Front-runners emerge as Class AAA heads into Week 10

By most measures, it was a nondescript type of  Friday  night for the top teams in Class AAA. After Week 9, front-runners are beginning to emerge in each of the regions.

The biggest surprise came in Region 8, where No. 8 Monroe Area (7-1, 2-1) lost to Morgan County 22-21. This put Morgan in great position to take the region title.

"It hurts, but our kids fought hard," Monroe Area head coach Kevin Reach told the Walton Tribune after the game. "We played a heck of a football game. ... It comes down to about four or five plays in a high school football game, and we didn't get those plays to go our way  tonight ."

The Purple Hurricanes were trailing 22-21 with  1:55  remaining in the game when they failed to convert on fourth down and gave the ball to Morgan County. On the next play, the Bulldogs fumbled it back to Monroe Area, but a defensive stand by Morgan County sealed the outcome.

Morgan County now has a three-game stretch against teams with losing records between it and the 8-AAA crown.

Here is how the rest of the top 10 fared:

-- Region 5: No. 1 Cedar Grove moved past Pace Academy 28-7. The Saints’ Xavier Dennis rushed for two touchdowns on seven carries. Darrell Neal had 17 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown. The Saints are 4-0 in region play with 3-1 Lovett trailing.

-- Region 4: No. 2 Peach County demolished Rutland 65-7. The Trojans are 3-0 through region play with games against Kendrick, Pike and Jackson remaining. Pike and Peach are the only unbeaten teams (3-0) remaining in the region.

-- Region 7: No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian has a 4-0 region record after moving past Lumpkin County 61-14. Kyler McMichael scored on runs of 27 and 7 yards. Montae Bailey had two 80-yard touchdown runs. The Spartans led 41-0 at half.

-- Region 3: No. 5 Jenkins handled Groves 40-0  Thursday  night. The Warriors lead Region 3 at 4-0.

-- Region 1: No. 6 Crisp County moved past Monroe 50-26 in its first region game. The Cougars will face a key region matchup next week against Cook, which is 2-0 in the region.

-- In Region 6-South: No. 7 Bremen beat Haralson County 38-14 to remain perfect. The Blue Devils have Adairsville and Calhoun remaining on the south side of the sub-region before the region play-in game.

-- Region 5: No. 9 Lovett defeated Redan 44-13. Blaine McAllister was a perfect 11-of-11 passing for 182 yards and three touchdowns. McAllister also rushed for 43 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Lovett is 3-1 behind Cedar Grove in 5-AAA.

-- Region 5: No. 10 Westminster shut out McNair 33-0. Miles Davis and Ward Croft led the Wildcats offense with two touchdowns each. Davis’ scores came in the first quarter.