Archer Tigers (8-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Andy Dyer
Record: 3-2, 0-0 region
Last week: Had a bye
Newton Rams (8-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Camiel Grant
Record: 5-1, 1-0 region
Last week: Beat South Gwinnett 19-0
While most Gwinnett County Public Schools’ football programs moved this week’s games to Thursday because of Fall Break, Archer won’t play until Saturday afternoon thanks to Newton sharing a stadium.
“We got an extra day of preparation, that’s how we looked at it, just an extra day of prep,” Archer head coach Andy Dyer said. “We’ve been able to work on us and we haven’t been in as big of a rush to get prepared as when you’re trying to get everything crammed in.”
With an off date last Friday, Archer had more than two weeks to get ready for Newton, which has only lost to Buford (by a 42-14 score). Archer also lost to Buford, falling 29-28 in overtime in its last outing.
The Tigers expect a tough test from Newton in a difficult environment. The Saturday afternoon kickoff also is unique, a repeat of the 2017 when Archer barely escaped Covington with a 20-19 win.
“They’ve got a lot of team speed,” Dyer said of Newton. “They’ve got a couple of guys as soon as they touch the ball they can go to the house. We’ve got to do a good job tackling in space. They’ve got a solid football team. Coach (Camiel Grant) is doing a great job. For us, it’s the first region game and that’s a big deal. We need to get out of the gate and be 1-0.”
Archer closed its last game against Buford with a flurry, marching on a long drive to force overtime and going ahead in the extra period. It lost when the Wolves converted a two-point conversion to close the first OT. Jordon Swain (18 rushes, 120 yards, touchdown, two catches for 16 yards) continues to be a big part of the offense, while Derek Harden, Ethan Lane and Aiden Aufderheide played well along the line. Jalen Williams (11 tackles) and Tyler Roach (10 tackles, two for losses, one sack) led the defense.
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Last meeting: Archer won 40-14 last year
Location: Homer Sharp Stadium, Covington