North Gwinnett at Mountain View preview


Kielan Whitner

North Gwinnett Bulldogs (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Bob Sphire

Record: 7-1, 5-1 region

Last week: Lost to Collins Hill 53-28

Mountain View Bears (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Doug Giacone

Record: 2-6, 2-4 region

Last week: Beat Meadowcreek 49-13

North Gwinnett tasted its first loss of the season, a 53-28 defeat by the way of Collins Hill, last week. The Bulldogs’ hopes of a region title aren’t out of the question, but they need to win out starting Friday as they visit Mountain View.

“We have to get our mojo back and play with confidence,” North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said.

Bulldogs starting quarterback Hayden Sphire, the county’s leading passer, was injured in last week’s loss and is not expected to play. John Urzua will make his first varsity start. The junior is 21 of 38 for 247 yards with two touchdowns and an interception this season.

“We need to get a win,” Bob Sphire said. “They really need to rally around John and support him.”

Mountain View notched its second win of the year when it beat Meadowcreek last week. Quarterback Crew Perry threw four touchdown passes and ran for one, while Kielan Whitner caught two TD passes. The Bears’ offense will try to continue their success against a North defense that has allowed 100 points in its last three games.

“I don’t want to lay it on the defense,” Bob Sphire said. “We have to take care of the football and there’s a lot of factors that go into that. You win and lose as a team.”

Last meeting: North Gwinnett 49-7 last year

Directions to Mountain View High School: From Ga. Hwy. 316, go north on Ga. Hwy. 20 and bear right on Ga. Hwy. 124. Turn left on Sunny Hill Road and school is on the right.