2.5 3 0 (didn’t play much in this one after injury)
09/13 W 36-17 Norcross 13 28 2.2 0 (13 carries doesn’t include his 64 yds rec.)
09/20 W 63-0 Meadowcreek 4 53 13 25 1 (barely played)
10/04 W 52-21 Duluth 22 133 6.1 15 4
10/11 W 50-47 Mill Creek 18 115 6.4 35 1
10/18 W 41-0 Habersham 4 22 5.5 1 (barely played)
10/25 L 28-53 Collins Hill 16 98 6 28 1
11/01 W 40-7 Mountain View 13 193 14.9 82 2
11/08 W 44-22 Peachtree Ridge 21 96 4.6 3
11/15 W 34-10 Milton 21 133 6.33 2
11/22 W 34-32 Archer 20 163 8.2 1
11/29 W 35-31 Hillgrove 40 159 4 4
12/06 W 27-21 McEachern 36 287 8 66 2

Totals: 254 carries; 1,636 yards; 6.44 yp; 82 long; 23 TD’s
Playoffs – 742 yds on 117 carries (6.34 avg) and 9 TDs

Both teams are different now, than they were on Sept. 13th (as you stated above). It’s gonna be all out war and NG will have to beat the champs to be the champs…easier said than done. I’m looking forward to round 2 of Mitchell Hyatt vs Lorenzo Carter!

BulldogsStillBite

December 7th, 2013
6:12 am

This will be an epic game – Norcross will have to stop the run and pass. The passing game was neutralized by McE…those guys have the best secondary in 6A…but as NGHS09 stated, the Leggett in September is certainly not the Leggett in December. Anyway you slice it, this will be one heck of a game. North had the toughest route to get here, and one thing is for certain, getting behind in the game will not rattle them…last game was different; they got a lead and did NOT give it up. I was wrong on one count the last game – NG had the most turnovers and STILL WON. McE’s penalties were more costly….If this game becomes an offensive shootout, NG will be the one that hoists the trophy on Saturday night. But if anyone has the defense to take this one, Norcross does….now if we can only stop confusing other colors with red and black when throwing the ball…even Sphire gave a tip of the cap the McE secondary…and they ADJUSTED

Cool_Coach1

December 7th, 2013
8:15 am

Our semifinal game vs. Colquitt was a throw back hard hitting bar fight. All week our guys had to listen to people questioning their resolve. I read they were gonna punch us in the mouth etc… Sounds good till you get punched back…but HARDER! The game vs. North Gwinnett will be the Hatfields vs. the McCoys! I do not believe the dome has seen a High School Rivalry game for the Championship like this….( I cannot recall one…If I’m wrong someone please enlighten me.) Anyway… congrats to North for holding up their end of the bargain in representing Gwinnett County! The Region 7 Championship and the State Championship will not be resolved by a coin flip! It will be resolved on the field as it should be! See you guys in the Dome!

Devillover

December 7th, 2013
8:23 am

A lot of talking from the North fans. I guess it is exciting for the fans of a team who has never won a state championship.

All I want to know is what is NG’s excuse for losing bad to Collins Hilll 53-28. The Blue Devil beat them 28-0.

“Its not how you start but how you finish.”

My2Cents

December 7th, 2013
8:47 am

NGHS 09 & Bulldogs StillBite……I am a gwinnett county, but do not have a dog in this fight. I do love rading these blogs and you two are sounding exactly like those Colquit county fans who kept saying their D was the best in the state and their Offense was the most balanced. Well you see how that turned out. I know NG beat Norcross early in the year, but this time around I think Norcross wins. If Norcross’s offense was better, I would say it is going to be a blow out. I think NG is probably the best coached team in Gwinnett, but their D is suspect.

Devillover

December 7th, 2013
8:55 am

Rushing Yards Per Games

Norcross North Gwinnett. National Average
194.0 135.2 185.6

TIGERDAWG

December 7th, 2013
8:55 am

Gwinnett better enjoy it! Next year the kids across the county line in Tucker are coming for some respect.

R31768 Pack

December 7th, 2013
9:03 am

Congratulations Norcross. We had our chances but your D stood up. We will see you next year.

Farsider

December 7th, 2013
9:07 am

Region 8-AAAAAA fan here. If it were up to me the region 7 pillow-fight would end in a tie. But since that’s not gonna happen, I’ll go with the Woodchucks in a revenge victory over Pups.

Team Tigerblood

December 7th, 2013
10:27 am

Hoping North Gwinnett wins the game. That way we won’t feel as bad over at Archer.

Grayram

December 7th, 2013
11:39 am

Team Tiger: after watching the playoffs I think Your Tigers should end up anywhere from 4-6 behind

1&2 North GWINNETT – Norcross TBD
3 Colquitt

After those three Archer, Mceachern, Collins Hill in some order.

7-10. Hillgrove, Camden, Lovejoy, Hughes

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
11:46 am

My Final Top 12 in AAAAAA
1. Norcross- North Gwinnett winner
2. North Gwinnett-Norcross loser
3. Colquitt County
4. Archer
5. McEachern
6. Collins Hill
7. Hillgrove
8. Camden County
9. Langston Hughes
10. Peachtree Ridge
11. Mill Creek
12. Lowndes

Patrick

December 7th, 2013
11:47 am

Looking at the matchups for the region championships for next weekend looks like it’s going to be a rather boring bunch of games. More of a North GA regional type thing and the attendance may fall off from previous years by 20-30% at least. No way it will compare with the AL state finals just held Thurs. and Fri. Hoover won it again in 6A and went 15-0, so Rush Propst may be feeling even worse now. They beat Auburn easily 20-3.(May be a bad omen for the Tigers today) The two day attendance figures were about 45K and just for Friday for the two biggest regions it was over 20K. If the GA finals hits even 15K it will be a miracle. Really a bad off year for high school football in GA.

Grayram

December 7th, 2013
12:20 pm

Ron.. I missed Lowndes… Knew something didn’t look right

DAFalcon

December 7th, 2013
2:44 pm

Poor Dacula still does’nt get any respect from Mr. Rob, good luck next week

Suwanee 0wns

December 7th, 2013
3:15 pm

I just can’t bring myself to throw any smack-talk at Norcross. I have too much respect for the Community, the school, the kids, the parents, and the team.

I watched some of these kids grow up through GFL on the other side of the field. You could tell there were some special players. I want them to do well.

I was pleased when Norcross had such a great season last year, and I was pleased to see them win a State Championship. I was pleased to see them do well again this year. I was one of the people stating that Norcross would still do well in 2013 after their dismal season start.

Similarly, I have been very pleased to see such strong seasons by Archer, Collins Hill, and Peachtree Ridge. And I was disappointed that a great Mill Creek team didn’t get the chance they seemed to deserve.

At the same time, North is due after suffering through decades of dreadful and mediocre football.

Congratulations to both teams for making it to the dome. This should be a great game. Both teams are very different than the teams that faced each other in September. I hope all the fans will make the trip to the dome to support these teams. It might even be fun to watch the toothless knuckledraggers and troglodytes from Buford win another Championship.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
3:55 pm

@DAFalcon == I put Dacula at 14, between Lovejoy and North Cobb.

Tift blue devilish

December 7th, 2013
4:15 pm

I am a South Georgia high school football fan. Yes indeed the metro Atlanta teams are dominant…not even a topic for discussion. But there are reasons for this. One is MANY MANY more students and school. Another is the fact that, for certain reasons, the best kids are ” migrating ” to schools like Norcross and Buford. I also look at larger schools in South Georgia whose football programs are in undeniable decline. Camden Co. Lost a head coach who probably will never be replaced and Lowndes Co. has coach who is un adaptable and unable to learn and adjust. Valdosta is irrelevant. Indeed if it wasn’t for Colquitt Co. coach, love him or hate him, South Georgia football wouldn’t be discussed at all. Sad times.

DAFalcon

December 7th, 2013
4:29 pm

Patrick

December 7th, 2013
5:47 pm

Good post “Tift blue devilish” at 415PM. You are are pretty well spot-on there. Look at Gwinnett Co. now with their dozen or more(just checked, it’s 17) high schools and another one being built I hear, so it’s easy for them to switch schools. All they have to do is find a new address, i.e. relative, etc. and it’s done. There is a lots more moving around and recruiting that goes on in high school sports than the GHSA will ever care to admit. They just ignore it rather than scare up a hornet’s nest. I would bet a week’s paycheck that the majority of it is within a 100 mile radius of Atlanta.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
5:53 pm

@Patrick == it isn’t recruiting, the kids are attracted to a winning program, the coaches don’t go out and do anything. Yes we have a lot of people up here in the North Atlanta suburbs and it is relatively easy to move into a new school. We still live in a free country

Fred

December 7th, 2013
6:23 pm

@Patrick – Come up here and attempt to bounce around from school to school and then tell me how easy it is. I would not think the revolving door in south Georgia with certain QBs that moved from county to county to private and back would leave any room for you to talk about kids moving around. SMH.

NGHS 09

December 7th, 2013
6:25 pm

@Devillover….

“A lot of talking from the North fans. I guess it is exciting for the fans of a team who has never won a state championship.”

Easy to say when you finally got past the 2nd round of the playoffs. I have nothing but respect for Norcross and I was more than happy for them last year for finally doing what they are capable of on a consistent basis. However, your comment is just utterly disrespectful to NG.

Up until last year (2012), Norcross never made it past the second round (2007-2011) and didn’t even make the playoffs in 2009. NG has never won a title, but in that time they have 4 region titles, have only lost FOUR region games since 2006. NG has made the qrt finals 6 out of the last 8 seasons and to the state title game twice. NG has beaten a number of national powers and also AAAAAA powers. NG has averaged 10 wins a season for EIGHT straight seasons. We have accomplished EVERY possible execpt winning a state title.

So you should have an IMMENSE amount of respect for NG. Don’t act like just because Norcross won the AAAAAA title last season that Norcross has always been a perennial playoff power. Your program has become elite now and NG’s program has been elite for 8 straight seasons now. Like I said, the ONLY thing missing is a state title. Show some respect because NG has nothing but respect for Norcross.

NGHS 09

December 7th, 2013
6:27 pm

Also, Norcross has ALWAYS had the superior athletes to win a title. It’s hard for you to understand because you aren’t familiar with NG’s program, but Sphire has accomplished everything I stated above with far less athletes and D1 recruits than Norcross. Respect is earned and Norcross earned it outright last year. Can’t wait for next Saturday.

NGHS 09

December 7th, 2013
7:16 pm

@ My2Cents…My original post did not show up for some reason, but nevertheless…

“NGHS 09 & Bulldogs StillBite……I am a gwinnett county, but do not have a dog in this fight. I do love rading these blogs and you two are sounding exactly like those Colquit county fans who kept saying their D was the best in the state and their Offense was the most balanced.”

Can you show me an example of where I have sounded “exactly like” Colquitt fans from last week? I’ll wait.

My posts included statements of fact. My opinions were that the Norcross defense has been lights out this season and is playing better than last season. My opinion is that NG deserves just as much respect as Norcross because NG has done everything except win a state title. I never made any predictions like the Colquitt fans did, and Norcross fans for that matter. Rob didn’t respond to my post claiming that I was being disrespectful or boastful, so explain to me why you feel this way. :)

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
8:51 pm

@NGHS 09 ==

I don’t see how stats can be disrespectul… :-)

I think that the Norcross Defense and North Gwinnett offense have shown the most improvement since we played what feels like a long time ago in a galaxy far away. One of the things I plan to do tomorrow is watch that game again and see what happened. (I have put it our of mind since the game).

Next Saturday we will see what happens when the supposedly Unstoppable Force (NG O) meets the apparently Immovable Wall (Norcross D)…

The Norcross O and the North Gwinnett D are both improved from earlier in the year, but both still are not completely consistent.

Should be a great game, I have nothing but respect for North Gwinnett, even though I have a strong desire to win whenever we face NG.

NGHS 09

December 7th, 2013
10:11 pm

@ Rob… I get the same desire as well LOL. Both Norcross and NG have turned in to different looking teams as the season has progressed. It still hasn’t actually hit me yet that the state championship will be between two region 7 teams. The Immovable Wall (Norcross) is guarding the ultimate trophy in high school sports. If it’s immovable then the Unstoppable Force (NG) must find a way to sneak around it :) .

A.J. Bush looks like he’s doing his best Cam Newton impersonation as of late. Instead of running left and right (or backwards like he did many times against NG) when under pressure, he’s moving the chains and doing what he’s got to do to help his team win. Is your son #34? Warren McWilliams is his name I believe.

Mountain Park

December 7th, 2013
10:43 pm

Is it true that the new Parkview coach is the old Tucker coach Franklin Stephens?

Cool_Coach1

December 8th, 2013
4:12 am

@NGHS09 the GFL has produced a product that it’s members, players, representatives families etc. can be proud of ….the AAAAAA championship should be played @ either Cemetery field or George Pierce Park this year! You guys have more parking I think we have the more intimate atmosphere! LOL can you imagine what that would look like? I can tell you the Board meetings are gonna be a lot of fun for the winner!

RobFromNorcross

December 8th, 2013
6:32 am

NGHS 09 = No my son isn’t #34. He is one of the O Line.

squirrell

December 8th, 2013
7:14 am

Not taking anything away from the Devils, they are a great team. But, the truth is the truth. Our game depends on backs and receivers being able to cut on good footing. I was wrong when I said earlier that we would win a muddy mess. Most grass fields I’ve seen down south drain well enough for you to have some kind of footing. Friday night was awful and dangerous for both teams.

The difference in the game was Bush’s style of running. He runs with long more stable strides with less sharp cuts. Give him the ball around the end or spread out he field and let him go. He rushed for 12 yards.

Good game adjustment! We didn’t have a counter.

Hope Devils win it all!

squirrell

December 8th, 2013
8:37 am

Not taking anything away from the Devils, they are a great team. But, the truth is the truth. Packer game depends on backs and receivers being able to cut on good footing. I was wrong when I said earlier that we would win a muddy mess. Most grass fields I’ve seen down south drain well enough for you to have some kind of footing. Friday night was awful and dangerous for both teams.

The difference in the game was Bush’s style of running, like a gazelle. He runs with long more stable strides with less sharp cuts. Give him the ball around the end or spread out he field and let him go. He rushed for 112 yards.

Good game adjustment! We didn’t have a counter.

Hope Devils win it all

Grayram

December 8th, 2013
9:51 am

That’s definitely what it was. Norcross recruited several players that grew up in a rain Forrest. Playing On That horrible ole natural grass wet field was 2nd nature for them. If the field was dry, or even turf, Colquitt would have won for sure. Probably running clock the whole 2nd half.

Sal Monella

December 8th, 2013
12:26 pm

Where are the Camden, Colquitt, and Lowndes whiners? Come on gnat country! Let’s hear it! (By the way, would you like a little cheese with that whine?) Bah-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!

RobFromNorcross

December 8th, 2013
12:57 pm

@Grayram = Now you let everyone in on Norcross’ secret, everyone will be after these gazelle-DNA rain forest players…

Suwanee 0wns

December 8th, 2013
2:32 pm

That is exactly where the former Falcons coach – June Jones – came from. He could throw in the rain and run in the mud when he was a player.

There is absolutely no reason for Gwinnett County taxpayers to waste money on turf. Mudball is fun; especially when teams like Colquitt County cannot play in it.

It does not really make any sense to spend extra money on turf only to put your team at a disadvantage in the playoffs when it rains.

Jarvis the Fan

December 8th, 2013
3:16 pm

@Mountain Park I heard that too about Parkview hiring Franklin Stephens away from Lamar County. If that is fact, the rest of Gwinnett and 6AAAAAA better watch out. This guy has been a proven winner everwhere he has coached. Currently his Lamar Trojans are in the state championship against Lovett and favored to win and prior to that his Tucker high teams barely lost any games and won two state championships. Parkview may be on their way back to the top. Region 8 is about to see a very effective wing-T.

Always A Fan

December 8th, 2013
5:23 pm

So this thing about Parkview’s new coach is really true?

Camden74

December 8th, 2013
7:14 pm

Norcross Fans…….From reading these post, no one would believe that Norcross was just one play, and one weather delay away from losing to Colquitt! Hopefully, Camden will be invited to the CKC next season, would love to see a rematch with NG, Norcross, Hillgrove or any other team they’d like to throw at the CATS! There’s one thing we all can be assured of, The CATS are COMING! :-D

NGHS 09

December 8th, 2013
8:15 pm

@ Rob… Oh ok I know which one he is now. I was just curious because I figured he was a key starter. That OL unit is mauling people on off-tackle runs. #34 on the defense reminds me of a slimmer Brian Urlacher because he runs down hill against the run. He really compliments Mouhon on the other side. I noticed that in the Colquitt game they were using #34 as a pass coverage decoy behind Lorenzo. Colquitt’s Mobley had no idea what to think when #34 dropped back over the middle instead of the flats LOL. Yal’s D.C. has to be getting coaching offers from college programs. He’s coaching like a master mechanic with that well-oiled unit.

r31768 Pack

December 8th, 2013
8:20 pm

@Sal Monela. — It’s obvious you need to read the posts. From what I have read, all of the regular Colquitt posters have congratulated Norcross on the win with no excuses. This South guy has not posted all year and is probably not even a Pack fan.

I guess I will have to pull for Norcross this weekend since their wide receivers coach is an ex packer star but I have a soft spot for NG since they don’t have a championship. Hopefully, it will be a hard fought close game.

Not sure who I will be pulling for this weekend. I guess I have to pull for
Norcross since their side receivers coach is an ex Packer star