Editor’s Note: Brandon Brigman, a sports writer for the Daily Post, writes a blog every Monday called “The Blitz.” It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com.
The state playoffs are still a few weeks away, but I had take a look at the playoff brackets. Here are a few observations with three weeks left in the regular season.
• Region 7-AAAAAA and Region 8-AAAAAA won't meet in the first round this year. That's the good news. The bad news is the Gwinnett power regions will meet in the second round.
• The No. 2 seed from Region 8 (Brookwood or Grayson) will have to face the Region 7 champion (Norcross) in the second round.
• The top right part of the bracket could be the toughest in the state. It will have Region 1's champion (Camden County or Lowndes), Region 7's champion (Norcross) and one of the last two state champions (Brookwood or Grayson).
• The No. 3 seed from Region 8 will have a shot to go deep in the playoffs.
• We may get a South Gwinnett vs. Lassiter matchup in the first round. The last time they played it was a 70-49 win by the Trojans for one of the state's highest scoring games.
IMPRESSIONS FROM FRIDAY
Grayson good, but not great (yet)
I was impressed with the way Grayson beat South Gwinnett on Friday. After a close first half, it was typical Grayson football in the second half. Play good defense, get a short field on offense and score. The Rams piled on the points in the second half.
Their biggest Kryptonite is penalties. The same thing that cost them in the their loss to Parkview, haunted them against South. Personal fouls and unsportsmanlike penalties in the playoffs will cost you a state title.
I was looking forward to seeing Jordan Ramey orchestrate South's potent offense. But it never happened in Friday's loss to Grayson.
Ramey and the Comets could never get anything going on offense. The defense was the most impressive unit, but they could only do so much before being worn down in the second half.
All-County RB hard to pick
At the end of the season when we pick our all-county team, I'm not sure how we're going to choose a running back. Mill Creek's Jacorey Lewis made a good case by rushing for 300 yards and 6 TDs in Friday's win. You still have to consider Parkview's Chris Carson, Norcross' Alvin Kamara and Archer's Sean Fowler. Throw in GAC's Kyle Scales and Buford's Dontravious Wilson. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot Brookwood's Jamaal Cole, Dacula's Marcus Cox and Grayson's Wayne Gallman.
Seriously, how do you pick a first-team all-county running back out of that group? Someone very worthy is going to be left off, unfortunately.
Norcross' D pretty good, too
With all the skill players playing offense for Norcross, the defense probably doesn't get as much credit as it deserves.
The unit allowed 26 yards on Friday against Mountain View.
FROM MY NOTEBOOK
Passion of the Rams
I asked Grayson head coach Mickey Conn last week what was different about his team since the loss to Parkview. It was pretty simple and doesn't have to do with X's and O's.
"They are playing with passion," Conn said. "They are playing every snap like their life depended on it. That's what we've done the last four weeks."
WHAT'S ON TAP?
Pretty good slate of games this week in Gwinnett County. Here are a few of the best.
Archer at South Gwinnett
This will be an interesting battle of Archer's power running game vs. South's spread offense. I think the loser of this game misses the playoffs.
Dacula at Shiloh
Dacula is still searching for its first win. The Falcons have defeated Shiloh a combined 79-0 the last three years. Shiloh appears to be an improved team. The Generals can show they are building a program with a win over Dacula.
Norcross at Peachtree Ridge
This is Norcross' last big hurdle before winning the region title. They finish the season against winless Meadowcreek. Peachtree Ridge is hanging onto its playoff hopes and needs the win to stay in the hunt.
North Gwinnett at Collins Hill
The battle of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road is also a fight for the No. 2 seed in Region 7, which is big because it means a home playoff game.