Preview: Five best games in 7A, and more
Here are five pretty solid games in the high class this week. Sure would’ve thought in preseason that McEachern-Camden County would’ve been one. But no.
South Forsyth (3-1) at Lassiter (4-0) – Who would’ve thought this would be the only game this week between ranked teams in Class 7A? Might’ve thought McEachern vs. Camden County or Roswell vs. Archer. Anyway, this game matches the No. 3 scoring offense in Class AAAAAAA against the No. 9 scoring defense. South Forsyth is averaging 40.3 point per game (49 per game since a 27-14 loss to Hillgrove in the opener). Lassiter allows 14.3 points per game, no more than 21 in any game this season. Davis Shanley, the offensive player of the year in 6-AAAAAA last season, was one of the AJC’s ‘best 10 quarterbacks’ featured in preseason. Lassiter’s defense features a secondary that has three players rated three-star recruits or better – senior Tyriq Hardimon (committed to California) and juniors Derrik Allen (34 offers) and Christian Jackson (West Virginia among four offers). Lassiter is ranked No. 6. South Forsyth is ranked No. 8.
Mountain View (4-0) at North Gwinnett (2-2) – As noted in Tuesday’s blog, Mountain View (4-0) hasn’t beaten North Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Mill Creek or Peachtree Ridge since 2011. One must fall for the Bears to make the playoffs for the first time. Mountain View has won four games in a full varsity season for the first time. North Gwinnett leads this series 6-0, but won only 16-14 last season. Stealing more from Tuesday’s blog, Mountain View RB Jasen Johnson has rushed for 400 yards and five touchdowns on 55 carries. QB Matt Edwards is 39-of-83 passing for 675 yards and nine touchdowns with just one interception.
Ramsay, Ala. (5-0) at Grayson (3-1) – Grayson plays its third out-of-state opponent on Friday. Ramsay, of Birmingham, is 5-0 and ranked No. 3 in Alabama’s Class 6A. Ramsay doesn’t have nearly the number of Division I recruits as Deerfield Beach, Fla., which Grayson took out 39-14 last week. But it would certainly be a quality win for Grayson (2-1), which is ranked No. 11 or better in five national polls this week. Both teams are called the Rams, btw.
Colquitt County at Valdosta – Who is the team to beat in Region 1? Lowndes is the highest-ranked at No. 7 but lost to Valdosta 38-13. Valdosta, of course, is no longer in the highest class, ranked No. 3 in 6A. If Colquitt can win this one, there can be little doubt that the Packers, ranked No. 10 despite a 1-4 record, would be the choice. They came alive last week and beat a pretty good Brookwood team 52-14. After an erratic start, Colquitt County QB Jay Saunders came into his own last week, when he threw for 376 yards.
–Roswell (4-0) at Archer (1-3) – Archer obviously isn’t the same team that won 11 games each of the past three seasons, but give the Tigers credit for its schedule. They’ve about to play No. 1 Roswell. They lost to No. 2 Mill Creek 31-10. They play No. 3 Grayson on Oct. 14. They lost to No. 4 McEachern 27-24. They lost to No. 5 Norcross 35-16. Archer coach Andy Dyer is going to be the most qualified color commentator in the playoffs, offering insights on all the contenders, except that his team still stands a good chance of making the playoffs out of Region 8. Note that Roswell is No. 5, No. 7, No. 8, No. 12 and No. 17 in national rankings
Here are the projected margins of victory for games involving 7A teams this week –
Brookwood at Berkmar -40
Coffee vs. Tift Co. -6
East Coweta vs. Arabia Mountain -9
Forsyth Cent. vs. Kennesaw Mtn. -5
Lakeside, Atl. vs. Meadowcreek -21
Lassiter vs. South Forsyth -2
Lowndes vs. Mount Zion, Jones. -39
Marietta at Campbell -28
McEachern at Camden Co. -19
Mill Creek at Collins Hill -37
Newton vs. Heritage, Conyers -27
Norcross vs. Central Gwinnett -24
North Cobb vs. Pebblebrook -29
North Gwinnett vs. Mtn. View -10
North Paulding at Cherokee -8
Peachtree Ridge vs. Discovery -38
Pope vs. North Atlanta -9
Roswell at Archer -20
South Gwinnett vs. Hillgrove -5
SW DeKalb at Rockdale Co. -21
Sprayberry at South Cobb -12
Valdosta vs. Colquitt Co. -4
Walton vs. Dacula -4
West Forsyth vs. Newnan -7
Westlake vs. Lithonia -31
Wheeler at Lambert -1
Woodstock vs. North Forsyth -4