Comets seek rare win over Broncos

Staff Photo: John Bohn -- South Gwinnett quarterback Jordan Ramey (2) scores a touchdown as Archer defenders Duane Lee (48) and Deondre Singleton (3) can only watch during last week's game.

Staff Photo: John Bohn -- South Gwinnett quarterback Jordan Ramey (2) scores a touchdown as Archer defenders Duane Lee (48) and Deondre Singleton (3) can only watch during last week's game.


South Gwinnett Comets (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: John Small

Record: 6-2, 5-1 region

Last week: Beat Archer 42-14

Brookwood Broncos (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Mark Crews

Record: 6-2, 5-1

Last week: Beat Berkmar 41-27

Last meeting: Brookwood won 59-21 last year

Directions to Brookwood High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road and merge onto Ronald Reagan Parkway. Proceed to the Five Forks-Trickum Road exit. Turn right and the next left on Dogwood Road. School is on the right

South Gwinnett locked up a playoff spot with its win over Archer last week.

Now it's just a matter of deciding where the Comets will be seeded in the big dance.

South could be anywhere from region champs to the No. 4 seed.

"We know what is at stake," South Gwinnett head coach John Small said. "We have to win out and take care of our business."

It's the same case at Brookwood. The Broncos are in the postseason, but the next two games will decide where they sit in the playoff bracket.

"I think it's the same thing every week," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. "You want to be able to control your own destiny and what better way to do that than win. Otherwise you're hoping so and so loses."

The Snellville rivals will play Friday night with major playoff implications on the line. It's a series Brookwood has dominated by winning 24 of the last 28 meetings.

"We're very familiar with it. It's a new year and new group," Small said. "This 2012 team can leave its own legacy. We're not going to live in the past. We haven't had our best games against them, but we're going to give it our best shot."

South's last win over Brookwood was 17-14 in 2009. The Comets were the region runner-up that year and made it to the second round of the playoffs.

South is back in the postseason for the third time in four years. The postseason looked bleak after a 41-0 loss to defending state champion Grayson two weeks ago. The Comets came back to beat Archer 42-14 last week.

"I was very pleased with our kids. They are a resilient bunch," Small said. "They know they didn't play their best against Grayson and took one on the chin. I'm proud of the way we responded."

Quarterback Jordan Ramey has the offense scoring 34.4 points a game. The senior is one of the county's leading passers with 1,561 yards and 15 TDs.

"Their quarterback is an outstanding player," Crews said. "You have to work hard to keep him hemmed up in the pocket. He's the spark plug, I think."

Ramey will face a Brookwood defense that allowed 446 yards passing last week against Berkmar.

"It's been a concern all year," Crews said. "We're still looking like at times we're playing pretty well and then other times we lose concentration and don't play very well."

To make matters worse, the Broncos' defense has been hit by a rash of injuries in recent weeks. Defensive end Xxavier Robertson is injured and safety Afolabi Laguda is out with a broken leg.

"We're going to have to have some guys step up," Crews said.

While the defense has struggled at times, the Brookwood offense has been a bright spot. Jamaal Cole and Josh Brown continue to power the running game, while Ky Priester has big-play ability at receiver.

"They are big up front and have two good running backs and a great receiver," Small said. "Brown and Cole can take it to the house on any play. You have to be able to stop the run."

Brown scored a touchdown in all three phases of the game last week -- blocking a field goal and returning it for a TD, interception returned and rushing.

"He's a dynamic player. I hope he can have an encore performance," Crews said.

Brookwood will face defending state champion Grayson next week, while South gets Region 8-AAAAA leader Parkview.

"Every week the goal is to be 1-0. Our kids are well aware of what's ahead," Small said. "They know going in there's still a lot to play for. All we can do is take care of ourselves."