South Gwinnett’s Tuwile Wilson (20) runs for a first down during the game against Berkmar earlier this season. (Photo: David McGregor)
GRAYSON AT SOUTH GWINNETT
Grayson Rams (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Mickey Conn
Record: 4-3, 4-1 region
Last week: Beat Berkmar 37-7
South Gwinnett Comets (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: John Small
Record: 2-4, 1-3 region
Last week: Had a bye
Last meeting: Grayson won 52-0 last year.
Directions to South Gwinnett High School: (From Ga. Highway 78, go south on Skyland Drive. School is on the left.
2012: Grayson 41, South Gwinnett 0
2011: Grayson 40, South Gwinnett 0
2010: South Gwinnett 24, Grayson 22
2009: Grayson 27, South Gwinnett 16
2008: Grayson 49, South Gwinnett 14
2007: Grayson 32, South Gwinnett 0
2006: Grayson 21, South Gwinnett 7
2005: South Gwinnett 15, Grayson 10
2004 Grayson 13, South Gwinnett 3
2003: South Gwinnett 34, Grayson 14
2002: South Gwinnett 31, Grayson 10
If there’s one message coming out of South Gwinnett this week it’s a mantra of focusing on the micro.
The Comets host Grayson this week, coming out of a bye and searching for a much needed win. Even at 1-3 in Region 8-AAAAAA, South is not out of the playoff race with a quagmire of teams in the middle of the region. But that’s too big picture, Small insists, winnowing down the scope beyond the typical one-game-at-a-time.
“They really don’t have a lot of room for error,” Small said of his young team. “The way we go about it, we attack day by day. We’ve got a game Friday against Grayson, but it’s a long way off.”
Small said that Monday. Grayson visits Friday.
And the Rams bring with them a three-game winning streak and a team growing as the season has gone along.
“You can say that about offense, defense and special teams,” head coach Mickey Conn said of his team following last week’s win over Berkmar. The Rams, even during their slow start, had plenty of production from running backs Aares McCall and Cameryn Brent, but the run of success began with the arrival of freshman quarterback Chase Brice.
Brice had a breakout game, from Grayson’s perspective, against Berkmar throwing for 101 yards on 8 of 14 passing and one touchdown. He has avoided the costly interception, returning to the ball control offense the Conn-led Rams are known for.
“They are going to run the football, first and foremost,” South’s Small said. “They do a good job of playing field position.
“Whoever they play back there (at quarterback) is going to do a good job of managing the game. That’s all they ask him to do.”
Just like the Rams, South’s last time on the field was a win over Berkmar, a successful outing in more than just the results.
“I thought our kids made some huge strides in the Berkmar game and in the week leading up to it,” Small said. “I thought they had a great mindset in the open week. We are just trying to get better as a football team.”
One of the players leading that charge for the Comets is safety Chris Skyers. The sophomore worked his way into the starting lineup and has 16 tackles so far this season.
“He’s a great leader by example,” Small said. “He’s just going to do his job. He does it in the classroom and on the field.”
On offense, it’s the Comets’ offensive line, doing the same Small said.
“I am proud of all of our kids,” he said. “Our record isn’t what we want it to be, but I am proud of our kids.
“We are not going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.”
And why would they?
Just like the Rams, who lost three of their first four, South remains in a position to make a charge at one of the 8-AAAAAA playoff spots. The Comets play three teams ahead of them in the standings over the next three weeks and as this season shows, very few teams are unbeatable.
“Everybody is in control of their own destiny,” Small said. “There is a lot of ball left to play.”