Archer Tigers (7-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Andy Dyer
Last week: Lost to Grayson 26-7
North Gwinnett Bulldogs (8-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Bill Stewart
Last week: Lost to Lovejoy 19-7
A tremendous start full of noteworthy wins hit a roadblock last Friday for North, which stumbled at home against Lovejoy. The offense struggled, while the defense continued its stout early-season play and provided the Bulldogs’ only points on a pick-six by Austin Wainwright. Kemar Brown (14 tackles, two for losses, two sacks) and Chris Choi (eight tackles, two for losses, one sack) had big games, as did sophomore Kayden McDonald (six tackles, three for losses, one sack). McDonald, a 6-foot-4, 330-pounder, picked up college offers from Georgia and Tennessee this week.
The Bulldogs look to play more like the team that beat McEachern, Jones County and Parkview to open the season. That’s the team Archer expects to see.
“Coach Stewart is a great ball coach and he has a very talented team,” Dyer said. “We are going to have to get ourselves up emotionally again and continue to strain to get better. We must take care of the ball and not beat ourselves in critical situations. We are excited to get the chance to put the ball down again and play.”
An inexperienced Archer team continues its incredibly hard early-season schedule that already featured Lowndes, Warner Robins and Grayson. Turnovers, particularly in the red zone, hurt the Tigers last week against Grayson. The trailed only 8-0 at halftime and only 11-0 until late in the third quarter, when a Grayson pick-six extended the lead.
Archer lost three fumbles and threw a pair of interceptions, miscues that have to be cleaned up against top competition. Its defense did plenty of good things against a stacked Grayson offense, and provided the team’s only points on an interception for touchdown by Caleb Wooden, who also had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt.
Jake Craven had 15 tackles (12 solos, one for loss) for Archer, while Broderick Buck (10 tackles, interception) and Adalani Agunbiade (five solo tackles, three for losses, one sack).
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: North won 34-32 in 2013
Location: North Gwinnett High School