West Forsyth at Johns Creek
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at The Colosseum in Johns Creek.
Records, rankings: West is 5-4 overall, 5-3 in Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; Johns Creek is 1-8, 1-7 and unranked.
Series history: West leads 2-0.
Last meeting: West won 42-13 in 2013.
What to know: West kept its playoffs hopes alive, if barely, with last Friday’s narrow win at Centennial. The Wolverines need another win this Friday, and some help from Centennial, to earn a state playoff bid for the fifth consecutive season.
Johns Creek snapped a 19-game losing streak two weeks ago with a win over Habersham Central.Senior quarterback Kevin Nalecz is the Gladiators’ best offensive weapon. Nalecz has nearly 700 rushing yards and nine touchdowns; he’s completed 40.8 percent of his passing attempts and thrown eight interceptions with just two touchdowns. On defense, Gio Douyon leads the Gladiators with 12 1/2 tackles for loss and sophomore Matt Meyers has three sacks and 7 1/2 tackles for loss.
Last Friday’s blustery and wet conditions prevented West from getting its passing game in full gear, but quarterback Hampton McConnell made up for that in a 42-32 road win over Centennial. On the year, McConnell has thrown for 1,478 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 426 yards and 11 scores. Nate Schmitz and Grant Anderskow have combined to catch 1,034 yards worth of McConnell’s passes. With slot back Austin Reid lost for the season (broken wrist), sophomore running back Grant Torgerson (562 yards) and Anderskow have taken on increased roles carrying the ball. Alec Coburn is perhaps the favorite to win Forsyth County Defensive Player of the Year—the senior defensive end has 10 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
Maxwell projection: West by 21.