Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Five big Week One surprises

Here are five outcomes that surprised the GHSF Daily staff in Week One.

North Gwinnett 14, Prattville (Ala.) 11: Prattville was 43-1 while winning Alabama Class 6A championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and was ranked in almost every national poll. But North Gwinnett was dominant on defense. “This is a marquee win nationally,” North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire told GHSF Daily. “People will take notice now. People in the state recognize us as a program really competing at a high level, beating some good teams, but also knocking on the door of potential greatness. As far as national significance, this is a game that now all of a sudden the green light goes on when you think of North Gwinnett. We want a nationally respected program.”

South Gwinnett 49, Norcross 28: Norcross coach Keith Maloof returned only four starters on defense but expected little drop-off from a team that held five of 10 regular-season opponents without a touchdown last year. “We should be the same as we’ve been the last few years, hard-nosed and get-after-it,” he said. But so far, Norcross has struggled in a big way on defense, losing 28-27 to Walton in the opener and then to South Gwinnett, which got 223 yards rushing from Aaron Wimberly and 142 from Trevon Walker. South Gwinnett was 4-6 last season but will contend for a playoff spot in Region 8-AAAAA this season.

St. Pius 28, Marist 3: Marist returned most of its starters (which is unusual for a program that’s typically senior-dominated) and was coming off a state runner-up finish in 2008. This also was Marist’s first game on its new artificial turf field at Hughes Spalding Stadium. St. Pius beat Marist last season, but few saw this upset coming, especially by such a score. It was St. Pius’ first win at Marist in 35 years.

Roswell 42, Tift County 7: Roswell lost at Tift County 32-21 last season and finished 5-5, its first .500-or-below record in nine years. Most saw Roswell bouncing back this year, and Tift returned only one starter on defense. And Tift was no stranger to blowout losses last season (35-7 to Brooks County and 42-0 to Newnan). Still, this score jumped out at anyone seeing it.

Charlton County 38, Clinch County 0: Charlton won 28-7 last season, its sixth straight win in the series (and 10th in 11 meetings), but these games typically are close. Clinch was ranked No. 3 in preseason, and Charlton was left unranked after a 9-2 finish in 2008. This is Clinch County’s worst loss ever against Charlton County and worst overall since 1977 (lost 63-0 to Jeff Davis).

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12 comments Add your comment

Pridge senior

September 1st, 2009
6:07 pm

Now that North Gwinnett beat Prattville, I’m starting to wonder if maybe our game against them won’t be so easy after all. I just assumed they would have a down year from losing Tamburo and Jarry.


September 1st, 2009
8:19 pm

Pridge senior: North may have lost Tamburo & Jarry, but the D stepped up & they still have those bookend tackles to anchor the OL. Nov 6th @ North will be for all the marbles in Region 7-AAAAA.
For his 1st start, I thought that Uzomah looked pretty good. Dixon had a drop on a long pass in the 2nd qtr & in the last minute of the game Uzomah made a couple of critical mistakes, taking a delay of game penalty after a timeout & throwing the ball up for grabs on that 3rd downn play at the end, but I have seen college QBs make the same mistakes. Good luck Friday night @Martin Stadium.


September 1st, 2009
8:56 pm

Pridge senior: North may have lost Tamburo & Jarry, but they still have those bookend tackles. Defensively, North was impressive, by holding Prattville to minus yardage in the first half & not allowing a first down until midway thru the 3rd Qtr. Looks like Nov 6th @ North will be THE game in Gwinnett that night. (Sorry Parkview & Brookwood fans)
If the Ridge finds a way to get by Lowndes, a BIG IF, they & North could very well be undefeated when they play


September 1st, 2009
9:40 pm

Either way it wil be a good intense game! I think we will come out with the victory though..


September 1st, 2009
11:49 pm

I can’t believe Bremen dropped to Alexander of all people.


September 2nd, 2009
2:01 am

I have a feeling that Week 2 is going to have a HUGE AAAAA surprise when a highly ranked Gwinnett County team (Grayson) hosts state power Warner Robins.

September 2nd, 2009
2:33 pm


Enjoy & don’t forget


September 2nd, 2009
3:08 pm

I wish I could get tickets to watch PeaRidge and N Gwinnet! (I’ve got 6 for this Friday’s game between PeaRidge and Lowndes, and proud of it.)
I truly believe this will be the biggest game in the state this year, until Lowndes vs Valdosta on Oct 9th. We certainly will find out what WR has this year after they go up against Greyson. NSWR will be in the thick of things as always, but have NEVER won a AAAAA title (biggest thing they are known for is the largest come back loss in Dome Semi final history – 1999 – ohhh, ENR doesn’t want to hear that!). Colquitt and Thomasville will also be a good game to watch this week.

MLK and Stevenson will also have to reckoned with in 5A. They, like SWD, typically have tons of talent (but too much of it is like Marcus Ball with no character, thus they don’t seem to play together as a team and therefore only one title between the three schools).

Lots of really good teams this year in AAAAA. Lowndes, Greyson, PeaRidge, Camden, NG, NSWR, WR ??, and don’t forget about Valdosta!
Mannnn, I’m getting excited!

Good to read posts again by Yo, Reese, Sportsfan313 (you’ve been quiet since Hinesville took it on the chin in the playoffs, but hey, we know how you feel!) Was even glad to see ENR in there today. Where’s the guy from Bainbridge (or was it Thomasville) who wrote so much last year. We need ya back! And it’d be nice to read Greyson Mom’s posts again, well sorta! No I take that back.


September 2nd, 2009
3:28 pm

Isn’t WR the so so team? I though NSWR was the power. The Pea looked very good against mediocre Harrison but I don’t think the coach is that sharp or he would have held out for home abd home with Lowndes instead of making that long trip down there both years.


September 2nd, 2009
4:43 pm

it’s because peachtree ridge has a four year contract with lowndes. we play at their home twice, then they come to our home the next 2 years.


September 2nd, 2009
11:02 pm

AVikingFan: Good points. I have PTreeRidge @ North circled to go to on Nov 6th. I will be at the Grayson-WR game Friday, so I hope the Demons are able to throw the ball because Grayson will stuff the run. It’s a shame that Thomasville’s enrollment has steadily declined over the years. I remember the days they were a powerhouse in 1-AAA (when AAA was the largest classification). Agree with you about Stephenson. They are by far the most underachieving program in AAAAA, with tons of D1 talent & flame out in the playoffs every year. As far as teams to watch, don’t forget about Newnan.

[...] the way, Sphire’s North Gwinnet team upset three-time defending Alabama Class 6A state champion Prattville last [...]