Five best first-round games in Class AAAAAA …
Mill Creek (7-3) at Alpharetta (7-3)
- It matches the state’s leading passer in Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs and perhaps the state’s best interior defensive lineman in Mill Creek’s Kelsey Griffin. Plus, these teams played last season in an odd game. Mill Creek won 42-7, but didn’t make the playoffs, finishing 5-5. Alpharetta went on to win 5-AAAAA, the school’s first region title.
Milton (7-3) at South Gwinnett (8-2)
- Milton has never won a state playoff game, but this is probably the best team in school history, which dates to the 1950s. DE Carl Lawson (Auburn commit) has more than 20 sacks, and Peyton Barber (Ole Miss) has rushed for more than 1,500 yards. South Gwinnett has bounced back from a 3-7 season and taken the No. 2 seed in Region 8 after beating Parkview and Brookwood in the same season for only the third time in history. Watch for QB Jordan Ramey, who most of his junior season injured but has bounced back to become one of the top passers in this classification.
Colquitt County (7-3) at McEachern (8-2)
- Can Region 1 sweep Region 4? Colquitt County, ranked No. 9, is a pretty good No. 4 seed. Region 4’s champion, McEachern, is unranked, but also is the hottest team in AAAAAA outside of Grayson and undefeated Norcross and Lassiter. The Indians have won eight straight games after losing to 2011 finalists Grayson and Walton. They haven’t been handles since QB Ty Griffin has been at full health.
Parkview (7-3) at Walton (7-3)
Parkview’s bid for a first region title since 2004 was lost when South Gwinnett kicked a game-winning field in the final seconds of last week’s game. Final score, 16-14. Parkview went from a potential No. 1 seed to the No. 3, which means a road game in the first round. But Parkview would find no small consolation in getting its first playoff victory since 2005. The opponent is walking-wounded Walton, which will be missing Super 11 RB Tyren Jones to a knee injury.
Hillgrove (6-4) at Camden County (9-1)
No one is expecting Hillgrove to win this one. The Maxwell Ratings project Camden as a 29-point winner. But there is intrigue here. Hillgrove defeated Camden County 28-26 in the 2010 second round at Camden in one of the biggest upsets in state history. Camden was the two-time defending of Class AAAAA and ranked No. 1 at the time. Further, Camden’s bid for a 10-0 regular season and unbeaten run through Region 1 this year was upended last week by Colquitt County in a 13-12 loss last week. It could’ve cost Camden a national title. Camden was ranked as high as No. 2 in one poll. Given the history, this is probably not a good time for Hillgrove to visit Kingsland.