Class AAA blog: Peach, Cedar Grove make very loud statements

The top two teams in Class AAA make major statements Friday, making you wonder if the other teams in the class will be able to mount regular-season or playoff challenges.

No. 1 Peach County defeated Class AAAAAA No. 1 Lee County in Fort Valley, and No. 2 Cedar Grove traveled to Colorado to defeat one of the best teams in that state. Peach's 40-17 victory against Lee County helped the Trojans forget about last season's 33-0 loss in Leesburg. Lee had won 22 consecutive games against Georgia opponents dating to 2017 and 42 consecutive against non-region opponents dating to 2009.

Cedar Grove defeated Valor Christian, Colorado's defending Class AAAAA state champions, 27-17.

Lee County took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but Peach, who lost in the final seconds to Cedar Grove in the 2018 title game, scored on an 80-yard pass from Jaydon Gibson to Noah Whittington, but missed the extra point. Whittington scored again on a 28-yard touchdown run with 8:44 left in the first half to give Peach a 13-7 lead at the break.

Whittington scored again early in the second half on a 66-yard run to extend the lead, and then Peach began to show off. Justin Harris caught a 53-yard pass from quarterback Jaydon Gibson with 9:37 left in the third. Gibson extended the lead to 33-7 on a 7-yard run minutes later. Gibson then connected with Dorrian Smith on a 32-yard touchdown pass to make it a 40-7 before Lee could muster a response --a field goal with nine minutes left and a touchdown with 4:21 remaining.

Cedar Grove made the most of its trip to Colorado. After trailing 17-7 entering the fourth quarter, the defending-champion Saints held Valor Christian scoreless while scoring 20 points to pull away. With less than a minute left and Cedar Grove leading 21-17, Valor mounted a drive. Quarterback Cole Bott connected with Jack Howell to get to the 13-yard line with one minute left. On the next play, Bott tried another pass on the right side, but it was intercepted by Tee Denson and returned for a touchdown.

Last week, Peach defeated Northside-Warner Robins, Class AAAAAA's fourth-ranked team, 21-13.

In other games:

-- No. 3 Calhoun had little trouble with Therrell at the newly dedicated "Hal Lamb Field" at Phil Reeves Stadium. After leading 7-0 at the break, the Yellow Jackets added two touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away. Quarterback Jake Morrow threw two touchdown passes -- a 5-yarder to David Braden in the second quarter and an 8-yard screen pass to Grant Gilmer late in the third. Jerrian Hames led Calhoun with two rushing touchdowns.

-- No. 6 Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Prestonwood Christian (Texas) 43-37 after trailing 14-0 in the second quarter. Tyler Bride scored on runs of 80, 77, 5, 3 and 1 yards to account for all of GAC’s scoring. He finished with 251 yards and five touchdowns on 28 carries.

Class AAA top-10 results.

1. (1) Peach County (2-0) beat Class AAAAAA No. 1 Lee County (2-1) 40-17.

2. (2) Cedar Grove (2-1) beat No. 1 Valor Christian, Colorado (1-1) 27-17.

3. (3) Calhoun (2-0) beat Class AA Therrell (1-2) 30-0.

4. (4) Pierce County (2-0) vs. Beach (cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian)

5. (9) Benedictine (0-1) off. Next game: Sept. 13 vs. Class AAAA No. 1 Blessed Trinity.

6. (8) Greater Atlanta Christian (1-1) beat Prestonwood Christian, Texas 34-27.

7. (NR) Hart County (2-0) beat Class A-Public No. 5 Commerce (2-0) 40-20.

8. (5) Lovett (1-1) beat B.E.S.T. Academy (1-1) 39-8.

9. (NR) Appling County (1-0) beat Class A-Public No. 9 Charlton County (1-1) 40-20.

10. (7) Crisp County (1-1) lost to Class AAAAA No. 6 Dutchtown (2-0) 19-17.

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