Peachtree Ridge 31, Norcross 0

Peachtree Ridge coach Mark Fleetwood, standing on the 40-yard line with his team surrounding him, turned and pointed to the scoreboard. Peachtree Ridge 31, Norcross 0. Domination.

Peachtree Ridge running backs Malik Staples and Marquez Jackson combined for 317 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and Breon Dixon had two sacks and returned a punt for a touchdown as the Lions (6-2, 5-0 Region 7-AAAAAA) posted their third shutout in five region games on Friday at the Blue Devils' stadium.

"Defense, shutout," Fleetwood yelled. "Offensive line, great job." The Lions roared back at their coach, knowing they're in prime position to win a region a championship and make a playoff run.

Peachtree Ridge and Mill Creek are the two remaining unbeaten teams in Region 7-AAAAAA play. The two teams will meet in the final week of the regular season.

Norcross (7-1, 4-1) suffered its first defeat of the season and finished with 75 total yards. The Blue Devils entered the game averaging 40.75 points in their four region games, but never seriously threatened against a dominating and talented Peachtree Ridge defense that controlled the line of scrimmage.

"[The defense] is starting to play together," Fleetwood said. "That was something that we started after the first two games (both losses), when we came out a little slow."

The Lions' offensive line was equally as impressive, despite missing its top player in injured center Marc Lovely. Sophomore Wilson Cato stepped in and teamed up with Maxwell Bell, Duke Holland, Bryce Jones, Daniel Webster and Josh Johnson to lead the way for Staples and Jackson.

Staples finished with 169 yards on 24 carries. He scored on touchdown runs of 21 and 5 yards. Jackson added 148 yards and scored on a 1-yard plunge that put the Lions up 10-0 late in the first quarter. DeAngelo Gibbs' leaping 44-yard reception set up Jackson's touchdown.

Dixon added a touchdown on a 10-yard punt return that resulted from a mishandled snap by Norcross, one of many miscues by the Blue Devils in an ugly first half. Norcross had minus-25 yards of offense and trailed 17-0 at halftime.

Blue Devils coach Keith Maloof said his team's not done, though.

"They got us in the trenches, they took over," Maloof said. "We'll regroup. We're still 7-1. I've got a good football team, but it just didn't show at times tonight. They've got in them (to respond). They've worked hard. This group has no quit in them. They'll be fine."

PEACHTREE RIDGE     --     10     7     7    7     --- 31

NORCROSS     --     0     0     0     0    --     0

PR -- Zaniel Phillips 21 field goal (3-0, PR, 6:04 left)

2nd

PR -- Marquez Jackson 2 run (Phillips kick) -- 17-0

PR -- Breon Dixon 10 punt return (Phillips kick)

3rd

PR -- Malike Staples 21 run (Phillips kick) (24-0, 3 minutes)

4th

PR -- Staples 5 run (Phillips kick)