Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Football rankings: No. 1’s hold strong; Stephenson, North Cobb Christian make big jumps

Six No. 1-ranked teams enter the state playoffs this week with 10-0 records while two others are defending champions with 9-1 records and long winning streaks against teams in their own classifications. 

It’s been a dominant season for the favorites, and the trend continued in the final week of the regular season when the No. 1 teams went 8-0. For the season, teams ranked No. 1 have gone 75-4. That’s the fourth-best performance of No. 1 teams over the past 25 years. (The best this century was a 48-2 mark in 2002.) 

Two preseason No. 1 teams – Grayson (Class AAAAAAA) and Clinch County (A public) - accounted for two of those four losses by No. 1 teams this season, and they now stand No. 2 in the rankings to teams that beat them – Colquitt County and Irwin County, who were No. 2 at the time. 

In other words, the teams projected as the ones to beat in the preseason are still here, more solid than ever. Six defending champions who began the season No. 1 are at the top – Lee County (AAAAAA), Rome (AAAAA), Blessed Trinity (AAAA), Calhoun (AAA), Hapeville Charter (AA) and Eagle’s Landing Christian (A private). 

Big movers in the rankings this week were Stephenson, Southwest DeKalb, Greene County and North Cobb Christian, each moving up at least two places. 

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Stephenson (9-1, 8-0) – up to No. 4 in Class AAAAAA - won its first region title since 2015, and only its second in 10 years, with a 30-24 victory over previous No. 3 Tucker in Region 4. Tucker (7-3, 7-1) had won 25 straight region games and entered this game ranked No. 3. 

Southwest DeKalb, the only team to beat Stephenson, moved up two places to No. 7 in AAAAA on Stephenson’s momentum. 

In Class A, Greene County won its first region title since 2005 when the Tigers defeated Tattnall Square 35-20 in the 7-A championship game. They moved to No. 7 in the public-school rankings. 

And North Cobb Christian moved to No. 6 in Class A private with its 28-10 win over previous No. 7 Mount Paran Christian. That was the third victory over a top-10 team this season for North Cobb Christian. 

Class AAAAAAA 

1. (1) Colquitt County (10-0) 

2. (2) Grayson (8-2) 

3. (3) Parkview (10-0) 

4. (4) Hillgrove (10-0) 

5. (5) Walton (9-1) 

6. (6) Roswell (9-1) 

7. (7) North Gwinnett (8-2) 

8. (8) Milton (8-2) 

9. (9) Archer (8-2) 

10. (10) Marietta (5-5) 

Class AAAAAA 

1. (1) Lee County (10-0) 

2. (2) Creekview (10-0) 

3. (5) Valdosta (6-4) 

4. (8) Stephenson (9-1) 

5. (7) Northside-Warner Robins (5-5) 

6. (6) Harrison (8-2) 

7. (10) Johns Creek (9-1) 

8. (9) Dacula (8-2) 

9. (3) Tucker (7-3) 

10. (NR) Sequoyah (8-2) 

Out: No. 4 Allatoona 

Class AAAAA 

1. (1) Rome (10-0) 

2. (2) Buford (8-2) 

3. (3) Warner Robins (8-2) 

4. (4) Dutchtown (10-0) 

5. (8) Wayne County (10-0) 

6. (6) Stockbridge (9-1) 

7. (9) Southwest DeKalb (10-0) 

8. (5) Jones County (8-2) 

9. (10) Kell (8-2) 

10. (NR) Carrollton (8-2) 

Out: No. 7 Ware County 

Class AAAA 

1. (1) Blessed Trinity (10-0) 

2. (5) Cartersville (10-0) 

3. (2) Mary Persons (10-0) 

4. (4) St. Pius (9-1) 

5. (6) Eastside (10-0) 

6. (7) Marist (8-2) 

7. (8) Pickens (10-0) 

8. (9) Flowery Branch (8-2) 

9. (3) Troup (9-1) 

10. (10) Ridgeland (7-3) 

Class AAA 

1. (1) Calhoun (10-0) 

2. (2) Cedar Grove (9-1) 

3. (3) Monroe Area (10-0) 

4. (4) Peach County (8-2) 

5. (7) Benedictine (9-1) 

6. (6) Greater Atlanta Christian (8-2) 

7. (8) Dawson County (9-1) 

8. (9) Jefferson (8-2) 

9. (NR) Pierce County (10-0) 

10. (5) Westminster (6-4) 

Out: No. 10 Pace Academy 

Class AA 

1. (1) Hapeville Charter (9-1) 

2. (2) Rockmart (10-0) 

3. (3) Heard County (8-2) 

4. (4) Callaway (8-2) 

5. (7) Brooks County (8-2) 

6. (8) Dublin (9-1) 

7. (5) Bremen (8-2) 

8. (6) Rabun County (9-1) 

9. (9) Dodge County (9-1) 

10. (10) Washington County (8-2) 

Class A (Private) 

1. (1) Eagle's Landing Christian (9-1) 

2. (2) Athens Academy (10-0) 

3. (3) Prince Avenue Christian (9-1) 

4. (5) Savannah Christian (9-1) 

5. (6) George Walton Academy (8-2) 

6. (10) North Cobb Christian (9-1) 

7. (4) Fellowship Christian (9-1) 

8. (8) Calvary Day (9-1) 

9. (7) Mount Paran Christian (7-3) 

10. (NR) Darlington (8-2) 

Out: No. 9 Aquinas 

Class A (Public) 

1. (1) Irwin County (10-0) 

2. (2) Clinch County (9-1) 

3. (3) Pelham (10-0) 

4. (4) Marion County (10-0) 

5. (5) Mount Zion (9-1) 

6. (6) Charlton County (7-3) 

7. (10) Greene County (8-2) 

8. (7) Schley County (8-2) 

9. (9) Commerce (8-2)

10. (8) Mitchell County (8-2) 

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