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Grayson at Central Gwinnett preview

Grayson’s Austin Hamilton

Grayson’s Austin Hamilton

Grayson Rams (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Mickey Conn

Record: 2-3, 2-1 region

Last week: Beat Shiloh 44-3

Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Todd Wofford

Record: 2-2, 2-0 region

Last week: Beat South Gwinnett 41-14

OUTLOOK

This matchup ended with a 52-point Grayson win last year, so Central Gwinnett gets to prove how much it’s closed the gap on the Rams this season. The Black Knights are off to a strong start, bouncing back from two straight non-region losses to win consecutive region games over Berkmar and South Gwinnett.

While the defense carried the load early, the Central offense picked up momentum last week behind big games from quarterback Eric Forrest (326 passing yards) and running back Nigel Adams (151 rushing yards). It was the first heavy action this season for the highly touted Adams, who suffered a gash with stitches on his helmet line in the opener that finally healed up.

“It’s taken awhile, but I think we have an identity now (on offense),” Wofford said. “We’re far from where we want to be, though. We left a lot of points and yards out there (vs. South).”

Grayson’s powerful ground game powered a dominating win over Shiloh last Friday. Aares McCall and the backs carried the load, taking some pressure off first-time starter Chase Brice, a freshman, at quarterback. Brice has stepped into the role filled previously by Hunter Schuessler, who likely will miss this week’s game again.

The defense and offense played well last season for the Rams, who recovered from an upset loss to Dacula.

“It was good for us, we were happy to get a win,” Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. “It was nice to come back after a tough loss and rally.”

Last meeting: Grayson won 52-0 last year

Directions to Central Gwinnett High School: From I-85, take Sugarloaf Parkway exit and go east to Ga. Hwy. 29. Turn left on Hwy. 29 and school is on the right at Gwinnett Drive.