North Gwinnett 27, Mountain View 13
The Bulldogs were the first on the board when Marcus McFarlane rushed 24 yards for the score in the middle of the opening frame. Following a Mountain View fumble later in the quarter, North Gwinnett capitalized with a passing touchdown from Ethan Washington to Dylan Gary to extend the lead to 13-0. Brinston Williams added to the lead late in the second with a 10-yard rush to put the Bulldogs up 20-0 at the half. North Gwinnett scored its last points of the game late in the third off a McFarlane 9-yard rushing touchdown to put the game out of reach for Mountain View, which added two late scores. North Gwinnett claims the No. 3 seed in Region 8 and will be matched up against South Forsyth in the first round of the GHSA playoffs.
Brookwood 31, Parkview 10
Visiting Brookwood, which had already clinched the Region 4-7A, won the Battle of Five Forks against its rival to keep Parkview in the No. 4 spot in the region. Brookwood quarterback Dylan Lonergan found running back Alexander Diggs for a touchdown early in the second quarter to put the Broncos ahead 7-3. Parkview again took the lead (10-7) after a Collin Houck touchdown pass, but a J.J. Silva field goal and a Lonergan touchdown pass to Patrick Campbell later in the quarter put Brookwood ahead for good. Lonergan found tight end Stone Bonner for a score shortly before halftime to give the Broncos a 24-10 lead at the break. Lonergan hit Diggs for his fourth touchdown pass to give Brookwood its 31-10 lead in the third quarter.
Roswell 62, Woodstock 6
Two of Roswell quarterback Robbie Roper’s five first-half touchdown passes went to Ethan Nation, who scored four touchdowns total during the game. Roswell led 41-6 at halftime, and backup quarterback KJ Smith filled in for Roper in the second half. Roswell finishes 8-2 on the season and 4-1 in region play and will be the No. 2 seed out of Region 5 in the playoffs.
Harrison 41, Hillgrove 13
Harrison took the No. 4 seed in Region 3-7A with a road win over Hillgrove. The Hoyas got four touchdown passes from Jake Walling, two of which went to Jared Montour and one each to Brady Kluse and Nick Charles. Akhnaton Shabazz and Alex Perry also rushed for touchdowns for Harrison, which led 27-0 late in the second quarter before Hillgrove scored its first touchdown.
Mill Creek 42, Peachtree Ridge 7
Mill Creek rebounded from last week’s loss to Collins Hill with an emphatic 42-7 victory over Peachtree Ridge in the Hawks’ regular-season finale. Caleb Downs put Mill Creek on the board when he returned the first of his two interceptions to the end zone, and rushing touchdowns from Donovan Journey, Joseph Robinson and Zekai Wimby brought the Hawks lead to 28-0 heading into the second quarter. Quarterback Hayden Clark added touchdown passes to Makhail Wood and Brendan Jenkins in the second quarter for the Hawks, who will be the No. 2 seed out of Region 8.
Marietta 42, Walton 14
Marietta earned the No. 2 seed out of Region 3-7A with its road win over Walton, which will be the No. 3 seed. Marietta quarterback Tyler Hughes threw six touchdowns — three to Kamryn Perry, two to Cameron Overton and one to Christian Mathis. The Blue Devils led 21-0 in the second quarter before Walton cut it to 21-7 at halftime, and the Raiders pulled to within 28-14 in the third quarter before Marietta put the game away with two touchdowns. Hughes’ touchdown passes to Perry went for 16 yards in the first quarter, 62 yards in the third quarter and 38 yards in the fourth quarter. Hughes found tight end Overton twice in the second quarter for touchdown passes of 14 and 9 yards, and his lone touchdown pass to Mathis was a 32-yard score that came on a 4th-and-14 play in the third quarter to make it 35-14.
East Coweta 30, Newnan 27 (2OT)
Visiting East Coweta outlasted Newnan in two overtimes to earn the No. 3 seed in Region 2-7A, and Newnan took the No. 4 seed. The two Coweta County rivals played to a 17-17 tie at the end of regulation after a game-tying 20-yard field goal by Newnan’s Ethan Devers with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. In the first overtime, East Coweta quarterback Daniel Schoch found Zander Simmons for a touchdown, and Newnan quarterback James Paige hit John Clark for a score to make it a 24-24 game. Newnan’s Devers made a field goal to start the second overtime, but Schoch threw a touchdown pass to Colt Cortez on East Coweta’s first play to win the game. Schoch also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter and threw a 24-yard touchdown to Dionte Jones to give East Coweta a 17-14 lead in the third quarter. For Newnan, Tripp Slaton opened the scoring with a long fumble return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and Clark rushed for a 78-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put the Cougars ahead 14-7 at halftime. East Coweta’s Lucca Labattaglia made a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter.
South Forsyth 34, Forsyth Central 0
The South Forsyth War Eagles needed just 13:30 to build a 34-0 lead over host Forsyth Central in their regular-season finale. Chris Nelson returned the opening kickoff to the end zone and connected with quarterback Ty Watkins for a long touchdown reception late in the first quarter, and Watkins also threw a pair of scoring strikes to Josh Nelson. Jonathan Haas’ pick-six at the 10:30 mark of the second quarter provided the final points of the night for the War Eagles, who enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of Region 6.
North Forsyth 38, Gainesville 13
North Forsyth quarterback Drew Aucoin rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more for the host Raiders, who improved to 6-4. Aucoin had a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and rushed for touchdowns of 4 yards and 1 yard in the third. He threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Logan Curry in the second quarter to give North Forsyth a 17-7 lead at halftime and found Aiden Ruckh for a 10-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Curry also had an interception on defense in the third quarter, setting up Aucoin’s 1-yard touchdown. Will Peltz made a 34-yard field goal late in the first quarter to give North Forsyth a 3-0 lead. For Gainesville, which dropped to 5-5, Baxter Wright threw a touchdown pass and Naim Cheeks rushed for a touchdown.
Allatoona 28, Pope 13
Junior quarterback Tyler McGuire hit Bryce Herring for a 62-yard touchdown pass on the Bucs’ first play on offense to put Allatoona up early. Later in the first, McGuire extended the lead with a 2-yard quarterback sneak. Two consecutive scores from Pope made it a 14-13 game heading into the half, but a 38-yard touchdown pass from McGuire to Herring in the third and an 81-yard touchdown run in the fourth by junior Jayden Ponder sealed the Bucs victory. With the win, Allatoona earns the No. 2 seed in Region 6 and will face off against Shiloh in the first round of the GHSA playoffs.
Kennesaw Mountain 47, Osborne 0
Kennesaw Mountain finished its regular season with a dominant 47-0 victory over host Osborne, improving to 9-1 overall and securing the Mustangs’ first-ever region title. Quarterback Cayman Prangley threw a first-quarter touchdown pass to Earl Kyle (17 yards) and connected with Jailen Taylor for 35 yards and 80 yards off a WR screen pass for a pair of scores in the second. Prangley also added two touchdown runs in the first half, and Jack Richardson contributed a 30-yard pick-six to the Mustangs’ 40-point first-half performance. Chance Arthur capped the scoring with a 6-yard midway through the third for Kennesaw Mountain, which will host Lanier next weekend in the first round of the playoffs.
Carrollton 35, Douglas County 31
Carrollton had two passes intercepted and returned for touchdowns at pivotal moments in the game — one that put them in an early 10-0 deficit, and one with two minutes left in the fourth quarter — but the Trojans had enough time to make one final drive after the second interception and were able to come away with the game-winning touchdown before time expired. Rome owned the three-team tiebreaker over both Carrollton and South Paulding, which sets up a Trojans showdown against the Cambridge Bears next Saturday in the first round of the state playoffs.
Rome 46, Paulding County 34
Rome Wolves running back Bryson Hill scored three rushing touchdowns and returned a kickoff for another score to help Rome overcome a four-touchdown performance by Paulding County’s Brayden Mauldin. Rome quarterback Reece Fountain both caught and tossed a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, and a safety early in the game and a field goal late in the third quarter contributed to the Wolves’ victory as well.
Buford 42, Dacula 7
For the second year in a row, Buford and Dacula squared off in the final week of the season with the Region 8-6A title on the line, and for the second year in a row, Buford came away with a 35-point victory. Quarterback Ashton Daniels finished with a trio of scores — a 54-yard pass to Isaiah Bond, a 40-yard reception from TyShun White on a fake reverse trick play and a short run in the third that put the Wolves up 42-0. Victor Payne provided the first points of the night returning a blocked punt to the end zone, and Buford also got touchdown runs from Christian Butler and backup quarterback Dylan Wittke. Kyle Efford’s 4-yard fourth-quarter score following Dacula’s recovery of a Buford fumble marked the only offensive touchdown by a region opponent that the Wolves’ defense allowed all season, and the region title is Buford’s 18th since 2001.
Cambridge 34, River Ridge 10
The Cambridge Bears’ dual-threat weapon Jack Marlow scored three touchdowns — two receiving and one rushing — in Friday night’s season finale at home. In addition to tossing two touchdown passes to Marlow, Cambridge QB Zach Harris connected with TE Carson Kent for a 66-yard score during the game as well. The win secured the No 2 seed for the Bears.
St. Pius X 34, Decatur 9
St. Pius X scored 34 straight points to cruise past host Decatur and secure the Region 5-5A title. Decatur opened the scoring with a first-quarter field goal and got a 10-yard touchdown run from Tyrik Cherry late, but everything in between was all St. Pius X. Luke Jacobellis provided two touchdowns on the ground for the Golden Lions on runs of 37 and 35 yards, and Shug Bentley and Joseph Brewster added second-half rushing touchdowns. St. Pius X’s dominant defensive performance included a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by James Kirkland in the first quarter.
Whitewater 40, Harris County 20
Whitewater entered the week ranked No. 10 in the state and ended the season as Region 2-5A champions for the first time since 2012 with their 40-20 home win over Harris County on Friday night. The Wildcats led 24-7 at the break and maintained control by responding to each of Harris County’s second-half touchdowns with a score of their own. Whitewater now carries a nine-game winning streak into the playoffs.
Perry 40, Baldwin 8
Perry built a commanding 34-0 lead early in the second quarter and cruised past the Braves to win the Region 4-4A title. Quarterback Armar Gordon got the Panthers on the board with a touchdown pass to Casson Clark. Before the half was over Demetrious Carter scored a pair of touchdowns and Demetrious Carter racked up three touchdowns—including a 37-yard reception from Clark in the first quarter.
Marist 56, Mays 21
Marist clinched the Region 6-4A title with a convincing home win over Mays. The War Eagles led by a modest 22-15 margin at halftime and 28-21 midway through the third quarter, but they dominated the fourth quarter to pull away. Champ Davis accounted for four touchdowns, with scoring runs of 20 and 38 yards plus a 30-yard pass to Quinn Gooding and a 51-yard strike to Will Gerrick. A three-touchdown onslaught in the fourth began with Gerrick’s 6-yard run and it was capped off by rushing TDs for Eli Clarkson and Michael Schoenberg. Andrew Mannelly helped the War Eagles lead 15-0 after one quarter with his 4-yard plunge into the end zone.
Westminster 48, Douglass 14
Westminster scored the first 48 points of the game to overwhelm host Douglass. The Wildcats led 14-0 after one quarter, 27-0 at halftime and 48-0 going into the fourth quarter before the Astros managed a pair of late touchdowns. Westminster’s dominant defensive effort featured three scoring plays — a 23-yard interception return by Elijah Patterson, a 27-yard fumble return by Denton Shamburger and a strip-sack by Marshall Benton which he returned 14 yards. On the other side of the ball, Quinton Ezzard rushed for two touchdowns and Robert Clarke scored once on the ground to go along with Holden Staes’ 45-yard heave of a flea-flicker to Jacob Fleming.
Pierce County 20, Appling County 0
Defending 3A champion Pierce County won its fourth-straight region title after a second-half surge to overwhelm No. 2 Appling County. The game was tied 0-0 entering the fourth quarter when Pierce County made the most of Appling miscues and converted turnovers into points. Pierce scored with seven minutes left in the game to take a 7-0 lead and expanded the lead on a touchdown following an interception with 4:45 left. The Pierce County defense made another interception and with 1:23 left, the Bears scored to put the game out of reach.
Sandy Creek 40, Cedar Grove 35
Sandy Creek made up for its 36-29 loss to Carver-Atlanta two weeks ago with an upset win over the Saints, initiating a tie-breaker in Region 5-3A in which a points differential still places the Patriots at the No. 3 seed entering the playoffs — despite a victory over the top-ranked team in their regular-season finale. Sandy Creek held the Saints scoreless in the second half after trailing 35-19 entering halftime, and the Patriots scored eight points in the third and 13 points in the fourth quarter to take the lead and put the game away.
Rockmart 18, Ringgold 6
Rockmart’s 18-6 victory over previously-unbeaten Ringgold won the 6-3A region title for the Yellow Jackets and marked the program’s fifth consecutive title. The Yellow Jackets gave up two field goals to Ringgold and led 6-0 after the first quarter, 12-3 at the half and 18-6 entering the scoreless fourth quarter.
Callaway 24, Heard County 21
Defending state champion Callaway rallied back from a 21-0 deficit and senior kicker Blake Eubanks connected on a game-winning field goal with four minutes left to give the Cavaliers the No. 2 seed in Region 5. Callaway was driving early in the fourth quarter, but Blake Baldwin intercepted the pass in the end zone. Heard County jumped out to its 21-0 lead in the second quarter and Callaway got on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run by Quay Whitfield to make it 21-7 at the half. The Cavaliers were able to tie it up 21-21 in the third quarter with two touchdown passes from DeShun Coleman touchdown to Carlos Billingslea.
Class A Private
Calvary Day 44, Aquinas 0
Calvary Day improved to 10-0 and won the Region 3-A Private title with its win at Aquinas. Cavs quarterback Jake Merklinger threw three touchdowns in the second quarter to give his team a 31-0 halftime lead, finding DeAndre Singleton Jr., Michael Smith and Edward Coleman for scores. In the third quarter, Donovan Johnson and Chase Lucas had rushing touchdowns for Calvary Day. An Antonio Butts Jr. interception return for a touchdown and an Ethan Anderson field goal gave Calvary Day a 10-0 first-quarter lead.
Fellowship Christian 33, Whitefield Academy 7
Fellowship Christian scored the first 33 points of the game to quickly put away host Whitefield Academy. The Paladins led 7-0 after one quarter, 25-0 at halftime and 33-0 midway through the third quarter before the WolfPack finally got on the scoreboard with seven minutes remaining. Whitefield’s lone score came on a 5-yard strike from Cole Peterson to Ian Weihe. Fellowship Christian got two touchdown runs by Nick Persiano and one from Garrett Wagner, while Caleb McMickle tossed touchdown passes to Josh Milhollin and Evan Haynes.
Calvary Day 44, Aquinas 0
No. 2 ranked Calvary Day closed out a perfect 10-0 regular season and clinched the Region 3 title—the school’s first region crown since 2016 with a statement victory over rival Aquinas. The Cavaliers opened up a 31-0 halftime lead with a AJ Butts Jr. interception returned for a touchdown and a Ethan Anderson field goal before sophomore quarterback Jake Merlinger’s trio of touchdown passes to DeAndre Singleton Jr., Michael Smith and Edward Coleman. Donovon Johnson and Chase Lucas increased the lead to its final tally with rushing touchdowns in the second half.
Class A Public
Irwin County 35, Turner County 12
No. 1 ranked Irwin Count scored on a Marcus Edwards fumble recovery to get on the board and quarterback Cody Soliday added a 1-yard rushing touchdown and 11-yard touchdown pass to Bo Payne to give the Indians a 20-0 lead at the half. Soliday completed a touchdown pass to Evan Ross to push the lead to 28-0 and Turner County returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to make it 28-6. Djimon Fuller answered with a 6-yard rushing score to put Irwin County up 35-6 before Turner County tacked on a late touchdown.
Thursday’s game recaps
Lakeside-Dekalb 33, Clarkston 0
Lakeside finished the season with a 3-7 record following its 33-0 victory over host Clarkston out of Class 5A. The Vikings got second-quarter touchdowns from Jean-Luc Naison (48 yards) and AJ Hollmon (16 yards) and extended their lead to 20-0 in the third with Jordin Miller’s recovery and return of a botched Clarkston punt attempt and John Roath’s successful two-point run. Miller added a second score in the final frame hauling in a pass from quarterback Sterling Knowles before John Baria provided the game’s final points with a pick-six.
Cairo 48, Westover 7
Cairo got its fourth region win of the year in its regular-season finale against host Westover. Quarterback Braylon Robinson threw first-half touchdown passes to Kamaree Perry (63 yards) and Mo Wilson (11 yards) and Gary Davis added a pair of scores to give the Syrupmakers a 28-0 lead at the break. Amarion Byrden took a 6-yard trip to the end zone in the third, and in the running-clock fourth quarter, backup quarterback Juderek Gee Simmons connected with Corey Baker for a 26-yard touchdown and Drew Owen returned Westover’s onside kick attempt for a score. Cairo will host New Hampstead next week — its 18th-straight season with a home playoff game.
Cedar Shoals 27, Chestatee 20
Cedar Shoals ended its regular season with a 27-20 victory over visiting Chestatee to improve to 3-6 on the year and 3-3 in Region 8 play. The win snapped a four-game losing streak and secured fifth-straight playoff appearance for the Jaguars, who will face Marist next week in the opening round.
Columbus 49, Shaw 7
The Columbus Blue Devils closed out their season with a dominant home win against Region 2 foe Shaw. Senior running back Robert Edwards III finished with four rushing scores (8, 4, 50 and 40 yards) and senior quarterback added three total touchdowns — a 15-yard completion to Fidel Small Jr and runs of 15 and 51 yards. Small and Davion Peterson contributed fourth-quarter interceptions, and Bridger Jones was a perfect 7-of-7 on PATs.
Pace Academy 41, KIPP Atlanta Charter 0
Pace Academy led 34-0 at halftime of its 41-0 regular-season finale win over KIPP Atlanta Charter. Quarterback Connor Phelan connected with Kendall Evans in the first and second quarters for touchdowns of 59 and 14 yards, respectively, and found Justin Bowick in the fourth for a 24-yard score. The Knights also got a pair of rushing touchdowns from Christian Johnson (48 and 23 yards) and another by Terrence Kiel (17 yards).
Brookstone 49, Heritage-Newnan 0
Brookstone closed its regular season with a 49-0 victory over visiting the visiting Heritage Hawks. The Cougars led 7-0 after the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime, and the win was their first this year in region play. It also marked the third shutout of the season posted by the Brookstone defense.
King’s Ridge Christian 44, East Forsyth 0
King’s Ridge visited the East Forsyth Broncos out of Class 3A and came away with a 44-0 victory in its regular-season finale. The Tigers held a 37-0 edge at the break following a trio of touchdown runs from Ethan Joseph (13, 90 and 43 yards), two more by Charlie Jones and a 32-yard field goal from Logan Hewlett. King’s Ridge has now secured a trip to the playoffs in each of Terry Crowder’s seasons as head coach and will face No. 3-ranked Prince Avenue Christian in the opening round next week.