Class 3A Blog: Monroe Area, Carver-Atlanta provide upsets at the top

Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: A GHSA football is shown before the Georgia high school football game between Cedar Grove and GAC at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
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Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: A GHSA football is shown before the Georgia high school football game between Cedar Grove and GAC at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Every season has a few state-shaking upsets, and two of the biggest statement victories happened in Week 10.

No. 2 Oconee County (7-1, 2-1) and No. 3 Sandy Creek (7-1, 4-1) both lost to lesser-ranked opponents.

For Monroe Area (8-0, 3-0) and its community, the 17-14 victory against No. 2 Oconee County was one of the most emotional victories in the history of the program. The Purple Hurricanes were playing for head coach Kevin Reach, who missed the game to be with his wife, Amy, who suffered a brain aneurysm and is in an induced coma following four corrective surgeries.

No disrespect to Oconee County, but the state-runner up Warriors could have brought a high school football “who’s who” lineup to play and still would have faced a tough task against Monroe Area. Sometimes in sports, unseen forces in the ether have a greater impact on the game than commitments, recruiting stars and preparation.

Heart.

That’s what Monroe Area left on the field Friday as the tears flowed through the Purple Hurricanes community. In the end, a field goal from Ricky Valdivanos capped a 65-yard drive and sealed the victory and the lead in Region 8-3A.

Carver-Atlanta (5-2, 4-1) also held serve against No. 3 Sandy Creek with a 36-29 victory. It marked the highest-ranked team the Panthers have beaten since 2014, when it downed No. 2 Creekside.

Charting the region races

1-3A: No. 4 Appling (8-0, 2-0) and No. 5 Pierce County (6-2, 2-0) are tied at 2-0, ahead of Long and Brantley County (1-2)

2-3A: Crisp County (5-3, 5-0) leads at 5-0, ahead of Peach County (4-1) and Mary Persons/Jackson (3-2).

3-3A: Liberty County (4-3, 4-1) is leading Southeast Bulloch (7-1, 3-1) and Windsor Forest (4-3, 3-1), with Johnson-Savannah (2-5, 1-2) in fourth place.

4-3A: No. 6 Thomson (8-0, 5-0) leads Burke County (5-2, 3-1), Hephzibah (5-3, 3-1) and Harlem (4-4, 2-2).

5-3A: Top-ranked Cedar Grove (6-2, 5-0) has the outright lead with Sandy Creek (7-1, 4-1), Carver (5-2, 4-1) and Greater Atlanta Christian (3-5, 3-2) chasing.

6-3A: No. 10 Ringgold (8-0, 6-0) and No. 9 Rockmart (7-1, 6-0) are tied at 6-0 in the league and leading Adairsville (6-2, 4-2) and North Murray (6-2, 4-2).

7-3A: Cherokee Bluff (8-0, 4-0) and North Hall (6-2, 4-0) are tied atop the region with Dawson County (4-4, 3-1) and White County (3-5, 2-2) behind the front-runners.

8-3A: Monroe Area took a commanding lead in the league with Hart County (7-1, 2-1), Oconee County (7-1, 2-1) and Stephens County (6-2, 1-2) in pursuit.

Week 10: Top 10 results

1. (1) Cedar Grove (6-2) -- Beat Westminster 42-10. (5-3A Game)

2. (2) Oconee County (7-1) – Lost to No. 7 Monroe Area 17-14. (8-3A Game)

3. (3) Sandy Creek (7-1) -- Beat Carver-Atlanta 36-29. (5-3A Game)

4. (4) Appling County (8-0) -- Off.

5. (5) Pierce County (6-2) -- Beat Long County 44-6. (1-3A Game)

6. (6) Thomson (8-0) -- Beat Harlem 53-7. (4-3A Game)

7. (7) Monroe Area (8-0) -- Beat No. 2 Oconee County 17-14. (8-3A Game)

8. (8) Hart County (7-1) -- Beat Stephens County 9-7. (8-3A Game)

9. (9) Rockmart (7-1) -- Beat Adairsville 49-23 (6-3A Game)

10. (10) Ringgold (8-0) -- Beat Coahulla Creek 42-7. (6-3A Game)