Class 6A blog: Tucker wins opener; league play begins in Regions 5 and 7

Credit: For the AJC

Credit: For the AJC

It was a weekend of fresh starts in Class 6A when DeKalb County’s schools got to open their seasons after a four-week delay over COVID-19 concerns and two regions began league play on Friday.

DeKalb’s two Class 6A teams – Tucker and Lakeside – opened with mixed results.

Tucker got touchdown passes of 44 and 37 yards from Amir Streeter to Isiah Raheem to build a 15-0 lead that eventually grew to 27-0 and held on for a 29-12 victory over Southwest DeKalb at Hallford Stadium. The teams hadn’t met since 2013, but it was Tucker’s fifth consecutive victory in a series it leads 14-6-1.

Last year, Tucker finished 6-5, its fewest wins in a season since 1999. However, the Tigers returned a lot of experience this season from what was a young team.

“This group has just gotten bigger, faster and stronger,” Tucker coach Bryan Lamar told the AJC’s S. Thomas Coleman. “We’re still not at full strength. We’ve got some starters out and we’ve got to work on our conditioning and our rotations. But overall, I’m excited about what I saw.”

Lakeside, which dropped down from Class 7A in the GHSA’s recent reclassification and is playing a non-region schedule this year, lost its opener to Class 3A Cherokee Bluff 42-0. The Vikings have now lost 20 consecutive games, a school-record drought. Lakeside’s last victory came against Decatur, 21-20 in the opening game of the 2018 season. Cherokee Bluff, a third-year program that went 3-17 over its first two seasons, is 4-0 and has outscored its opponents 187-14.

- River Ridge is 4-0 for the second time in the program’s 12-year history after beating Chattahoochee 52-35 in the opening of Region 7 play. The Knights' only other 4-0 start came in 2011, when they went 8-2 against a non-region schedule. The Knights are tied for first place with Riverwood, Creekview and Johns Creek. Riverwood will play Johns Creek and River Ridge in the next two weeks.

- Douglas County, Alexander, Rome and Carrollton are tied for first place after one week of play in Region 5. Those leaders will be cut to two next week when Douglas County faces Alexander and Rome travels to Carrollton. Ninth-ranked Douglas County (4-0) knocked off East Paulding 19-13 Friday in a matchup of the only two teams in the region that were undefeated in non-region games.

- Westlake, ranked No. 3, was the only team in the Class 6A top 10 that suffered a loss. The Lions (2-1) led 7A Hillgrove 21-14 going into the fourth quarter but turned the ball over four times and allowed four touchdowns and lost 42-21. This game was set up when the teams' original opponents (Westlake vs. Harrison, Hillgrove vs. Morrow) canceled over COVID-19 concerns. Hillgrove is 2-1.