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Gwinnett teams battle each other in playoffs

File Photo — Brookwood running back Jamaal Cole (32) runs for a gain as Mill Creek linebacker Patrick Dike (36) makes the stop during the game earlier this season.

File Photo — Brookwood running back Jamaal Cole (32) runs for a gain as Mill Creek linebacker Patrick Dike (36) makes the stop during the game earlier this season.

Three months ago, Shannon Jarvis stood on the 40-yard line of Brookwood's football field with a disappointed look on his face.

His Mill Creek football team just lost 31-21 to the Broncos in the second week of the regular season.

Jarvis' Mill Creek team will get another shot at Brookwood this Friday, when the Hawks will host the Broncos in the second round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.

"I'm more excited we're still in the playoffs," Jarvis said of the rematch.

It's one of three Gwinnett vs. Gwinnett matchups in the second round of the playoffs.

Like Mill Creek, South Gwinnett gets a chance for redemption when it travels to Norcross to play the Blue Devils, who beat the Comets 35-20 in the season opener.

"To reach the ultimate goal of a state championship, your'e going to have to play some good teams," South Gwinnett head coach John Small said. "You just have to play some Gwinnett teams in the first or second round."

North Gwinnett is at Grayson in a rematch of the 2010 state playoffs, while Parkview travels to West Forsyth. Buford is at North Oconee in the Class AAA playoffs, while Greater Atlanta Christian travels to Heard County in Class AA.

"I always hate playing other Gwinnett teams," Brookwood Mark Crews said. "First of all because there's a bunch of good teams. Secondly, you feel like you'd like to knock other guys out and leave more Gwinnett teams in there."

Gwinnett teams went 7-1 in the Class AAAAAA playoffs last Friday and will have at least three teams advance to next week's quarterfinals.

If recent history is any indication, the team that wins the first game usually wins the second time. Although, there are a few exceptions, like last season.

Dacula lost to Norcross in the season opener and then beat the Blue Devils in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2010, Collins Hill beat Roswell in the regular season and playoffs, but lost to Brookwood in Week 2 and again in the semifinals. North Gwinnett defeated Lassiter twice that year as well.

In 2009, Brookwood lost to McEachern in the regular season and won in the playoffs.

"Historically, it's always tough to beat a team twice in the same year," Brookwood senior Adam Ledford said. "We're going to give it our best shot and try and come out on top again."

In 2007 and 2008, North beat Brookwood in the regular season and playoffs. The Bulldogs also got a pair of wins over Walton in 2007. That same year Norcross beat Grayson in the regular season and lost in the playoffs.

It's a situation Crews has expressed to his team as the Broncos prepare for Mill Creek.

"First of all you're playing a good football team," Crews said. "Then there's the physiology of your team being complacent, saying we whipped them before, we'll whip them again. While the other team is chomping at the bit. We certainly understand they are a good football team and have to prepare to take care of business."

South Gwinnett's only losses this year have been to Region 7 champion Norcross and Region 8 winner Grayson. The Comets would have to face the Rams in the state finals in order for a rematch. But first, they have to take on a talented Norcross team again.

"The kids are fired up about it because it means they are still in the playoffs," Small said. "Anytime you get a chance to redeem yourself it's great."

North is at Grayson in a rematch of the 2010 playoff game. That was the last time the Rams didn't win the region crown and they won three road playoff games, including a victory over region champion North. The Bulldogs haven't won a second-round playoff game the last two seasons.

Parkview missed the playoffs two of the last three seasons, but made their return to the postseason a memorable one on Friday. The Panthers needed double overtime to beat last year's state runner-up Walton. It was the first playoff win for the Panthers since 2005.

They'll face a West Forsyth team that defeated Collins Hill 66-41 in last week's first round game.

Buford has a rare road game in the second round on Friday. The Wolves travel to North Oconee, who they defeated in the second round in 2008. Buford has won 12 straight second round playoff games.