Class 7A blog: 4 clinch region titles; Duluth, South Gwinnett qualify

McEachern, Milton, Denmark and Archer clinched region titles Friday night in Class 7A, and Duluth qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

Three regions finished in three-way ties for third place, and tiebreakers eliminated Newton and North Forsyth. Newton’s streak of nine playoff appearances to accommodate South Gwinnett, which made the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Here’s a region-by-region look at how things shook out Friday night.

Region 1 – The South Georgia region was off this week. Its seeds are No. 1 Lowndes, No. 2 Colquitt County, No. 3 Tift County and No. 4 Camden County. Lowndes is ranked sixth; Colquitt is ranked seventh.

Region 2 – McEachern beat 10th-ranked Pebblebrook 33-20 on Friday to win the region, spoiling the previously unbeaten Falcons’ bid for their first title since 2006. Pebblebrook is second. East Coweta beat Newnan 30-27 to finish third. Newton is No. 4.

Region 3 – Marietta upset fifth-ranked Walton 42-14 Friday to get the No. 2 seed. Walton is seeded No. 3. Harrison beat Hillgrove 41-13 for the No. 4 seed Friday. Second-ranked North Cobb had clinched the No. 1 seed the previous week.

Region 4 – South Gwinnett, an 18-point underdog according to the Maxwell Ratings, upset Newton 13-6 to force a three-way tie for third place that left Newton out of the playoffs. Parkview got the No. 3 seed and South Forsyth is No. 4. Ninth-ranked Brookwood is No. 1. Grayson is No. 2.

Region 5 – Third-ranked Milton closed out the title with a 42-14 victory over Cherokee, which finishes as the No. 3 seed. Eighth-Roswell is No. 2. Alpharetta is No. 4. Alpharetta had to beat Etowah (which it did, 34-0 Friday) to get in.

Region 6 – Denmark, in its fourth season, won its first region title with a 21-7 victory over West Forsyth. South Forsyth is the No. 2 seed. Lambert, North Forsyth and West Forsyth tied for third, and North Forsyth was left out of the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Lambert is the No. 3 seed. West Forsyth if No. 4.

Region 7 – Archer beat Norcross 9-0 for the region title. Norcross is No. 2, Meadowcreek No. 3 and Duluth No. 4. Duluth beat Dunwoody 42-14 Friday for the final spot. That’s Duluth’s first playoff appearance since the GHSA went to 32-team playoff brackets in 1996.

Region 8 – Top-ranked Collins Hill is the No. 1 seed. Fourth-ranked Mill Creek is the No. 2. North Gwinnett won the No. 3 seed Friday with a 27-13 victory over Mountain View, the No. 4 seed.

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