The Johns Creek Gladiators host the Langston Hughes Panthers on Friday in the first round of the playoffs, and the game will be featured as the #Team11 Game of the Week.
The Gladiators return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012, and it is the third time they have made it in program history. They have never been past the first round.
Head coach Matt Kemper is in his second season at Johns Creek. Before Kemper arrived, the Gladiators were 1-19 in the two seasons prior. Kemper coached seven seasons at Pope High School in Marietta before joining the Gladiators in 2015.
The Gladiators are 8-2 and are on a four-game winning streak. In their past four victories, the Gladiators have outscored opponents by an average of 29 points. Their success has much to do with their balanced attack, led by quarterback Zach Gibson who has 1,830 passing yards this season. Running back Matthew Taylor has led the ground game this season with 1,088 yards.
The Panthers return for the playoffs for a fifth-consecutive season. Last season, the Panthers lost in the first round to the Tucker Tigers.
The Panthers have dropped two of their last four games following a mid-season four-game winning streak. Dual-threat quarterback and Marshall commit Isaiah Green is 12 yards away from a 2,000-yard season, which would be his second consecutive. Green has 22 passing touchdowns this season. He has also rushed for 229 yards and six touchdowns.
The Gladiators and Panthers meet for the first time since 2009, which was each program's first year of competition. The teams met twice that year, and the Gladiators won both meetings.
Check back throughout the evening for continuing coverage of the #Team11 Game of the Week: