Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Mill Creek running back DeVozea Felton (1) carries the ball up field against Dacula defensive back Daryl Parkinson (23) last week.
MILL CREEK at BROOKWOOD
Mill Creek Hawks (7-AAAAAA)
Coach: Shannon Jarvis
Last week: Beat Dacula 35-0
Brookwood Broncos (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Mark CrewsRecord: 0-1
Last week: Had a bye
Last meeting: First meeting
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
Shannon Jarvis still remembers the last time he stepped on the field at Brookwood.
Jarvis was an assistant at South Gwinnett under legendary coach T. McFerrin. Brookwood was ranked No. 1 in the state and the Comets had just beat the Broncos 15-14.
"I used to know them like the back of my hand," Jarvis said. "That was what we did every summer, break them down on film."
The following year Jarvis took the head coaching job at Mill Creek, where he was joined by several members of South's staff.
The group has gotten a good look at Brookwood again this week on tape.
The two programs separated by nearly 20 miles down Ga. Highway 124 have never played each other at any level of football. Not ninth grade, junior varsity or varsity until Friday.
"We're excited to play them," Jarvis said.
The matchup will be a good indicator of where the Mill Creek program stands. After reaching the quarterfinals in 2010, the Hawks dropped to 5-5 last year. They are coming off a big 35-0 win over rival Dacula last week.
"You've got to beat the Brookwoods and Parkviews to be in the upper echelon in the county," Jarvis said. "But our approach this week hasn't been about them. Our approach is that it's the next game on the schedule."
The scheduling of the game came out convenience and not necessity. The Hawks have played weaker non-region games in the past that didn't help prepare them for the grueling play of Region 7-AAAAAA. What better opponent to play than one of the state's top teams that is two years removed from a state title.
"I've always had tremendous respect for that program," Jarvis said.
For Brookwood it made sense to schedule a Gwinnett team as opposed to traveling to South Georgia for competition.
"It's more convenience than anything," Brookwood coach Mark Crews said. "If we can get crossover games with teams in our own county it beats traveling to places like Valdosta or East Coweta. It's right down the road and it's good competition."
Brookwood has had two weeks off since its 35-24 loss to Walton in the Corky Kell Classic. Raiders running back Tyren Jones, an Alabama commitment, rushed for 308 yards that night.
"We are inexperienced on defense and we tried to correct some mistakes that we made," Crews said.
Crews will find out if those changes worked Friday. Mill Creek rushed for 358 yards in last week's win and was led by Jacorey Lewis' 215 yards rushing and three TDs.
"Dacula was a quarterfinal team a year ago and they whooped them pretty good," Crews said. "They made a statement. They are playing good football. We better be ready or it will be a long night."
The Broncos' defense will try to put pressure on sophomore quarterback Daniel David, who will be making his second career start. David was 5 of 9 for 84 yards and two TDs in his debut against Dacula.
"They will be much improved," Jarvis said of the Brookwood defense. "I promise you that defense will be fired up and ready to play us."
Brookwood has playmakers of its own on offense. Jamaal Cole rushed for 167 yards and two TDs against Walton, while Kyrin Priester caught six passes for 90 yards and a TD.
"I feel like they are a great team across the board," Jarvis said. "Against them, you can't play sloppy. They will take advantage of it."