Wesleyan’s Josh Garrard (24) dives for extra yardage as GAC defenders Jake Rose (11), Jonathan Pickens (22), Mitchell Milovich (56) and Ross Wood (20) make the stop during Friday night’s game at Wesleyan. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
As the weeks rolled by and Greater Atlanta Christian piled up victories, it became more apparent that the Spartans’ regular season finale would be the biggest game of the season.
Head coach Tim Hardy deflected any questions about the matchup in the previous weeks. Now that Week 11 is finally here, the No. 2 ranked Spartans can talk about playing No. 3 Lovett.
“From early on in the year, it looked like Lovett and GAC were on track to play each other with a lot on the line,” Hardy said. “We’re thankful to have this opportunity.”
GAC is 9-0 and has the chance to go 10-0 and win the region title for the first since 2001. Lovett is 8-1, which includes a double overtime win over Marist and and a victory over St. Pius. The Lions’ only loss was in overtime to Washington County.
“I think it would be great to win the region,” Hardy said. “We are excited to play for it. We haven’t focused on it too much this year.”
GAC has been dominant this season by winning games by an average of 41 points.
“I’m proud of our guys and how they’ve executed really well,” Hardy said. “We’ve executed in all three phases of the game and have been consistent. Our guys have come in focused.”
The last time GAC played in a game of two highly ranked teams was in 2011 when Hardy was still the head coach at Mountain View. Spartans were ranked No. 3 when they lost to No. 1 ranked Buford.
“I just feel like our team is dialed in on 2013,” Hardy said.
Farewell for Flowe
Gwinnett County will say goodbye to one of its coaching legends on Friday. Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe, the county’s all-time winningest coach, will coach his final game on Friday against South Gwinnett.
“We’re trying to pack the stadium one more time for Coach Flowe in the Big Orange Jungle,” Parkview athletic director Mark Whitley said.
Flowe has been the head coach at Parkview for 21 years, compiling a 197-66 career record with six region titles and four state championships.
A replacement has not been named for Flowe.
Norcross relying on Lions for region title
Norcross is the defending state champion and Region 7-AAAAAA champion. The Blue Devils can repeat as region champs on Friday with a victory over Meadowcreek and loss by North Gwinnett. The Blue Devils are in a three-way tie for first with North and Collins Hill. If the Bulldogs lose to Peachtree Ridge, that would give Norcross the title. The Blue Devils beat Collins Hill and would have the head-to-head tiebreaker over them.
Norcross must first take care of business against Meadowcreek on Friday, who they have defeated the last 12 times including 56-6 last season. The Mustangs held a 55-game losing streak before breaking it this year. They have lost three in a row since then.
Brookwood playoff streak in jeopardy
Brookwood has Gwinnett County’s longest active playoff streak in Class AAAAAA, but that could be in jeopardy this week.
The Broncos need a win over last year’s region champion Grayson to make the playoffs for the 12th straight year. Even with a Brookwood loss, the Broncos can still get in the postseason with a South Gwinnett loss to Parkview.
Shiloh looks to snap streak
Shiloh has posted a losing record for nine straight seasons. The Generals can break that streak on Friday with a win over Central Gwinnett. Shiloh is 4-5, which is the most games it’s won since 2009. A victory over the Black Knights would give the Generals five wins for the first time since 2003, when they went 6-5.