Class AAAAAAA blog: Previews of each quarterfinal

Mill Creek at Marietta

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Northcutt Stadium, Marietta

Records, rankings: Mill Creek is 10-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AAAAAAA and No. 10; Marietta is 10-2, the No. 2 seed from 3-AAAAAAA and No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Things to know: Mill Creek has the classification's leading rusher, Chancellor Lee-Parker, while Marietta has the leading passer, Harrison Bailey. Lee-Parker rushed for 207 yards and scored on a 41-yard screen in a 41-17 victory over Roswell last week. He's run for 1,749 yards on the season. Mill Creek gets nearly 75 percent of its offense in the run game. Marietta is largely a passing team, but Troy-committed RB Kimani Vidal rushed for 144 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 38-24 victory over Milton last week. Bailey was 20-of-27 passing for 318 yards. Bailey has thrown for 3,378 on the season. Arik Gilbert has 1,343 receiving yards. Ricky White has 1,042. Marietta, the preseason No. 1 team because of its treasure of major Division I-committed players, is seeking its first semifinal since 1994. Mill Creek, playing under first-year head coach and longtime staff member Josh Lovelady, last made the semifinals in 2016. The Hawks are the only AAAAAAA quarterfinalist that was not ranked in preseason.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Marietta by 5

Winner plays: Archer/Parkview winner

Archer at Parkview

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Big Orange Jungle, Lilburn

Records, rankings: Archer is 9-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AAAAAAA and No. 8; Parkview is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAAAAA and No. 7.

Last meeting: Archer won 36-29 in the second round of the 2018 Class AAAAAAA playoffs.

Things to know: In the 2018 second round, Archer scored the winning touchdown with 1:25 left after trailing 29-28. Archer made it to the semifinals. Parkview was ranked No. 3 and Archer No. 4 in preseason, so their success in 2019 was expected. Parkview has won 10 straight since a 38-7 loss to Lowndes and ended Colquitt County's streak of 10 quarterfinal appearances with an impressive 40-21 victory last week. Parkview scored the final 30 points of the game. The Panthers sacked Colquitt seven times, and C.J. Daniels had nine receptions for 141 yards. Cody Brown has rushed for 1,306 yards despite missing two games. Jordan Williams has thrown for 2,043. Parkview is trying to make the semifinals for the first time since 2004. Archer's losses to Buford, Grayson and Mill Creek were by three points or less, and the Mill Creek game was stopped in the first half because of weather. Archer beat Cherokee 45-14 in the second round as QB Carter Peevy passed for 129 yards and rushed for 129. Schmari Campbell rushed for 117 yards. Archer leads the series between these Gwinnett County schools 5-2.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Parkview by 11

Winner plays: Mill Creek/Marietta winner

Grayson at Lowndes

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta

Records, rankings: Grayson is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAAAAA and No. 4; Lowndes is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from 1-AAAAAAA and No. 1.

Last meeting: Lowndes won 20-15 in the 2018 Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals.

Things to know: Lowndes was an 11-point underdog in the 2018 game but forced three turnovers, held Grayson to 4-of-16 passing and won a game in which neither team had more than 200 yards of total offense. This time, Lowndes is favored and playing at home. Lowndes is the most run-oriented team remaining in AAAAAAA, but sophomore QB Jacurri Brown was 9-of-11 passing for 196 yards and a touchdown in a 44-14 victory over Norcross last week. He's rushed for 1,150 yards. Justin Lee was the leading rusher in the Norcross game with 140 yards. Lowndes hasn't allowed more than two touchdowns to a Georgia opponent this season. Grayson QB C.J. Dixon was 16-of-21 passing for 251 yards in a 42-21 victory over East Coweta last week. East Coweta was within 21-14 until his two TD passes in the fourth quarter. An Illinois commit, Dixon has thrown for 2,137 yards on the season. Lafayette Gurvin rushed for 119 yards, giving him 1,210 on the season. Grayson and Lowndes have two common opponents. Both beat East Coweta, but Lowndes beat Colquitt County 28-17 while Grayson lost to Colquitt 31-7.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lowndes by 20

Winner plays: North Gwinnett/McEachern winner

North Gwinnett at McEachern

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Walter H. Cantrell Stadium, Powder Springs

Records, rankings: North Gwinnett is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AAAAAAA and No. 5; McEachern is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from 3-AAAAAAA and No. 2.

Last meeting: North Gwinnett won 38-17 in the 2017 Class AAAAAAA semifinals.

Things to know: North Gwinnett has won 11 straight games after an opening 17-6 loss to Colquitt County. And since a 26-23 victory over Armwood, which just made Florida's Class 7A semifinals, the Bulldogs have won by 15 points or better in every game. In the 60-10 win over Walton last week, North Gwinnett had 329 yards of total offense in the first half and led 46-3. J.R. Martin has passed for 1,963 yards. Devin Crosby has rushed for 1,226. McEachern, under first-year coach Franklin Stephens, is 12-0 for the first time since 1999. RB Jordon Simmons (committed to Michigan State) has rushed for 157 and 111 yards in two playoff games and 872 yards on the season. He also scored on a 52-yard run in a 42-14 victory over North Forsyth last week. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson (committed to Florida) has thrown for 1,694 yards. Javon Baker (committed to Alabama) has 56 receptions for 610 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: McEachern by 2

Winner plays: Grayson/Lowndes winner

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

X