Class AAAAA goes topsy turvy: It’s 2006 all over again

‘’You had a bad day, you’re taking one down.

You sing a sad song just to turn it around.’’

Remember that song? Bad Day? It was No. 1 in 2006. That’s the year Roswell and Peachtree Ridge reached the Class AAAAA final, and nobody won. Georgia’s craziest season ended in a tie. 

It’s 2006 all over again.

Had a bad day: Camden County, North Gwinnett, Clarke Central, Charlton County …

Let’s talk about AAAAA first.  This is 2006. There are probably a dozen teams that could’ve won Class AAAAA this season. There’s no great team, but a bunch of good ones.

I witnessed one of these surprising outcomes – Grayson 23, North Gwinnett 19.

Conclusion: Grayson converted some critical third-down passes in the first half and scored 10 points while North Gwinnett proceeded to turn the ball over in those same key spots.

It was 10-0 at halftime, and it was over. Grayson is too well-coached, too good on defense, to let a team off the hook for making those mistakes.

Tangent: That #90 at Grayson is the best sophomore DL I’ve ever seen. Might be the best defensive player I’ve seen in person this year. 

Now, is Grayson better than North Gwinnett? Hillgrove better than Camden? Colquitt better than MLK? Valdosta better than McEachern?

 It doesn’t matter. They’re all good. The team that plays the best wins.

As we move down in classification, that cliché doesn’t apply so much. Some teams are so good in the lower classifications that they don’t have to play well every round.  

Other random thoughts …

Are things setting up for a Lowndes-Valdosta final? Wouldn’t that be something. Valdosta would be home the next two rounds. Lowndes is Lowndes. I suspect something will monkey with this scenario and it won’t happen, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Re Camden: Somebody asked me if Hillgrove’s victory was the biggest upset in playoff history. Now If you spin the facts – No. 1- ranked team, two-time champion, virtually unknown Cobb County school – then it’s up there. But with Camden, you really don’t know whether this is a good or great team until the playoffs. I suspect Camden was just good this year. Camden gave up 42 points twice this season. Lots of turnover from the 2009 team. I think Northside losing to Whitewater was a bigger upset.

AAAA: Interesting to me that three of the final eight were middling AAAAA teams last season – Kell, Chattahoochee, East Paulding. This class is deeper than it has been with 18 schools dropping down from AAAAA.

AAA: Of the big four, Peach and Sandy Creek continues to look awesome. Carrollton and Cairo, not so much. Give SPX & Eastside credit, but I think it’s now Big Four A: Peach, Sandy Creek. Big Four B: Carrollton, Cairo. Great job Cedar Grove & Monroe Area, but I don’t it’s still a four-team race, with two out front.

AA: Except for the Lovett-Brooks quarter, this class has held no real surprises. Buford-Cook should be a classic this week.

A: The Clinch-ELCA, Wilcox-Wesleyan quarterfinals will be ‘’epic,’’ to borrow my 11-year-old daughter’s favorite word.

445 comments Add your comment

Bulldawg15

November 20th, 2010
2:30 pm

NG needs to schedule Camden for an early game next year instead of trying to play out of state foes. Even Grayson and Newnan or maybe Lowndes. The defense returns 8 guys so they should be able to juggle that. GREAT defense GRAYSON, bring home the title we are behind you! GO GWINNETT!

ATL

November 20th, 2010
2:33 pm

umm…Lowndes is still a premier program in 5A, nobody would be surprised if they win it all. It’s not like 5A is a total shocker.

glw

November 20th, 2010
2:44 pm

that was definitely a shocker Cedar Grove winning at Gainesville. I saw them play at Grady a few weeks ago. And to be honest, they really didnt show me anything. They are similar to MLK in that they like to spread you out, guess they are exploiting that against less athletic teams.

BulldawgBite

November 20th, 2010
3:10 pm

well last week i predicted NG and Camden to win. boy was i wrong. but hey good game grayson. yall played to your potential and NG played absolutely awful the first half. At this point I have no clue who could win it all. I think the collins hill-Lowndes game could be the best game next week but hey what do i know. man was that a disappointing loss last night though. One good thing i can take away from it is that that Soph. DL for grayson has verbally committed to UGA, or so I hear. anyways I wish every team good luck the rest of the playoffs and for injury free football.

Sweet GA Peach from Peach County

November 20th, 2010
3:50 pm

Peach is coming Grady & we are ready – Its STILL Peach season ya know!!!

SportsFan31313

November 20th, 2010
3:56 pm

All I can say is WOW!!!!! Some Major upsets occurred last night. I was Hood Winked. :-) I would have never believed that a Hillgrove would be a Camden County Nor did I believe that Grayson would beat a North Gwinette. Who will be the next Class AAAAA State Champions? Can Lowndes do it? Can Valdosta do it? Could Grayson sneak back in and do it? My prediction went haywire…. :-)

PACKDADDY

November 20th, 2010
4:03 pm

Colquitt is singing, “We’re still standing.” Playing at home next week, who’da thunk it?

topper

November 20th, 2010
4:04 pm

I have already taken next Friday off so I have a question for Lowndes and Valdosta fans, what are the chances of walk up tickets being available the day of the game at the gate?

SportsFan31313

November 20th, 2010
4:11 pm

However’ I did say that Region 1-AAAAA will sweep this week. Good Job Colquitt County. I did predict that you a ll will beat MLK……

It’s hard to beat those South Georgia Football Teams….

SportsFan31313

November 20th, 2010
4:13 pm

I really believe that Valdosta will be ready this time when Valdosta and Lowndes meet this week. This game should be on ESPN :-) This game is worth the price of admission. :-) Can we say Clash Of The Champions?

68 Viking

November 20th, 2010
4:19 pm

Topper your chances would be pretty good, but u would have to set on visitors side,as the entire home side is reserve seats, and one section on the visitors is reserved, That leaves 5 other sections open. Most Atl teams it appears to me do not travel well in numbers, so u should not have any problems although interest may peak and spark more than normal attendance. Tickets go on sale on mon or tue morning

topper

November 20th, 2010
4:27 pm

68 Viking – Thank you for the info. I just hate it when high school football season ends! lol

highfootballfan

November 20th, 2010
4:33 pm

ive read this AJC board for the last several years and have never commented. Ive laughed a lot at all the childish and immature comments directed toward teams with young men that are enjoying competion and just growing up. they arre learning valuable lessons and these idits that vent there stupidity and hate is sickening. Im a HUGE fan of a high school tam in the state that most people hate. I played for one of the best coaches and grew up watchin another, and what is the lesson I learned??? it as that we learn to play fo each other and ourselves and are fans. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a supporter and a FANATIC.. but some of thse people that vent on this site are nothin but sore loser. I hope the ones that are posting the “hate” are just kids and not adults. express there youthful fire.(I DOUBT IT). we will see how these playoffs pan out. looks like the OLD SCHOOL teams maybe back in the mix. GOOD LUCK to all the teams left in the field.

derrick

November 20th, 2010
4:50 pm

can the Trojans of Brooks Co get some love. to go on the road and beat a once defeated team them back on the road the next week and win again when they walked into the playoffs with a 5-5 record now my hat is defiantly off to them. keep winning and proving teams wrong.

AAAAA Fan

November 20th, 2010
5:00 pm

Its a huge upset! Hillgrove did what everyone said they couldn’t! Once agian Hillgrove dominated, but I think it will take a state Championship for the Grove to get their respect. Hillgrove is a balanced team with great leadership. Mosen (defensive coach) is a relentless beast! Ironside- the name says it all. The Oline is solid- giving up only 3 sacks in the regular season. Most of our back dont get touched until the second level. Wanna talk pressure the D-line is a force. QB’s dont have alot of time in the back field. The linebackers are head hunter (keep your pad level low) The secondary has now turned into Shut down corners and Safteys. Now back to the O- Receivers all I can say is Glue with speed All of them!!!! Gage has the poise of a College Senior QB. Ike gives you hard yards and Kenyan all I can say is OMG- the most punishing, hardest runner I have seen. He also has speed and just a couple of “moves”! Hillgrove is Solid
Thats us in a nutshell!!! (hey look I’m in a nutshell)

maddball

November 20th, 2010
5:00 pm

IN EVERY GA.HIGH SCHOOL CLASSIFICATION..REGION 1-5AAAAA HAS 3 TEAMS STILL IN THE PLAYOFFS.WHAT OTHER BRACKET HAS THAT?NOBODY!!!! THE WAY ITS LOOKING ALL 3 WILL WIN AGAIN THIS WEEK.DONT BE SURPRISED IF ITS A REGION 1-5AAAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME…EVERYBODY TALKING BOUT LOWNDES & VALDOSTA,,BUT SLEEPING ON COLQUITT CO. THE PACKERS ARE THE TEAM YOU BETTER WATCH OUT FOR BECAUSE THEY’RE PEAKING RIGHT NOW…YOU TALK ABOUT OUR DEFENSE IS SMALL & CANT STOP NOBODY,BUT IN CONTRAST WHO CAN STOP US WITH A PREMIER DEFENSE?WE PICK DEFENSES APART..NEVER FORGET THAT THE PACKERS PUT UP 38 POINTS ON THE #1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY IN SOUTH PANOLA SOMETHING NO TEAM HAS EVER DONE…SO YALL BETTER START RESPECTING THE PACKERS…THAT GOES 4 YOU TO VALDOSTA & LOWNDES…WE WILL SEE 1 OF YOU AGAIN IF NOT BOTH

Old Packer

November 20th, 2010
5:04 pm

The 5A championship game may not be all Valdosta, but it very well may be all region 1-5A. If Colquitt County can start playing defense, they may be the team to beat.

MIKE

November 20th, 2010
5:14 pm

ARe people still sleeping on Grady?..They are for real…

Rufus S. DeMann

November 20th, 2010
6:05 pm

All you boys in Region 1…amigos…you gettin ahead of yourselves. My poor, tiny, little, undersized Hawgs have got Mill Creek this comin Friday night. Them fellers didn’t get to round three by usin mirrors. We’ll have our hands full in the New Hawg Parlor for shore. Hopefully, we won’t be too full of turkey and dressin to run up and down the field. We’ll need to have one heckuva gameplan if we expect to come out on top. You gotta remember, we ain’t as good as you Azalea City boys….(Smile). But who knows…we just might score a few points and see what happens.

Samuel Batiste

November 20th, 2010
6:09 pm

Why is there “never” anything said about Collins Hill High School? We have quietly continue to improve and compete and dominate our AAAAA competition. Still, there is “no” coverage of what is going on with our “outstanding” football team. The Gwinnett Daily Post continues to be the “lone” sourse of coverage of our school and it’s weekly progress. We will remember when we play in the Georgia Dome!!!!! Geaux Eagle Nation!!!!!!!!

GHSF Daily

November 20th, 2010
6:50 pm

“umm…Lowndes is still a premier program in 5A, nobody would be surprised if they win it all. It’s not like 5A is a total shocker.”

I didn’t say it would be a total shocker. But note that Lowndes has lost two games, both to teams that are gone, once to a team that didn’t make the playoffs. Lowndes also has had a cakewalk to the QF. If Lowndes wins, it won’t be your typical Lowndes state champion.

“Colquitt is singing, “We’re still standing.” Playing at home next week, who’da thunk it?”

I like that. Maybe each team needs a theme song.

“can the Trojans of Brooks Co get some love. to go on the road and beat a once defeated team them back on the road the next week and win again when they walked into the playoffs with a 5-5 record now my hat is defiantly off to them. keep winning and proving teams wrong.”

Region 1-AA is 4-0. Didn’t see Brooks moving along this far (although I did expect a win over Vidalia). Good job by Coach Freeman, who has improved that team quite a bit from September.

VIKING DAD

November 20th, 2010
7:01 pm

GO 1-AAAAA AND 1-AA.

VIKING DAD

November 20th, 2010
7:06 pm

North Gwinnett and Camden got Northsided this week. I predict the Boford Wolves will be Northsided next Friday by Shannon Brown and the Cook High Hornets. GOOOOOO HORNETS!!

yo

November 20th, 2010
7:18 pm

topper I would say very good at Lowndes for sure. The Atlanta area schools usually leave us a lot of seats unsold. Then add to the fact that Valdosta is playing in town means their fans will be there instead of the ones who don’t travel coming over to Lowndes.

My gut feeling is at either location (since we are playing two Gwinnett schools) the chances are good. Especially at Lowndes where the visitors side is considerably bigger.

sportsmommy74

November 20th, 2010
8:13 pm

@ GLW Cedar Grove wasn’t impressive the night we played Grady, but we’ve been good enough to beat an over rated Gainesville and Cartersville team. I guess since we’ve been absent from the playoffs for the last decade, we’ve been forgotten. Make no mistake, we’re good and getting better. No one respects what we have, but the boys believe… Call us Cinderella. Our record doesn’t really show how good of a team we really are. And guess what, our QB is just a sophomore who’s gonna get better. Saints rolling on toward Burke County next… And the pundits and computers will continue to pick against us… but we know better…

GOOO SAINTS!!!

kpheagle

November 20th, 2010
8:48 pm

Yo, I came down in 01 for a great CH and Lowndes contest and hope for the same this year. I’m from South Ga. and respect what you have done and continue to do in the highest classification. I remember your extra fans sitting on the visitors side. Will we need to buy tickets early in the week or will visitor’s tickets be available on game day? Good luck and we’ll see you Friday night!

yo

November 20th, 2010
9:22 pm

kpheagle you should be able to walk up and get tickets on the visitor’s side. There is usually ample room for visitiors due to lower turnout by the visiting team because of distance coming from Atlanta.

BKSMITH14

November 20th, 2010
9:36 pm

@ ghsfa daily, you must be from atlanta saing lowndes has had a cakewalk . go get on the idiot blog because that is where your bogus comments belong. sorry that south ga teams dominate year in and year out . lowndes is a great team and they will have thier work cut out for them if they win it all. newnan was hot wining 6 of 7 and whupping a south cob team that beat hillgrove to which beat and knocked out camden. read your post and think about how dumb you sound. lowndes beat mceachern. your pathetic atl refs and mceachern timekeeper screwd us out of the W. who cares, we beat valdosta and they went to mceachern and beat refs, indians, and another screwy clock. they at home we not. lowndes will have to earn a title and if they do it will just add to the souths dominace. i can assure you a n ga team will not win it all. i defend my vikings when people try to downgrade what they have done. they are just another great lowndes team

kpheagle

November 20th, 2010
9:46 pm

Yo, thanks for the info. Just wondering if ya’ll were in control most of the game or did it take a while to get going. Early reports had it 14-7, then big lead!

Bad Boy 1

November 20th, 2010
10:06 pm

Vikind Dad: By using Northsided you don’t give the credit where it is due. Plain and simple, Camden Cty got Hillgrovesided and North Gwinett got McEachernsided. Give these teams their due respect.

iSoar11

November 20th, 2010
10:07 pm

If Valdosta beats Grayson this week, they should have no problem getting to the Dome! Valdosta should have an easier round this week….Grayson fluked a pretty good NG team. That same thing won’t happen to Valdosta (especially IN Valdosta). If Colquitt wins this week then they will have to come to Bazemore-Hyder next week instead of us coming to them. This won’t guarantee Valdosta the win, but it certainly helps. That game will be more about what coach adjusts and prepares their team the best. Go Cats! (and the rest of 1AAAAA)

iSoar11

November 20th, 2010
10:08 pm

@Bad Boy 1…NG lost to Grayson did they not?

Brook Wood

November 20th, 2010
10:14 pm

All you guys are forgetting about the Region 8 AAAAA Rams and Broncos. GO Broncos ! They are going to WORK every week to make it happen. Number one, two and three went down this week. So I am guessing former #4 Valdosta will go to #1 in the coaches pole. And that leaves the former #5 Broncos for the #2 spot. Hillgrove come to the Dave Hunter Complex to do battle and a battle it should be. GO BRONCOS ! WORK ! ONE WEEK AT A TIME !

Tellitlikeitis

November 20th, 2010
10:36 pm

I saw Valdosta when they played MLK then I saw them yesterday. Man have they gotten even better. The South Georgia teams (Valdosta, Lowndes and Colquitt) can not take the Gwinnett County teams coming down there next Friday lightly because they are good. I live in the McEachern/Hillgrove area and I am pleased how a team (Hillgrove) that just entered Class 5A beat the number 1 team (Camden County). Many teams have played Camden and have been knocked out of the playoffs.

yo

November 20th, 2010
10:42 pm

kpheagle Actually I was a little nervous the first 1 1/2 quarters.
With starting qback hurt and playing a defensive back who hadn’t played qback in 2 years made me a little nervous. Add to that we didn’t have that defensive back in the backfield along with another usual starter (I don’t know why he wasn’t playing) and I was nervous. The other defensive back did end up playing some running back in the second half.
Game was tied 7-7 about

SickandTired

November 20th, 2010
10:49 pm

Hmmmm, with all that outstanding reporting you neglected to mention the team that is playing maybe the best football right now in AAAAA. Mill Creek just dismantled a team that played Lowdnes close to start the season that beat MLK the next week. South Gwinnett is a good football team and Mill Creek simply dominated them. And oh yes, that same South Gwinnett team beat Grayson a few weeks ago. As the poster Rufus said above, it would be a huge mistake to overlook Mill Creek right now. If you do, you do so at your own peril.

yo

November 20th, 2010
10:51 pm

Game was tied 7-7 about half way through the second quarter but then we pulled off a beautiful 40 yard running play (unlike I had ever seen) and momentum just jumped all over Lowndes from that point on. I have a feeling that play will be run a few more times before the year is out.

Lowndes did start the game with a drive that was stopped on the 1 yard line. So the offense was pretty much in gear all night. Probably the most sound game our offensive line has put up all year. The personnel adjustments seem to be taking hold on the oline.

Score was 38-7 at end of 3rd quarter. Lowndes played second string from that point on.

Newnan was a big and physical looking team. Probably the biggest we have seen this year. I was impressed with Lowndes performance in all areas of the game this past Friday. Hopefully a good sign of things to come.

The good news for Lowndes is that we have seen plenty of Collins Hill type of offenses such as Valdosta, McEachern and Colquit. These 3 are all high powered offenses like Collins Hill so we will not be surprised by any thing they bring. Just have to perform and keep the defensive mental breakdowns to a minimum.

yo

November 20th, 2010
10:55 pm

sickandtired the Lowndes and South Gwinnet game wasn’t that close.

Game was about 23-0 Lowndes until Lowndes went into a 6 minute sleep walking episode in the 3rd quarter. The reality is I feel South Gwinnett was about the 5th best team we played this year at best.

I never saw South Gwinnett as all that good of a football team.

Blake

November 20th, 2010
10:56 pm

Don’t underestimate the Brookwood Broncos…Very good team!

BKSMITH14

November 20th, 2010
11:06 pm

i wd rather play brookwood than hillgrove. lowndes owns brookwood

chemflu2

November 20th, 2010
11:14 pm

For all Grady fans looking to do a little research on the Peach County Trojans, this link should help out a bit. http://www.macon.com/2010/11/20/1347683/peach-muscles-past-thomson.html

kpurheadonaswivel...pow

November 21st, 2010
12:28 am

John In Jacksonville

November 21st, 2010
2:16 am

I’m going to see if I can talk my sister in Valdosta into going hunting for a Lowndes playoff ticket for me – even if that doesn’t work out, I’m still very encouraged to hear that I can most likely expect to get a visitor’s side seat on game day. I think I’ll plan to head over there on I-10 Friday and make some noise for the mighty Vikings!

Every team left in AAAAA is a monster and I really believe any of them can win the state championship this year. I do think, however, that teams that are steeped in football tradition and that have been there before tend to perform best when it’s all on the line. This is largely because that kind of school attracts top-tier coaches, and a smaller but well-coached school can still beat a team from a larger school – this year’s playoffs are the proof.

A fact that nobody’s brought up in here so far is that the South Georgia teams all have top-flight coaching – Randy MacPherson at Lowndes, Rush Propst at Colquitt, and Valdosta’s first-year coach, Rance Gillespie. These men have all demonstrated that they don’t just know how to administer large football squads and big coaching staffs, and instill or maintain a winning attitude, but they also know how to make the right calls from the sideline.

Great coaching made the difference for Colquitt and Valdosta last week, and might again this coming week. Here’s to Coaches MacPherson, Propst, and Gillespie and the success they have brought to their programs and communities! And hats off, of course, to all the teams that made this season’s playoffs in all classifications.

Mr. Grayson

November 21st, 2010
3:00 am

All i gotta say is WOW! I cant believe we did what we did on friday. You wanna know what one of our keys to the win was? Odion Agbi! He showed up and pumped everyone up so much! OA 34! We have some of the best fans anyone could ask for and im sure we will have plenty backing us up on Friday way on down yonder in Valdosta. By the way, North Gwinnett needs to teach its damn band better class. They played during our post game prayer and was very rude! Speaking of class, Lowndes still has none.

Wing_T_Fan

November 21st, 2010
3:06 am

So my question is, since camden is gone who will knock off the rest of region 1AAAAA, do we have valdosta shutting down the city and move to atlanta for the the finals or wat????

Bad Boy 1

November 21st, 2010
7:41 am

isoar11: You are correct! N. Gwinnett got Graysonsided.

Packer70

November 21st, 2010
8:24 am

Correct me if I am mistaken, but a lot of comments in this post refer/infer Camden County is a part of !-AAAAA and to my knowlede, they are not. They are a South Georgia team, but do not compete in the states’ toughest region.

valdosta fan

November 21st, 2010
8:43 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otv8pCPA7f4 Valdosta fans i know you remember this it gives me the chills. Grayson fans you might want to take a look at this its what you’re up against that good old tradition

Rufus S. DeMann

November 21st, 2010
9:03 am

Folks,

The only thing that can sustain my tiny, little, undersized Hawgs against them Mighty Mill Creek High Flyin Hawks this comin Friday night is….

We’re On A Mission From Rush

Amen and amen !!!!

DPG

November 21st, 2010
9:17 am

Thomasville will have bring all there fans with them and coaches need to bring there playbooks with them too if we plan on beating Carver. Go dogs