Mountain View Bears (7-AAAAA)
Coach: Tim Hardy
Record: 2-2, 1-0 region
Last week: Beat Mill Creek 9-7
Peachtree Ridge Lions (7-AAAAA)
Coach: Mark Fleetwood
Record: 3-1, 1-0 region
Last week: Beat Meadowcreek 55-6
The season got off to a rough start for Mountain View, which lost 54-14 to Central Gwinnett back on Aug. 26.
"We couldn't have played any worse against Central," Bears head coach Tim Hardy said. "We might have lost an intersquad scrimmage that night. Our execution on offense and our execution on defense has gotten much better since then. Our players are maturing. It's about the power of belief and our players are starting to see themselves the way we see them."
That was evident last week as Mountain View scored the biggest win in school history over rival Mill Creek. Linebackers Tyler Bethune, Bryce McCloud and Andrew Mozingo led a strong defensive effort and Hardy loved how quarterback Chris Bartlett engineered a ball-control offense. The celebration of last week's win was nice, but it's back to work Friday night.
"There's a fine line between sitting and enjoying the win too long, but also using it as motivation," Hardy said. "We're going to use it as a confidence builder. We're not going to pretend it didn't happen. We're going to point to it. As a young program, we don't have a lot of things like that to point to."
Peachtree Ridge has a more seasoned program that has flourished under new head coach Mark Fleetwood, whose balanced offense under QB Billy Best and playmakers Joe Horn, Ahmaad Harris and Diandre Atwater has been impressive. The coach also likes what Tony Porter, Devin Davidson, Darian Pogman and Alex Gray have done on defense.
"We're trying to keep it balanced on offense," Fleetwood said. "At the end of the day, I like to run the football, but you've got to be able to throw it. ... Defensively, we're playing as a unit and that's what I like to see."
Last meeting: Peachtree Ridge won 31-7 last year
Directions to Peachtree Ridge High School: From I-85, take the Old Peachtree Road exit and go west. School is roughly two miles ahead on the right.