0

Grayson meets Parkview in 8-AAAAA slugfest

Don't expect too many points on Friday.

Parkview and Grayson combine to average just 43.6 points a game. Buford and Peachtree Ridge each scored more points last week. Both teams keep the ball on the ground and suck time from the clock. And they both play defense.

The Rams and Panthers may not score a bunch, but through five games this year they are giving up even less. Neither team gives up more than 13 points a game.

"There might not be many possessions in this game," said Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. "We'll have to take advantage of each time we have the ball. We match up well against each other. It'll be a slugfest, no doubt."

In a way, Grayson enters tonight's game the favorite. It is unbeaten in the region and its only loss came on the road at then No. 2 Norcross.

Conn will quickly point to the identical 4-1 records.

"I don't know if we are doing better than they are or not," he said. "We'll see."

But the record that really matters is Grayson is 2-0 in 8-AAAAA. Parkview is 1-1.

The Rams are also coming off the program's first-ever win against Parkview last season, but that is just in three meetings.

"You play each year on its own merits," said Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe of coming off of last year's loss. "They are playing really well and we are going to try to stay in there and compete.

"You want to beat the team that beat you last year."

Making that challenge tougher for Parkview will be the return of Grayson running back Robert Staton. In the team's first two games, both wins, Staton averaged 26.5 yards.

His return should relieve the pressure on Ean Pemberton within Grayson's three-back wing-T offense. Pemberton is averaging 84 yards a game on the ground.

"They are going to do what Grayson does," Flowe said. "They do it very well. They hit you in the mouth."

Parkview does the same thing with a powerful ground game. The Panthers have already won four games, only one fewer than in all of last season.

"They are a power football team," Conn said of Parkview.

Both are power teams. Both run the ball. Both play stingy defense. And they both need to win this game.

"The playoff picture is starting to take shape," Flowe said. "This is a big game as big games go."

Conn agrees.

"It is a huge ball game," he said. "This is a game we need to win. Hopefully we will be ready to go over to the Big Orange Jungle."

SideBar: GRAYSON AT PARKVIEW

Grayson Rams (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Mickey Conn

Record: 4-1, 2-0 region

Last week: Beat South Gwinnett 32-0

Parkview Panthers (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Cecil Flowe

Record: 4-1, 1-1 region

Last week: Beat Shiloh 10-7

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Grayson won 28-6 last year

Directions to Parkview High School: From I-85, go east on Indian Trail Road until it becomes Killian Hill Road. Turn right on Arcado Road and then left on Cole Drive. School is on the left.

SERIES HISTORY

2006: Grayson 28, Parkview 6

2005: Parkview 14, Grayson 10

2004: Parkview 41, Grayson 7