Twice this season, the top-ranked team in Class AAAAA has lost to a Cobb County team.
Current No. 1 McEachern avoided the same fate at home on Friday against rival Marietta, but it was tested in a 20-7 victory.
The Indians, who knocked off the previous No. 1 team when they beat Lowndes 20-13 last week in Valdosta, did not score an offensive touchdown until 8:33 remained in the game, but a strong defensive performance was enough for the victory.
“Our defense played a heck of a game,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “Their quarterback is a special player, and we did a great job on him all night, just harassing him and tackling him and keeping him in check.”
Brookwood was No. 1 in the preseason poll but fell in the season opener to Cobb County’s Lassiter at the Corky Kell Classic. That elevated Lowndes to the top spot, which it held for two weeks before losing to McEachern.
“Any time you come off the two victories that we’ve had, emotional and against tough opponents, people start jumping on the bandwagon,” Hockman said. “No matter how much you prepare for it, no matter what you tell the kids, they’re still just teenagers.”
McEachern (3-0) led 13-0 midway through the fourth quarter when its offense finally found the end zone. Alizee Chubbs scored on a 15-yard run to make it 20-0 with 8:33 to play.
The Indians built a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Nicholas St. Germain opened the scoring with a 32-yard field goal less than two minutes into the game. The Indians scored again with 12.4 seconds to play in the quarter when Darius English blocked a Marietta punt and recovered it in the end zone.
McEachern’s Tray Fletcher returned a punt 46 yards for what would have been a touchdown in the second quarter, but a penalty nullified the score. McEachern settled for St. Germain’s 56-yard field goal attempt, which came up short.
Marietta had the ball inside the McEachern 30-yard line three times in the fourth quarter but could not take advantage until 1:22 remained in the game, when quarterback Anthony Jennings threw 15 yards to Marcus Bennett for a touchdown.
“We’re playing up to our abilities and doing some good things, but there’s still a long way to go,” Hockman said.
Marietta – 0-0-0-7 – 7
McEachern – 10-0-3-7 – 20
Mc – Nicholas St. Germain 32 field goal
Mc – Darius English recovered blocked punt in end zone (St. Germain kick)
Mc – St. Germain 31 field goal
Mc – Alizee Chubbs 15 run (St. Germain kick)
Ma – Anthony Jennings 15 pass to Marcus Bennett (Banks Martin kick)