Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Jason Thompson
Record: 1-5, 0-2 region
Last week: Lost to Shiloh 41-34
Lanier Longhorns (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Korey Mobbs
Record: 3-1, 0-1 region
Last week: Had a bye
Lanier had last week off after a disappointing 28-27 loss to Dacula, which has been the only team keeping the Longhorns from region titles in recent seasons. Mobbs’ team came close to knocking off Dacula, a Final Four team each of the last two seasons, but came up just short. Yanis Kasende (seven tackles, two pass breakups) and Kyle King (five tackles, two for losses) were among the defensive standouts in that game, while quarterback Andrew Blackford completed 17 of 27 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Claypole had a great night on both sides of the ball.
“We are excited about the challenge that Central Gwinnett brings for us Friday night,” Mobbs said. “Central is very athletic on both sides of the ball. Our goal is to continue to play physical for four quarters with discipline and focus against a very quality opponent.”
Both teams are seeking their first region win.
“We are excited to get to play another week against a very good Gwinnett County and region opponent,” Thompson said. “They run great schemes on offense, defense and special teams. They do a great job on offense spreading the ball around and utilizing their talent. Their defense is very fundamentally sound and well-coached, as well as their special teams.”
Central’s offense nearly guided the way to a region win last Friday in a high-scoring matchup with Shiloh. Quarterback Justin Johnson had a huge night, completing 23 of 40 passes for 348 yards and five TDs, in addition to rushing seven times for 57 yards.
Wideouts Mekhi Mews (10 catches for 159 yards, two TDs) and Eldrick Mason (five catches for 83 yards, two TDs) continue to produce for the Black Knights.
“We hope to get healthy this week and build upon our offensive production from last week,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we hope to play a little better assignment-wise and not give up the big plays like we did against Shiloh. Special Teams played sound against Shiloh and we hope to continue to improve there as well.”
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Lanier won 36-12 last year
Location: Lanier High School