Grayson and North Gwinnett are Gwinnett County’s most successful Class 7A football programs in recent years, and by early indications, that’s not changing soon.

Grayson, ranked No. 1, defeated No. 6 Collins Hill 28-7 on Friday night while No. 4 North Gwinnett beat No. 3 Parkview 21-0 in all-Gwinnett games that further established the teams to beat in the county and metro Atlanta in the GHSA’s highest classification.

Both winners shone on defense. Grayson had seven sacks; North Gwinnett had six. North Gwinnett became the first team to shut out Parkview since 2014.

Also impressive Friday was Jefferson, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A. The Dragons beat 2A’s No. 1 team, Rabun County, 28-14. Malaki Starks, a five-star recruit, rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns while Rabun’s five-star recruit, Gunner Stockton, was held to less than 150 total yards.

Another No. 1 team, Marist of 5A, passed a big test. The War Eagles, seeking their first state title in 17 years, defeated No. 7 Woodward Academy 23-3.

Osborne made news when it broke a 31-game losing streak. The Cardinals defeated Forest Park 29-8. Osborne last won in 2016, also against Forest Park.

Cherokee, a 7A school, beat 6A’s No. 3 team, Rome, 21-15. It was Cherokee’s first victory over a ranked team since 2013.

Schley County, unranked, defeated Class 1A Public’s No. 2 team, Wilcox County, 20-19.

The state’s 2019 champions continued to struggle.

Marietta’s 10-game winning streak came to an end when beaten by McEachern 49-28. McEachern had been the last team to beat the Blue Devils, who went on to win 7A last year. With most of its starters new this year, Marietta entered ranked No. 7.

Harrison, the 6A champion in 2019, now in 7A, lost for the third time in three weeks, this time to Hughes 14-7. Hughes, a Fulton County team whose season was postponed by its school district two weeks, was playing its opener.

Irwin County, the 1A Public champion, lost to Cook 21-20. Irwin County, missing some starters quarantined for COVID-19, has lost consecutive games for the first time since 2016.

The only one of eight 2019 champions that has played a game and not lost is Eagle’s Landing Christian, which was to play Blessed Trinity on Saturday. Blessed Trinity, which won 4A last year, is playing its first game.

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