THE BLITZ: Is North lucky or just that good?

I think you need a little bit of luck in the playoffs to win a state championship. The ball needs to bounce a certain way, calls need to go in your favor, you just need a little bit of luck.

When a team wins in the last minute of a game, you might attribute some of that to luck. But what about when they do it again the following week? Or when they’ve done it previous times?

It seems like then it’s not luck, but just skill.

I thought North Gwinnett was ‘lucky’ to kick a last-second field last week to beat Archer. The win could have gone either way. But then the Bulldogs backed up the win with another last-minute victory. North scored in the final 1:13 to win last week, which had me wondering are the Bulldogs just that lucky or are they that good?

I’m leaning towards they are really good.

You have to remember this is the same team that trailed by 22 points in the fourth quarter to Mill Creek this year and came back and won 50-47.

It’s the same team that trailed 2012 state champion Norcross 17-10 at halftime and won 36-17.

North Gwinnett knows how to rally in the second half. They also know how to win. I don’t think that’s lucky.

What’s even more impressive is North has had to do all its winning on the road. Despite winning a share of the Region 7-AAAAAA, the Bulldogs were the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, meaning they’ve had to play all the games on the road.

North travels to Cobb County to face McEachern and wouldn’t mind another road game the following week. That would be in the Georgia Dome for the state finals.

Well-known Propst returns to semis

Norcross is the defending state champions and it will host Colquitt County, arguably the state’s best team not to win a state title in recent years.

The Packers are in the semifinals for the fifth straight season and have reached the title game just once in 2010. Brookwood beat them in the state championship game that year, Grayson knocked them out in the 2011 semis and Norcross beat them last year.

Colquitt is led by head coach Rush Propst, who might be the most well-known high school football coach in the nation. Propst built Hoover (Ala.) into a national power in the 2000s, was featured on a MTV reality show, had some well-publicized family matters, was hired at Colquitt County and then fought cancer.

Propst’s story gained so much attention that ESPN’s E:60 did a story about Propst that you can watch at this link.

Eagles graduate talented class

Collins Hill’s senior class will graduate as one of the program’s most accomplished. In a four-year span they reached the playoffs every year and posted a 32-17 record. The biggest accomplishment, though, was claiming a share of the Region 7-AAAAAA championship.

After being the third- or fourth-best team in the region the last few years, Collins Hill showed it belongs as one of the state’s best.

Dacula’s improbable run ends

I talked about it last week, but I never imagined Dacula reaching the state quarterfinals this year. I think a winning record would have been a big enough accomplish for first-year head coach Tommy Jones. He certainly exceeded my expectations and has to be in consideration for coach of the year honors.

The Falcons should be good again next year, but I don’t think they will catch anyone by surprise. They return almost the entire defense and many of the skill players on offense return.

Fresh face in playoffs

One of the interesting things about Buford’s playoff run this season has been the new teams it has faced. The Wolves played Sonoraville and Woodward Academy for the first time in the early rounds of this year’s playoffs. Buford will face another fairly new team in Callaway.

The only other time the two schools have played each other was in the second round of the 2010 state playoffs that Buford won 52-14.

The Wolves will get Callaway at home where they have won 20 straight home playoff games. A seventh straight trip to the state finals is on the line.



Colquitt County at Norcross

North Gwinnett at McEachern

Class AAA

Callaway at Buford