South Gwinnett Comets (4-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Steve Davenport
Last week: Beat Meadowcreek 43-12
Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Jason Thompson
Last week: Lost to Jefferson 61-7
Aside from a hiatus in 1998-99, these two schools have played annually since 1957. The old rivalry renews Friday with two teams coming off opposite results.
South has opened the season with back-to-back, convincing victories over North Paulding (33-14) and Meadowcreek. The ground game and a strong night from the offensive line were key in last Friday’s win, as was the ability to force Meadowcreek turnovers.
“They’re fighting hard,” Davenport said of the offensive line. “We’ve got two kids up there we had no idea would be playing varsity football for us. But they’re working their butts off and giving it everything they’ve got. And we’ve got some running backs that are running the ball hard and we’ve got a level of competition there.”
Khoreem Miller rushed 19 times for 131 yards and five touchdowns, while Nigel Hussey made plays in multiple phases, including three catches for 133 yards and a score. Damion Clark, Isaiah Thomas, Ty VanHassel, Alphonse Russo and Aristotle Henson led the way up front.
Xavier McDowell (11 tackles, four for losses, one sack, one fumble recovery, one interception), Ethan Ramos (five tackles, one for loss, one pass breakup, one forced fumble) and Elijah Johnson (eight tackles, two for losses, one sack) were the Comets’ defensive standouts.
After blanking rival Discovery 21-0 in the season opener, Central took a lopsided loss last Friday against Jefferson. Moses Pryor was one of the bright spots with nine tackles (six solos, one for loss), while Mekhi Mews was the top playmaker with eight catches for 62 Yards, and four kickoff returns for 83 yards.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: South won 36-7 last year
Location: Central Gwinnett High School