Friday night wrap: Calhoun, ELCA lose first region games this decade

The only two Georgia high school football teams that hadn’t lost a region game this decade – Calhoun and Eagle’s Landing Christian – were picked off Friday night, ending a pair of the more impressive winning streaks in state history.

Calhoun – which had been 119-0 in games that count in region standings since 2001 – lost to North Murray 31-7 in a Region 6-AAA contest. 

North Murray, which opened in 2009, had been 0-7 all-time against Calhoun with the closet game being a 34-10 Calhoun victory in 2018. 

Ranked No. 3 in Class AAA, Calhoun entered 3-0 under new coach Clay Stephenson, a long-time assistant who replaced the retired Hal Lamb. Under Lamb, Calhoun won a state-record 18 straight region titles and three state championships. 

Meanwhile, Eagle’s Landing Christian had won 59 straight region games, the next-longest active streak in the state and fourth-longest all-time. ELCA was upended by Holy Innocents’ 42-41 in overtime. Holy Innocents’ also had been the most recent to defeat ECLA in a region game in 2009 when the Golden Bears prevailed 35-13. 

ELCA, the four-time defending Class A private-school champion, also had won 41 straight games against Class A opponents since 2015. ELCA has won nine straight Region 5-A titles.

In other games of note, Irwin County and Callaway scored big rivalry wins.

Irwin, ranked No. 2 in the Class A public division, defeated No. 1 Clinch County 14-0 in a Region 1-A game that was a rematch of the past two state finals, each won by Clinch. 

Callaway, the No. 2 team in AA, beat No. 3 Troup of AAAA 55-45 in what might be called the championship of Troup County. Both teams featured AJC Super 11 players – Tank Bigsby of Callaway and Kobe Hudson of Troup, both committed to Auburn.

In another county rivalry, Veterans upset Houston County 7-2. Houston County entered 4-0 and ranked No. 5 in AAAAAA after beating No. 1-ranked Peach County of AAA the week before.

In other games between ranked teams, No. 3 Carrollton beat No. 7 Rome 24-20 in AAAAA; No. 5 Colquitt County of AAAAAAA beat No. 4 Warner Robins AAAAA 31-14; No. 4 Dublin beat No. 7 Brooks County 49-35 while No. 8 Swainsboro beat No. 6 Washington County 27-7 in AA; and No. 8 (private) North Cobb Christian beat No. 7 (public) Trion 24-0 in A.  

Also impressive Friday were No. 2 Lowndes of AAAAAA, which beat nationally ranked Miami Northwestern 38-21; and No. 2 Marist of AAAA, which defeated St. Pius 30-0 in the Fish Bowl game between DeKalb County Catholic schools. 

Two other ranked teams lost when playing unranked larger schools. Glynn Academy of AAAAAA beat No. 9 Wayne County of AAAAA 47-35 while Bleckley County of AA beat No. 4 Marion County of A 43-28.

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