The common saying in college football is that you can't win the national championship in the first game, but you could lose it.
We're not sure if that completely applies to Grayson High School's Friday night game against Miami Central, but it could. The game matches teams that are ranked No. 1 in the country in different polls.
Defending state champion Grayson, which tore through McEachern 31-12 in last week's Corky Kell Classic, is ranked No. 1 by ESPN. Miami Central, also 1-0, is No. 1 in the USA Today rankings.
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If you want to see major-college talent, this is the game for you. Miami Central has six players committed to major programs. Grayson has at least six, according to its website: Defensive end/running back Robert Nkemdiche (Clemson), defensive end/tight end Jack Banda (Arizona), linebacker David Kamara (Clemson) and running back/linebacker Wayne Gallman (Clemson).
The game will be televised by ESPNU. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 and available at the gate beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.
A State Without a Champ
Get this, Florida sports records won't have a 2011 champ in its largest classification because the two finalists were forced to forfeit their seasons. That includes Miami Central, which lost to Armwood-Seffner in the championship game. Miami Central used an ineligible player and Armwood had its last two seasons stripped for a scandal that included players falsifying residency records. The whole story is chronicled by the USA Today.
--Hurricane Isaac is having an impact on Gwinnett football. Because of the storm, Pine Forest High of Pensacola pulled out of the National High School Gridiron Challenge, a triple-header of games scheduled Saturday at North Gwinnett High School. Pine Forest was to play Stephenson in a 3 p.m. game. The showcase will be a double-header now.
--Providence Christian, the private school in Lilburn that started a football program last year and fielded an eighth-grade team, steps up to JV ball this week. Said coach Ken Robinson: "Do we want to win? You bet. We're playing to win. But, as far as win-loss record, we don't spend a lot of time talking about that. With our seniors this year they're talking about: What do they want their legacy to be?"
--Buford's string of starting the season ranked No. 1 ended after five seasons this year. The Wolves, who open the season against seventh-ranked Elbert County, is No. 2 in Class AAA in the Georgia High School Football Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution rankings.
--So, what happened to Peachtree Ridge last week? OK, a 42-0 loss to mighty Camden County isn't uncommon in the world of Georgia prep football, but the margin was the widest in the history of the Corky Kell Classic. And now the Lions have to play at Parkview this Friday in what could be one of the best games of the week.
--Congrats goes out to new Greater Atlanta Christian coach Tim Hardy for his first win as GAC's head guy. The Spartans beat Stone Mountain 34-26 last week.
--Want 10 good reasons to attend a high school game? Give this AJC blog a try. It's hard to argue with any of the 10 reasons.
Other games to watch
We get it that the Grayson-Miami Central game could be pretty awesome, but try these games on for size:
- A.C. Flora (North Augusta, S.C.) at North Gwinnett: The Bulldogs never back down from a challenge, and this will be a challenge.
- Peachtree Ridge at Parkview: Peachtree Ridge is in danger of going 0-2 and Parkview is ready to step back into the playoffs.
- Dacula at Mill Creek: A great early test for teams which could be darkhorses in their respective regions.
- Norcross at South Gwinnett: More than cool-looking uniforms. It will be interesting to see Norcross follow its "scrimmage" win over Colquitt County earlier this month.
- Mountain View at Archer: New kids on the block showed they can play last year. This Lawrenceville-area game should evolve into a great rivalry.
Parkview High School introduced its football players to players and fans a couple of Saturdays ago in the school's cafeteria. There were so many seniors — 33 of them! — that the players had to stand two-deep in front of the audience. It will be this class that may help the Panthers return to the playoffs this year. Running back Chris Carson (15), linebacker Kyle Williams (eight), linebacker Shaq Vereen (five) and wide receiver Keanu Mole (two) all have D-1 college offers, according to the team's website.
Player of the Week
Michael D'Angola, Placekicker, North Gwinnett: D'Angola's 34-yard field goal with no time left lifted the Bulldogs to a 16-14 win over Colquitt County in the Corky Kell Classic last Saturday.
Quote of the Week
"They looked like they had just won the Super Bowl." — Colquitt County coach Rush Propst told the Gwinnett Daily Post after North Gwinnett's last-second win over the Packers.