Big winners Friday are Grayson, Lovejoy, McEachern, 1-AAAAAA

Observations from the fourth week of the season in Class AAAAAA ...

-Fourth-ranked Grayson (3-0, 1-0) became the team to beat in Region 8 with a 14-10 victory over defending champion Archer, which had first-and-goal at Grayson’s 3-yard line in the final minute but was turned away. Grayson's defense is proving to be one of the state's best. Four major Division I prospects start on that side of the ball for the Rams. Archer, which started the season ranked No. 3 after the 11-1 finish of 2013, has lost to three ranked teams – Sandy Creek, Peachtree Ridge and Grayson, each by eight points or less. The Tigers could be 3-0 if not for so many untimely fumbles, penalties and missed chances.

-Fifth-ranked Lovejoy got a 22-yard field goal by Jose Perez with 10 seconds left to beat Hillgrove 27-24. Lovejoy had trailed 24-17 in the fourth quarter. Lovejoy quarterback Quintarius Neely had several critical passes in the final five minutes, including a couple to all-state receiver Preston Williams, who had six receptions overall for some 150 yards and continues to be the single greatest weapon in the highest class. Hillgrove (2-2) represented Lovejoy’s first real test after easy victories over two AAAAA teams. Hillgrove’s other loss came against No. 10 North Gwinnett (28-21).

-McEachern, the preseason No. 1 team, won its first game, beating seventh-ranked Peachtree Ridge 35-21. McEachern trailed 21-14 late in the third quarter but scored three touchdowns in less than four minutes, two on short drives after Peachtree Ridge fumbles. McEachern will play a ranked team for the fourth straight week Friday when then the Indians travel to No. 5 Lovejoy. That's the state's toughest schedule.

-Region 1-AAAAA runs its record to 22-0 after a 5-0 sweep of non-region opponents on Friday as No. 1 Colquitt County, No. 2 Camden County, No. 3 Lowndes, No. 8 Valdosta and Tift County all won. All six region teams are favored to win again next week. The regiion can become only the second in state history to go undefeated against non-region opponents in the regular season (among regions with at least five teams and 10 non-region games).

-Under the radar: Several AAAAAA teams are unbeaten, but unranked. East Coweta, under new coach Steve Pardue, is 3-0 after beating No. 9 Whitewater of AAAA 17-14. Northview, led by Arkansas State-committed quarterback D.J. Pearson, beat North Forsyth 49-0. Dacula, a quarterfinalist last season, beat Berkmar 21-0.

-Newton had a chance to go 3-0, leading 8-0 early, but lightning led to the cancelation of the Rams’ game against Westlake. Newton also lost a game last week to weather, against Rome. That’s not the preparation that Newton hoped for its visit to Lowndes next week. Newton upset Lowndes 15-14 last season.