Five things we learned this week –
- Parkview is the front-runner in Region 8 – Beating reigning state champion Grayson on Sept. 14 was the season’s biggest upset. Beating Archer on Sept. 21 avenged a 40-16 loss from last season. But beating arch-rival Brookwood 21-14 on Sept. 28 officially stamped Parkview as ‘’back’’ and the team to beat in Region 8. Chris Carson rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Parkview – state champion in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002 – has not won a region title since 2004. Until Parkview beat Brookwood on Friday, many felt Grayson would still win Region 8 by winning its remaining games. Now, Parkview would need to lose twice. Not likely now.
- Camden County is a worthy No. 1 team – If anyone thought Camden was ranked No. 1 by default after 2011 champion Grayson was upended by Parkview, the Wildcats showed otherwise Friday, routing Valdosta 43-6. It was Valdosta’s most lopsided in its historic Bazemore-Hyder Stadium since 1974, when Thomasville, led by a pretty good back named William Andrews, defeated the ‘Cats 40-0. This was Camden’s first game in Region 1 after years of dominating weak 3-AAAAA. Make that 87 straight region victories for Camden. AJC Super 11 halfback/cornerback J.J. Green ran the opening kickoff back for the first of his two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions.
- Lowndes deserved its Top 10 ranking – Lowndes had been ranked No. 4 largely on tradition. The Vikings were 4-0, but against what the computer Maxwell Ratings described as the fifth-weakest schedule in AAAAAA. They looked pretty good Friday in beating No. 8-ranked Colquitt County 17-14 in Moultrie. Lowndes used a long punt-return touchdown by Tijuan Lang to take a 17-7 lead in the fourth quarter and held on. It appears that Lowndes and Camden are the teams to beat in Region 1. They play until Nov. 2, the final Friday of the regular season.
- Norcross can take care of business – Third-ranked Norcross won a shootout with Mill Creek, 49-41. Norcross is seeking its first region title since 2008, and the coast is almost clear. The Blue Devils’ 5-0 start includes wins over 2011 region champ North Gwinnett, 10th-ranked Parkview and a Mill Creek team that entered 3-1. The second half is not so tough – on paper.
- North Cobb can take care of business, too – Sixth-ranked North Cobb is 4-0 for the first time since 2007, a season in which it briefly was ranked No. 1. The Warriors routed 3-1 Harrison 48-14. The title in Region 4 is far from decided, but North Cobb’s 49-14 rout of 2011 Walton a few weeks ago is looking more legitimate each week. North Cobb is averaging 48 points per game.