Just walk the halls of Norcross High School and you can feel the excitement - a state championship game is looming. It's the first time the Blue Devils have made it to the finals - and the anticipation of the Saturday game hangs in the air.
After last week's big projection, Maxwell Ratings still favors the Blue Devils (14-0) to claim the Class AAAAAA championship title. On a local level one man says this could be the best team Norcross High has ever had.
Bill Bryant, the man who's been behind the offensive stats for Norcross High since 1981 and a former Gwinnett solicitor, said he's "optimistic, not overconfident" when it comes to Norcross winning the title because the Blue Devils have never played Lovejoy.
Bryant said in his opinion this year's team is the best Norcross has ever had.
"We've had some good teams in the past, but this team has been really great," Bryant told Patch. "We've never had a team to play the state championship before." The farthest Norcross has ever made it was the quarterfinals, he added.
Posted in the Georgia High School Football Daily newsletter, Maxwell Ratings predicts the Blue Devils to win Saturday's game against Lovejoy High (13-1) by 9 points.
The newsletter continued with a few quick facts about the teams:
- Norcross is the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAAAA and ranked No. 3, and Lovejoy is the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAAAA and ranked No. 7.
- Both teams have 2,000-yard rushers and 2,000-yard passes
- The lead defense player for Lovejoy is Nathaniel Norwood, who has 16.5 sacks, and Lorenzo Carter leads Norcross with his 18 sacks.
- Both head coaches for the schools are in their 17th seasons, and neither they nor their schools have won a state title.
The Class AAAAAA Championship game of Norcross v. Lovejoy starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. For ticket information, click here.
The Maxwell Ratings are the work of Loren Maxwell, a co-founder of the Georgia High School Football Historian Association. Maxwell has been involved in sports ratings since 1986.
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