Mill Creek Hawks (7-AAAAAA)
Coach: Shannon Jarvis
Record: 5-3, 3-3 region
Last week: Had a bye
Habersham Central Raiders (7-AAAAAA)
Coach: Michael Pollock
Record: 0-9, 0-7 region
Last week: Lost 27-14 to Duluth
Shannon Jarvis knows it’s a long shot, so he’s worrying about what he controls.
At 3-3 in Region 7-AAAAAA, Mill Creek needs wins plus help in the final two weeks to squeeze into the playoffs. They are a game behind Peachtree Ridge in fifth place in the region with Habersham Central this week and Collins Hill in the regular season finale.
“There is only one definitive thing here: We don’t win, we don’t go to the playoffs,” the head coach Jarvis said.
Facing winless Habersham and coming off a bye week, Mill Creek is as healthy a team as it’s been in weeks. Running back Devozea Felton (turf toe) and safety Zach Turner (sprained MCL) will both miss Friday’s game, but many players used the week to shake off eight games of bruises, bumps and soreness. Linemen like Kaleb Kim and backs Andrew Sciara and Johnathan Hawkins all used the bye week approach full strength while the Hawks took time to study themselves. And now they turn eyes to Habersham and winning the first of two required games to even hope for a postseason.
“As long as you are preparing and practicing hard and you focus on what you need to do to be successful on that particular play, you can compartmentalize (the moment from the big picture),” Jarvis said. “That’s what you have to do especially with high school kids. You can’t win two games if you don’t win the first one. It’s the greatest challenge we have as coaches to keep it that simple to them.”
Last meeting: Mill Creek won 49-0 last year
Directions to Habersham Central High School: I-85 north to I-985 north, which turns into Highway 365. Get off on Clarksville exit, or Highway 197 and go toward Clarksville. At stop sign, turn right and school is on right.