They call Gwinnett County the “SEC of high school football” and Friday’s matchup between Grayson and Archer did not disappoint. It even had a flare for the dramatic, as the Rams edged out the Tigers, 26-24, as the result of a game-winning field goal with just seconds remaining.
Now, there were some big-time plays made in critical moments by some of the state’s top-rated prospects, so let’s get you caught up to speed.
1. 4-star QB shines on final drive of the game
Chase Brice, the 4-star quarterback from Grayson, told the AJC after the game that he had only orchestrated one game-winning drive in his three-year career. On Friday, the junior added a second.
With less than 90 seconds in the game, Brice directed the Rams on a game-winning drive that saw him connect on two critical throws for a total of 11 yards. Don’t downplay the amount of yards, either. Brice made two touch throws in a critical moment of the game, and Grayson walked away with a victory over one of the country’s top-rated schools.
After the game, Brice told the AJC that he’s still open to all schools and hasn’t zeroed in on a leader. He will unofficially visit Michigan State on Saturday for the Spartans game against Oregon.
2. Jamyest Williams needs that fifth star
I can’t give Jamyest Williams his fifth star. The powers that be can, and they should. Like, really soon.
Against Grayson, the 4-star cornerback from Archer ran in touchdowns of two and 15 yards. He even added an interception to his stat line in the second quarter. And most of that damage was done in a single half of football. He accounted for a majority, if not all, of Archer’s explosive plays, and he flashed a jumpcut that sprung him to the second level on multiple occasions.
Williams, who is approaching 40 offers as a junior, is a hot commodity in the recruiting world, and rightfully so. Friday’s game against Grayson was yet another example why.
Williams will unofficially visit Michigan State on Saturday.
3. 5-star WR delivers evening’s second-best play on special teams
Grayson’s Will Van Pamelen took the No. 1 special teams play of the night with his game-winning field goal, which makes Archer’s Kyle Davis the runner-up.
In the first half, Davis saw the ball bounce on the one-yard line on a kickoff before picking it up and heading towards teammate Jamyest Williams. He faked the reverse, fooled the defense and sprinted down the sideline for a 60-plus yard return. He showed some good instincts, explosiveness and speed on the play.
Davis has Tennessee, Auburn and UGA among his leaders, and he’s scheduled to commit next month.
4. Grayson WR has surprise performance
The best receiver on the field was Grayson’s Evan Sturgill, a 6-foot junior. He made play after play for Grayson, including a 22-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. He managed to get some good separation and didn’t — according to my memory — have a single drop. More importantly, he hauled in the final catch of the game to set up Grayson’s game-winning field goal attempt. Sturgill has not reported any offers.
5. Georgia high school football amazes me
I just can’t get over how insanely packed these heavyweight bouts are. I mean, the directions I received from iPhone maps even told me to “be prepared to park on the street”. Luckily, there was media parking, so that didn’t happen. Nonetheless, it felt like a college football atmosphere. Crazy, I know, but people seriously tailgate at these games. Think about that.