Brookwood running back Jesse Brown (48) finds a hole past Mill Creek defenders Semaj Starling (98) and Michael Leonard (23) during last week’s game. (Photo: Karl L.Moore)
While remembering history is usually encouraged in most situations, both coaches in Friday's Region 8-AAAAAA opener between Archer and Brookwood are actually trying to forget history — both recent and long-term.
At the very least, Archer coach Andy Dyer and Brookwood coach Mark Crews want their teams not to dwell on history.
Dyer would rather his Tigers (2-0) not focus on the fact that they’ve never beaten the Broncos (0-2) despite close calls the last two years — losses of one and two points respectively.
“The way the coaches look at it, and I think this goes for every coach in the region right now, everybody’s 0-0,” Dyer said. “To be honest, we haven’t really talked about (the chance to beat Brookwood for the first time). This is a region game, No. 1, no matter who (the opponent) is, … and Brookwood’s going to come out swinging.”
At the same time, Crews is trying to keep his focus away from a couple of potentially historic trends that could be established Friday, with a loss sending Brookwood to its first 0-3 start since 1986, while a win would give Archer its first 3-0 start in its brief history.
“(The situation) is not very familiar to us at all,” Crews said. “I don’t want to make excuses, but we’ve had a rash of injuries the first couple of weeks. At the same time, I hope we’ve gained a little experience for some of the younger guys.
“What everybody talks about now is how tough the region is, and (with the slow start) people have started smelling blood. So, we’d better just get up, dust ourselves off and get back in there. … And our kids understand they’ve played two pretty good football teams so far. They still believe they can win.”
The Broncos will be facing another strong team this week in the Tigers. They feature a multi-pronged offensive attack that can beat teams on the ground with the running of Randy Nails (32 car., 221 yards, TD) and the passing game led by Gabe Tiller (27-47-2, 344 yards, 5 TDs) and receivers Kyle Davis (6-145, 4 TDs), K.J. Parmer (8-88, TD) and Blake Woods (3-56, TD).
“They’ve done a good job over there,” Crews said of Archer. “They’re a tough ball club, but (our) formula’s going to be the same — try to play good defense if we can and operate efficiently on offense and keep the ball away from them.
“We haven’t really played that well on offense. Some of that has to do with all the injuries.”
The Broncos are still a little banged up, with running back Josh Brown out for the season with a knee injury, and other starters like guard Miguel Herrera and Patrick Mills out for Friday.
But Dyer is still wary of the Broncos’ talent level, their ability to throw the ball behind Joey McLane (17-41-1, 242 yards, TD) and receiver Mike Allen (7-118).
He’s definitely more concerned with the present of Brookwood football rather than his own past with it, both as a player and an assistant coach, before beginning the program at Archer.
“It is hard playing against your old buddies,” Dyer admitted. “But (tonight) just comes down to our kids against their kids. We’ve got to control the football and we cannot turn the football over. We’ve got to continue to get better on defense and continue to run to the football and maybe create some turnovers of our own.”
Brookwood Broncos (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Mark Crews
Last week: Lost to Mill Creek 44-10
Archer Tigers (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Andy Dyer
Last week: Beat East Coweta 21-17
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Brookwood won 20-19 last year
Directions to Archer High School: From I-85 take Ga. 20 exit toward Lawrenceville. Follow road through downtown Lawrenceville as it turns to Jackson then New Hope Road. School is on the right.
2012 — Brookwood 20, Archer 19
2011 — Brookwood 21, Archer 19
2010 — Brookwood 37, Archer 0