High school playoffs: Grady High vs. Gilmer High

We continue our high school football playoff coverage with a return appearance by Grady High student and Southerner newspaper staffer Mason Gepp, who was spot-on in his preview of the Grady-Cedar Grove game. Here Gepp previews the Grady-Gilmer game:

ALSO: Check out Summit sports editor Drew Underdwood’s preview of tonight’s Mays High-Clarke Central playoff game in Athens here.

UPDATE: Grady won 48-0! Scoreboard.

The Grady High Grey Knights look to continue their playoff run when they host Gilmer High’s Bobcats tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Grady Stadium in the first round of the state playoffs in football. The Knights are coming off last week’s explosive ground-game win over the Cedar Grove Saints. The Bobcats are looking to upset Grady’s high-powered play on both sides of the ball. The region 7B-AAA (and third-ranked) Bobcats have a record of 5-5 with a 3-2 region record. Both records pale in comparison to the region champion 5B-AAA Grey Knights’ 9-1 record, including an undefeated 6-0 record in region play. (The most impressive win came from a 7-6 upset over last season’s region champion, the St. Pius X Golden Lions.)

Grady’s effective and highly powerful play (on offense and defense) has helped the team outscore its opponents 396-89, averaging an impressive 39.6 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Treveon Albert, wide receiver/safety Damian Swann and running backs Marcus Caffey and Hoderick Lowe, has been a powerful, driving force behind Grady’s efficiency with the football.

The Gilmer Bobcats’ statistics place them as the underdog in this playoff matchup. The Bobcats have scored half as many points this season (171) and have allowed twice as many points (192) as the Knights. The Bobcats average 17.1 points per game, which averages about 20 points less than their opposition.

The success in Grady’s season has come from effective coaching and play calling from Grady’s coaching staff. Grady head football coach Ronnie Millen has been able to balance of the running and passing games. But it’s the running game that’s been the game-changer this season; Division 1 prospects Damian Swann and Marcus Caffey, who could possibly go as a package deal to the University of Georgia, have been the driving force behind the Knights’ success. Swann was named to the Army All-American football team last month, while Caffey has gained increasing interest from colleges after having an explosive season thus far.

With such high stakes in the first playoff game this season, expect each coach to use his most effective players and offensive and defensive styles. Come Friday night, we will find out whether or not the Knights will have defended their playoff run as Wesley Tankersley and his Gilmer Bobcats attempt to pull out an upset.

Next up: Mays-Clarke Central!

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