Five teams in Class AAAAAAA are 4-0 but unranked. Are they being disrespected, or do they need a big win to prove themselves?
Three of the 4-0 teams are in games that made GHSF Daily’s Top 10 Games this week and are previewed there. Those would be Lassiter at South Forsyth (both undefeated) and North Gwinnett at undefeated Mountain View.
Here’s a look at each of those 4-0 teams:
Lassiter: The Trojans started 4-0 last season too, only to finish 1-4 in region play. They qualified for the playoffs by getting the wild card as the top-rated fifth-place team. This team appears stronger this time around, though, and potentially a top-two seed in Region 4. Lassiter is averaging 40.5 points per game. The best win came against Kell (38-35). Lassiter trounced Marietta last week, but Marietta was missing its starting quarterback. The game Friday vs. South Forsyth will be telling.
Meadowcreek: The Mustangs had never been 3-0 until this season, much less 4-0. Remember that this is a program that started in the 1980s and recently endured a 1-89 stretch. Chauncey Williams, with 915 yards, is the leading rusher in the highest classification by a wide margin. Meadowcreek will be favored to beat Lakeside this week and Berkmar next. That would clinch the first winning season since 1990. Winning a game beyond that in Region 7 will be the challenge.
Mountain View: Mountain View opened in 2009 and had its first winning football season (8-3) last year. Mountain View also was 4-0 last season. The Bears rank No. 2 in scoring offense (52.5) and No. 1 in scoring defense (3.25) in Class AAAAAAA. As noted in the Best 10 Games, Mountain View has never beaten this week’s opponent, North Gwinnett, in seven tries and needs a win it can hang its hat on. Mountain View is probably the most talented of the teams on this list. Matthew Edwards and Malachi Carter are among the best QB/WR combos in the state. LB Blake Carroll, DB Jayden Patterson and OL/DL Jaelin Humphries are major-college prospects.
North Paulding: The Wolfpack is 4-0 for the second straight season. North Paulding is tied with Mountain View for first in scoring defense in the class (3.25). The Wolfpack defense has recorded seven interceptions, 19 sacks and 47 tackles for losses. The Region 3 race will be one of the most interesting. The only two teams without winning records are McEachern and Hillgrove, both 2-2, and they’re perhaps the most consistent at making the playoffs. McEachern is the only team in the top 10. North Paulding is expected to beat Cherokee, and then the region gantlet begins at Hillgrove.
South Forsyth: The War Eagles don’t have a major D-I prospect and aren’t the most talented team on the list, but they are well-coached, and they are used to winning. They won a region title and reached the quarterfinals as an unranked team in 2015. Their opening overtime win over Roswell, while exciting, hasn’t aged well given Roswell’s struggles at rebuilding, but it’s still a good win. The GSWA poll has South Forsyth ranked No. 4, so opinion is split on just how good this team can be. A victory over Lassiter this week will be impossible to ignore.