GHSF Daily’s Chip Saye ranks the most surprising and notable games of the weekend:
1. Walnut Grove 41, Flowery Branch 7: Flowery Branch was in first place in Region 8-AAAAA after blowout victories over Cedar Shoals and Johnson of Gainesville, but the Falcons got knocked off their perch by Walnut Grove, which was projected as a 19-point underdog by the computer Maxwell Ratings. The teams are now tied for third place.
2. Dougherty 21, Monroe 14: Monroe was ranked in the Class AAA top 10 a month ago after starting the season 2-1, but the Tornadoes have since lost two straight, including this one that ended their five-game winning streak in the Albany rivalry. Dougherty was the biggest underdog to win this weekend, as Maxwell favored Monroe by 26 points.
3. Mountain View 21, Peachtree Ridge: Mountain View, a nine-point underdog, picked up the second win in its eight-year history against one of the “big boys” in Gwinnett (the Bears upset Mill Creek in 2011). It was significant, however, because it clinched the Bears’ first winning season and moved them a big step closer to their first playoff berth.
4. Whitewater 45, Starr’s Mill 37: Starr’s Mill came in as a 13-point favorite after handing Griffin its only loss of the season last week, but the Panthers were knocked off by a Whitewater team that lost to Griffin by 35 points on Sept. 23. Now all three teams are tied for second place in 3-AAAAA, a half-game behind Riverdale, which had the week off.
5. Dodge County 28, Dublin 21: Previously unbeaten Dublin, ranked No. 7 last week, appeared to have a clear path to the Region 3-AA title but fell into a third-place tie with Dodge County behind Washington County and Southwest. Dodge (3-4), a seven-point underdog, was ranked earlier in the season but dropped out amidst a three-game losing streak.
Also of note: Archer supplanted Newton as the second-best team in 8-AAAAAAA with a surprisingly lopsided 42-0 victory. Archer came into the game with a record of 1-4 but against a difficult schedule and was an eight-point favorite. … Lakeside (Evans) started the season 0-5 and Greenbrier was 5-0, but their fortunes reversed when Lakeside won 7-0 in their Region 3-AAAAAA opener. Lakeside, a six-point underdog, has won 10 consecutive games against the Wolfpack. … No. 1-ranked teams often lose, but rarely do they have a running clock against them. That’s what happened to Class AAAAAA Houston County in its 55-29 loss to Lee County. Houston County dropped all the way to No. 9 this week. … Washington-Wilkes, an eight-point underdog, avoided its first 0-6 start since 1980 with a 35-21 victory over Greene County. The victory left the teams in a tie for third place in Region 7-A Div. B behind Lincoln County and Aquinas. … West Laurens easily handled 10-point favorite Spalding 35-7 to remain tied with seventh-ranked Mary Persons at the top of the Region 2-AAAA standings. It was Spalding’s third consecutive loss since earning a No. 10 ranking.
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