Norcross Blue Devils (7-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Keith Maloof
Record: 5-0, 2-0 region
Last week: Beat Meadowcreek 59-14
Berkmar Patriots (7-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Willie Gary
Record: 0-4, 0-2 region
Last week: Lost to Duluth 60-16
It’s been a rough season from the start for Berkmar, which saw its first two games called off by COVID-19 issues. The Patriots haven’t found their footing since returning to play with an 0-4 start. They hope to get some positives out of Friday night against unbeaten and state-ranked Norcross, which has outscored Berkmar 206-0 the past four years.
The Blue Devils overwhelmed Meadowcreek last week, going up 28-0 after a quarter and 49-0 at halftime.
The offensive line — led by Quinton Bradford’s 87 percent blocking grade and two pancake blocks — played well and allowed the offense to make quick work of the Mustangs. Norcross’ playmakers last week included Mason Kaplan (9 of 15 passing for 153 yards, TD), Lawson Luckie (three catches for 77 yards), Zion Alexander (two catches for 32 yards, TD, 40-yard run, one tackle, two pass breakups on defense) and Kaleb Jackson (eight rushes for 64 yards, two TDs).
“These guys are playing good at a high-level speed,” Maloof said. “They're just really doing the things they need to do, and it goes back to practice. They're doing them in practice. They're practicing at a high level, and they can come out and do it in the games no matter who their opponent is.
“And as long as we keep playing great defense, we give ourselves a chance on offense. And offensively, we've got a ton of weapons. We've just got to find a way to get the ball to them.”
Norcross’ defense also played well against Meadowcreek, pitching a first-half shutout before allowing the starters to rest. The unit was led last week by Jamesky Blanchard (eight tackles, one for loss, one sack), Jalen Garner (seven tackles, two for losses, one big hit, one pass breakup), Zakye Barker (seven tackles, three for losses), Zemetrick Larry (seven tackles, two for losses) and Lovelle Williams (six tackles).
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Norcross won 55-0 last year
Location: Berkmar Patriots