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Prep football notes: Norcross enjoys bounce back, awaits showdown with North

Parkview’s quarterback Jack Chambers (8) releases a pass while receiving a hit from Norcross’ Lorenzo Carter (8) during high school football action in Lilburn on Friday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

Parkview’s quarterback Jack Chambers (8) releases a pass while receiving a hit from Norcross’ Lorenzo Carter (8) during high school football action in Lilburn on Friday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

Norcross was all smiles after its 21-7 win over Parkview on Friday. But the Blue Devils know they can’t linger on the win for too long. Defending state champion Norcross will host No. 1-ranked North Gwinnett this week.

“It means a lot,” Norcross running back Josh Boyd said of the Parkview win.

“We are happy about it, but it’s back to work on Monday. North Gwinnett is a great team.”

Norcross defeated North 31-21 last year en route to the Region 7-AAAAAA title and Class AAAAAA state championship. It’s the Bulldogs’ only loss to a Gwinnett County school in the last two seasons. It also snapped the Bulldogs’ 22-game region win streak that spanned from 2009-11.

“They are a great team,” Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. “They execute really well on offense. We have to play great defense. We can’t turn the ball over to them.”

Buford denies Watson historical achievement

While Buford’s running game dominated in the Wolves’ 38-14 win over Gainesville, it was the Buford defense that caught the attention of those in attendance.

Despite Gainesville’s prolific passing attack led by Clemson-bound Deshaun Watson, the Buford defense kept him in check all night, making him earn his 206 yards through the air on 24 of 43 attempts. Not only was Buford’s defense good enough to secure the win, it also forced Watson to have to wait one more week to reach an new milestone amongst Georgia prep quarterbacks.

Watson came into Friday’s game needing 240 yards to surpass the 10,000 yard mark for a prep career, something that has never been done in Georgia.

“You know they have that explosiveness in them,” Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. “Our defense really showed up (on Friday).

Confidence boost

Parkview quarterback Jack Chambers threw two interceptions for touchdowns in a span of four plays during the fourth quarter in the season opener.

The sophomore QB didn’t throw a pass until the fourth quarter of Friday’s 21-7 loss to Norcross. His first pass was a 5-yard screen to Brandon Sullivan. He then completed a 14-yard pass to Johnathan Boyd and then threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Lacey. Chambers finished 3 of 5 for 46 yards.

Hawks’ balanced attack

In 338 yards there wasn’t a star.

In Mill Creek’s manhandling of Brookwood on Friday there were long sprints, sharp cutbacks and bulldozing runs, but there were different numbers seemingly every carry. And after each carry the rushing total numbers kept climbing. Through 48 rushing attempts, not Hawk back carried the ball more than nine times, three others had eight carries and no player cracked 100 yards rushing.

Carter Governale led the way with just 87 yards, Devozea Felton was right behind with 85 and four other players racked up more than 20 rushing yards. In all, 10 different backs carried the ball for Mill Creek.

“Hall” of fame

Under the position section of Berkmar’s roster, Rashad Hall is simply listed as “athlete.”

The senior lived up to that label Friday night by doing a little bit of everything for the Patriots in their 35-7 win at neighborhood rival Meadowcreek.

Hall ran the ball only once, but found the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown on that play, and also caught two passes for 45 yards, including a 37-yard catch and run that helped set up a key touchdown in the final minute of the first half.

But his biggest contribution came on special teams, on which he blocked not one, but two Mustang punts, both of which set up Berkmar scores.

“He’s a great player,” Patriots coach Jonathan Sanks said. “He makes plays whenever I ask him to. He did a good job (Friday night).”

— Staff Writers Ben Beitzel, Brandon Brigman and David Friedlander and senior correspondent Scott Smith contributed to this report