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Archer at Berkmar preview

Berkmar’s Randy Griffin

Berkmar’s Randy Griffin

Archer Tigers (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Andy Dyer

Record: 7-0, 5-0 region

Last week: Beat Central Gwinnett 41-20

Berkmar Patriots (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Jonathan Sanks

Record: 3-3, 1-3 region

Last week: Lost 37-7 to Grayson

In the midst of a crazy year so far in 8-AAAAAA, Berkmar’s head coach Jonathan Sanks knows his team still has a shot at a special season even mired in a three-game losing streak.

“Like I’ve been telling my guys, the beauty of it is we are still in it,” Sanks said. “All we have to do is win out. If we win out, we are in (the playoffs).”

Sounds simple enough. But up next for the Patriots is the one team in the region yet to slip this season. Archer comes to Lilburn unbeaten and with a swath of skill across the field. Sanks, in his fourth season at Berkmar, credits the feeder program in the Archer area for the Tigers’ rapid rise. And for Tigers head coach Andy Dyer, that’s all part of the process. What Dyer is most pleased with is the maturity of his players handling the success so far this season.

“They are not walking around thinking they are king of the woods,” Dyer said. “The way I determine how they can handle the distractions (of success) is what they look like during the week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is how you determine who they are.”

Against Berkmar, the Tigers will face a fierce defense doomed of late by a lackluster offense. Against Grayson, the Patriots dropped passes and struggled to move the ball. Running back Randy Griffin led the team with 21 rushing yards on 10 carries.

“He works hard and he prepares,” Sanks said. “We are going to ask him to run that rock this week.”

Last meeting: Archer won 42-0 last year

Directions to Berkmar High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road; school is on the right just before Ga. Highway 29.