Newton from the highest class and Lanier County from the lowest scored the most conspicuous victories Friday night in the fifth weekend of the high school football season.
Newton, unbeaten but unranked in Class 7A, defeated No. 7 Westlake 27-12. Newton was an 18-point underdog, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings, but is now 5-0 under first-year coach Josh Shelton, who was promoted after 12 seasons on staff.
Lanier County, a Class A Division II school about 20 miles northeast of Valdosta, beat No. 9 McIntosh County Academy 10-0. It was Lanier County’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since starting varsity football in 1997. The Bulldogs won their first playoff game last season.
In another notable game, defending Class 7A champion Mill Creek beat No. 1 Cedar Grove of Class 3A, 56-35. The loss was Cedar Grove’s third, all against much larger schools.
No. 7 Marist beat No. 10 Blessed Trinity 31-14 in Class 6A in metro Atlanta’s top game between ranked teams in the same class.
East Coweta defeated Lowndes 42-30 in a game between unbeaten, but unranked, 7A teams.
Brookwood, also from 7A, beat No. 10 Carver-Columbus of 3A, 23-22, after trailing 22-0 late in the third quarter.
Besides the victories of Newton and Lanier County, only one other game would rank as a pure upset. Morgan County beat No. 7 Monroe Area 35-17 in Class 3A.
Only five other top-10 teams lost, all to bigger or higher-ranked opponents.
Buford, the No. 1 team in 7A, defeated Carver-Atlanta 31-0. Carver is the No. 8 team in 3A.
The other top-10 teams that lost were Class A schools Brooks County (to No. 3 Thomas County Central of 6A), Irwin County (to No. 8 Rockmart of 2A), Aquinas (to 3A Harlem) and Bleckley County (to 4A West Laurens).