Grayson Rams (4-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Adam Carter
Last week: Beat Mill Creek 20-13 in double overtime
South Gwinnett Comets (4-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Steve Davenport
Last week: Beat Shiloh 20-13
The neighboring schools with a history — Grayson pulled its students from South Gwinnett when it opened in 2000 — are both off to strong starts to the high school football season.
Nationally ranked Grayson survived a major scare from Mill Creek last Friday and remained unbeaten, while South defeated rival Shiloh and improved to 4-1 on the season. The Comets’ only blemish is a loss to Norcross, also an unbeaten team. All of the success so far doesn’t mean anything in the playoff chase — that begins Friday with the start of region play.
Grayson faced its stiffest test of the season from Mill Creek, but made the necessary plays to pull out a win. Both defenses ruled in a game that was tied 6-6 after regulation — the Rams forced overtime with a field goal from Jimmy Gonzalez with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After trading touchdowns in the first overtime, DeYon Cannon hit Jaden Smith for a 9-yard TD pass that proved to be the game-winner after the Grayson defense held Mill Creek from scoring.
“We had a couple kids in overtime and late in the fourth quarter that found a way to make some plays, so that was a positive,” Carter said. “We’ll find a way to build off of it and we have a bunch of stuff to fix, but it’s much better to come out with a win and it be ugly than a loss.”
South’s game with Shiloh also ended in thrilling fashion with a late defensive stop. The Comets trailed at halftime, but outscored Shiloh 12-0 in the second half. It went ahead for good on Khoreem Miller’s 70-yard TD run with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter. Miller also rushed for a third-quarter score.
“It was a hard-fought rivalry game,” Davenport said. “We knew what to expect. They were going to come over here excited about beating us, and we had to do the same thing to match that intensity.”
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Grayson 35-7 last year
Location: South Gwinnett High School