Class 6A blog: Few major surprises in first big weekend of region games

The biggest weekend of region play in Class 6A so far this season went largely as expected.

Of the 13 region games played Friday and Saturday night, only one was considered an upset by the computer Maxwell Ratings, and even that one was expected to be close. Creekview and Allatoona stuck to the script, with six-point underdog Creekview winning the Region 6 opener 24-22, getting the winning points on a 19-yard field goal by Miles Babcock on the final play of the game.

Allatoona led 22-21 midway through the fourth quarter when it was stopped on a fourth-down play inside the Creekview 30-yard line. The Grizzlies then went on a 13-play drive to set up the winning score.

“Our guys never stopped believing. It was very much players, not plays,” Creekview coach Trevor Williams told Thomas Duggins of the Marietta Daily Journal. “Get it to our guys on that last drive and let them do what they can to win the football game.”

Creekview and Allatoona have been considered two of the biggest challengers to sixth-ranked Rome in the Region 6 race. Rome had the week off. Other winners from the Region 6 openers were River Ridge (44-0 over Woodstock) and Sequoyah, which defeated previously unbeaten Etowah 18-7 in a game Maxwell considered a tossup.

Another game pegged as a tossup was in Region 5, where Paulding County defeated Newnan 32-25. It was the second region victory of the year for the first-place Patriots, who hold a half-game lead over top-ranked Hughes, Douglas County and South Paulding, who won their region openers Friday. Hughes cruised past New Manchester 65-0, Douglas County beat Alexander 31-14 and South Paulding defeated East Paulding 37-27.

Lovejoy of Region 3 also picked up its second region victory, defeating Rockdale County 55-0 to stay just ahead of Woodward Academy, Jonesboro and Mundy’s Mill. Woodward Academy won its region opener 52-0 against Morrow, Jonesboro is 1-0 after defeating Forest Park 34-0, and Mundy’s Mill is 1-1 in league play after beating Alcovy 41-12 Saturday night.

Only four of the seven teams in Region 8 had a region game last week. Gainesville defeated Apalachee 55-6 and North Forsyth beat Jackson County 14-3, while Habersham Central, Lanier and Shiloh played their final non-region games. Gainesville and North Forsyth figure to be the teams to beat for the region title.

- Two more 6A regions will begin league play this week. Region 2 games will include rivals Brunswick and Glynn Academy meeting at Glynn County Stadium, Grovetown playing at Evans and South Effingham playing at Effingham County. Lakeside-Evans will have the week off. In Region 7, Sprayberry will play at Blessed Trinity, Johns Creek will visit Roswell and Alpharetta will travel to Pope, while Lassiter takes the week off. Region play in Regions 1 and 4 will begin on Sept. 30.

- Class 6A teams were part of the two biggest upsets in the state in Week 5, according to Maxwell Ratings, one on the right side and one on the wrong. The biggest upset was North Atlanta’s 20-13 loss to Class 7A Wheeler. North Atlanta was 4-0 at the time and projected as a 31-point favorite against Wheeler, which came in at 1-2. On the other hand, Northside-Warner Robins, which lost an overtime game against Warner Robins two weeks ago, came out on the winning end of a 20-17 overtime game against Class 7A North Cobb. The Eagles were 28-point underdogs and never led until a field goal by Ashton Paredes in overtime provided what would be the winning points.

- North Atlanta was one of three 6A teams that suffered their first losses last week, leaving only five unbeaten teams in the classification. The remaining unbeatens are Houston County (4-0) and Thomas County Central (4-0) of Region 1, Brunswick (4-0) of Region 2, Hughes (4-0) of Region 5, and Gainesville (5-0) of Region 8. In addition to North Atlanta, Blessed Trinity fell to 3-1 with a 21-17 loss to Marist, and Etowah is 4-1 overall but 0-1 in Region 6 after losing the loss to Sequoyah.