Rarely is there so clear a measuring stick.
Archer and Mountain View, the two newest schools in the Gwinnett County football pantheon, played their very first game against one another.
Nine weeks later, they meet again.
Archer hosted the season opener and Mountain View, capitalizing on turnovers and special teams, walked away with a 29-22 win.
Tonight the Bears are hoping to provide just as good an atmosphere for the rematch - and keep the Tigers from evening the series in this budding rivalry.
"I think you'll see they've gotten a lot better," Mountain View head coach Tim Hardy said. "It's hard to recognize the same players - I think you could say the same thing with our team.
"They play very hard. They're aggressive to the football. You know it's going to be a physical game."
Mountain View has enjoyed a very successful inaugural season and puts its 8-1 record on the line. The Bears have been led by quarterback/kicker Charlie Brower, wide receiver/linebacker Matt Kilgore, running back Dadriane Smith and two-way lineman William Wright.
Smith was a big weapon in the first meeting with Archer, rushing for 236 yards and four touchdowns. The breaks also went Mountain View's way and that was the biggest difference between winning and losing back in August.
Mistakes happen at even the highest levels of the game, but it's the rookie mistakes that both coaches hope have been eliminated through the course of the season.
"The kids are more comfortable with the process," Archer coach Andy Dyer said. "They're a little more up to speed. My assistant coaches have done an incredible job leading these kids and teaching them what it takes to prepare."
The Tigers (3-2-1) have had to overcome injuries, particularly on the offensive line, and the letdown of two game cancellations.
"It's been a long season because we had two weeks where we prepared to play and had the games canceled because of rain," Dyer said. "Those were low points for our kids. But they've been very resilient."
Archer has been led by fullback Mychal Hines on offense and linebacker Derrick Parker on defense. But the staff is still waiting for a group of three or four players to really take the leadership reins.
"Especially coming from three different schools and those leaders being so young, it's difficult for them," Dyer said. "They're in a new place and still learning each other.
"The greatest thing is they play hard. They're hungry to win."
Hardy is also pleased with the progress his team has made.
"I'm really proud of our young men, the way they practiced, prepared and performed," he said.
"It's been a lot of fun to watch a group of inexperienced players get better (every day)."
SideBar: ARCHER AT MOUNTAIN VIEW
Archer Tigers (non-region)
Coach: Andy Dyer
Last week: Tied Dacula JV 7-7
Mountain View Bears (non-region)
Coach: Tim Hardy
Last week: Beat Norcross JV 35-7
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Mountain View won 29-22 on Aug. 28
Directions to Mountain View High School: From I-85, take Ga. Hwy. 316 east and turn left on Ga. Hwy 20/Buford Dr. Turn right on Old Peachtree Road and left on Sunny Hill Road. School is 1.3 miles down the road.