North Fulton/Forsyth County football playoff preview

Nine first round matchups set

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Class 7A

 

(1) South Forsyth vs. (4) Mountain View

All-time series: 1-1

South Forsyth (9-1, 5-0)

Points per game: 36.2

Allowed per game: 12.8

All-time playoff record: 6-12

2016 playoffs: Lost to Parkview (30-27) in the first round

Mountain View (8-2, 4-2)

Points per game: 39

Allowed per game: 12.8

All-time playoff record: 0-1

2016 playoffs: Lost to Grayson (56-7) in the first round

 

South Forsyth claimed its second region championship in three years last Friday, going 5-0 in Region 5-AAAAAAA. Even with the No. 1 seed, the War Eagles will have a tough draw in the first round against Mountain View.

South has relied on steady offense and a solid defensive play throughout the season. On paper, they match up evenly with the Bears. Both teams average over 36 points per game while their defenses allow fewer than two scores per game.

The War Eagles will rely on Cal Morris, coming off a four-touchdown performance last week, and strong running back Jared Honey. Both have surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season.

Mountain View’s offense is led by quarterback Matthew Edwards who has compiled 2,143 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. South’s defense will also face multiple rushers from Mountain View who averaged 165 yards rushing per game.

South holds the advantage in playoff experience. The Bears program began in 2009 and has made just one playoff appearance in 2016.

The two teams last met in 2015 where South came away with a 45-14 win.

 

(2) Milton vs. (3) Collins Hill

All-time series: First meeting

Milton (8-2, 4-1)

Points per game: 28.1

Allowed per game: 13.5

All-time playoff record: 3-14

2016 playoffs: Lost to Norcross (24-10) in the first round

Collins Hill (6-4, 4-2)

Points per game: 27.3

Allowed per game: 20.3

All-time playoff record: 13-13

2016 playoffs: Failed to reach playoffs

 

Milton compiled an 8-1 record in head coach Adam Clack’s debut season and will make their second-straight playoff appearance this year. In a battle of the Eagles, Milton will take on Collins Hill in Lenny Gregory’s first season at the helm.

Milton enters the game hoping to ride on the momentum of big plays that powered their last two wins.

Quarterback Jordan Yates has had a standout junior season, throwing for over 1800 yards and rushing for nearly 800. He scored five total touchdowns in Milton’s regular season finale.

Running back Solomon Vanhorse has compiled over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns this season behind a sizeable and experienced offensive line.

They will face a Collins Hill defense averaging 20 points allowed per game against the talented offenses of Region 6-AAAAAAA.

Collins Hill will likely look to its running game against Milton. Collins Hill averaged 251 yards rushing per game this season, led by senior Evan Anderson who has 1,111 yards and 14 touchdowns this year.

Milton’s defense will look to limit Collins Hill’s opportunities. Collins Hill is 6-0 when scoring 24 or more points this season.

 

(3) West Forsyth vs. (2) Mill Creek

All-time series: Mill Creek 2-0

West Forsyth (7-3, 3-2)

Points per game: 23.6

Allowed per game: 19.3

All-time playoff record: 3-6

2016 playoffs: Lost to Brookwood (45-42) in the first round

Mill Creek (7-3, 4-2)

Points per game: 31.9

Allowed per game: 15.1

All-time playoff record: 10-6

2016 playoffs: Lost to Grayson (44-26) in the semifinals

 

West Forsyth earned its third straight trip to the postseason in Shawn Cahill’s debut season. The Wolverines will take on Mill Creek who have gone 6-2 and made two semifinals appearances in the last two years in the playoffs.

West’s defense will face the Hawks strong running game, which averages nearly 200 yards per game behind Uriah Leverette and Rafael Morales. The duo has combined for 13 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards this season.

The Mill Creek defense compiled 26 sacks this season and 13 turnovers.

West quarterback Zachary Burns will look for his top receiver in tight end Ben Bresnahan to lead West’s offense attack. West is averaging 24 points per game and have scored 28 or more points in three of their last four games.

The Wolverines are seeking their first playoff win since 2012.

 

(4) North Forsyth vs. (1) North Gwinnett

All-time series: North Gwinnett 4-0

North Forsyth (5-5, 2-3)

Points per game: 30.1

Allowed per game: 28.9

All-time playoff record: 6-8

2016 playoffs: Failed to reach playoffs

North Gwinnett (9-1, 6-0)

Points per game: 37.1

Allowed per game: 13.8

All-time playoff record: 15-15

2016 playoffs: Lost to South Gwinnett (17-13) in the first round

 

North Forsyth earned its first playoff berth in four years and will look for their first postseason win since 2005 when they face Region 6-AAAAAAA champions North Gwinnett on the road.

Their first meeting since 2009 will feature two high-powered offenses. The Raiders enter the game averaging 434 yards of offense per game while the Bulldogs average 363.

North Forsyth is led by quarterback Ben Bales who has accumulated 2,861 yards passing with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this year. Bryson Trigg has 927 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns in nine games.

The Bulldogs rushing attack is led by Tyler Goodson and Devin Crosby who have combined for 17 total touchdowns. QB Jimmy Urzua has 1,191 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games.

The Raiders’ offense will face a challenging Bulldogs defense that has given up just 21 total points in their last four games. The Raiders have been held to under 17 points or less their last three games.

North Gwinnett has scored 41 or more points in four straight matchups and are riding a nine-game win streak entering the playoffs.

 

(4) Roswell vs. (1) Hillgrove

All-time series: Hillgrove 1-0

Roswell (3-7, 2-3)

Points per game: 21.8

Allowed per game: 30

All-time playoff record: 36-26

2016 playoffs: Lost to Grayson (23-20, OT) in the state championship

Hillgrove (7-3, 4-1)

Points per game: 28.8

Allowed per game: 24.2

All-time playoff record: 8-8

2016 playoffs: Lost to Lowndes (92-61) in the first round.

 

It’s been a frustrating year for Roswell. The Hornets have gone 3-7 after replacing 20 starters and nearly their entire coaching staff. But in the final week of the regular season, a win and a help from Etowah propelled the Hornets back into the playoffs.

Roswell tied with Lassiter at 2-3 in region play, but the Hornets held the tiebreaker with a 36-30 overtime win on Oct. 6. That was just enough to put them in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Facing the Hornets is Region 3-AAAAAAA champions Hillgrove. The Hawks enter the postseason having won seven of their last eight games.

The Hornets offense is led by senior quarterback Cordel Littlejohn who has compiled over 1,000 yards passing and 600 yards rushing on the season. Joining Littlejohn in the backfield is sizeable and speedy rusher Kamonty Jett who has over 1,100 yards rushing and five 100-yard plus games this season.

Littlejohn has reliable targets in receivers Walt Warren and Tyneil Hopper. The Hornets enter their playoff matchup after their highest point total of the season, a 56-20 win over Cherokee.

They will face a Hillgrove defense that allowed a combined 17 points to North Cobb and McEachern in their last two games.

Roswell’s defense will have to contain Hillgrove’s high-powered offense which has scored 42 or more points in two of their last three games.

 

Class 6A

 

(1) Alpharetta vs. (4) Gainesville

All-time series: Alpharetta 2-0

Alpharetta (9-1, 8-0)

Points per game: 31.8

Allowed per game: 13.4

All-time playoff record: 2-6

2016 playoffs: Lost to Alexander (20-13) in the first round

Gainesville (4-6, 3-2)

Points per game: 17.5

Allowed per game: 25-3

All-time playoff record: 71-50

2016 playoffs: Lost to Harrison (45-24) in the first round

 

Alpharetta and Gainesville meet for the second time this season, but there’s a lot more at stake this time.

The Raiders took down Gainesville 29-7 on Aug. 26 and the two teams will meet in the playoffs for the first time next Friday.

Alpharetta will look to continue its winning streak, now at nine games entering the matchup. The Raiders defense, led by a host of experienced seniors, has been crucial to Alpharetta’s success. The Raiders haven’t given up more than two touchdowns since their 34-31 win over Centennial Sept. 8.

When the two teams met earlier this season, the Red Elephants were held to 177 yards of total offense. Tre’ Lutell threw for 76 yards on 13 completions and Montavious Tabor led the team in rushing with 61 yards.

Alpharetta’s offense is led by quarterback Matthew Downing and running back Nolan Edmonds. Downing has over 1,700 yards passing this season and has running ability.

Downing went 16-27 for 194 yards and a touchdown against Gainesville in September.

After missing much of the first half of the season due to injury, Edmonds has come on strong since his return. He has over 800 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns this season.

The Raiders will be seeking their first playoff win since they won their last region title in 2014.

 

(2) Centennial vs. (3) Lanier

All-time series: First meeting

Centennial (8-2, 7-1)

Points per game: 41

Allowed per game: 25

All-time playoff record: 2-5

2016 playoffs: Lost to Northgate (20-16) in the first round

Lanier (6-4, 3-2)

Points per game: 21.3

Allowed per game: 20.9

All-time playoff record: 2-4

2016 playoffs: Lost to Allatoona (28-6) in the first round.

 

Centennial is back in the playoffs in head coach Michael Perry’s debut season. With that goal accomplished, the Knights look to earn their first playoff win in 15 years.

Behind a high-powered offense and a stingy defense, the Knights will look to drop Lanier in the first meeting between the programs.

Quarterback Max Brosmer heads into the game as one the most prolific QB’s in the state in Class 6A. Brosmer has compiled 2,991 yards passing and 27 total touchdowns. He averaged 319 yards per game passing in the regular season.

The Knights’ receiving core is led by standout Blane Mason who has over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. Cal Dickie has 919 yards receiving and six touchdowns.

Dickie also adds to the Knights’ rushing attack. Emeka Nwanze has just under 1,100 yards this season with five 100-yard plus performances.

Centennial has surrendered just 41 points in their last four games and has not allowed more than 28 points in seven straight contests.

The Knights will ride a seven-game winning streak into the first round against the balanced Longhorns.

Lanier averages 145 yards passing and 149 yards rushing per game this season. Their defense has allowed under three scores in two of their last three games.

 

(3) Chattahoochee vs. (2) Winder-Barrow

All-time series: First meeting

Chattahoochee (7-3, 6-2)

Points per game: 30

Allowed per game: 29.4

All-time playoff record: 16-12

2016 playoffs: Failed to reach playoffs

Winder-Barrow (8-2, 2-3)

Points per game: 30.4

Allowed per game: 22.7

All-time playoff record: 3-14

2016 playoffs: Lost to Dalton (42-7) in the first round

 

Friday’s playoff tilt between Chattahoochee and Winder-Barrow features two teams hungry for postseason success. Hooch is making its playoff appearance since 2012 while the Bulldogs are seeking their first playoff win in 24 years.

Chattahoochee’s offense will look to a young starting quarterback to lead the charge. Jack Corrigan was lost to a leg break in the Cougars win over Pope Oct. 20, opening the position for sophomore Damon Stewart.

Stewart has compiled just under 200 yards passing in his two starts and has shown to be extremely elusive in the pocket.

Chattahoochee’s run game is powered by Max Webb who has over 1,200 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns this year. Andrew Thomas is one of Hooch’s top receivers and is also effective on the ground in Hooch’s jet sweep.

Chattahoochee’s defense will face a balanced Bulldogs’ offense averaging nearly 400 yards per game. QB Brock Landis is near the 2,000-yard mark for the season and is the team’s second-leading rusher. He has compiled 22 touchdowns this season.

The matchup will feature two defenses giving up over 28 points per game in their last three contests.

 

Class 4A

 

(2) Blessed Trinity vs. (3) Oconee County

All-time series: Blessed Trinity 2-0

Blessed Trinity (8-2, 3-1)

Points per game: 33.2

Allowed per game: 16.2

All-time playoff record: 13-9

2016 playoffs: Lost to Mary Persons (28-27) in the quarterfinals

Oconee Co. (5-5, 2-3)

Points per game: 29.7

Allowed per game: 26

All-time playoff record: 21-21

2016 playoffs: Lost to Northwest Whitfield (31-20) in the first round

Blessed Trinity has earned a playoff berth for the seventh straight year and face Oconee County for the first time since 2009.

BT brings its talented offense into the game after scoring 21 or more points in four of their last five games of the regular season.

Leading the charge is quarterback Jake Smith who compiled 1,569 yards in the regular season with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His go-to target has been junior receiver Ryan Davis who has 909 yards on 46 receptions this year with eight scores.

Steele Chambers and Elijah Green have shared the rushing duties. Chambers has 902 yards and 15 touchdowns while Green has compiled 779 yards and seven touchdowns.

BT’S defense, which has yet to allow more than 27 points in a game this season, faces a balanced offensive attack from the Warriors.

Behind sophomore quarterback Max Johnson, the Warriors average 165 yards passing per game. Jarvis Stevens leads the rushing attack with 792 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games.

The Warriors defense has allowed 30 or more points in six games this season. 


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