The two teams that came away with the biggest wins on Saturday night were Carrollton and Whitewater.
No. 5 Carrollton (7-1, 5-1 Region 7) defeated No. 3 Kell 34-14 at Grisham Stadium in a game played in a playoff-type atmosphere. The Carrollton victory created a three-way tie at the top of the standings with Kell and No. 4 Rome in what is considered the classification’s strongest league.
Unranked Whitewater (6-2, 3-1 Region 3) put that league in disarray when it defeated Riverdale 38-21. That left four teams in Region 3 with one loss – Griffin, Whitewater, Starr’s Mill and Riverdale – and ensured plenty of drama for the final two weeks of the season.
Carrollton left no doubt about the importance of the game against Kell. The Trojans scored on their first possession, then recovered an onside kick and struck again to take a quick 14-0 lead that it never relinquished. Carrollton also turned two takeaways into scores, one off a fumble and the other on a pick-six.
Whitewater won its third straight game. The Wildcats trailed 3-0 early, but seized the momentum on back-to-back touchdowns by Isiah Montgomery, a 49-yard run and a 42-yard pass from Stone Kasten. Montgomery added another rushing score and finished with 241 all-purpose yards. Kasten threw for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Riverdale’s Joseph Cambridge threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.
Thomas County bounces back: A week after upset by Veterans, Thomas County Central beat Bainbridge 17-6 and created a four-team tie at the top of Region 1.
Arabia Mountain does its part: The No. 8 Rams (7-1, 3-0 Region 5) clobbered Chamblee 47-8 and control their own destiny the next two weeks with games against Southwest DeKalb and Lithonia, the other two teams tied atop the region. (SWD and Lithonia played on Saturday night, so one will have a loss at the end of the day.)
Carver closes in on home playoff game: Carver beat Banneker 14-6 and essentially clinched second place in Region 6. The Panthers (6-2, 4-1) scored on a 20-yard run from Joquavious Marks and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Octavious Battle. Jeremiah Roberts ran for Banneker’s only touchdown.
Lithia Springs breaks drought: The Lions made their final home game of the season a memorable one by beating Decatur 14-7 for their first win of the season. The win was the first for coach Jason Dukes – who happily accepted a bucket of ice poured on his head after the postgame huddle — and snapped a 25-game winless streak.
Special win for Buford: The No. 1 Wolves rolled 38-6 pas Walnut Grove to set up a showdown next week against Loganville for the Region 8 championship. Buford’s special teams produced two scores – a 71-yard kickoff return from T.D. Roof and a 60-yard punt return from Anthony Grant, who also scored on a pair of runs. Mic Roof threw to Tanner Alexander for Buford’s other touchdown and Bernardo Burgos added a field goal.