As Gwinnett County’s longest standing rivalry, the series between South Gwinnett and Central Gwinnett has seen plenty of high point totals in the 50 previous meetings between the two schools.
Based on the current numbers, the 10th-ranked Comets and the Black Knights could be in for one of the more exciting of the series as they get together for the 51st time tonight at Richard Snell Stadium.
Central Gwinnett at South Gwinnett
Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Todd Wofford
Record: 2-1, 0-1 region
Last week: Lost to Berkmar 47-23
South Gwinnett Comets (8-AAAAA)
Coach: John Small
Record: 2-1, 1-0 region
Last week: Beat Shiloh 45-12
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: South won 41-0 last year
Directions to South Gwinnett High School: From Ga. Highway 78, go south on Skyland Drive. School is on the left.
• 2009: South 41, Central 0
• 2008: South 28, Central 3
• 2007: South 36, Central 29
• 2006: Central 32, South 7
• 2005: Central 31, South 17
• 2004: Central 13, South 7
• 2003: South 42, Central 3
• 2002: South 28, Central 0
• 2001: South 27, Central 0
• 2000: Central 28, South 14
Exciting, that is, if you like offense.
South (2-1, 1-0) and Central (2-1, 0-1) each possesses an offense in the top five in the county in total yardage, while the two defenses rank in the bottom five in points allowed.
“This could be on paper something the fans will want to see — a shootout,” said Todd Wofford, who has opened up the Central offense in his first season as the Black Knights’ head coach. “We just need to compete (tonight). If we can compete with the No. 10 team in the state, that’s huge. But our guys still have a long way to go.”
The Black Knights have already taken huge strides by matching last season’s win total in just three games.
And the offense, led by sophomore quarterback Eman Westmoreland, who leads the county with 919 yards through the air and nine TDs on 63 of 93 passing, and some of his favorite targets like Ozzie Exume (county-best 22 receptions for 259 yards and a TD) and George Morris (19 rec., 314 yards, 4 TDs).
“They’re a talented team,” South coach John Small said of Central. “They’ve got a lot of athletes, and Coach Wofford has done a great job.
“That kid (Westmoreland) has done a good job. He’s grown up a lot, and he’s only going to get better. We’ve just got to eliminate the big play if we’re going to be a championship football team.”
While South has given up its share of big plays, eliminating the big play will also be the challenge of the Central defense, which has given up five scoring plays of 28 yards or more on the season.
The Black Knights’ task does not get any easier against a South offense that ranks second in the county in both yardage (1,268) and points per game (38.3).
The Comets are quite balanced, too, with running backs Aaron Wimberly and Trevon Walker combining for 465 yards and five TDs so far, while receivers Kevin Gary and Darius Jones-Craven are equally as explosive.
But it is quarterback Kent Rollins, who has accounted for 791 yards of total offense and six touchdowns, that most concerns Wofford.
In fact, he says the Comets’ senior reminds him of another quarterback he faced quite often while serving as offensive coordinator at Gainesville High School.
“He reminds me of Jaybo Shaw,” Wofford said, referring to the former Georgia Tech and now Georgia Southern quarterback that played against Gainesville while at Flowery Branch. “(Rollins) can beat you with his arm and his legs. So, it will be a challenge for us to compete with a kid like that.”