Class 7A blog: 5 best games of Week 6

The high school football regular season is in its sixth week. There are six remaining. Here are the five most intriguing games.

Parkview at Mill Creek: This is the headliner in the highest class, a game between top-10 teams that are 4-0, both from Gwinnett County, though they’ve played each other only once, with Mill Creek winning easily last season. But Parkview is not the 4-7 team it was a year ago. The Panthers’ Khyair Spain has rushed for 771 yards, second most in 7A. Mike Matthews, a consensus top-10 national recruit among juniors, has 15 receptions for 242 yards and four touchdowns. Mill Creek was impressive in its 52-36 victory over Cedar Grove last week. Mill Creek is averaging 45.25 points per game, second-most in 7A. According to the computer Maxwell Ratings, Mill Creek is the No. 1 team in any classification.

Grayson at Lowndes: These programs rank 1-2 in winning percentage this century in the highest classification – Lowndes at .789 (221-59) and Grayson at .778 (210-60) – each with three state titles. But Grayson is a more sure pick this season to contend. The Rams won 7A in 2020, then had a rebuilding season (by merely making the semifinals with a young team), and now appear ready to challenge for their fourth state championship. Lowndes, on the other hand, is in the post-Jacurri Brown era with a new coach, Zach Grage, and is 2-2. Brown was a four-year starting quarterback. The new quarterback, Marvis Parrish, looks promising. He’s thrown for 576 yards and rushed for a team-leading 230 yards. He’s only a sophomore.

*Cedar Grove at Colquitt County: Colquitt (4-0) is coming off a 48-27 victory over Lee County on Sept. 9 and is ranked No. 3 in 7A. Cedar Grove is playing like a top-10 Class 7A team as well, but the Saints are from 3A. This game will give Colquitt a good measure of where it stands because Cedar Grove has beaten two borderline top-10 teams (Westlake, Collins Hill) and lost to No. 4 Mill Creek 52-36.

Lambert at East Coweta: Neither team is ranked in the AJC top 10, but Lambert is No. 10 in the Maxwell Ratings, and East Coweta is No. 10 with GPB and 680 the Fan rankings. So let’s say each is knocking on the door. East Coweta lost its opener to Starr’s Mill but has beaten Sandy Creek and Lowndes the past two weeks. Lambert has beaten Mountain View and three smaller schools. Both lost in the first round of the 2021 playoffs.

*Milton at North Cobb: These are preseason top-10 teams that have each lost twice for perhaps different reasons. Milton, under first-year coach Ben Reaves, scheduled aggressively and lost to Lipscomb Academy of Tennessee and Christian Brothers of Missouri, fell out of the top 10, then re-entered after beating Fulton County neighbors Roswell 14-7 and Alpharetta 36-21. North Cobb, the preseason No. 4, has beaten Westlake and Marietta and pushed Buford to the brink before losing 21-14, but Super 11 QB Malachi Singleton hasn’t played the past two games because of an injured foot, and the Warriors lost to Northside of Warner Robins 20-17 last week. With Singleton’s return uncertain, North Cobb is unranked.

Here are the projections of the computer Maxwell Ratings, with favored team on the left, for all games involving Class 7A teams this week.

Buford at Marietta -19

Carrollton vs Hillgrove -34

Coffee vs Richmond Hill -4

Colquitt County vs Cedar Grove -9

Denmark at Dacula -13

Duluth vs Discovery -28

Forsyth Central at Seckinger -25

Grayson at Lowndes -15

Harrison vs Pebblebrook -4

Kennesaw Mountain at South Cobb -43

Lambert at East Coweta -6

Mill Creek vs Parkview -20

Milton at North Cobb -13

North Gwinnett at Berkmar -42

Osborne vs Woodland (Cartersville) -22

Peachtree Ridge at Meadowcreek -1

South Forsyth at Brookwood -3

South Gwinnett vs Norcross -11

Valdosta vs McEachern -35

Westlake at Collins Hill -7

Wheeler vs Campbell -7