Photo: Craig Cappy Mill Creek running back Jacorey Lewis (28) gains yardage for a first down in last week's game against Brookwood. Defending for Brookwood is Tyler Evans (72) and Tim Mercado (49).
Mill Creek at North Cobb
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: North Cobb High School (From 316 West take I-85 South. Merge onto I-285 West and take the ramp to I-75 North. Take Exit 267B and take the US 41 ramp. Turn right onto Cobb Parkway and go approximately 6 miles. Turn right onto Blue Springs Rd and make another right in less than a mile onto GA 293 to the school)
Coaches: Shannon Jarvis, Mill Creek; Shane Queen, North Cobb
Records: Mill Creek, 9-3; North Cobb 10-2Last week: Mill Creek beat Brookwood 56-21; North Cobb beat Langston Hughes 42-14
Winner plays: North Gwinnett-Lovejoy winner
Mill Creek leaders:
Rushing: Jacorey Lewis, 2,158 yards
DeVozea Felton, 798 yards
Passing: Daniel David, 1,601 yards
Receiving: Michael Cheeks, 520
Matt Pursell, 366 yards
Tackles: Michael Leonard, 96 tackles
Kelsey Griffin, 89 tackles
Andrew Sciara, 75 tackles
Chris Dickhute, 75 tackles
Patrick Dike, 75 tackles
Interceptions: Keanu James, 5
Sacks: Kelsey Griffin, 9
Ben Otiwu, 5
North Cobb leaders:
Rushing: Tyler Queen, 861 yards
J'Vonte Herrod, 734 yards
Passing: Tyler Queen, 2,154 yards
Receiving: Xavier Borishade, 842 yards
Tackles: Hakeem Shaun Daniels, 143
Hakeem Sawyer, 120
Interceptions: Romelo Lewis, 2
Hakeem Sawyer, 2
Emmanuel Slaughter, 2
Sacks: Eghosa Agbonghae, 10
Jalil Kuku, 9.5
Mill Creek Hawks (9-3)
Dacula W 35-0
at Brookwood L 31-21
Mountain View W 49-0
at Peachtree Ridge W 20-10
Norcross W 49-41
at Mewadowcreek W 55-6
North Gwinnett L 47-28
at Duluth W 56-21
at Habersham Central W 49-0
at Collins Hill W 17-14
at Alpharetta W 41-39
Brookwood W 56-21
North Cobb Warriors (10-2)
at Starr's Mill W 42-3
Walton W 49-17
Kennesaw Mountain W 52-7
Harrison W 48-14
at South Cobb L 27-26 OT
Hillgrove W 41-14
at McEachern W 49-27
Pebblebrook W 45-0
at Maritta W 45-32
at Campbell W 31-0
Valdosta W 42-14
at Langston Hughes W 42-14
North Cobb head football coach Shane Queen was asked how his team could stop Mill Creek running back Jacorey Lewis this week.
The senior has rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season, including 613 yards in two playoff games.
Queen's response might be the only way to stop Lewis.
"Besides put 12 men on the field?" he quipped.
Mill Creek will travel to North Cobb Friday in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
The last time North Cobb played a Gwinnett team was in the first round of the 2007 state playoffs. The Warriors were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state until Peachtree Ridge beat them 35-28. Prior to this season, North Cobb had not won a playoff game since 1979.
"(Mill Creek) will be the best team we've played all year," Queen said.
Part of Mill Creek's success has come from Lewis and the running game. He's rushed for 2,158 yards and 30 touchdowns this season.
"Well, obviously, their running back is very good," Queen said. "He's one of the best we've seen all year. They have the biggest offensive line we've seen."
That's quite a complement considering North Cobb beat last year's state runner-up Walton and the Raiders feature one of the state's top running backs in Alabama commitment Tyren Jones.
"He's a big threat. You have to have 11 guys run to the football," Queen continued about Lewis.
On multiple occasions Queen mentioned the size of Mill Creek's offensive line, which allowed Lewis to rush for 255 yards last week against Brookwood.
"They opened some holes my 40-year-old legs could run through," Queen said.
First-year quarterback Daniel David has emerged as a star in the Hawks' offense. The sophomore has thrown for 1,601 yards and 13 TDs. He's only been intercepted four times and sacked three times.
Daniel and the Hawks' offense will face a North Cobb defense run by former Grayson and Parkview assistant Chad McGehee. The Warriors have allowed four touchdowns in the last three games.
"He's a very good coach and they are very sound in what they do," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "I don't know if we can line up and run it every time."
South Carolina commitment Kelsey Griffin and the Mill Creek defense will have their hands full with North Cobb QB Tyler Queen in the Warriors' spread offense.
"We're similar to them in scheme, we're just a lot smaller," the older Queen said.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tyler Queen, who is the son of the head coach, has thrown for 2,154 yards and 20 TDs. He's also rushed for 865 yards and 15 TDs in the Warriors' spread offense.
"He's a big strong player. You have to gang tackle him," Jarvis said.
North Cobb is averaging 41 points a game this season and has scored 42 points in back-to-back playoff games. J'Vonte Herrod has rushed for 734 yards and 13 TDs. Xavier Borishade is the team's leading receiver with 42 catches for 842 yards and 10 TDs. Nick Miller, a college prospect, has 40 receptions for 506 yards.
"Offensively, they are scoring 40 points a game, so they put pressure on you defensively," Jarvis said. "The quarterback is a tremendous runner. We have to make sure to run to the football."
For a program that's nine years old, Mill Creek still experiences a lot of firsts. The Hawks hosted their first playoff game last week, a 56-21 victory over Brookwood.
The win put Mill Creek back in the quarterfinals for the second time in three years where the Hawks can try and reach the semifinals for the first time. A victory Friday and they'll face the winner of the North Gwinnett-Lovejoy game.
"That's not something this team or I have sold on," Jarvis said. "We stress this game and go from there. We can't look forward and not at what is happening now."