Peachtree Ridge’s Brad Roby, who is one of the state’s top college prospects, said Friday’s game could not come soon enough.
The speedy Roby scored the first two touchdowns and set up the third one in a 44-0 win over Northview in the Region 7-AAAAA opener for both teams.
The game was a healing session for No. 9-ranked Peachtree Ridge (1-1), which was pounded 51-17 by No. 1 Lowndes last week. Playing again made Roby, who has committed to Vanderbilt over more than a dozen offers, feel a little better about things.
“I wasn’t sure how our team was going to take that loss,” Roby said. “We thought we were going to have to run a lot at practice on Monday. But we didn’t because our coaches thought we stuck with Lowndes and hung with them despite the score.”
Peachtree Ridge coach Bill Ballard said he pointed out an important fact to lift the spirits of his players this week: The Lions started off last year with an 0-2 record and made it all the way to the Class AAAAA state championship, losing to Camden County.
“I don’t think Lowndes has any effect on whether we have a good year or not,” Ballard said.
“It was one of those ‘Murphy’s Law’ games — where anything could go wrong did go wrong for us. Not that we would’ve won if things did go our way, but I think the score would’ve been closer.
“We feel like we can play with anybody in the state, and that we’ve proven that. Just because we have one bad game doesn’t mean that our season is over. We’re resilient, we’ve put Lowndes behind us, and we’re focusing on trying to repeat as region champions.”
On Friday against Northview, Roby scored the first time he touched the ball, returning a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. On Peachtree Ridge’s next offensive series, Roby got behind the Northview defensive seconday and scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Nick Lombardo.
Roby nearly had three touchdowns in a row. On Northview’s ensuing possession, the Titans threatened to score. They made it inside the Peachtree Ridge 20-yard line, but Roby intercepted a pass at the 12-yard line and ran it back 88 yards for an apparent touchdown.
However, the officials determined that Roby stepped out of bounds at the Northview 23. Peachtree Ridge’s Lombardo scored on the next play on a quarterback keeper for a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
It’s loss No. 13 in a row for Northview (0-3).
NORTHVIEW 0, PEACHTREE RIDGE 44
N 0 0 0 0 – 0
PR 21 13 3 7 – 44
PR – Brad Roby 68 punt return (Justin Watts kick)
PR – Roby 28 pass from Nick Lombardo (Watts kick)
PR – Lombardo 23 run (Watts kick)
PR – Lombardo 9 run (Watts kick)
PR – Brandon Stanley (kick failed)
PR – Watts 26 FG
PR – Stanley 31 run (Watts kick)