Class 3A blog: Some big questions, tougher answers after Week 2

If the first two weeks of Class 3A competition has told us anything, it’s that there are more questions than answers. That always seems to be the case this early in the season.

But there are questions ... looking for some answers.

Q. What’s the biggest “surprise” after two weeks of play?

A. Not sure it’s surprising, but the usual suspects have performed pretty much as prescribed.

The biggest question mark comes after Crisp County dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 following Friday’s 47-7 loss to Class 6A No. 9 (then-No. 10) Westlake. Sure, the Cougars were playing a higher-classed ranked team but … 47-7? Normally a loss outside the class might drop a team one or two spots. But a 40-point loss sent Crisp out of the top 5.

Two other top-10 teams have losses.

Oconee County (1-1) is ranked No. 7 after a 16-13 loss to Class 4A No. 2 North Oconee in its opener. It defeated 5A No. 8 Clarke Central 33-9 last week. The loss to North Oconee wasn’t necessarily unexpected, but the rebound performance against Clarke Central seem to signal that all’s well.

Peach County (1-1) is the other top-10 team with a loss. The Trojans are ranked No. 8 after losing to Class 6A Northside-Warner Robins 35-7 at home last week. Peach, a yearly top-10 program, fell out of the rankings last season for the first time in recent memory after losing to Crisp County 27-14 during region play. The Trojans lost to Pierce County 35-30 in the 2021 quarterfinals.

Q. Cedar Grove had last week’s game against Miami-Edison (FL) cancelled. What’s the best upcoming “measuring stick” to see how good Cedar Grove really is?

A. It actually comes this week when the Saints travel to Class 6A No. 9 Westlake. Crisp was ranked No. 2 before its big loss at Westlake. Now it’s Cedar Grove’s turn. There are four ranked teams – Carver-Columbus, Carver-Atlanta, Calvary Day and Sandy Creek – between Cedar Grove and Crisp. If Cedar Grove holds its own against Westlake, it might give a good indication of the best team in the class at the time.

Q. Newcomers make up 33 percent of the latest Class 3A top-10. Who are they, and are they appropriately ranked?

A. The highest-ranked newcomer is former Class 4A Carver-Columbus. The Tigers are ranked No. 2 in the latest poll, up from No. 3 last week. Carver has beaten Hardaway (41-10) and Spencer (40-0). The Tigers lost to Benedictine in the Class 4A championship game, 35-28, and are appropriately placed behind top-ranked Cedar Grove. Another top-5 newcomer is No. 4-ranked Calvary Day, a former A-Private program. The Cavaliers began the season at No. 5 before beating Islands 49-6 Friday in their opener. Calvary Day advanced to the A Private quarterfinals last season before losing to Fellowship Christian 24-14. It will be interesting to see Calvary Day go through Savannah’s Region 3. Another former 4A program, Dougherty, is ranked ninth after beating Randolph-Clay 32-14 last week.

Class 3A rankings

1. (1) Cedar Grove (1-0)

2. (3) Carver-Columbus (2-0)

3. (4) Carver-Atlanta (2-0)

4. (5) Calvary Day (1-0)

5. (6) Sandy Creek (2-0)

6. (2) Crisp County (1-1)

7. (8) Oconee County (1-1)

8. (7) Peach County (1-1)

9. (9) Dougherty (2-0)

10. (NR) Adairsville (1-0)