Five things we learned Friday night.
- East Coweta is on the radar in Region 2. EC beat Luella 37-7 in a game between 3-0 teams in the region. EC was expected to win, as Luella, albeit much improved, was 3-7 last season. But it was a dominant effort. EC could be a bigger threat to Stephenson and M.L. King than is being credited. Remember that Newton and Newman play Saturday. The winner of that one joins EC, MLK and Stephenson as the region’s clear playoff favorites.
- Roswell is this year’s Warner Robins. Remember how WR, a state champion as recent as 2004, started 0-7 last year? Roswell, a state champion as recently as 2006, is 0-5 after a 24-21 loss to North Forsyth, which had been 0-4. Roswell, the defending champion in Region, appears headed toward its first losing season since 1994. But be comforted that WR has bounced back this year. It happens.
- Region 7 is deep and unpredictable. Mill Creek, which could hardly score last week in an upset loss to Mountain View, 9-7, pushed state-ranked Norcross, losing only 42-35. Mountain View played Peachtree Ridge tough. R7 is probably the class’s deepest. Remember Collins Hill last year pulling the upset of Peachtree Ridge, showing us that forecasting this region at mid-season is just a guess.
- Brookwood and Parkview live. Don’t write off these old Gwinnett rivals, at least not in Region 8. Their two losses apiece mean little now. Parkview made the playoffs last season out of Region 8 but finished 5-6 and saw perhaps its best player, LB Raphael Kirby, leave for Stephenson. Not many picked the Panthers to get back to the playoffs. A 20-7 victory over South Gwinnett suggests Parkview might be the No. 3 team in that region behind Grayson and Brookwood, which blew out Central Gwinnett.
- Region 1-AAAAA can always find a good game from 2-AAAA. Lowndes handled Ware County 35-17 after winning only 3-0 last year. Glynn Academy, an up-and-coming program in AAAA, knocked off Tift County, which figures to have a 50-50 chance or better of making the playoffs in that five-team region.