First-round playoff Game of the Week Preview: Cherokee vs. North Gwinnett

This first-round Class 7A matchup should be a close game with some big-time talent on the field, including Clemson-bound linebacker Barrett Carter from North Gwinnett.

Carter's Bulldogs (8-3) were highly-ranked coming into the season, only to lose in shocking fashion to Lovejoy in Week 4 and eventually dropping out of the rankings altogether.

Head coach Bill Stewart knows a little something about playoff football, winning a state title at North Gwinnett in his first year at the school in 2017.

Meanwhile, Cherokee (8-2) has had a tough schedule, losing twice against ranked teams. But the Warriors have also beaten two ranked teams along the way, and it appears Josh Shaw’s Warriors are on the verge of a big playoff win. Shaw has never been able to get that signature win for the Cherokee County school, but they have a chance against North Gwinnett.