GHSA Football Week 5 action has 16 of Gwinnett County’s 19 public high schools in action in nine games, including seven intra-county matchups. The Examiner Gwinnett Game of the Week is the Peachtree Ridge vs. Mill Creek contest, set for 7:30 p.m. at the Mill Creek Community Stadium in Hoschton on Friday night.
With wins over Walton (23-17), Parkview (28-14) and Duluth (55-17) already under their belt, the Peachtree Ridge Lions (3-0, 1-0) are making an argument that they are the most improved team in the county, while the Hawks of Mill Creek (3-0, 1-0) are coming off a nine win season and have won big on the way to their 3-0 mark, outscoring Dacula (41-28), Brookwood (44-10) and Mountain View (42-3) by a combined 127-41.
Both the MaxPreps and the Maxwell Ratings give Mill Creek a slight advantage in the state rankings, and the Georgia High School Football Daily News is picking the Hawks to win by 2. This will be a tightly contested game but Peachtree Ridge is better prepared after being tested by stronger challengers than Mill Creek has faced in this young season, and for that reason Examiner is going with the Lions. This one will be back and forth all the way, but when the dust settles the Lions will still be unbeaten.
Players to watch for Peachtree Ridge are junior quarterback Chance Thrasher, University of Virginia bound running back Jordan Ellis and linebacker Dru Moody, who already has eight tackles for loss this season. Mill Creek has a trio of running backs that will all get touches. DeVozea Felton, Carter Governale and Johnathan Hawkins have combined for 489 yards rushing and have each scored at least one touchdown in each game this season. QB Daniel David doesn’t pass much (32 times in three games), but has a 75 percent completion rate when he does, and has connected for a TD in every game as well.
Gwinnett County Matchups:
Archer (3-0, 1-0) visits Parkview (0-3, 0-1) in what will be a better game than the records would suggest. Despite starting 0-3, Parkview is still ranked 23rd in Class AAAAAA due to the fact that they have one of the toughest schedules in the state. Their losses have come at the hands of Peachtree Ridge, Norcross and Grayson. Archer is ranked 17th in Class 6-A, 29th in the state and will hand the Panthers their fourth consecutive loss, but the final score will be closer than many might expect.
Berkmar (3-0, 1-0) will travel to Central Gwinnett (0-2, 0-0) and hand the Knights their third consecutive loss while improving to 4-0. Berkmar wins a close one with Central Gwinnett.
Dacula (1-2, 1-0) hosts Grayson (1-2, 1-0). Look for the Rams to take control early and even their overall record while dropping the Wildcats to 1-3. Grayson wins going away.
Norcross (1-2, 0-1) is coming off an implosion that saw North Gwinnett overcome a 14-0 deficit to outscore the Blue Devils 36-3 the rest of the way in last week’s loss, and will be looking for redemption as they travel to Duluth (0-3, 0-1). Norcross is going to work out their frustration about the way this season has started for them by getting a big win when they really need one. Norcross will get ahead early and win easily.
North Gwinnett (3-0, 1-0) will continue to win big as they hammer Meadowcreek (0-2, 0-0) at home.
Shiloh (2-1, 0-1) is home against South Gwinnett (1-2, 0-1), and both will be 2-2 overall after the Comets down the Generals by a couple of scores.
Gwinnett County vs. Non-County Matchups:
Lanier (3-0, 0-0) travels to Danielsville to take on Madison County (2-1, 0-0) in one of two non-county contests, while Mountain View (0-3 , 0-1) hosts Habersham Central (0-3, 0-1) in the other.
Look for the Longhorns and Bears to each win by a couple of scores, Lanier to extend their winning streak, the Bears to bring an end to their losing streak.
Gwinnett is 6-5 against non-county opposition this season.
Buford (3-0, 0-0), Brookwood (0-3, 0-1) and Collins Hill (3-0, 1-0) are off this week.
After Week 4 action, Examiner is 23-7 in game projections for the season.
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