Class 6A blog: Allatoona, Lovejoy, River Ridge remain unbeaten

PHOTO/Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Losses by Douglas County and Hughes on Friday left Class 6A with just three remaining unbeaten teams with five weeks to go in the regular season.

One of those three comes as no surprise. Allatoona, the 6A runner-up last season, improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in Region 6 with a 23-0 victory over Wheeler. Quarterback Elan Hall scored on a 2-yard run in the first half and threw a touchdown pass to Christian Bennett in the fourth quarter, Dean Maddox also scored on a 6-yard run. It was the third consecutive shutout for the Buccaneers, who have allowed just 23 points in five games. Sprayberry and Kell also are undefeated in Region 6A games (but not overall), and Allatoona will play them in its next two games.

The other two undefeated teams in Class 6A were far from expected.

Lovejoy, a playoff regular but which missed the postseason last year when it finished 6-4, improved to 6-0 with a 47-0 victory over Morrow in the Region 4 opener Thursday night. Lovejoy is tied for first place with Tucker and Westlake and will face Tucker next Thursday. Lovejoy hasn’t been 6-0 since its 2011 team finished 14-1 and lost to Tucker in the state championship game.

River Ridge is 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 7 after stopping a late drive by Riverwood to win 21-14. The Knights have won as many as five games in a season just two other times in their previous 11 seasons and have never been 5-0. River Ridge went 8-2 against a non-region schedule in 2011 and was 5-6 in 2012, when it made its only playoff appearance

Douglas County suffered its first loss of the season when it was upset by Paulding County 22-20. Douglas County had been projected as a 28-point favorite by the computer Maxwell Ratings. The Tigers fell into a tie with Alexander and Rome for second place in Region 5 behind Carrollton.

Hughes fell to a 4-1 with a 26-21 loss to sixth-ranked Westlake in another Region 4 opener. The Panthers trailed 26-7 in the second half but rallied to make it close. Hughes, a 2-8 team last year, was 4-0 this season for the first time since the school opened in 2009.

“Westlake has a high-powered offense and we were able to hold them down,” Hughes coach Daniel Williams told the AJC’s S. Thomas Coleman. “Nobody expected us to be where we are. We’ll learn from this game and try to keep getting better.”

Here are some of the other games of note from Class 6A this weekend:

- Houston County ended a two-game losing streak against county rival with a 7-0 victory. It was the fourth consecutive game in the series, which Houston County leads 5-2, that was decided by a touchdown or less. Tyler Williams scored the only touchdown with five minutes left. The win was the second of the season against a top-10 team for Houston County, which beat 5A Coffee on Sept. 18.

- Kennesaw Mountain ended a school-record 19-game losing streak with a 35-7 victory over Lassiter. It was the first victory for the Mustangs since a 45-28 win, also against Lassiter, on Sept. 21, 2018. Kennesaw Mountain is now one game behind fourth-place Pope in the Region 6 playoff race. The Mustangs, who dropped from 7A this year, have never reached the playoffs in their 21-year history.

- Douglas County’s loss opened the door for Carrollton, which took sole possession of first place in Region 5 with a 41-21 victory over South Paulding. Carrollton trailed 21-14 entering the fourth quarter but got four touchdowns, including two on interception returns by David Johns (50 yards) and Juan Nieves III (25 yards) to pull away. Carrollton was a region champion in 5A last season.

- Evans, which won Region 3 titles two of the past three seasons, opened the league portion of the schedule with a 43-0 victory over Grovetown. It was the Knights' 19th win in their last 22 region games. Jofranstar Graham scored the first three touchdowns as Evans built a 27-0 halftime lead. Evans is 4-2 overall, while the rest of Region 3 has a combined record of 2-14. Grovetown is 1-5.

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