Class 7A draw is complete; Grayson, Walton, Milton, Norcross clinch titles

Newton wins to get in; Lowndes is out
Footballs are shown on the field before the game between Grayson and Parkview at Parkview High School, Friday, November 3, 2023, in Lilburn, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)a

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Footballs are shown on the field before the game between Grayson and Parkview at Parkview High School, Friday, November 3, 2023, in Lilburn, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)a

Grayson, Walton, Milton and Norcross clinched Class 7A region titles Friday night on the final weekend of the regular season.

Camden County, Newton and East Coweta won big games to clinch playoff berths that were not certain.

Lowndes and South Forsyth fell short of the playoffs for the first time in at least eight years.

The Class 7A playoff draw is complete (see below), and Parkview at Colquitt County is the premium first-round game.

Grayson, ranked No. 8 in 7A, defeated No. 7 Parkview 41-14 on the road to finish first in Region 4-7A. Grayson lost its region opener to Newton on Sept. 29 but won its final four region games to finish 8-2 overall and 4-1 in region play.

It is Grayson’s eighth region title in 10 seasons and first under first-year coach Santavious Bryant.

Norcross, ranked No. 6, lost its regular-season finale to North Gwinnett 51-41 but won a three-way tiebreaker to get the No. 1 seed.

Norcross entered Friday’s game road game with a 5-0 record in region play. North Gwinnett, the defending region champion, was 4-1, as was Peachtree Ridge, which won Friday to finish 5-1.

The three-way tiebreaker was margin of victory in the games among those teams. North Gwinnett needed to win by 13 points but fell short. So Norcross got the region’s No. 1 seed, Peachtree Ridge the No. 2 and North Gwinnett the No. 3.

Second-ranked Walton beat Wheeler 42-16 to win Region 5. Milton beat Lambert 37-16 to win Region 6. Walton and Milton were solidly favored.

The other region champions, who had clinched the previous week, are Colquitt County (Region 1), Carrollton (2), McEachern (3) and Mill Creek (8).

Five teams that had chances to make the playoffs fell short Friday night, all as expected given their positions in the standings.

Lowndes needed to beat Camden County to avoid its first playoff-less season since 2018. Camden won 34-23.

South Forsyth needed to upset West Forsyth to extend its nine-year playoff streak but lost 38-13.

Pebblebrook, South Gwinnett and Forsyth Central also had longshot chances that fell short.

Newton, Denmark and East Coweta, along with Camden County, won games that clinched playoff berths.

Newton, ranked No. 10, was in a possible must-win situation but defeated Archer 47-14 and wound up with the No. 4 seed.

East Coweta would’ve wound up in a three-way tie for third and faced tiebreakers to decide its fate but beat Pebblebrook 47-46 to get in.

Playoff draw:

Archer at Valdosta

Harrison at Carrollton

North Gwinnett at West Forsyth

Mountain View at Walton

Camden County at Newton

Campbell at McEachern

Lambert at Peachtree Ridge

Osborne at Mill Creek

Wheeler at Buford

Denmark at Norcross

East Coweta at North Paulding

Richmond Hill at Grayson

Collins Hill at North Cobb

Duluth at Milton

Marietta at Westlake

Parkview at Colquitt