7A rewind: North Gwinnett, Milton are best in show

Week 7 of the high school in Class AAAAAAA is done. Well, almost. Colquitt County has a game Saturday night against Bishop Sullivan Catholic, the No. 2 team in Virginia, according to Maxpreps.

Meanwhile, here are the five most interesting things that happened Friday night:

-Sixth-ranked North Gwinnett (5-1, 2-0) continued its series of strong showings with a 35-21 victory over fifth-ranked Mill Creek (4-2, 1-1) and positioned itself as the team to beat in Region 6. Mill Creek, the defending champion, had won 19 straight region games. The  previous week, North defeated  Mountain View, which is viewed as the region’s third-best team. North Gwinnett’s first-year coach is Bill Stewart, who was Mill Creek’s defense coordinator last season. North was coming off a finishes of 6-5  and 5-5 and figured to be rebuilding, especially once star QB Cade Fortin (Texas A&M commit) was lost with an injury. Now, the Bulldogs appear headed for their first region title since 2014. North has also beaten Milton, Hillgrove and Norcross, all likely playoff teams.

-Milton crushed Roswell 40-7 in one of metro Atlanta’s oldest rivalries. This is Milton’s most lopsided win in a 63-game series that dates to 1950. This is game-changing on many fronts. Roswell, the two-time state runner-up in this class, is in rebuilding mode, have lost roughly 20 starters, but was still an eight-point favorite here (Maxwell Ratings) and believed to be a contender to defend its region title in Region 4 against the likes of Walton and Lassiter. Now, it looks like Milton might be the team to beat in Region 5, which is headed by South Forsyth (5-0). Remember that South Forsyth beat Roswell 17-16 in overtime in August. Milton’s only loss is to North Gwinnett 31-28 on Aug. 25, when no one realized how good those teams were. Milton’s coach, Adam Clack, is in his first year after three winning seasons heading up West Forsyth.

-Parkview (3-2, 1-0) beat Norcross (2-4, 1-1) 31-28 in a key Region 7 game. Both teams were ranked earlier in the season and figured to contend for the region title. Now, the teams to beat in this region are old enemies Parkview and eighth-ranked Brookwood (3-2, 1-0). There’s a lot of football to be played, but the Oct. 20 Parkview-Brookwood game could amount to the first time these two rivals have faced each other with the region title on the line since 2005, when this was metro Atlanta’s best rivalry, by far.

-Meadowcreek (6-0, 2-0) defeated Berkmar 48-7 and clinched its first winning season since 1990. And for the umpteenth time, let’s remind that Meadowcreek won just five games total from 2002 to 2014 – that’s 5-85. Now, it’s about to get tough. Meadowcreek has played a weak schedule, and many  are skeptical that the Mustangs can  win another game against Region 7 rivals  Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Parkview and Norcross. One win would probably earn them a playoff berth. Meadowcreek  hasn’t beaten any of those schools since 1992. It’s never beaten Central Gwinnett (0-17) or Brookwood (0-13). Some encouraging news (aside from the 6-0 start) is that Central  edged Lakeside 38-36 on Friday. Meadocreek beat Lakeside 42-28  last week. Next for Meadowcreek is Brookwood. And how about this stat, just got it this morning from Loren Maxwell and the GHSFHA: Meadowcreek is 0-49 all-time vs. ranked opponents.

-Most teams in this class had the night off, or played non-region warm-ups. Region 1 teams Lowndes, Tift County and Camden County beat lower-classification teams easily. Newton beat South Gwinnett  30-8 in Region 8  and improved to 5-1. Otherwise, it was a slow night. The region schedule will be in full swing next week.


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