Here are six games from Friday that provided a clearer picture of where the higher classes is headed. (Headline originally said five significant results. I found another I liked. Won’t tell you which one.)
Archer 42, Newton 0 – The Maxwell Ratings continued to rank Archer in the top 10 last week despite a 1-4 record. Sometimes a detailed mathematical assessment can be insightful. Is Archer the team it was in 2014 and 2015? No. Is it a true state contender? Not after getting beat by Roswell 47-0. But the Tigers just beat Newton (which entered 4-1-1) in a game that determined the second-best team in Region 8 to Grayson. Archer’s losses are to No. 1 Roswell, No. 2 Mill Creek, No. 4 McEachern and No. 5 Norcross. Archer plays No. 3 Grayson next week. Archer might still be a top-10 team. There is not a lot of depth in the new Class 7A, and the Tigers might have some fight in them after all.
Mountain View 21, Peachtree Ridge 20: Although not a big upset (MV is 5-1, PR is 2-4), it was significant and historic for Mountain View. This was the Bears’ first-ever win over Peachtree Ridge and clinches the first winning season in program history. The school opened in 2009. And other than an upset over Mill Creek during a 3-7 finish in 2011, this is the first win in program history against one of the ”big boys” in Gwinnett County. Congrats to coach Nich Bach, in his second season there.
Westlake 37, East Coweta 34 – Westlake is only 3-3 but is the team to beat in Region 2 in the quest for a third straight region title. Westlake took the lead on James Miller’s 28-yard field goal with 5:38 left and didn’t allow East Coweta to score from there. Westlake has lost to Hughes, Cartersville and McEachern but will be favorite over its final four games. CB/WR A.J. Terrell, committed to Clemson, scored two touchdowns. He’s got to be one of the five best all-around players in the classification.
Roswell 45, Lassiter 14 – In a game between undefeated teams in Region 4, Roswell demonstrated just how far superior it is to almost every other team in the highest class. The Hornets aren’t ranked in the top 10 nationally for nothing. Roswell’s defense is playing as well as any in memory. Lassiter scored two touchdowns, one on an 80-yard pass, another after a Roswell turnover. Roswell’s offense still is prone to mistakes, and the passing game is erratic. Those are the only weakness to this point.
McEachern 17, North Cobb 10 – McEachern is the clear front-runner in Region 3. This was the other game between ranked teams in the highest class. The Indians still aren’t scoring enough points to get people excited about a title run at this point, but a good defense is probably more important.
Hillgrove 31, North Paulding 28 – Probably the best game of the night. Jason Pierce kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired. The winner of this one is probably in the playoffs while the loser must sweat it a little. Short of upsetting North Cobb or McEachern, North Paulding is probably looking at a Nov. 11 season-finale against Marietta for a playoff berth. By the way, Marietta is heating up. Freshman QB Harrison Bailey threw for 457 yards in a 42-7 victory over Kennesaw Mountain.
How Top 10 fared:
- Roswell (6-0)
Last week: Beat Lassiter 45-14. Next: Friday at Walton (3-3)
- Mill Creek (7-0)
Last week: Beat Discovery 62-0. Next: Friday vs. Peachtree Ridge (2-4)
- Grayson (5-1)
Last week: Beat Shiloh 70-6. Next: Friday vs. Archer (2-4)
- McEachern (5-1)
Last week: Beat North Cobb 17-10. Next: Friday at Kennesaw Mountain (2-4)
- Norcross (6-0)
Last week: Off. Next: Oct. 14 vs. Lakeside, Atlanta (4-3)
- Lassiter (5-1)
Last week: Lost to Roswell 45-14. Friday vs. Woodstock (4-2)
- Lowndes (6-1)
Last week: Off. Next: Oct. 14 vs. Tift County (5-2)
- Colquitt County (3-4)
Last week: Off. Next: Oct. 14 vs. Camden County (2-4)
- North Cobb (4-2)
Last week: Lost to McEachern 17-10. Next: Friday vs. North Paulding (5-1)
- (North Paulding (5-1)
Last week: Lost to Hillgrove 31-28. Next: Friday at North Cobb (4-2)