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PREVIEW: Habersham Central at Norcross

Norcross' Blake Wood

Norcross' Blake Wood

Habersham Raiders (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Stuart Cunningham

Record: 0-5, 0-2 region

Last week: Lost to Peachtree Ridge 30-7

Norcross Blue Devils (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Keith Maloof

Record: 5-0, 2-0 region

Last week: Beat Mill Creek 49-41

Norcross and Habersham Central used to play each other on a yearly basis when the two teams were in Region 8-AAAA in the early 1990s. The Raiders have moved back to the state’s largest classification and have struggled. Habersham is winless through the midway point of the season and has scored just 29 points all year.

“I see a team capable of playing with us if we’re not ready to play,” Norcross coach Keith Maloof said. “Games like this, we have to improve. We have to play four quarters.”

Habersham runs the triple option, an offense the Blue Devils rarely see.

“Their quarterback does a good job running the offense and he can throw it,” Maloof said. “You have to be ready and really disciplined on defense.”

Norcross had a 35-point lead over Mill Creek in the third quarter of last week’s game, but nearly let the lead slip away. The Blue Devils held on to a 49-41 victory to remain unbeaten. They rushed for more than 200 yards thanks to the blocking of offensive lineman Blake Wood. The junior had three pancake blocks and faced one of the nation’s top defensive linemen in Kelsey Griffin.

Last meeting: Habersham Central won 20-6 in 1997

Directions to Norcross High School: From I-85, go west on Beaver Ruin Road to Buford Highway and turn right. At the next light, turn left on Langford Drive. Cross Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and turn left on Spalding Drive. School is on the left.