By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
We’re down to the final eight teams in Georgia high school football. Let’s take a look at the Elite Eight in AAAAAAA.
# 10 Mill Creek vs # 6 Marietta: Mill Creek blew out their first two playoff opponents (Newton & Roswell). The Hawks (10-2) are very good but they have been outclassed by superior talent this season. They were crushed 45 – 3 by # 4 North Gwinnett last month.
Marietta (10-2) is the most talented team in the state. They beat the defending state champs, # 9 Milton in the second round. The Blue Devils are led by five-star tight end Arik Gilbert, an LSU commit. Gilbert has 1,343 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
His quarterback Harrison Bailey is committed to Tennessee and a four-star player. He’s thrown for 3,378 yards and 36 touchdowns.
The Blue Devils have another LSU commit on defense, defensive end BJ Ojulari. Marietta was my preseason pick to win the state championship and my opinion has not changed.
# 3 Grayson vs # 1 Lowndes: Lowndes (12-0) has dominated all season and they are nationally ranked. The Vikings have won every game by double digits. The closest margin of victory was 11 points against Colquitt County. They are the only remaining team not in Metro Atlanta.
The interesting thing about Lowndes is that as good as they are, they don’t have a player ranked in the top 100 in Georgia in the class of 2020.
They are led by sophomore quarterback Jacurri Brown. He’s the team’s leading rusher with 1,150 yards and 16 TD’s. He also passed for 1,066 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Grayson (10-1) steamrolled their first two playoff opponents. The Rams lone loss was a blowout loss at home to Colquitt County (31-7). Since that is a common opponent for both teams it does not look good for Grayson.
Senior quarterback CJ Dixon is a four-star recruit and he should keep Grayson in the game. I expect Lowndes to continue doing what they have done all season and win this game by double digits.
# 8 Archer vs # 7 Parkview: This is a matchup of two Gwinnett county schools. Parkview (11-1) is a traditional powerhouse that fell on hard times, but they are back. The Panthers have won four state championships. They won three consecutive championships and were undefeated from 2000-2002.
Their only loss was at home against Lowndes, 38 – 7. They did beat Colquitt County in the second round, 40- 21.
Colquitt had reached the quarters or better each season since 2009.
Junior running back Cody Brown is a four-star recruit and the offense goes through him.
Archer (9-3) had a tough schedule with all three losses coming to ranked teams. Their biggest loss was by three points.
I expect this to be a close game, but Parkview should win.
# 2 McEachern vs # 4 North Gwinnett: McEachern (12-0) is the other undefeated team in 7A. The Indians also have several talented players like their crosstown rival, Marietta.
The best player on the team is senior four-star wide receiver Javon Baker. He’s committed to Alabama. McEachern has only had two games won by single digits so they have been dominant.
North Gwinnett (11-1) lost the season opener to Colquitt County. They have not lost since then. The Bulldogs won the state title in 2017 and they hope to get back there this year.
I’m picking North Gwinnett for a slight upset win.