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THE BLITZ: Is it too early to start talking playoffs?

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.

Falling stars

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.

Comments

NGHS09 1 year, 12 months ago

It is better to say the Norcross defense is pretty good if they hold a team like MC or NG or Collins Hill to 26 yards....not Mountainview. That defense gave up over 300 to NG over 400 to MC and allowed Collins Hill to hang around (you could sprinkle in South Gwinnett as well). I just don't see them being able to idetify the freight train that will hit them in the second round (Grayson) and third round (Camden). I don't think they will have enough to outlast both of those juggernauts. A stable of athletes is great, but experience and coaching win state titles.

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Brandon Brigman 1 year, 12 months ago

NGHS - I understand what you're saying, but when you hold a team in 6A to less than 100 yards of total offense, that's pretty good. Also, you have to factor in you're pure hatred for Norcross. :)

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Q 1 year, 12 months ago

Nice to give all of those fine RBs name recognition in your blog but you and I know it will come down to overall performance to determine the few select All County RBs. Could you provide your readers with total yards, TDs, and their teams W-L record? That;s what will tell us who the best backs are don't ya think?

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Brandon Brigman 1 year, 12 months ago

Q - We'll actually pick two RBs for first-team all-county, two for the 2nd team and two for the third team. If someone like Carson or Kamara ends up being the POY, that will open up another slot. Carson, Lewis, Kamara, Fowler have rushed for 1,000 yards or more and have 10 or more TDs. The rest of the guys are in the 700-900 yard range and will break 1,000 yards most likely. But as you point how their team does will be a big factor. If a team like Parkview goes deep, that will help Carson's stock. Same thing for Kamara, Lewis, etc.

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NGHS09 1 year, 12 months ago

LOL It's only pure hatred when they play North, but other than that I support the Blue Devils. Seriously though, their defense has to play lights out to make it to the semis...I hope they do it. It's about darn time Magoof took his plethora of athletes deep into the playoffs. Grayson in the only defense that can stop Camden's offense. Their defensive grade depends on how well the coaches prepare each week, not on the players. Everyone knows how talented the players are. Honestly, I hope all region 7 teams make the quarter finals :) Sorry region 8!

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ITGuy 1 year, 12 months ago

No problem, but truth be told, Region 7's 3rd and 4th seed would not make the playoffs if they were in Region 8 this year. Region 8 is 5 to 6 playoff teams deep. Good luck in the second round. LOL.

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MojoRising 1 year, 12 months ago

Grayson's defense is not the only one in this county that has a shot at stopping Camden. The issue Grayson will have with anyone is scoring and keeping the football. Their offense is as average as it has ever been. That was part of the strength during their last few years of dominance in Region 8. They could keep the ball away, too. Not this year.

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NGHS09 1 year, 11 months ago

Say what you will about the Rams, but this offense is FAR better and deeper in depth (especially @ RB) than the 2009 and 2010 Grayson offenses.

@ITGuy...It's all about Gwinnett County when talking playoffs, regardless of which team wins. I pull for Gwinnett no matter what.

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