The GHSA 2013 Week 8 football schedule includes a battle between Collins Hill, undefeated and No.9 in Georgia, and Norcross, No.8, with the Eagles working to remain among the undefeated Gwinnett teams. Archer, Collins Hill and North Gwinnett are the remaining county teams yet to lose this season. Taking the field this week will be 17 of the 19 Gwinnett public high schools in 10 games, including seven county matchups and three non-county contests.
Examiner Game of the Week Preview: Eagles @ Blue Devils
Class AAAAAA, Region 8
Central Gwinnett @ Archer
Central (2-3, 2-1) will be at Archer (6-0, 4-0) to try to bring an end to the Tigers winning streak, now at six, but look for the Knights to be victim number 7. Central will win this one by a couple of scores.
Berkmar @ Grayson
Grayson (3-3, 3-1) has now won two straight after starting 0-2 in non-region games, and look to be hitting on all cylinders, while Berkmar (3-2, 1-2) is coming off a lackluster effort against South Gwinnett last week that resulted in a 20-7 loss. The Rams will win by at least three scores to stay on Archers’ heels.
Shiloh @ Brookwood
Shiloh (3-3, 1-3) and Brookwood (1-4, 1-2) both come into Week 8 trying to correct the course their seasons have taken. After opening strong with two blowout wins in their first three games, the Generals now find themselves with three region losses after getting pounded by Archer last week, 45-16, and a fourth loss in region would remove any hopes of being relevant in the Region 8 postseason. Brookwood has a lone win, and that came against a winless Parkivew team. This game is going to come down to which team wants it more. Shiloh looks better on paper, but their performances the last couple of weeks suggest they have lost heart. If the Generals don’t play hard for a full 48 minutes, Brookwood will pick up their second win of the season, but look for Shiloh to play with the urgency their record requires and pull out a victory by a slim margin.
Dacula @ Parkview
Dacula (3-3, 3-1) has the opportunity to stay in the region mix by chalking up win No. 4 against a winless Parkview (0-5, 0-3) squad, after getting number 3 against one-win Brookwood last week. The Falcons will win, extending the Panthers season losing streak to six.
Class AAAAAA, Region 7
Collins Hill @ Norcross
Mill Creek @ North Gwinnett
North Gwinnett (5-0, 3-0) hosts Mill Creek (4-2, 2-2) in a game the Hawks must win if they hope to remain a part of the region chase. It is quite a challenge for the Hawks considering that the Bulldogs are not only the No. 1 team in Region 7, but also sits atop Class AAAAAA as well as the State All Classifications Rankings. Mill Creek is a top second tier team, but not yet at the level of the Big Four in the region (Collins Hill, Norcross, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge) and, while staying close the first half, the Hawks will fall to the Bulldogs by three scores.
Mountain View @ Peachtree Ridge
Peachtree Ridge (5-1, 3-1) is looking to rebound from their first defeat of the season, which came against Collins Hill in Week 7 action, and will face a Mountain View (1-4, 1-2) team that is averaging a little over 10 points a game while allowing close to 28. The Lions will win big, at least four scores, to stay within striking distance of North and Collins Hill.
Buford, Lanier and Meadowcreek all have home Region, non-county games this week.
Buford (5-0, 2-0) is home against White County (4-1, 2-0) in a Class AAA, Region 7 contest that pits two of the top teams in the region against each other. The Wolves are the No. 2 team in the state, and bring too much offensive firepower for the Warriors to overcome. Buford has outscored their opponents by 241 points this season (260-21) on their way to averaging 52 a game, and White County doesn’t have the athletes to compete with Buford. The Wolves will score early and often on their way to another big win.
Lanier (4-1, 1-1) and Eastside (3-2, 1-1) meet in a Class AAAA, Region 8 game. These teams are evenly matched, which means this will be decided by turnovers. Look for a late score by Eastside that will give them the winning margin.
Meadowcreek (0-5, 0-3) and Habersham Central (0-6, 0-4) face off in a Class AAAAAA, Region 7 game that may be the last opportunity for both teams to avoid a winless season. This should be a competitive game because both teams struggle in all phases of the game. The Mustangs have managed only 21 points in five games (4.2 PPG), while giving up 227 (45+ PAPG), and the Raiders have allowed 264 (44 PAPG) points in six games, while scoring just 36 (6 PPG). With both defenses being weak, maybe the offenses will be able to put together a couple scoring drives in the same game for the first time this season. This game is a toss-up, but look for Habersham Central to get their first W by a two score victory.
Gwinnett teams are 11-5 against non-county opponents this season.
Duluth (1-5, 1-3) and South Gwinnett (2-4, 1-3) are both on bye weeks and do not play in Week 8.
After going 7-2 last week, Examiner is now 44-13 in projections for the season.
Which of The Big Four in Region 7 (North Gwinnett, Norcross, Collins Hill and Peachtree Ridge) has the most success against the other three will win the region. After seven weeks of play, there have been two games between the Big Four, and so far North Gwinnett and Collins Hill are 1-0, while Norcross and Peachtree Ridge are each 0-1. Friday will see the Eagles play the Blue Devils in the next game between Big Four teams.
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Watch for the latest Examiner Rankings on Friday.