There will be a new champion in AAAAAA football in 2012. North Gwinnett saw to that Friday with an impressive 28-10 victory over Grayson, the large-school winner in 2011.
Bulldogs coach Bob Sphire is not ready to crown his team as the new champion yet.
"We've got a tall order in Lovejoy (the Bulldogs' next playoff foe)," Sphire said. "They pushed us around in seven-on-seven drills in the preseason."
But Friday in Grayson, it was North that pushed its foe around. The Bulldogs used turnovers and a swarming defense to take a 9-3 halftime lead and then break the game open in the second half.
Two Bulldog fumble recoveries led to field goals by Michael D'Angola in the first half. Early in the second half, a 66-yard run by Azuma Onyiri sparked a drive that led to a 12-3 North lead in the third quarter.
Soon after, Grayson fumbled again to North. Getting fancy, the Bulldogs ran a double-reverse that resulted in a 15-yard pass to Chad Scott from Nate Brown and a 19-3 lead.
Then, the Rams continued unraveling when they had a bad snap on a punt, and it rolled out of the end zone for a safety and a 21-3 North lead.
"We got some breaks early that really helped us," Sphire said.
In all, D'Angola had field goals of 36, 32, 37 and 29 yards.
-- How do you think North Gwinnett will do in the quarterfinals? Tell us in the comments below.
You might also enjoy reading:
- UPDATE: Grayson Prepares for North Gwinnett