PREVIEW: Shiloh at Central Gwinnett

Central Gwinnett's Eman Westmorland

Central Gwinnett's Eman Westmorland

Shiloh Generals (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Troy Hobbs

Record: 3-6, 1-6 region

Last week: Did not play

Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Todd Wofford

Record: 5-4, 3-4 region

Last week: Beat Dacula 37-20

These two teams share quite a bit in common.

In addition to running similar spread offenses, both programs appear to be on upwardly-mobile tracks, though Central is a few years ahead.

The Black Knights can secure their first winning season since 2006 with a win Friday.

That would be a major reward for seniors like record-setting quarterback Eman Westmoreland and Gwinnett’s tackles leader Trey Johnson, who have been a big part of the program’s ascension since Todd Wofford became coach in 2010.

“Those two guys set the bar and led a movement of what we want to do (as a program),” Wofford said. “(Friday's game) is big. If we can finish 6-4, it will (potentially) be the same (regular season) record as Archer or Brookwood. With different breaks here or there, maybe we could’ve been in the playoff hunt. But it would show us that we’re right there with playoff (-caliber) teams.”

Meanwhile, Shiloh finds itself in a similar position Central was in during Wofford’s inaugural season three seasons ago, with first-year coach Troy Hobbs trying to turn around the program.

But the Generals will try to fast-track their rise behind the likes of DeVante James and Cam Stewart, and a win Friday could be a huge step forward.

“If you go back a couple of years ago, (Central was) pretty much in the same position we’re in now,” Hobbs said. “They’ve got things going in the right direction. We’ve talked about that all week. We’re trying to take pieces of that — and not just Central Gwinnett, but Archer and others. Hopefully we can get a result and end the season on a good note.”

Last meeting: Central won 33-26 last year

Directions to Central Gwinnett High School: From I-85, take Sugarloaf Parkway exit and go east to Ga. Highway 29. Turn left on Highway 29 and school is on the right at Gwinnett Drive.