Photo: Craig Cappy Archer's Deondre Singleton takes down Central Gwinnett's George Morris (27) during Friday's game.
Grayson can make a pretty good claim as one of the best defenses in the state. A lot of the Rams' success starts up from with the defensive line.
The unit dominated up front in Grayson's 36-0 win over Parkview on Friday, especially in the second half.
"The D-Line, we call ourselves the choo-choo train," Grayson defensive lineman Sebastian Rice said. "All in the second half, we said the choo-choo train is coming down the tracks ready to make some plays."
The "choo-choo train" consists of Rice, Jack Banda, Robert Nkemdiche, Zach Barnes and Dustin Jackson.
The group has combined for 12 sacks and 23 tackles for loss going into Friday's win over Parkview.
"After one big play, everyone else wants to make a big play," Rice said. "We just feed off of that."
County leaders put up big numbers
Friday's Central Gwinnett-Archer game was more than an offensive showdown, it was also a matchup that featured many of the top statistical players in the county.
And, those players put up numbers to keep themselves among the county's elite.
Central's George Morris scored one rushing touchdown to up his county-leading total to 15 scores, while receiver Malachi Jones caught 15 passes for 150 yards, increasing his stats to 70 catches for 882 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Central quarterback Eman Westmoreland also continued to stretch his passing lead as he completed 31 passes for 335 yards and five touchdowns. Those totals bring him to 176 completions for 2,172 yards and 22 touchdowns.
However, his three interceptions put him at 11 for the season.
For Archer, Ernest Alexander quadrupled his rushing average as he went for 200 yards, and he jumped into the top five in rushing touchdowns, adding five to his total of seven.
Deondre Singleton's county-leading seventh interception helped Archer close out Central for the 48-41 win.
Elam's tough night
Marvin Elam's first three runs in Friday night's loss to North Gwinnett went for zero yards, and things could have been worse for the Mountain View running back.
On all three, the junior was hit by Bulldogs defenders in the backfield and fell and clawed back to the line of scrimmage. That was the night for the Bears' running back who rushed for just 23 yards on 17 carries despite ripping off runs of 34 and 14 yards.
"He's a workhorse for us," Mountain View head coach Tim Hardy said. "He just runs well and falls forward."
Elam also caught one pass for 26 yards against the North defense.
Lions a boost
While starting quarterback Billy Best and his 286 passing yards hurt Norcross on Friday night, so did Peachtree Ridge's other wrinkle at quarterback.
Wide receiver Myron Burton took six direct snaps out of the wildcat formation, rushing for 51 yards.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore, whose lone miscue was a third-quarter fumble, will continue to get plenty of work in the offense.
"We're going to use him a lot, he's a talented player," Lions head coach Mark Fleetwood said.
Burton and Diandre Atwater (86 rushing yards) led a balanced Peachtree Ridge attack that rushed for 216 yards in addition to Best's big passing day.
Good news, bad news
Mill Creek's homecoming game against Collins Hill on Friday night was filled with plenty of peaks and valleys.
The highs included a big night for running back Jacorey Lewis, whose 168 yards were the second most in a single game in school history, trailing only Lenny Brooks' 209-yard night in against North Forsyth in 2006, while his second-quarter rushing touchdown brought him within one of Tyler Cierski's single-season record of 11.
The downside, of course, was the 35-32 win by the visiting Eagles, which was sealed by a 21-yard TD pass from Brett Sheehan to Nick England with just 8.7 seconds left.
Contributing to the Hawks' heartbreak were 10 penalties for 95 yards, while Collins Hill put up 450 yards of total offense -- the second most ever by an opponent in a game, surpassed only by the Eagles' 473 yards last season -- which handed the Hawks their first loss in eight games in which they ran for over 300 yards as a team.
-- Sports Editor Will Hammock, staff writers Ben Beitzel, Brandon Brigman and David Friedlander and staff correspondent Chris Stephens contributed to this report