Class 7A blog: Roswell, Roper soar; Lowndes, Brown survive

Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper (5) is chased out of bounds by the North Cobb defense in the second quarter Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at North Cobb High School. (Daniel Varnado/ For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper (5) is chased out of bounds by the North Cobb defense in the second quarter Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at North Cobb High School. (Daniel Varnado/ For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

The Class 7A field is down to eight, and there’s only one big surprise – that North Cobb isn’t one of them.

The second-ranked Warriors’ star-studded season ended prematurely Friday night when beaten by 10th-ranked Roswell 46-43.

Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper, perhaps the state’s most underrated passer (just a two-star prospect), was 26-of-35 passing for 285 yards and two touchdowns.

Roswell trailed 43-34 with less than two minutes left but forced and pounced on a fumble, scored, recovered an onside kick and scored again with Roper going 7 yards for the game-winner on the final play. Roswell is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016.

The higher-ranked teams won the other seven quarterfinals, though Roswell’s final act wasn’t the only dramatic finish.

Fifth-ranked Lowndes beat Norcross 35-34 on all-state quarterback Jacurri Brown’s fourth-and-16 TD pass to Khris Thomas for 23 yards with 1:17 left.

Lowndes became the first team in state history to win six games while allowing 30 points. The victory also ensured that a South Georgia team made the quarterfinals. The last time that didn’t happen in the highest class was 2000.

Lowndes joins No. 1 Collins Hill, No. 3 Milton and unranked defending champion Grayson as returnees to the elite eight from 2020.

Ninth-ranked Walton reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011 with a 34-7 victory over Region 7 champion Archer. Also in the quarters are No. 4 Mill Creek and No. 7 Brookwood.

Here are the quarterfinal matchups:

Mill Creek at Milton

Walton at Brookwood

Grayson at Roswell

Collins Hill at Lowndes

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