Since 1993, Grayson, Parkview, Brookwood and South Gwinnett have won or shared every championship in Region 8 of Georgia’s highest classification. But a coup seems to be taking place and continued Friday. The big four is now 2-13 on the season.
Here is how the state’s most volatile region was turned upside down again:
- Parkview, a quarterfinalist last season, lost to Archer 27-7 and is 0-4 for the first time since 1986. Archer is a four-year-old school that has never been ranked or won a playoff game, but it sits atop the region with a 4-0 record overall, 2-0 in region play.
- Grayson, the defending champion, lost 14-7 to Dacula, which was 1-9 last season and previously winless (0-5) against Grayson. Grayson is 1-3, and its streak of six 10-victory seasons is endangered. Dacula, under new coach Tommy Jones, shares the region lead with Archer at 2-2, 2-0.
- South Gwinnett, 9-3 last season, lost to crosstown-rival Shiloh 21-14 and fell to 1-3. South Gwinnett had won 11 of the past 12 in the series, including 31-0 last season, a loss that sent Shiloh on an 0-7 slide.
- Berkmar lost 15-12 to Central Gwinnett. Berkmar entered the game 3-0. Central was 0-2. Central won despite less than 100 yards of offense.
- Brookwood (0-3) sat Friday out. The Broncos play Parkview next week in the resumption of what formerly was metro Atlanta’s best rivalry.
- A loss to North Paulding, a narrow escape against Paulding County and an injury to quarterback Mitchell Webb have caused a bit of anxiety for East Paulding fans, but the Raiders remained in the thick of the playoff race with a 24-10 victory against New Manchester. Both teams will join Allatoona, North Paulding, South Paulding, Rome and Villa Rica in what likely appears to be a seven-team race for the four playoff berths from the region.
- Bainbridge’s 36-0 loss to Westlake was the Bearcats’ fourth consecutive game in which the losing team failed to score. Bainbridge defeated East Gadsden (Fla.) 3-0, lost to Cairo 6-0 and defeated Early County 26-0 in its first three games.
- The five teams from subregion B in Region 4-AAAAA put a beating on their subregion A counterparts in crossover action. Creekside, McIntosh, Whitewater, Northgate and Starr’s Mill averaged 52.4 points in completing a five-game sweep, improving their combined overall record for the season to 15-5.
- The top three teams in 6-AAAAA are distancing themselves from most of the pack. Top-ranked Tucker, No. 2 Stephenson and Mays outscored their opponents 140-33 on Friday to improve to 3-0 in the region.
- Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan had 15 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and scored a touchdown on offense in the Panthers’ 49-0 victory against Cross Keys. One of the most sought after recruits in the state, McMillan played only the first half and one series in third quarter. Liberty County freshman receiver Richard LeCounte, who has scholarship offers from Florida and Ohio State, caught a touchdown pass, returned an interception for a touchdown and returned a fumble for another score.
- Columbus ended its 19-game losing streak, the longest in AAAA, in impressive fashion, blasting Northside 35-13. James Traylor and Dale Williams scored two touchdowns each, and Essang Bassey had three interceptions for the Blue Devils.
- Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 267 yards and three touchdowns in the undefeated Bulldogs’ 36-14 victory. Chubb, who has committed to Georgia, has 16 touchdowns in four games.
- Jacob Schofill had three of Statesboro’s four interceptions in a 21-7 upset of No. 6 Burke County.
- Redan picked up its first victory of the season, when Banneker arrived an hour late for a 5:15 p.m. kickoff at Hallford Stadium. The game time was moved during the summer to accommodate Stephenson’s homecoming, according to Redan coach Willie Griffieth. Stephenson played Lakeside-DeKalb at 7:30 p.m.
- The big news Friday was the performance of North Oconee’s Kawon Bryant, who posted his second five-touchdown game of the season in a 56-0 victory against Athens Christian. Bryant, a junior, rushed for 383 yards and five scores. He has 751 yards and 13 touchdowns this season for the No. 10-ranked Titans. North Oconee (2-1) also got 59 yards passing and one touchdown from quarterback Tate Adcock.
- No. 4 Washington County should move up in the rankings after a 38-0 victory against Laney. Quarterback A.J. Gray completed eight of 11 passes for 96 yards and ran for 68 yards. The Golden Hawks (4-0) also got 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Melvin Hill. It was Washington County’s first shutout of the season.
- Woodward Academy beat Westminster 30-15 for its its third consecutive victory. The War Eagles (3-1) began the season in the Top 10, but dropped out after losing their opener to Lovett. The War Eagles have a big-time difference-maker in quarterback Terry Googer, a South Carolina commitment. Googer ran 22 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 94 yards and another score.
- Decatur improved to 4-0 by pounding Clarkston 42-14. The Bulldogs are off to their best start since 2005, when they won their first five games and finished 8-2. Demetrius Harris rushed for 128 yards, and Nick Bentley rushed for 85 to pace the Dogs. Decatur hasn’t been state-ranked since 2004.
- Are the Lovett Lions — currently ranked No. 2 — the state’s best in Class AA? They improved to 4-0 by stunning AAA’s No. 2-ranked St. Pius 28-7 in a game in which they were ahead 28-0 at halftime. Lovett has yet to play a team in or below their classification, opening their season with two AAA schools before an AAAA school last week. Lovett is ranked behind the top-ranked Lamar County, which was off this week and holds the top spot for the first time in school history. Lovett began the season ranked No. 8.
- The No. 9-ranked Benedictine Cadets are another team climbing the rankings. In a pivotal Region 2 game against No. 7 Vidalia, the Cadets posted a 28-0 shutout to improve to 4-0. The victory puts Benedictine in the driver’s seat for its first region title since 2000. Not bad for a team unranked heading into the season.
- In addition to Vidalia, another team in the top 10 lost — No. 10 Macon County lost to Peach County 17-14. The remaining top 10 teams won in blowouts — No. 5 Washington-Wilkes beat Riverside Military 50-14; No. 6 Calhoun bounced back from its loss last week with a 38-0 victory against Dade County; No. 8 Brooks County dominated Mitchell County 50-6. In addition to Lamar County, No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian and No. 4 Jefferson did not play.
- No. 10 Pace Academy (3-1) looked nearly unstoppable in its three victories this season, averaging more than 40 points per game. But a First Presbyterian Day (1-2) team that had been outscored 66-10 in its first two games this season found its groove at home in Macon, and the Vikings upset the Knights 28-18. FPD used big plays and clutch defense. Quarterback Will McCormick threw touchdown passes of 56 and 74 yards to Reggie Gant and O’Showen Williams, respectively, and Jam Morris added touchdown runs of 90 and 35 yards. Will Black had an interception for the Vikings, who forced three Pace Academy turnovers. Denzel Franklin had a 44-yard touchdown run for the Knights, and Malik Staples added a 4-yarder.
- After dropping a close game at No. 2 Landmark Christian (14-7) last week, Mount Paran (3-1) returned to its winning ways with a convincing 31-12 victory against previously unbeaten Trion (3-1). Quarterback Jake Allen and wide receiver Emoni Williams hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown, and the Eagles got rushing touchdowns from Taylor Trammell, Dorian Ridge and Dorian Walker.
- No. 8 Seminole County (4-0) and its option attack rolled up 250 yards rushing during a 42-12 victory against previously unbeaten AA Pelham (3-1). Running back Robert Speight and quarterback Alex Fudge ran for two touchdowns each, and Fudge’s only pass attempt of the night was good for a 32-yard touchdown to Jabius Glenn.
- Behind 30-6 at halftime to Schley County (0-3), Terrell County (2-2) scored 38 consecutive points in the second half and won 44-30.
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The ajc.com high school bloggers include Todd Holcomb (Class AAAAAA), Chip Saye (AAAAA), David Purdum (AAAA), Stan Awtrey (AAA), Adam Krohn (AA) and S. Thomas Coleman (A).