Class 7A blog: Previews of 8 round-of-16 games

The second round of Class 7A playoffs are Friday. Here’s a quick look at each of the eight games. The previews are ordered to match their position on the bracket.

*Lowndes (8-1) at North Cobb (10-1): This game, to be televised by GPB, features two of the state’s best dual-threat quarterbacks. North Cobb’s Malachi Singleton, a sophomore with reported offers from Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, was 14-of-17 passing for 215 yards in a 35-6 victory over Pebblebrook last week. Lowndes’ Jacurri Brown, a junior four-star recruit, was 7-of-11 passing for 178 yards and rushed for 75 yards in a 42-0 victory over Newton last week. Lowndes, under new coach Jamey DuBose, is coming off a 2019 runner-up finish and seeking its fifth consecutive 10-win season. North Cobb has won 10 games and advanced a round in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

*Archer (7-4) at Milton (10-0): Archer is one of only two Class 7A teams (North Gwinnett is the other) that have a chance to make the Class 7A quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season. Milton is 40-9 during that time with a state title in 2018. Archer beat Gainesville 21-14 last week after Vashaun Stockmann threw a 31-yard TD pass to D.J. Moore with 59 seconds left to break a 14-14 tie. Archer also scored on Stockmann’s 54-yard run and Wilgen Larame’s short return of a blocked punt. Milton beat Peachtree Ridge 45-14. Jordan McDonald, a 1,000-yard rusher, was held to 65 yards, but Devin Farrell was 17-of-22 passing for 217 yards. Jack Nickel, a tight end committed to Notre Dame, had three receptions for 76 yards and returned a fumble 7 yards for a touchdown.

*Denmark (6-4) at Collins Hill (9-2): Denmark, which opened in 2018 in Forsyth County, won its first playoff game last week, beating Discovery 63-0. Collins Hill also won easily, beating Alpharetta 42-7. Both teams have major Division I prospects at quarterback. Denmark’s Aaron McLaughlin, committed to N.C. State, was 18-of-26 passing for 231 yards and five touchdowns against Discovery. Horn, rated by 247Sports as the No. 2 pro-style QB prospect among juniors, was 18-of-28 passing for 286 yards and six touchdowns against Alpharetta. Four of the TD passes went to Travis Hunter, a five-star prospect committed to Florida State as a cornerback. The victory was Collins Hill’s first in the playoffs since 2015, also the last time Collins Hill made the quarterfinals.

*Parkview (7-3) at East Coweta (9-1): Parkview’s Cody Brown rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries in a 24-17 overtime victory over Camden County last week. Parkview led 17-0 at halftime. Brown has rushed for 1,250 yards on the season, 4,944 for his career, and is committed to Tennessee. The leading rusher in Class 7A, however, belongs to East Coweta. Jayden Bolton has 1,350 yards and 16 touchdowns, including 94 yards and three scores in a 37-28 comeback victory over Marietta last week. But East Coweta’s leading rusher in that game was sophomore Trey Bowles, who had a career-high 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns. East Coweta can reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. Parkview was a semifinalist last year.

*Roswell (8-2) at Norcross (11-0): Roswell beat Mill Creek 28-27 last week after trailing 27-7 with 4:23 left in the third quarter. Robbie Roper was 17-of-29 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and his 3-yard, fourth-and-goal TD pass on the 17th play of a drive set the comeback in motion. Norcross had an easier time in the first round, winning 47-20 against South Forsyth. Mason Kaplan was 13-of-15 passing for 303 yards and four touchdowns, two to Trey Goodman. Kaleb Jackson (101) and Jahni Clarke (96) were leading rushers. Norcross is seeking its first quarterfinal since its 2013 state-championship season. Roswell is after its first quarterfinal since its 2016 runner-up season.

*Walton (6-5) at Colquitt County (8-0): Walton is coming off its best performance of the season, a 49-9 victory over McEachern. Kenny Djaha, injured much of the season, rushed for a season-high 138 yards on 15 carries. QB Zak Rozsman, a junior pro-style quarterback with Division I offers, was 9-of-13 passing for 134 yards. Walton is in the second round for the fourth straight season but hasn’t made the quarterfinals since its 2011 state runner-up team. Colquitt County beat Brookwood 49-3 last week after taking a 35-3 halftime lead. Zane Touchton, starting for injured Xavier Williams, was 15-of-17 passing for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Colquitt sacked Brookwood star QB Dylan Lonergan four times and returned an interception for a touchdown. After falling short last season, Colquitt is seeking its 11th quarterfinal appearance in 12 seasons.

*Harrison (4-5) at Grayson (10-0): Harrison, the 2019 Class 6A champion, upset No. 9 Newnan 26-24 last week. The Hoyas trailed 24-20 in the final minute, but Newnan lost a fumble at its 3-yard line, and Harrison cashed it for a touchdown. Grayson, ranked No. 1 in 7A, will be another matter, though, as the Rams are peaking. Phil Mafah, a Clemson-committed 1,000-yard rusher, carried the offense over much of the season, but midseason transfer Jake Garcia got his first start at quarterback last week in a 43-0 victory over Tift County. The Southern Cal pledge was 11-of-17 passing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. In its only previous game against a No. 1-ranked team, Harrison beat Dacula in the 2019 semifinals.

*North Gwinnett (8-3) at West Forsyth (8-3): West Forsyth won its first region title since 2012 this year, while North Gwinnett failed to win region for the first time since 2016. But North, a semifinalist last year and champion in 2017, will be favored. The Bulldogs have played nine current or one-time top-10 teams and beaten six, including two round-of-16 teams (Parkview, North Cobb) by shutout. Barrett Carter, a linebacker committed to Clemson, was made North’s feature back last week and rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries in a 29-16 victory over Cherokee. He had three sacks as a linebacker. West Forsyth is seeking it first quarterfinal since 2012. Freshman RB Ryder Stewart rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown and caught a 38-yard TD pass in West’s 39-14 victory over Meadowcreek. Hudson Posey scored on an interception return and a safety.