For Hillgrove, it was the end of a 23-game winning streak in the regular season. What’s more, Hillgrove likely will need to beat fifth-ranked Marietta later this season or face a road playoff game at Lowndes or Colquitt County. Regions 1 and 3 - the two strongest in the state - have the misfortune of being paired against each in the first round this season.
So yes, the McEachern-Hillgrove game was big Friday night, a game that won’t soon be forgotten.
Four more games of note this week:
*Marietta brings North Paulding to earth: Marietta (5-1, 1-0) got a 49-21 victory over North Paulding (5-0, 0-1), which came in undefeated. Marietta, seeking its first region title since 2005, gets McEachern at home next week. The winner will be in the driver's seat of Region 3. Marietta hasn't won a region title since 2005.
*Grayson does the same to Shiloh: Grayson (5-1, 1-0) earned a 45-7 win Thursday over Shiloh (6-0, 1-1), which came in undefeated. Shiloh, which under new coach Tino Ierulli has clinched its first winning season since 2003, remains a feel-good story this season, but Grayson doesn't have 101 wins this decade for nothing. Grayson plays at Archer (3-2, 0-0) next week for what most figure will decide the region championship.
*North Gwinnett sends message in Region 6: North Gwinnett beat Mill Creek 45-3. That's the Bulldogs' 17th straight region victory. North can all but clinch its third straight region title with a victor next week over Collins Hill (4-2, 2-0).
*Cherokee muddles Region 4 with upset: Cherokee (5-2, 1-1) beat defending Region 4 champion Roswell 21-14. Roswell is 3-2, 0-1. Etowah (4-3, 2-0) might be the front-runner now. The Eagles defeated Woodstock 28-21 on Friday. Walton (3-3, 1-0) beat Lassiter (1-5, 0-1) handily on Friday. Walton plays at Etowah next week for first place.