THE BLITZ: Exciting wins the best part of H.S. football

Every season there’s always one big Friday night in high school football.

That day was last week.

There were three big games that reminded us why we love high school football so much.

The first was Meadowcreek’s win over Habersham Central. I think everyone in the county has a soft spot in their heart for the Mustangs. No one wants to see a team lose week after week, season after season.

Meadowcreek and victory haven’t been mentioned in the same sentence in a long time, but the Mustangs snapped a 53-game losing streak dating back to 2008. It was the second-longest in state history.

I’m pretty sure Daily Post sports writer David Friedlander is one of a handful of people in the world to see both of those wins. Friedlander covered Friday’s win, which snapped a 91-game region losing streak as well, and the 2008 win over Duluth.

Another big game from Friday was No. 1 ranked North Gwinnett’s 50-47 comeback victory over Mill Creek.

I’ve seen North win several games I thought they shouldn’t, but Friday’s win over Mill Creek tops them all. They went to Grayson last year and dominated the defending state champs in the second round of the playoffs. In 2011, they were down 22-7 in the fourth quarter to Norcross and won 29-22.

The Bulldogs faced a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit and managed to come back and win. It may be a sign that the Bulldogs are not as mighty as we thought they we were. Or it was that close game that every championship caliber team has as a wakeup call.

The final big game, I think, was overshadowed a bit. Parkview had a 28-21 win over Dacula. The Panthers were winless this year and the victory pumped some life into their season.

Dacula has proven itself as a playoff-caliber team, so for the Panthers to get the win was huge.


Heartbreak Hawks

Mill Creek added another tough loss to its record this season. The Hawks fell 31-30 to Peachtree Ridge in the final minutes a few weeks ago. They let a 19-point led slip away against North Gwinnett on Friday.

Imagine if Mill Creek has one play go different in each game. They would be 6-1 and tied for first place in the region.

Instead the Hawks are 4-3 and are on the cusp of missing the playoffs. They need to win out to have a shot to reach the postseason for back-to-back seasons for the first time.

Brown for POY

Since 2000, the Daily Post’s Offensive Player of the Year award has been dominated by running backs. A few quarterbacks have won it, but the honor typically goes to a running back.

That may change this year. North Gwinnett receiver Nate Brown has thrusted himself to the top of the leaderboard for POY. Brown is among the county leaders in receptions, yards and yards per catch. He leads the county with 14 touchdown catches.

Dacula’s Cameron Kenney in 2006 and Buford’s P.K. Sam in 2000 were the last two receivers to win Daily Post POY honors, but Brown is making a great case to join them.

Abernathy nice compliment to Chapple

Greater Atlanta Christian has one of the county’s top quarterbacks in Rafe Chapple. Micah Abernathy is also emerging as one of the county’s top running backs. Abernathy had 204 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the Friday’s win over Westminster. He had TD runs of 96 and 41 yards. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear Abernathy outrunning people, considering he was a state champion in track.

Record day to goose egg

I still don’t know how Collins Hill can go from 500 yards passing one week to 120 total yards the next week.

But that’s what happened in Friday’s 28-0 loss to defending state champion Norcross. It was the first time the Eagles were shutout since 2008.

But with that said, I think it opened up some eyes for people that Norcross is still a serious title contender. The first few games were rough, but now they have four-straight wins. One of my concerns was Norcross’ secondary with two new cornerbacks. But they answered that by shutting down a very good Collins Hill team.


• Chestatee at Lanier

The Longhorns lost in overtime last year during a four-game skid and barely missed the playoffs. A win on Friday and the Longhorns have to like their chances of making the playoffs for the first time in the school’s brief history.

• Grayson at South Gwinnett

Grayson head coach Mickey Conn returns to his alma mater to play crosstown rival South Gwinnett. Grayson has won three-straight games, while South is coming off a bye. The Comets haven’t forgotten about the 41-0 loss last season.