NORTH FORSYTH AT ARCHER
When, where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., at Archer Community Stadium in Lawrenceville.
Records, rankings, seedings: North is 7-3, unranked in Class AAAAAA and is the No. 4 seed from Region 6; Archer is 10-0, ranked No. 7 and is the No. 1 seed from Region 8.
Series history: First meeting.
What to know: North ended a two-year playoff drought after a wild regular season. The Raiders got out to a 4-0 start, lost their next three games and then won three straight to end the season, including a 17-12 win this past Friday against South that clinched a playoff spot. Archer, meanwhile, was perfect wire-to-wire during the regular season. The Tigers are the only undefeated team remaining in Class AAAAAA.
North might not be in the playoffs if not for the job of backup quarterback Cody Gottberg. The senior took over when starter Harris Roberts broke his collarbone against Alpharetta on Oct. 11 and went 3-1 as the starter. Against South, he was 16-of-24 passing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. The week before, against Johns Creek, he rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. And the Raiders’ defense, led by Jerret Paige (74 tackles) and Kansas Mullins (59 tackles, INT), has seemed to come up with the timely stops when needed.
Archer will be a stiff test for North’s defense. The Tigers offense averages 378.6 yards and 34.6 points per game behind junior quarterback Gabe Tiller (128-of-187, 1,567 yards, 19 TDs) and a deep receiving corps in K.J Palmer (41 rec., 622 yards, eight TDs), Kyle Davis (31 rec., 590 yards, 10 TDs), Dylan Singleton and Conner Redmond and running back Randy Nails (148 car., 865 yards, five TDs). Plus, the Tigers are motivated – though the young program has been to the playoffs before, they’re still seeking their first playoff win.
What’s next: The winner with play the North Gwinnett-Milton winner.