Friday highlights: Mill Creek, Douglas County, North Cobb score big wins

Down goes Hughes, Ware County, Milton
Milton's wide receiver, Debron Gatling, is tackled during their Friday night game at Milton HS, September 22, 2023 (Jamie Spaar for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Jamie Spaar

Credit: Jamie Spaar

Milton's wide receiver, Debron Gatling, is tackled during their Friday night game at Milton HS, September 22, 2023 (Jamie Spaar for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Mill Creek defeated surging top-10 contender Parkview in a Gwinnett County showdown Friday night, but Hughes, Ware County and Cedar Grove, three other defending champions, went down in the sixth week of the football regular season.

Douglas County, Bainbridge and Colquitt County beat the reigning champs, and North Cobb, Houston County and Schley County also scored impressive victories.

Unranked teams North Cobb, McEachern and Starr’s Mill also beat top-10 teams.

Douglas County, the No. 10 team in Class 6A, defeated No. 2 Hughes 30-27 after Sire Hardaway completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to James Johnson in the final three minutes. Hughes beat Douglas County 48-3 last season on the way to its first state championship, but Douglas County is 5-0 this season, and the latest victory is the school’s first against a top-five opponent since it defeated No. 4 Warner Robins in 2005.

Bainbridge defeated No. 1 Ware County, the 2022 5A champion, 35-21. Bainbridge has lost twice, but against bigger schools, and is ranked No. 5 in Class 4A. Ware County (3-2) also lost its previous game Sept. 8 against Benedictine, the No. 1 Class 4A team.

Cedar Grove, the No. 1 team in 3A, lost for the fourth time this season but was impressive in defeat again. Colquitt County, the No. 2 team in 7A, prevailed 50-42. All of Cedar Grove’s losses have been against bigger schools.

Mill Creek had the most satisfying night for a 2022 champion. The third-ranked Hawks beat No. 7 Parkview 30-20 in a battle of undefeated teams. Mill Creek emerged 5-0.

In other games between highly ranked opponents, No. 1 Schley County beat No. 2 Macon County 34-7 in Class A Division II, and Houston County, the No. 4 team in 6A, routed No. 6 Warner Robins of 5A 41-7.

Underdogs held sway in many other games with seven unranked teams beating top-10 opponents from the same class or higher.

North Cobb beat No. 8 Milton 42-27 in Class 7A. David Eziomume, a running back committed to Clemson, rushed for 325 yards and four touchdowns. North Cobb started 0-2 with losses to No. 1 Buford and then-No. 8 Westlake.

McEachern, another Cobb County school, beat No. 9 Valdosta 28-7 in a 7A game.

Starr’s Mill beat No. 3 Troup 20-18 in Class 4A, and Cedartown, unranked despite a 4A runner-up finish last season, defeated No. 10 Dalton of 5A 35-27.

Telfair County beat No. 10 Bleckley County of Class A Division I 16-7. It was Telfair’s first victory against a top-10 opponent since 1994 (Johnson County).

Metter beat No. 3 Irwin County of Class A Division I 20-14.

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