Brunswick’s 23-game winning streak in regular-season games came to an end when the Pirates lost to St. Augustine 45-35 Saturday night in the finale of the Georgia vs. Florida Border Classic at Glynn County Stadium.
The loss was the Pirates’ first in a regular-season game since Oct. 30, 2020, when it lost to Richmond Hill 42-27 in a Region 2 game.
Brunswick has played just two games through the first four weeks of the season. The Pirates were off the first week, defeated Camden County 21-17 in Week 2 and had a scheduled game against Winter Park, Fla., cancelled the following week.
“We’ve got to take every loss as an opportunity to learn something,” Brunswick coach Garrett Grady told Derrick Davis of the Brunswick News. “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got Monday at practice to get better, and we’ve got to use this as a learning opportunity and move forward. This hurt our guys tonight because they put a lot on the line, and they’re going to remember how this feels.”
Georgia teams went 4-3 in the three-day Border Classic for the second consecutive season. Glynn Academy picked up one of the wins for Georgia when it defeated Baker County, Fla., 27-20 Thursday night. Other Georgia winners were Class 7A Richmond Hill, Class 5A Coffee and Class A Division II McIntosh County Academy.
Brunswick was one of six Class 6A teams that suffered their first losses of the season last week.
Fifth-ranked Lee County lost to Class 7A No. 2 Colquitt County, and fellow Region 1 team Veterans lost to Class 4A No. 4 Perry 49-41. Lakeside-DeKalb, playing a non-region schedule out of Region 4, lost to Class 7A Osborne 35-0. Region 7 teams Roswell (34-14 vs. Class 7A No. 8 Milton) and Sprayberry (40-7 vs. Class 5A Kell) also lost.
That leaves just 10 unbeaten teams in the classification – Blessed Trinity, Douglas County, Dunwoody, Etowah, Gainesville, Houston County, Mundy’s Mill, North Atlanta, South Effingham and Thomas County Central.
Here’s a look at each of those teams heading into Week 5:
*Blessed Trinity: The Titans, ranked No. 10 under first-year coach Ed Dudley, are 3-0 after a narrow escape against St. Pius 16-14 last week. Blessed Trinity is about to hit the toughest stretch of its schedule, with a non-region game this week against No. 7 Marist and Region 7 games against Sprayberry and No. 8 Roswell the following two weeks.
*Douglas County: The Tigers are 3-0 after avenging a 2022 loss to McEachern and head into Region 5 play this week against Alexander. Douglas County finished in third place in the region last year and is currently the second-highest-ranked team in the region behind defending state champion Hughes, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings.
*Dunwoody: The Wildcats are 3-0 for the first time since their 2008 team went 12-1 and reached the Class 3A quarterfinals. They also won a playoff game the following season but haven’t been back to the postseason since. Another playoff berth appears within reach, and a matchup against Riverwood on Oct. 26 looks to be the key game.
*Etowah: The Eagles started the year 4-0 in 2022 but ran into trouble in Region 6 play, losing five of six games and finishing in sixth place in the seven-team region. They’re 4-0 again this season, but this time the Maxwell Ratings project Etowah to make the playoffs for the first time since 2019. Etowah opens region play at Sequoyah on Friday.
*Gainesville: The top-ranked Red Elephants (4-0) were the state runners-up last year and are 18-1 in two seasons under coach Josh Niblett. They’ve been pushed a bit in their first four games this year against a challenging schedule, but they’ll be heavily favored to win all six of their Region 8 games, starting Friday against Apalachee.
*Houston County: The No. 4-ranked Bears (4-0) are the highest-scoring team in Class 6A, averaging 52.3 points per game in victories over Sumter County, Perry, West Laurens and Locust Grove. Houston County started 5-0 in 2022 but finished in fourth place in Region 1, yet still made it to the state quarterfinals. It has higher aspirations this season.
*Mundy’s Mill: The Tigers are 3-0 for the first time since 2005 and seeking their first-ever 4-0 start. They already have a key Region 3 victory, avenging a 2022 loss to Lovejoy that ultimately decided second place in the region. Mundy’s Mill will be heavily favored in its next two games, against region opponents Alcovy and Forest Park.
*North Atlanta: The Warriors are 4-0 for the third consecutive season but seeking their first 5-0 start. North Atlanta has outscored its opponents 199-39 but will face its toughest test yet when it takes on undefeated Wheeler this week. The Warriors open Region 4 play against St. Pius on Sept. 29, hoping to avenge a 2022 loss that ultimately determined second place in the region.
*South Effingham: The Mustangs, under first-year coach Loren Purvis, are 3-0 for the first time since 2019, which was the last time they made the playoffs. They have wins over Vidalia (avenging a 2022 loss), Islands and Bradwell Institute and can match last year’s victory total when they meet rival Effingham County in their Region 3 opener next week.
*Thomas County Central: The third-ranked Yellow Jackets (3-0) won Region 1 and finished 12-1 last season, a year after going 5-6 in Class 4A. They’ve cruised past Cairo, Thomasville and Bainbridge this season and face Class A Division I No. 6 Brooks County this week. Thomas County Central opens Region 1 play on Sept. 29 against Veterans.