No. 1 team falls again; Tucker in control in Region 4

(Daniel Varnado/Special to AJC)

(Daniel Varnado/Special to AJC)

The top-ranked team in Class AAAAAA was knocked off for the second consecutive week when Lee County lost to No. 3 Northside-Warner Robins 26-7 on another wild Friday in Region 1.

Lee County had been elevated to the top of the rankings for the first time in school history after its 55-29 victory over previous No. 1 Houston County last weekend. However, the Trojans’ stay at No. 1 is likely to be a short one. Northside quarterback Tobias Oliver rushed for 150 yards, including touchdown runs of 84 and 34 yards, in the Eagles’ victory.

Houston County, which dropped to No. 9 in the rankings, lost for the second consecutive week, this time against Coffee 42-35. Coffee went into the weekend as the five-team region’s only unranked team. Houston County plays Northside and Valdosta in its final two games and must beat one and possibly both or it will miss the playoffs.

Coffee and Valdosta share first place in the region at 1-0. Northside and Lee County are 1-1, followed by Houston County at 0-2.

Here are five other Class AAAAAA games from Week 9 that had the biggest impact on playoff and region championship races:

– Tucker took sole possession of first place in 4-AAAAAA and gained the inside track to the region title with a 29-26 victory over Lovejoy in a battle of unbeaten teams in region play. The Tigers will be heavily favored in their next two games (against Drew and Mount Zion-Jonesboro) before closing the regular season against Stephenson, which has one region loss (28-27 vs. Lovejoy).

– Alexander remained unbeaten in Region 5 when Justin Hall scored on a 4-yard run with 41 seconds remaining for a 23-19 victory over Hughes. Mays can pull into a tie for first place with Alexander if it beats Creekside on Saturday. If Creekside loses, Hughes can essentially wrap up a playoff berth with a victory against 0-8 New Manchester next weekend. Alexander and Mays meet on Oct. 28.

– Dacula went 1-4 in non-region games and entered region play on a four-game losing streak, but the Falcons are tied with Lanier for first place in Region 8 after a 25-20 victory over Gainesville.  Dacula led 25-6 in the third quarter and held off a Gainesville rally. Gainesville fell to 3-4 overall (1-1 in the region), the first time the Red Elephants have lost four regular-season games since 2001.

– Sequoyah built a 3-0 record in 6-AAAAAA against teams that were 0-9 in region play going into Friday’s games. Fifth-ranked Dalton brought the Chiefs back to reality with a 49-21 victory that kept the Catamounts tied with No. 4 Harrison for first place in the region. Harrison will travel to Dalton next weekend for a game that most likely will decide the region championship.

– Johns Creek beat Alpharetta 20-14 in a battle of one-loss teams in Region 7 to stay even with Centennial and Cambridge at the top of the standings. Alpharetta plays Cambridge this week, and an Alpharetta victory would give Johns Creek the tiebreaker advantage over Centennial going into its final two games. The Gladiators will be heavily favored in both, against North Atlanta and Dunwoody.


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