Here are five games to watch this week involving Class AAAAAAA teams.
Hoover (0-0) at Grayson (0-0) – A year ago, Grayson played IMG Academy in this schedule slot, and local rivals got so ticked off about it that IMG was later banned by the GHSA as a scheduled opponent of Georgia schools in any sport. That’s because IMG is a semi-independent school that recruits Georgia players. Sorry for the digression. It’s always fun to see Hoover play Georgia teams. This is a game between reigning state champions from the highest classifications. Hoover - ranked No. 9 nationally in preseason by USA Today - has won 10 state titles since 2000 and is 2-3 vs. Georgia teams. More on this (and the Colquitt County-Vista Murrietta game) in GHSF Daily’s Top 10 Games, but Grayson beat Hoover 36-14 last season largely because of defense and turnovers.
Collins Hill (1-0) at Norcross (0-1) – Norcross plays good defense but has to move the ball more. In the 20-17 loss to Colquitt County, new QB Louis Williams was 17-of-25 passing for 134 yards against Colquitt County but was sacked six times. Norcross had no running game. Collins Hill’s new coach is Lenny Gregory, who was at Centennial last season. He’s about as well known as the defensive coordinator at Grayson during the Robert Nkemdiche era. In Collins Hill, he inherits a program that went 2-8 last season but has made the quarterfinals or better three of the past seven seasons.
Brookwood (0-1) at Walton (1-0) – Brookwood and Walton had different experiences of the Corky Kell Classic. In mild upsets, Brookwood lost to Archer while Walton beat North Gwinnett. One bit of suspense Friday will be whether Walton five-star WR Dominick Blaylock will play. He suffered an off-season injury in baseball, and his return appears imminent. He dressed out last week but wasn’t released by doctors. He still hasn't been, but the moment is near. Brookwood has a great wide receiver of its own, AJC Super 11 pick Matthew Hill, who recently committed to Auburn.
Mountain View (1-0) at Lambert (0-0) – Interesting game here between lower-profile playoff teams. Mountain View was 8-3 last year (its first winning season) and beat Lambert 28-24 in the regular season. Mountain View has a terrific wide receiver named Malachi Carter. He caught 58 balls for 1,012 yards in just 11 games. Lambert has a preseason all-state cornerback, Kenneth Dicks III.
Hughes (1-0) at Westlake (0-0) – Westlake is ranked No. 6 largely on a 2016 semifinal finish and the return of six first-team all-region players.Not sure what that means, though. It’s not a strong region. Gone are LB Jaden Hunter (Georgia) and A.J. Terrell (Clemson). Westlake lost to Hughes 10-9 last season. Not that Hughes is bad, but Hughes is a lower-classification team, and folks wrote off Westlake after that loss and a 1-3 start. Then a couple of months later, Westlake was playing Roswell in the state semifinals.
Here are Maxwell’s projected margins of victory for games involve Class AAAAAAA teams this week. The favored team is on the left.
Alcovy vs Meadowcreek 14
Archer vs Peachtree Ridge 12
Cedar Shoals at Discovery 4
Centennial vs Wheeler 3
Central Gwinnett vs Dacula 1
Cherokee at Sequoyah 10
Dawson County at Forsyth Central 6
Duluth at Berkmar 17
Johns Creek at North Forsyth 4
Lambert vs Mountain View 1
Lassiter vs Pope 28
Mill Creek at Stephenson 31
Newton vs Eastside 16
Norcross vs Collins Hill 15
North Cobb at Etowah 10
North Gwinnett at Milton 2
Parkview vs Shiloh 25
Rockdale County vs Chattahoochee 1
South Cobb at Campbell 15
South Forsyth vs Pinecrest Academy 35
South Gwinnett at Lanier 5
Tift County vs Cook 27
Tucker vs Lakeside 41
Walton vs Brookwood 3
West Forsyth at Pace Academy 14
Westlake vs Hughes 6