Lowndes, McEachern, Parkview and Grayson clinched region titles in Class AAAAAAA on Friday while Westlake will have to wait another week after a stunning upset. And Roswell is suddenly looking good in Region 4. So is Milton in Region 5. And North Gwinnett had clinched Region 6 last month.
Most surprising Friday was that Westlake (5-4, 3-1) saw its 23-game winning streak in region play end when beaten 18-13 by Wheeler (4-5, 2-2).
Westlake gets another chance to clinch 2-AAAAAAA next week against Campbell (0-9, 0-4). Westlake has won five straight region titles.
Of course, the biggest game Friday was No. 1-ranked Lowndes vs. No. 3 Colquitt County. Lowndes took the lead for good late in the third quarter and won 28-17 to claim Region 1 for the second time in three seasons.
Colquitt had won the titles four of the previous five seasons and beaten Lowndes 40-6 in 2018, so the win was satisfying for the Vikings, who finished the regular season 10-0. Lowndes gets a week off before launching its bid for its first state title since 2007.
Meanwhile, the most suspenseful region race is taking place in Region 4. That’s where four teams – Walton, Etowah, Cherokee and Roswell – entered Friday night with 2-1 region records. Walton beat Cherokee 25-21, which made Roswell happy and Etowah not so good.
Roswell (6-2, 3-1) now can clinch the region title, successfully defending it as it were, by defeating Etowah (5-4, 3-1) next week.
If Etowah wins, then Walton (5-4, 3-1) is the likely champion because the Raiders beat Etowah last month. That’s if Walton can beat Woodstock (2-7, 1-3) in the regular-season finale.
Another region up for grabs is Region 5. West Forsyth (4-4, 3-1) knocked North Forsyth (6-3, 3-1) out of first place by beating the Raiders 22-21 Friday. Milton (6-3, 4-0) now has the lead and can clinch the title with a victory over North next week. A win by North could create a three-way tie.
And finally, No. 7 Marietta beat No. 6 Hillgrove 37-17. That probably determines the No. 2-3 seeds in Region 3. That’s big because No. 2 (Marietta) gets a home game vs. Camden County in the first round of the playoffs (barring upsets next week) while Hillgrove can expect to travel to Colquitt County in round one.
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