It was Walton’s first victory against a No. 1-ranked team since 2007, when the Raiders beat defending state champion Roswell. This marks Buford’s first failure to reach the quarterfinals since 1999.
The Walton-Buford game was one of eight in which higher-ranked teams were beaten.
Another was Wayne County’s 14-7 victory against No. 3 Perry in Class 4A. Wayne County has gone to 10-2 from 0-9 under first-year coach Jaybo Shaw and won Friday as a 15-point underdog. The only other team in GHSA history to go from a full winless season to 10 victories was Monroe Area in 2012.
Other games that might have counted as upsets were North Gwinnett over No. 9 Lambert 38-35 in 7A, Savannah Christian over No. 5 Peach County 23-7 in 3A, Fellowship Christian over No. 8 Eagle’s Landing Christian 26-15 in 2A, Mount Pisgah Christian over No. 6 Darlington 26-20 in A Division I and Dooly County over No. 4 Charlton County 14-13.
St. Francis, an Alpharetta private school that started varsity football in 2010, reached its first quarterfinal with a 34-20 victory against Trion in Class A Division I. The Knights (9-3) had won only one playoff game until this season.
The third round will commence next week with 64 teams in the hunt for eight state championships.