Colquitt County, Valdosta and Lee County are the winners of Region 1’s epic first round of region play.
-Colquitt County’s 45-27 victory over Lowndes was not an upset, but it was pretty significant. Colquitt has its first two-game winning streak over Lowndes since 1994-95. Remember that Rush Propst had been only 2-4 against Lowndes, and that Colquitt hasn’t won a region title since 1999. That’s despite the remarkable success in the state playoffs – five straight semifinal appearances.
-Valdosta’s 13-10 victory ended a five-game losing streak to Camden and made Valdosta 6-0 for the first time since 2010, or Rance Gillespie’s first season as head coach. The six victories match Valdosta’s total from last season’s 6-5 finish. Note that Valdosta’s victory totals have declined each season since 2010, and the disturbing trend is over. Also, Valdosta is the first Region 1 team to win at Camden since Camden joined the region in 2012.
-Lee County’s 24-21 victory over Tift County validated the progress that this program has made in recent seasons under Dean Fabrizio. The Trojans were 10-2 last season, but that was in Class AAAAA. Lee was given no chance to make the playoffs in 1-AAAAAA. And perhaps they won’t, but it might take four straight losses to keep them out. Lee County is 5-0.
In other AAAAAA news from Friday …
Norcross gets off the deck with the best of them. Everyone remembers last season's 1-2 start and the 55-0 debacle against B.T. Washington. That ended in a state championship. Then, many figured the Blue Devils wouldn’t beat Tucker, given that they’d graduated 18 of 22 starters from their state championship team, but Norcross won its opener 32-29. Then some dismissed Norcross against after the 26-0 loss to Milton. But the Devils are back in the picture again, fresh off a 17-10 victory over seventh-ranked North Gwinnett. It will be hard to keep Norcross out of the rankings this week, or from holding the Region 7 title for the third straight season. North Gwinnett had been averaging 40 points per game.
And finally, let’s look at what’s happened in Region 5 this week. This is just weird …
The biggest news in Region 5 this week had been Walton’s forfeiture of three victories. That was until the games were played Friday, and the region was turned upside down again.
Walton’s playoff chances were injured when by the forfeits, including a region victory over Lassiter, but they were almost crippled when previously winless Pope (1-4, 1-2) upset the Raiders 44-36 at Raider Valley. Walton is now 1-5, 1-3.
Meanwhile, the region’s only teams without a region loss – Woodstock and Roswell – also were beaten.
Woodstock (5-1, 3-1) lost 42-21 to Cherokee (5-1, 3-1), and more surprisingly, Roswell (3-2, 2-1) lost 28-23 to Wheeler (2-4, 1-3).
Milton (4-1, 2-1) got a virtual share of first place with a 37-12 victory over Etowah (4-2, 2-2).
It will be an interesting if not historic finish. Consider the last region titles of the four teams with one region loss – Roswell (2010), Cherokee (2002), Milton (1952) and Woodstock (never). And note that Roswell is 11-24 and without a winning season since its last region title.
And finally, there are only six undefeated teams left in Class AAAAAA - Did anyone think Lee County and Northview would be among them? Westlake, a program that was 0-10 just two years ago, knocked East Coweta from the ranks with a 35-0 victory and appears to be the chief contender to Hughes in Region 3.
The other unbeaten teams are Colquitt, Valdosta, Grayson and Dacula. Except for Colquitt, not sure any of those teams were supposed to be undefeated in October.
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