Four teams clinched region titles Friday, and three more will be decided next week in games between teams tied for first in what will be the most intriguing Friday of the season in Class AAAAA.
First, let’s look ahead -
-Colquitt County (8-1) will play Valdosta (7-2) for the Region 1 title on Friday in Valdosta. It would be Colquitt’s first region title since 1999, Valdosta’s first since 2003.
-No. 4 Stephenson and No. 5 M.L. King, both 9-0, will play Friday at Hallford Stadium for the Region 2 title. It will be the seventh straight year that one of these DeKalb County schools has won 2-AAAAA. MLK won in 2010 and 2007. Stephenson won in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. They’ve met when they were 5-0 and 6-0, but never 9-0.
-No. 8 North Gwinnett and No. 10 Peachtree Ridge, both 8-1, will play at North Gwinnett on Friday to decide Region 7. Both Gwinnett County schools are in Suwanee. North Gwinnett is the two-time defending champion. Peachtree Ridge won in 2008.
Clinching region titles Friday were Hillgrove Hillgrove (Region 4), Walton (Region 5), Alpharetta (Region 6) and Grayson (Region 8). For Hillgrove and Alpharetta, it was their first region titles ever.
Alpharetta trailed Centennial 20-0 but won 32-26 on a last-minute touchdown. Second-ranked Grayson had a close call, as well. Kasey Gaines intercepted a pass and returned it 15 yards for the winning touchdown with 27 seconds left.
No. 1-ranked Camden County (Region 3) clinched its region the week before.