Grady High hosts defending champion Peach County tonight in Division AAA state football playoffs

By Mason Gepp/The Southerner

UPDATE: Grady High lost, 42-35. Check out the AJC article here.

“We are playing a team that is a lot like we are,” said Grady High senior wide receiver Damian Swann, referring to the Division AAA quarterfinal matchup between the Grady Grey Knights and the Peach County Trojans.

According to the AJC, however, the Knights will fall tonight when the reigning state champion Trojans come visit the Grady Stadium at 7:30 p.m. for the highly anticipated matchup. The Trojans have won the state championship three times — 2005, 2006, 2009 — in the past five years. The Trojans are ranked No. 23 in the nation by Rivals.com and are the top-ranked team in Georgia’s Division AAA high school football according to the AJC and the Associated Press.

The Knights have not been to the quarterfinals since 2006, when they defeated Flowery Branch 32-29 to advance to the semifinals before losing to Shaw 6-0. The Knights are looking to use home-field advantage, however, to give them leverage over the favored Trojans.

Both teams have had similar seasons; Peach County is 12-0 so far compared to Grady’s 11-1 record. Both teams have played dominantly on either side of the ball with high-caliber offenses. Each team has scored around 500 points this season; averaging close to 45 points per game. The defenses have been highly present as well. The Trojans have allowed only 6.8 points per game compared to the Knight’s approximately 10 points per game.

Even though the stats for both teams are on a similar level, the Trojans are predicted to have an upper hand in the game due to their powerhouse playing style and experience in the post season — all of which makes this game the hardest the Knights will have played this season.

“You really can’t compare the other games [this season] to this game,” senior linebacker and wide receiver Omari Foreman said. “This game will be on a different level than the other games. This game will take everything we have worked on all season to win.”

According to Foreman, the Knights approached this game just how they approach all games with film study, practice of plays, and hard work throughout the week — even practicing on Thanksgiving Day.

This matchup will feature top players on each team. Grady will look toward its star senior players — wide receiver Damian Swann,  running backs Marcus Caffey and Hoderick Lowe and quarterback Treveon Albert — to pull out the upset over the Peach County.

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