Parkview Panthers (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Cecil Flowe
Record: 4-5, 4-3 region
Last week: Lost to Archer 40-16
Dacula Falcons (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Jared Zito
Record: 6-3, 6-1 region
Last week: Beat Berkmar 50-6
Cecil Flowe called last week's game against Archer a play-in game for the state playoffs and to an extent it was. But even after the Tigers downed Parkview, there is still a small chance for a return to the playoffs for the Panthers. It starts with them winning tonight at Dacula. And then they must rely on South Gwinnett to upset Archer.
For Dacula, the playoffs are set. The Falcons will finish second in Region 8-AAAAA and host a first-round playoff game against Norcross, win or lose. But Dacula hasn't lost since early October and it isn't looking to end that streak.
"You tell your team all year that you focus one game at a time, one region opponent at at time," said Dacula head coach Jared Zito. "To vary from that type of attitude now is leading them down the wrong path."
It's a senior-heavy Falcons team that quietly earned the No. 2 spot in the region. For all the hype around Brookwood and Grayson, all Dacula does each week is win. Including beating Brookwood. The offense, led by Rocky Capobianco, has improved each week in Zito's spread-option attack and the defense has followed, holding region opponents to less than 20 points a game. Along with the Loyd brothers, Chase and Morgan, at linebacker, Dustin Johnson leads the team in tackles with 47.
"He's really been a hidden piece for our defense," Zito said of Johnson.
This week that defense will be challenged by the potent, but inconsistent, Parkview offense, led by quarterback Jack Esmonde and running back Chris Carson. The junior Carson entered last week third in the county in rushing, averaging more than 100 yards per game.
Last meeting: Parkview won 7-0 last year
Directions to Dacula High School: From Highway 316, go north on Highway 8 approximately one mile and school is on the left.