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PREVIEW: Central Gwinnett at Berkmar

Central Gwinnett's #34 Justin Brownlee

Central Gwinnett's #34 Justin Brownlee

CENTRAL GWINNETT BLACK KNIGHTS (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Todd Wofford

Record: 2-0, 0-0 region

Last week: Had a bye

BERKMAR PATRIOTS (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Jonathan Sanks

Record: 1-2, 0-1 region

Last week: Lost to Shiloh 19-7

In a lot of ways, the Black Knights and Patriots shouldn’t have to change much in their game preparations this week, since both teams do a lot of the same things out of their respective spread offenses.

However, it is those little differences that may spell the difference Friday.

From Central’s perspective, it may be a case of the Black Knights’ improved defense not only gearing up for Jaquan Morris, Dorren Miller and Berkmar’s high-powered passing game, but also an improved Patriots running game, led by R.J. Perdeoux.

“They spread you out, and they run the ball better this year,” Central coach Todd Wofford said of Berkmar. “That’s the biggest difference, and we’ve got to be ready for that.

“To a degree (Berkmar’s personnel is a lot like Central’s), but it’s a different make up in that I’ve had my guys together for two or three years now, and they’re a little bit younger. But you’ve got to respect what they’ve done so far.”

And what the Patriots have done so far is be considerably more competitive by already matching their win total from all of last season, with both their losses coming by an average of 9.5 points.

But that only emphasizes Berkmar coach Jonathan Sanks’ goal for tonight’s game.

“We’ve got to finish,” Sanks said. “We haven’t finished in both games we’ve lost. It’s just a matter of being focused.”

Focus is also on Sanks’ mind when it comes to dealing with Central’s explosive offense, led by quarterback Eman Westmoreland and receiver Justin Brownlee, which, while similar to Berkmar’s is something he sees as being more consistent.

“It is pretty much like watching ourselves, but maybe with more athletes,” Sanks said. “It is kind of easier to prepare (than against a team that does something different), but at the same time, we can never simulate with our scout team the speed they (Central) have.”

Last meeting: Central won 49-6 last year

Directions to Berkmar High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road; school is on the right just before Ga. Highway 29.