Ranking the most surprising and notable games of the weekend:
1. Newton 27, Westlake 12: Newton, projected as an 18-point underdog by the computer Maxwell Ratings, is 5-0 for the first time since 1950 after knocking off the seventh-ranked team in Class 7A. Newton lost to Westlake 42-14 last year as part of a four-game losing streak in a 6-5 season. Newton has its highest ranking since midway through the 2016 season.
2. Marist 31, Blessed Trinity 14: Marist defeated nine-point favorite Blessed Trinity in a matchup of top-10 Class 6A teams, handing Blessed Trinity its first loss. This was also the first meeting between coaches Alan Chadwick of Marist and Ed Dudley of Blessed Trinity. Both rank in the top 10 for career victories among active GHSA coaches.
3. Starr’s Mill 21, LaGrange 7: Starr’s Mill beat five-point favorite LaGrange in the teams’ region opener for the second consecutive season, but the Panthers hope things work out better in the long run this time. Last year, Starr’s Mill won 25-24 in overtime but finished in fifth place in 4-4A while LaGrange finished in second. Both teams are 2-2 overall.
4. Murray County 28, Chattooga 21: Murray County pulled off the biggest upset of the week, according to Maxwell, when it beat 20-point favorite Chattooga. It was the first win of the year for the Indians, who were 1-9 each of the past two seasons. Murray County had lost the past three games in the series (2012, 2013, 2022) by an average of 33 points.
5. Morgan County 35, Monroe Area 17: Morgan County improved to 4-1 for the first time since 2019 with a victory over six-point favorite Monroe Area. The Bulldogs also ended a three-game losing streak in the series, which they lead 31-23. Last week, Morgan County became 49th school in Georgia, and third this season, to reach 500 all-time victories.
Worth noting: Chattahoochee picked up its first win of the season and ended a five-game losing streak against 11-point favorite Johns Creek with a 34-0 victory. Chattahoochee had lost seven of the past eight meetings in the series. … Commerce defeated two-point favorite Lincoln County 17-10 to improve to 3-1 for the first time since 2020. It was the Tigers’ second consecutive victory in the series after losing 10 of the previous 11. Lincoln County leads the series 15-7. … Glascock County, a five-point underdog, defeated Thomas Jefferson Academy 41-7 for its first victory of the season and first-ever win in the series. Glascock County lost the previous seven games in the series by an average of 22.9 points, including 54-20 last year. Thomas Jefferson, the GIAA Class A champion last season, fell to 0-4. … North Clayton is 2-0 in region play (4-4A) for the first time since 2015 after a 36-17 victory over 11-point favorite Fayette County. North Clayton improved to 4-1 overall, a year after finishing 1-9 overall and 0-7 in region play. … Sumter County of Class 2A upset a higher-classification team for the second straight week when it defeated Class 5A Northside of Columbus, an eight-point favorite, 23-7. Last week, the Panthers (2-2) upset 31-point favorite Crisp County of Class 3A.
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