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FIFTH QUARTER: Not as bad as it seems for Archer

With Friday’s 14-10 loss to Peachtree Ridge, Archer is 0-2 for the first time in school history.

It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.

The Tigers received a fair amount of preseason praise with a slew of returning starters back from last year’s 11-1 team went unbeaten in the regular season and won the program’s first Region 8-AAAAAA title.

So 0-2 is the last thing most would expect from the up-and-coming Lawrenceville squad.

But considering Archer’s non-region schedule, this is a losing streak the Tigers can probably afford to tolerate.

Their margin of defeat is just six points, and that’s against one of the state’s toughest two-game stretches. They were edged 21-13 by Class AAAA’s second-ranked Sandy Creek, a game they led 13-0 at halftime, and nearly rallied Friday night to halt a Peachtree Ridge team loaded with young talent.

That’s a pair of near misses against opponents that would cruise against most other teams.

That in mind, it’s still within the realm of possibility that the Tigers could finish 8-2 and defend their region title. Of course, it won’t be easy; they host Grayson next Friday after a bye this week.

The same argument could be made for fellow Region 8-AAAAAA member Brookwood, which is also 0-2 after losses against two stout opponents in Valdosta and Norcross.

The Broncos didn’t look great against Valdosta in the Corky Kell Classic, managing just 151 yards in a 31-0 loss, but gave two-time defending state champion Norcross a scare in Friday’s 21-10 contest. Brookwood trailed by just four late in the third quarter before the Blue Devils scored a late touchdown to pull safely ahead.

South Georgia off to a solid start

With North Gwinnett falling to North Cobb and Mountain View stumbling to Parkview on Friday, Norcross is the lone Gwinnett County team in Class AAAAAA to sport a 2-0 record.

South Georgia teams are sure to take advantage of this in the rankings.

Colquitt County, which moved up to No. 1 after preseason favorite McEachern fell to North Gwinnett in its season opener at the Corky Kell Classic, is a safe pick as Class AAAAAA’s leader after a 35-14 rout of Hoover (Ala.) on Friday. Camden County has averaged 45 points per game through its first two outings and should continue to score at that clip for the remainder of non-region play. Valdosta added another quality win to its resume by toppling Class AAAA’s fifth-ranked Thomas County Central 28-10.

In fact, all of Region 1-AAAAAA’s teams have started 2-0 this season.

If history has any say, the parity between Gwinnett County and South Georgia should balance out as the season progresses, when the early-season contenders begin to beat up on each other in region play.

Hawks make history

There are few better ways to bounce back from a bad loss than setting a team scoring record the very next week.

That’s exactly what Mill Creek did Friday, scoring a program-best 65 points against West Forsyth for its first win of the season.

The Hawks amassed 58 points between the second and third quarters, replacing last year’s 61-0 win over Habersham Central as the Hawks’ best offensive showing in their decade-long history.

This happens a week after Mill Creek was embarrassed 31-14 by Colquitt County at the Corky Kell Classic.

Strangely enough, West Forsyth led after the opening drive. The Wolverines scored on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the second snap of the game.

The Hawks took over from there, piling up 30 points in the second quarter to take a 37-15 lead into halftime. They dropped another four touchdowns on West Forsyth in the third quarter and went into mop-up duty for the fourth quarter.

Mill Creek pounded the Wolverines with the run game – 383 rushing yards – but also scored on a safety, and interception return and one touchdown pass.

The Hawks host Dacula this week for their home opener. The Falcons boast a deep, talented ground attack, so there’s certainly an opportunity for an offensive shootout in Hoschton.

Carter makes debut with Bulldogs

Norcross grad Lorenzo Carter didn’t have to wait long for his debut between the hedges.

Carter made a short appearance for Georgia in Saturday’s 45-21 win over Clemson, checking in as a substitute during his first game as a Bulldog.

It was a little bumpy, though, as he was flagged for roughing Tigers quarterback Cole Stoudt in the second quarter, costing Georgia 15 yards.

The hiccup proved to harmless, however. Two plays later, Aaron Davis intercepted Stoudt’s pass, keeping the game knotted at 21 at halftime.

Carter didn’t register a tackle in the game.

Carter picked Georgia on National Signing Day in February after a storied career with Norcross. He won two state championships with the Blue Devils during his junior and senior seasons, and was the nation’s No. 2 defensive end at the end of his high school career.

It’s hard to imagine we’ve seen the last of Carter on the field for the Bulldogs this season. Hopefully there won’t be any more flags.