A host of Mill Creek defenders pull downs North Gwinnett's Ashton Wood(14) during Friday’s game played at North Gwinnett.(Photo: Craig Cappy)

Mountain View Bears (8-AAAAAAA)

Coach: John Poitevint

Record: 1-5, 0-0 region

Last week: Had a bye

Mill Creek Hawks (8-AAAAAAA)

Coach: Josh Lovelady

Record: 2-4, 0-1 region

Last week: Lost to Norcross 23-20 in double overtime

For the second time in three weeks, Mill Creek lost a double-overtime heartbreaker, falling last Friday at Norcross. The theme has been familiar for the Hawks the past four games — outstanding defense and special teams while searching for answers offensively. They defeated West Forsyth without scoring an offensive touchdown on Oct. 2, then have lost three straight to powers Grayson, North Gwinnett and Norcross.

Mill Creek hasn’t scored an offensive touchdown in regulation in 19 quarters, dating back to a first-quarter TD against Brookwood on Sept. 25. The offense, traditionally strong in the running game, averages 71.5 yards on the ground and 98 through the air.

The defense has kept the Hawks in tight games every week except for the North Gwinnett loss behind standouts like Caleb Downs (43 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception), Noah Allen (38 tackles, two sacks), Jack Clayton (41 tackles, seven for losses, two sacks), Emon Hill (29 tackles, 11 pass breakups), Josiah Jordan (38 tackles), Christian McIntyre (34 tackles, seven for losses, two sacks), Prince Morgan (31 tackles, three for losses, two sacks), Bryson Taylor (40 tackles, one interception) and Brycen Williams (30 tackles).

Mountain View had a bye last week after a 47-20 loss to Brookwood, its fifth straight setback since a season-opening win over Shiloh.

The Bears have moved the ball predominantly through the passing game with quarterback Nathan Payne, who has thrown for 987 yards and 10 TDs. Wide receivers Mossiah Carter (36 catches, 463 yards, seven TDs) and Marcus Brand (32 catches, 359 yards, two TDs) are both having big seasons.

Mountain View’s top defensive performers have included Jaquan Ivy (75 tackles), Jordan Eccleston (68 tackles), Corbitt Maggert (46 tackles, five for losses), Derrick Smith (42 tackles) and Darren Baggett (23 tackles, two interceptions).

Mill Creek has won seven of the last eight games between the schools — its only loss was 20-17 in 2017.

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Mill Creek won 41-14 last year

Location: Mill Creek High School

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