Staff Photo: John Bohn Berkman High School varsity football player and coaches head shots for 2011 season.
Berkmar Patriots (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Jonathan Sanks
Record: 1-2, 0-1 region
Last week: Lost 49-6 to Central Gwinnett
Grayson Rams (8-AAAAA)
Coach: Mickey Conn
Record: 3-0, 1-0 region
Last week: Beat Archer 34-7
Before the season started, Berkmar head coach Jonathan Sanks said he would need to measure his team's success in ways that aren't always reflected on the scoreboard.
Facing Grayson may be one of those games.
Berkmar takes on one of the state's and nation's top teams in the undefeated Rams and it's a chance for Sanks' young Patriots to see the type of team they want to be.
"They are a complete team," Sanks said. "It will shock me if they don't (make it close) to the state championship."
The Rams are coming off a 34-7 win over an upstart Archer team and have looked dominant in the early part of this season. The Patriots are trying to ride some late momentum from their loss to Central Gwinnett. Sophomore defensive back Darius Mitchell got playing time after Sanks challenged his team not to quit at halftime and made plenty of plays against the Knights' spread offense.
"He's 100 miles an hour all the time," Sanks said. "We really didn't play him that much because we didn't think he was ready. When his number got called, he took full advantage."
Grayson's defense has allowed 28 points all season, with 21 coming against it in Week 2 versus Florida's Edgewater. Along with Robert Nkemdiche, Miles Whitman impressed Berkmar's Sanks. Really, every player impressed him.
"We just have to play hard, play hard and continue to get better," he said. "No matter who we play, even if we were playing the Falcons, we have to go out and play hard."
Last meeting: Grayson won 58-16 last year
Directions to Grayson High School: From I-85, go east on Sugarloaf Parkway to Ga. Highway 20 and turn right. Proceed through Grayson and turn right on Hope Hollow Road. School is on the left.