Today's interviewee is Parkview coach Eric Godfree, whose team defeated Colquitt County 40-21 last week to reach the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals. Godfree was hired as head coach of his alma mater in 2014. With another victory, Parkview's victory total will have increased from the previous year in each of Godfree's six seasons. Parkview is 11-1.
Eric Godfree, Parkview head coach
1. The final score wasn't surprising to most, and that would've been the case if either team had won. But Parkview dominated the second half, outscoring Colquitt 30-0. What happened? "We agree. We knew Colquitt could score in a hurry as they have an explosive offense like we do. We weren't terrible in the first half besides turning the ball over and letting them big play us at the end of the half. At halftime, I immediately went into the locker room to make sure our kids were keeping their composure, not playing the blame game and being the great leaders they are. I specifically told Kobe Wilson [linebacker] as we came off the field at half to keep leading. Offensively, Coach Holder [offensive coordinator Jeremy Holder] reminded us that we have only been stopped on turnovers, no need for a big change, just take care of the football. Defensively, Coach Rolader [defensive coordinator John Rolader] changed a formational adjustment we had in the first half to help us be more attacking on defense. Overall, our kids executed at a very high level in the second half, making very few mistakes."
2. Is this the best team you've had at Parkview? Is there something about this year's team that makes you believe you can break through and win it this year, something that other teams might not have had? "It's probably the best team since I've been a head coach. We have some special players that make incredible plays. Our team chemistry last year was as good as I've ever seen, and it took our team a little longer this season to grasp that, but we turned the corner the second half of our Norcross game. It's amazing what fighting through adversity the correct way does for a team. We'd like to believe we can win it any year, but 7A football in the state of Georgia, you have to have great players and catch some breaks. What separates this team is our overall team speed. We've had some very fast kids in the past, but overall as a team, it's probably the fastest I've ever had. We are hoping that along with great preparation from our kids and coaches, we will break through this season. It's certainly not an easy task knowing that any of the eight teams left are good enough to win it all."
3. Where is your team now compared to Sept. 6, when you lost badly to Lowndes? How are you different now, or does that remain to be seen? "We are definitely playing better football, especially on offense, but we can't take anything away from Lowndes. They physically beat us that night. It's definitely a game we'd like to have back and would like to think we'd get a different result this time of the year. We had a few starters out that game, but it's still no excuse as Lowndes executed very well in all three phases of the game. I'd say we proved ourselves to be very different right now than on Sept. 6, but we have to do it again this Friday to keep it a reality."
4. You've got a rematch from last year's playoffs with Archer this week. What concerns you about what they do? What makes them a legit state contender this year? "It's hard to play on a high level after such an emotional and physical game as we had with Colquitt, but that's what the greatest teams do. I usually worry about a teenager's ability to refocus after an event like that, but I think it works well with us having Archer. We talked last week about not going out in the second round this year. It is still fresh on our kids' minds. And of course, it's Archer who put us out in the second round last year. That Archer team was one of the best teams I've ever coached against. Our concerns are we know we will have to make plays to win as they are so well-coached. They won't be out of position, and they'll take advantage of any mistake you'll make. Their QB [Carter Peevy] helps to make them a state contender. He has incredible accuracy and runs the ball extremely well. I think everyone considers him a pocket passer, but he has some of the most explosive offensive plays they have with his feet. He takes great care of the football and rarely ends in a negative play. So, yes, I definitely take them as a state contender with their coaching staff, QB, big OL and their physical play on defense."
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