In this 2012 file photo, Archer’s K.J. Parmer (14) runs the ball during the game against Mountain View.
ARCHER AT MOUNTAIN VIEW
Archer Tigers (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Andy Dyer
Last week: First game
Mountain View bears (7-AAAAAA)
Coach: Doug Giacone
Last week: First game
Last meeting: Archer won 47-7 last year.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Directions to Mountain View High School: From Ga. Hwy. 316, go north on Ga. Hwy. 20 and bear right on Ga. Hwy. 124. Turn left on Sunny Hill Road and school is on the right.
2012: Archer 47, Mountain View 7
2011: Archer 18, Mountain View 7
2010: Archer 17, Mountain View 14
Early-season games play out a variety of ways.
First, it’s the real season and teams with designs on those special undefeated runs must fulfill the 1-0 part of the unbeaten cliché. It’s also a chance for coaches to evaluate younger or more inexperienced players in game situations that fall just a bit short of region importance. They can be showcases. They can be extensions of scrimmages. They can tune-ups or they can be non-region rivalries.
So what is Mountain View vs. Archer?
Friday marks the fourth varsity football meeting between the two Gwinnett schools birthed the same year. Archer owns the first three wins, but it’s difficult to nail down where this game falls on the scope of non-region matchups.
“I think it is (a rivalry),” Archer head coach Andy Dyer said. “Their student body and our student body, starting the same year, it’s a competitive ball game. I guess the fans and the media determine whether or not it’s a rivalry, but we are excited about getting to play someone else beside ourselves.”
Mountain View’s head coach Doug Giacone, in his second season heading the Bears, has a similarly ambiguous view.
“I think that’s probably dependent on whoever you talk to,” Giacone said. “I think it’s a game our kids look forward to. To say it’s a big-time rivalry, you’d have to say that as competitive as we are against each other, both teams look toward region play and really look at some of those nearby opponents that we may have split from when we opened that may be our natural rivals in geographic proximity.”
But Dyer sums it up. After all, it is a football game.
“They want to beat us real bad and we want to be them real bad,” he said.
Returning players in important positions — quarterback Gabe Tiller, receiver K.J. Parmer — gives Archer some stability on an offense that will feature a sophomore at tailback in Dillon Singleton.
“We played with quite a few sophomores on offense last year,” Dyer said. “They have a better understanding of the offense this year, a better maturity mentally and, obviously, another year of maturity physically. You hope it’s a good formula. We are looking for those guys to step out on to the field and execute.”
For Mountain View, coming off a disappointing three-win season, Friday’s matchup gives the Bears a chance to evaluate the impact of an offseason on a program entering its second year under Giacone.
“We have a bunch of guys that have been working their tails off since January that are really looking forward to the start of the season,” Giacone said. “As is the case with early-season games you are going to have evaluation period especially if you are playing new personnel. There is always some evaluation that goes on throughout the season, but somewhere early on you are trying to get a sense of who you are and what you are capable of achieving.”