FROM THE PREP ZONE BLOGS ON AJC.COM

The high school bloggers at ajc.com include Todd Holcomb (Class AAAAAA), Chip Saye (Class AAAAA), David Purdum (Class AAAA), Stan Awtrey (Class AAA), Adam Krohn (Class AA) and S. Thomas Coleman (Class A).

Class AAAAAA

North Gwinnett escaped with its No. 1 ranking a couple of weeks ago when it won a game against Mill Creek 50-47 after trailing by 21 in the fourth quarter. On Friday, the Bulldogs were out of comebacks.

Collins Hill, ranked ninth but now a contender to win powerful Region 7, stunned North Gwinnett 53-28. Collins Hill’s Tyler Herman threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns. North Gwinnett quarterback Hayden Sphire injured his ankle late in the first half and did not return.

North Gwinnett became the third No. 1 team in AAAAAA to lose this season. The others have been Norcross and Colquitt County.

  • Colquitt County is in line to be ranked No. 1, again. The second-ranked Packers defeated Valdosta 17-10. They trailed 10-3 at halftime and 10-9 in the fourth quarter before taking advantage of a fumbled punt to pull it out. Colquitt County's only loss is to nationally ranked Hoover (Ala.).
  • Archer, which opened in 2009, is the Region 8 champion. The Tigers clinched their first region title with a 48-31 victory against South Gwinnett. Archer, ranked No. 5 last week, is the remaining undefeated team in its class after North Gwinnett's demise.
  • Alpharetta cleared its final major hurdle toward winning Region 6. With a 14-12 victory against Lambert, Alpharetta has defeated its main region rivals and can clinch with a victory against Centennial (1-7) or Johns Creek (0-8) the next two weeks. It would be Alpharetta's second region title in three seasons.

Class AAAAA

  • Stephenson ended M.L. King's hopes of a fourth consecutive region championship by rallying in the fourth quarter for a 10-6 victory in a Region 6 game. Stephenson remains one game behind top-ranked Tucker and takes on Mays next weekend in a game that could determine second place in the region. M.L. King falls to fourth place and has to face Tucker next weekend.
  • Mundy's Mill and Creekside have captured the subregion titles in Region 4 and will face the No. 4 seeds from the opposite subregions Nov. 8 in the play-in games that will determine the region's state playoff teams. Mundy's Mill beat Union Grove 24-17 to clinch the subregion A title, and Creekside finished subregion B play 4-0 after its 41-10 victory against McIntosh.
  • Flowery Branch's 37-7 victory against Clarke Central clinched the top two spots in Region 8 (and home first-round playoff games) for Flowery Branch and Gainesville and ensured that their matchup in the regular-season finale will be for the region title for the second consecutive season.
  • Defending Region 5 champion East Paulding no longer controls its fate in the playoff race. The Raiders' 24-17 loss to South Paulding left them in a tie for fourth place with Rome (5-3), which holds the tiebreaker because of its victory against East Paulding on Oct. 18. Rome can clinch a postseason berth by winning its final regular-season games against Villa Rica (4-4) and Woodland-Cartersville (2-6).
  • Defending Region 1 champion Harris County suffered its first region loss since 2011 when the Tigers were whipped by Lee County 44-7. Lee County led 7-0 at halftime, but took advantage of a muffed punt, a blocked punt and an interception to score 24 third-quarter points.

Class AAAA

No. 4 Monroe Area’s 68-14 victory against Madison County was marred by a bench-clearing brawl that led to multiple ejections. According to the Walton Tribune, seven Monroe Area players, including star quarterback Stanton Truitt, and three Madison County players were ejected. If players were ejected for fighting, they would have to sit out Friday’s games. Chestatee will visit Monroe Area for the Region 8 title this week.

In a significant Region 6, Division B development, the game between Washington and Carver-Atlanta was cancelled, and Carver was awarded a forfeit victory. The AJC reported that football players from Washington were implicated by Atlanta police in a Thursday night fight involving a baseball team and a coach. Carver improves to 6-2, 4-0 in the subregion. Washington drops to 6-2, 2-2. Carver will face Grady on Friday for the subregion title.

  • No. 1 Sandy Creek and No. 2 Carrollton each posted easy victories, setting up a Friday showdown between the two top-ranked teams that will decide the Region 5 title. Defending state champion Sandy Creek rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead en route to a 42-7 victory against LaGrange. The Patriots have won 40 consecutive region games. Carrollton scored on its first seven possessions and got two rushing touchdowns from both Malik Sheppard and Jarvis Terrell, and two receiving touchdowns from Andrew Turner in the Trojans' 63-21 victory against Alexander. Carrollton has outscored its opponents 407-75.
  • Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 275 yards and four touchdowns to help the seventh-ranked Bulldogs remain undefeated with a 54-28 victory against Cass. Chubb, who committed to Georgia, has rushed for 2,162 yards and 33 touchdowns this season. Cedartown travels to Gilmer on Friday, with the winner claiming the top seed out of Region 7, Division A in the play-in round.
  • The LaFayette Ramblers ended an 11-game losing streak with a 32-29 victory against Ridgeland. … North Clayton picked up its first win of the season with a 25-20 victory against winless Spalding.
  • Eagle's Landing knocked off Locust Grove 41-14 to improve to 7-2 on the season. The Golden Eagles were 3-37 the past four seasons.

Class AAA

  • It wasn't a classic. It wasn't even the typical Washington County versus Thomson matchup. But it did determine the Region 3 championship. No. 3 Washington County (8-0) beat Thomson 55-12 to secure first place. The victory broke a two-game losing streak to Thomson. Thomson (3-5) finishes the season against Jefferson County, a game that will determine the region's second-place team.
  • Woodward Academy's 42-28 victory against No. 6 St. Pius means that you won't be able to determine the playoff participants — let alone the order of finish — in Region 6 until the season is over in two weeks. There are five teams in the hunt for the four playoff spots. Woodward Academy is 4-1 with only this week's home game against Cedar Grove left. Tied at 3-1 are St. Pius, Cedar Grove and Blessed Trinity. Decatur is 2-2, but has only last-place McNair remaining, and holds a victory against Blessed Trinity.

Class AA

  • No shockers occurred in the Top 10, with the eight teams that played going 8-0. The closest game was between the No. 10 Vidalia Indians and Bacon County, though the Indians pitched a shutout, winning 14-0. No. 1 Lamar County squared off against the only other team with an undefeated 1-AA record, Bleckley County, but coasted to a 44-7 victory to all but take the region for a third year in a row.
  • The No. 8 Bowdon Red Devils made easy work of Bremen at home, winning 48-22. Bremen had a 5-2 edge in the series since 2005 heading into the game and prevented Bowdon from completing an undefeated regular season in 2008. Now, the Red Devils (9-0, 7-0 5-AA) are just one win away from their first 10-0 season since 1995 and their first region title since 2005. However, the title won't come easily — after a bye they'll play the Heard County Braves, who moved to 6-0 in the region after their 43-0 victory against Temple.
  • In Region 3, the Dublin Fighting Irish officially are back on track. They're 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the region after their 42-14 victory against Harlem. They face Laney (6-2, 4-0) next week for what will essentially be the region championship.

Class A

Three games expected to be hotly contested ended in lopsided decisions.

  • No. 5 Johnson County moved to 8-0, 2-0 in Region 3, Division B, as the Trojans jumped all over No. 8 Emanuel County Institute (5-3, 2-1), 65-29. ECI had won eight of the past 10 meetings, including a 40-0 decision last season on the way to winning the Class A public-school state championship. The 65 points tallied by the Trojans was the most points scored by one team in the history of the series, which dates to 1978.
  • No. 10 Clinch County (5-3, 4-0) continued its march back to prominence with an unexpectedly easy 34-7 victory against rival Charlton County (5-2, 3-1), which had won nine of the previous 10 meetings between the schools. The Panthers are the odds-on favorite to win the Region 2 title.
  • Calvary Day (6-2, 4-0) turned what was expected to be a tight battle for the Region 3, Division A title into a 48-6 romp past Claxton (4-4, 2-2).