Similar South, Central meet in Gwinnett's oldest rivalry

Staff Photo: John Bohn South Gwinnett quarterback Jordan Ramey (2) rushes for a touchdown during the first quarter of last week's game against Shiloh.

Staff Photo: John Bohn South Gwinnett quarterback Jordan Ramey (2) rushes for a touchdown during the first quarter of last week's game against Shiloh.


South Gwinnett Comets (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: John Small

Record: 3-1 (2-0)

Last week: Beat Shiloh 31-0

Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Todd Wofford

Record: 3-0 (1-0)

Last week: Beat Berkmar 51-24

Last meeting: South Gwinnett won 63-55 last year.

Directions to Central Gwinnett High School: From Ga. Highway 78, go south on Skyland Drive. School is on the left.

Series history:

2011: South Gwinnett 63, Central Gwinnett 55

2010: South Gwinnett 62, Central Gwinnett 27

2009: South Gwinnett 41, Central Gwinnett 0

2008: South Gwinnett 28, Central Gwinnett 3

2007: South Gwinnett 36, Central Gwinnett 29

2006: Central Gwinnett 32, South Gwinnett 7

2005: Central Gwinnett 31, South Gwinnett 17

2004: Central Gwinnett 13, South Gwinnett 7

2003: South Gwinnett 42, Central Gwinnett 7

2002: South Gwinnett 28, Central Gwinnett 0

2001: South Gwinnett 27, Central Gwinnett 0

2000: Central Gwinnett 28, South Gwinnett 14

Only jersey colors and hometowns distinguish these two teams.

They both runs spread offenses, both have quarterbacks who threaten with their arms and legs and each has its own SEC-caliber linebacker.

Not that defense came into play during their last meeting.

When Central Gwinnett took on South Gwinnett last year in the Georgia Dome, the two teams' offenses exploded the scoreboard, combining for 118 points and 1,305 yards in a 63-55 South Gwinnett win.

"You hope it doesn't get into one those deals like last year," Central's Todd Wofford said.

"That was a bizarre ballgame, it really was," said South head coach John Small, who will take any type of game that gives his team a win. "Well take a win if it's 1-0 or 100-0."

One hundred points seem more likely Friday.

Both teams average more than 30 points and the Black Knights are scoring a scorching 41 per outing. South quarterback Jordan Ramey, in four games has thrown for 792 yards with eight touchdowns and just one pick. He's rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown.

"He has a very strong arm," Wofford said of Ramey. "A live arm, he's tall, he gets out of the pocket and hurts you big time with his legs."

In one less game, Central's senior Eman Westmoreland has 843 yards and has completed 67 percent of his 90 passes with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Like Ramey, he's rushed well, piling up 139 yards and two more scores.

"He makes quick decisions and he does a good job of delivering the football," Small said of Westmoreland. "He's got a great offensive line, probably one of the best they've had there in a while."

So does South, and the Comets hope to get three of their starting lineman back this week with the return of Corey Taite, Daniel Ziegler and Dennis Edwards.

Central is unbeaten and South has just one loss, but what matters most is the unbeaten Region 8-AAAAAA records, making the county's oldest rivalry a bigger game than just bragging rights for generations of alumni.

"It's big for a couple of reasons," Wofford said. "It's big, first off, in the region. You have four teams ... that are undefeated in the region and two will go on to be undefeated in the region and two will kind of go back to the middle of the pack

"It's big that we can get a gauge on who we really are."

South missed the playoffs a year ago as well, but the Black Knights are chasing a berth for the first time since 2006.

"To win in this region, you have to be able to slow down these offenses," Wofford said. "With South, you just want to slow them down a little and we didn't slow them down at all last year."

Central does have Auburn-bound linebacker Trey Johnson to help slow the Comets' attack. In three games, Johnson has 25 tackles, three for a loss and one interception.

"He's fun to watch on film and not very fun to play against," Small said.

But just like every other position, South can match Central with Georgia commit Reginald Carter.

Carter and the Comets face the task of not just slowing Westmoreland and the relentless Black Knights' attack, but running back Jordan Shiloh hopes to return to the Central backfield. A preseason expected starter, Shiloh now joins the emerging Jonathan Hawkins who has 222 yards in the Black Knights three wins.

"This game has so much relevance that it's crazy," Wofford said.