Johns Creek vs. Woodstock preview

by: Michael Carvell\/AJC.com Updated:

High school football returns!

Johns Creek plays at Woodstock in the first GHSA football game of the year at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

It will be televised live on WSB-TV/Me-TV 2.2, which can be found on the following cable systems by channel number: Comcast 248 (Metro Atlanta, Calhoun, Rome), Charter 126 (Metro Atlanta, Athens), Windstream 871 (Dahlonega, Hiawassee, Cornelia, Commerce), ETC 190 (Ellijay, Cherokee, Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin), Plantation 601 (Green, Putnam) and Knology 168 (West Point). The re-broadcast will be shown at 1 a.m. Friday night (Saturday morning) on WSB-TV.

“We’re very excited – it’s Thursday night, it’s on TV and it’s the first game of the year for anybody in the state,” Johns Creek coach Mike Cloy told AJC.com's Michael Carvell.

It will also be the first game for Johns Creek since it lost a heartbreaker in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Flowery Branch defeated Johns Creek on a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the game’s final play.

“We don’t talk about it that much, although I did mention the other day,” Cloy said. “It was such a great football game. When you lose like that, it’s like a dagger goes through your heart. But when you think back about it now, people couldn’t have been to a better high school football game.”

Big things are expected again for Johns Creek, which was 9-2 last season and has 27 seniors on this year’s roster. Johns Creek returns 9 starters on offense and seven on defense.

“The significance of this game is for us to see how we match up in AAAAAA,” Cloy said. “We know people are going to bigger, and they’re going to have greater numbers. We’re pretty anxious to see how we do.”

Meanwhile, Woodstock is challenged by facing a playoff contender in the season-opener. Woodstock returns six starters on offense, and seven on defense.

“This is a good litmus test to see where you’re at,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “This game doesn’t mean anything, as far as you don’t have to win it to win the state championship. It just will show where we’re at against a playoff-caliber team."

“I think we match up pretty well against Johns Creek, and that’s why it’s going to be such a good game. Athletically, we match up well, while they may be a little bigger up front than we are. It’s going to come down to execution and who doesn’t make the most mental mistakes, which is tough this early in the year.”

There are approximately 50 games later this weekend, including Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome.