Friday night highlights: Rabun beats Prince Avenue; No. 1 Irwin loses

North Cobb QB Malachi Singleton (3) dodges a tackle from Buford linebacker Aubrey Smith (44) in the first half of Friday's game. North Cobb, a Class 7A school, won 28-14. Buford is ranked No. 3 in 6A. (Daniel Varnado/Special to the AJC)
North Cobb QB Malachi Singleton (3) dodges a tackle from Buford linebacker Aubrey Smith (44) in the first half of Friday's game. North Cobb, a Class 7A school, won 28-14. Buford is ranked No. 3 in 6A. (Daniel Varnado/Special to the AJC)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Rabun County, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 2A, won the state’s game of the week Friday night, beating No. 3 Prince Avenue Christian, a Class 1A Private school, 38-31 in a matchup of star quarterbacks televised by ESPNU.

One No. 1 team lost in the season’s second weekend. That was defending Class 1A Public champion Irwin County.

In Rabun County’s victory, Gunner Stockton, a junior quarterback who committed to South Carolina, hit Adriel Clark with a 32-yard pass in the end zone with 2:19 left, breaking a 31-31 tie. Stockton was 16-of-25 passing for 173 yards. He also rushed for 173 yards on 23 carries and had two touchdown passes and three touchdowns rushing.

Prince Avenue Christian quarterback Brock Vandagriff, a senior committed to Georgia, led his team back from a 31-7 deficit with two third-quarter TD passes but was intercepted three times, once in the final two minutes.

Irwin County lost to Fitzgerald, the No. 3 team in 2A, 21-6. Irwin County played without coach Casey Soliday, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and the flu this week.

Another No. 1 team, Warner Robins of 5A, atoned for its opening loss to No. 1 Valdosta of 6A by routing No. 10 Archer of 7A 42-7.

North Cobb of 7A and Northside-Warner Robins of 6A had nice wins over traditional powers in lower classifications. North Cobb beat No. 3 Buford of 6A 28-14. while Northside defeated No. 3 Peach County of 3A 14-7.

Those were among 19 top-10 teams that were beaten, though most went down to larger schools or other ranked opponents.

Exceptions were made when White County beat No. 8 Hart County 50-47 in a 3A game, Swainsboro beat No. 7 Washington County 20-14 in a 2A game, and North Cobb Christian beat No. 8 Hebron Christian 56-37 in a 1A Private game. Rockmart, a 3A team, upset Polk County-rival Cedartown, the No. 7 team in 4A, 21-10.

Other teams that defeated top-10 opponents included No. 5 Ware County of 5A (over No. 4 Richmond Hill of 6A); No. 4 Coffee of 5A (over No. 3 Bainbridge of 4A); No. 1 Marist of 4A (over No. 6 Holy Innocents' of 1A Private); No. 5 Greater Atlanta Christian (over No. 6 Lovett of 2A); No. 7 Wilcox County of 1A Public (over No. 8 Bleckley County of 2A); and No. 10 Clinch County of 1A Public (over No. 5 Marion County of 1A Public).

Three unranked 2A teams beat ranked 1A Public teams. Those were Dodge County over No. 3 Dublin, Early County over No. 4 Pelham and Worth County over No. 8 Mitchell County. Dublin won 2A last year and moved down to 1A this season.

Calhoun, the No. 7 team in 5A, lost to McCallie 38-22 in Chattanooga. McCallie won a Tennessee state title last year.

Several games scheduled for Friday were canceled hours before kickoff, all for COVID-19 reasons. Those included Valdosta at Tift County, Etowah at Forsyth Central, Carrollton at Newnan and Denmark at Allatoona. Another half-dozen games statewide were canceled earlier in the week.

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