0

THE BLITZ: Not the way to take the week off

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

There's been a running joke I've had with my friends for the last few years. If the police ever came to me, accusing me of a crime committed on Friday night during the fall, then I have a good alibi. I was covering a high school football game.

That wouldn't have held up last Friday, the second full week of the regular season. I had to miss a Friday football game with an injury.

I wish it would have been a cool injury, like tearing my Achilles while running a route in flag football practice. Instead it was my appendix. You know that organ doctors have no idea why we have it or why it gets inflamed. All I know is it really hurt early last week and I had to have it removed on Wednesday.

So after approximately 70 Friday nights over the last four years, I finally missed a game. I know it's no Cal Ripken Jr., streak, but I never imagined I would miss a Friday night football game.

Luckily I wasn't totally removed from high school football as I got to watch the Peachtree Ridge-Roswell game on WSB. I couldn't catch The Black Mamba since I don't have ESPNU. The end of the Tucker-Marist game was also pretty exciting.

Being injured is not fun, so I gotta publicly thank Big Ed, Mama J and Lez for putting up with me after surgery. (I'm pretty grumpy when I don't cover football.) And of course my coworkers for picking up my slack.

It was a tough Friday night not being in the press box, but I'm hoping to be back this Friday. After all, I need a good alibi.

It's not the pain killers talking, these things are true

Buford got shut out

It's not that Buford lost that surprised me, it's that they were shutout. You gotta go back to the second round of the 1999 playoffs against Washington-Wilkes for the last time that happened.

Penalties were big and three dropped TDs didn't help, but the Wolves' 14-0 loss to Carver-Columbus is probably a good thing. This is a young squad. It was nearly a year ago that Buford lost to Lovett and the Wolves responded rather nicely. After all, had Buford won everyone in the world would be telling them they had a cake walk to the playoffs and maybe would lose a little edge.

Now Buford has a little chip on its shoulder. The Wolves don't like to lose and when they do, they like to get payback. I'm sure a rematch with Carver is on the minds of a lot of the players. Buford is like Rocky, it always wins the rematch.

Parkview's offense still scoreless

Parkview's offense still hasn't scored this season. Both of the Panthers' TDs in Week 1 were scored by the defense and the offense was shutout by Norcross on Friday.

But don't panic Parkview faithful. You can't forget the 2000 season. The Panthers' offense didn't score a point the first three games of the season and went on to a pretty good year, 15-0 and a state title. I'm not saying this year's team is going to bounce back like that, but with a bye this week look for the struggles to be corrected.

Duluth is still unbeaten

Duluth is really 2-0 for the first time since 1985. This year's senior class wasn't even a twinkle in their parents' eyes when that last happened. I'm pretty sure I've never written this sentence before, but Duluth has some playmakers on offense.

Quarterback Anfornee Stewart, running back Henry Enyenihi and receiver Myles Campbell are a nice set of triplets on offense. The Wildcats have another non-region game before hitting Region 7 action.

Can they really start the season 3-0?

Central is much improved

Apparently I missed the memo, but Central Gwinnett is pretty good. Or at least through the first two games. The Black Knights are 2-0 and if you go back to last season have won four of their last five games. This year they have wins over second-year program Mountain View and a playoff team from last season in Chapel Hill. Not bad.

What's impressed me, though, is the offense. Central has scored nearly as many points in its first two games (58) than it did through its first six games (59) last season.

Quarterback Eman Westmoreland has been a big part of that. The sophomore has thrown for nearly 700 yards and six TDs through two games.

I'm interested to see if Central can keep that kind of production going through region play.

It's not the pain killers talking, this is what I really think

  • North Gwinnett linebacker Brandon McGowan is the best defensive player in the county. There, I said it. Find me a player that has done more than he has or made a bigger impact in the last three game. I dare you.

He went into Friday's game against Crenshaw among the county leaders in tackles and sacks. His 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown put North ahead for good in its win over Crenshaw.

The senior didn't make my preseason all-county team and he's done an awfully nice job of making me second guess myself.

  • Collins Hill quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for nearly 400 yards and five TDs against a Brookwood defense that is typically one of the best in the county.

The senior entered the season without a Division I scholarship offer. I hope Friday night's performance opened the eyes of some recruiters.

  • I know South Gwinnett's offense can score points at will, but that doesn't mean the defense has to give them up willingly. Granted, the Comets have faced two of the state's top teams to start the season, but giving up 75 points in two games is not good for a state title contender.

  • North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge have drawn most of the attention in Region 7-AAAAA this season. But watch out for Norcross. I'm sure Blue Devils coach Keith Maloof would rather his team be under the radar, but Norcross should be in the region title talk. The Blue Devils have just as much, if not more, talent as their 2006-07 region champion teams. I guess we'll find out in a month when they face North and Peachtree Ridge in back-to-back weeks.

  • Peachtree Ridge could easily be 0-2. Instead the Lions have found a way to win in the final minutes of both their games. They did it again against Roswell on Friday with a five-yard TD pass from Billy Best in the final minute.

For such a young team with so many new starters, they are certainly growing up fast.

  • I'm glad Archer beat Mountain View. It's not that I have anything against Mountain View, but these two-year programs are rivals and with Archer getting it first win in the series it only makes the rivalry better.