When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Wolverine Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Hillgrove is 1-1 and unranked in Class 7A; West is 1-1 and unranked in Class 7A.
Series history: West leads 1-0.
Last meeting: West won 40-28 in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs in 2011.
What to know: It’s been nearly five years, but Hillgrove head coach Phil Ironside probably hasn’t forgotten the name West Forsyth. In 2011 the Hawks enjoyed their best season in school history, since opening play in 2006, with a perfect regular season. They were 11-0 heading into a home game in the second round of the playoffs, with West being the visiting team. You might recognize a few names from that Hillgrove team, including former Alabama running back and current Miami Dolphin Kenyan Drake, as well as current Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram.
West prevailed, scoring 26 second half points to ruin the Hawks’ banner season, 40-28. That scoring barrage came under West offensive coordinator Adam Clack, who is now in his third season as the head coach of the Wolverines.
This is a revenge game for Hillgrove, but this time West gets the home field advantage. Hillgrove enters this game already having faced a Forsyth County opponent this season—they defeated South Forsyth 27-14 in the Corky Kell Classic in the opening weekend of the season, but a recent blowout loss to North Gwinnett has moved the Hawks, for now, out of the polls.
West has been battled tested early on. They held on after surrendering a big lead to defeat Woodstock in the opener, then fell—unsurprisingly—to the defending Class 2A state champion Pace Academy at home, but with the game being called at halftime due to weather they’ll be eager to get back on the field.