AAAAAA blog: Overrated, or just laid an egg? Lassiter, Lowndes, Valdosta left to pick up the pieces

How do you explain it?

The easy choice is to say that Lassiter, Lowndes, Valdosta, Region 1 and Region 5 were overrated and exposed Friday night.

But if that’s true, then why did Region 1’s No. 4 seed (Colquitt County) beat Region 1’s champion (McEachern)? It doesn’t make sense.

Remember that Lowndes and Valdosta dominated their regular-season games with Colquitt County, although Colquitt made those games close in the end.

Meanwhile, McEachern routed North Cobb. And North Cobb lost to South Cobb. Marietta lost to North Cobb and Newnan.

In other news, Region 8 (Grayson, South Gwinnett, Parkview, Brookwood) swept Region 5 (Lassiter, Walton, Milton, Wheeler).

The only shocker was No. 1-ranked Lassiter (10-0 entering) falling to No. 4 seed Brookwood (6-4). Parkview beat Walton in double-overtime. Both players were missing their best running backs. Milton played South Gwinnett close.

But what happened to Lassiter?

Were these teams overrated, or did they just lay an egg?

Here are more things to think about as we enter the second round:

- Lassiter became only the second No. 1-ranked team in the highest classification to lose in the first round since the GHSA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1990 (and then 32 in 1996). The other was North Cobb in 2007. Those are the only Cobb teams to enter the playoffs ranked No. 1 since 2000.

- Hughes, North Cobb, Brookwood or Mill Creek will make the semifinals from what might be called Cinderella’s quarter of the draw. Hughes won its first playoff game in history Friday against Rockdale County, 37-3. North Cobb won its first playoff game since 1979 against Valdosta, 42-14. Mill Creek won its third playoff game in history against Alpharetta, 41-39. Brookwood won its 43rd playoff game, but is a No. 4 seed. Only 12 No. 4 seeds have made the semifinals since 1996. The last to do it in the highest classification was Peachtree Ridge, which won the title in 2006.

- Crosstown rivals Valdosta and Lowndes were simultaneously beaten in the first round for the first time in history. It’s only the third time that both failed to make the second week of post-season since 1978, when Nick Hyder won his first state title at Valdosta. Those seasons were 1993 and 2006, when both failed to make the playoffs.

- Gwinnett County teams went 7-1 in the first round. It took three upsets  – Mill Creek over Alpharetta, Parkview over Walton and Brookwood over Lassiter. There has not been a season since 1996 that schools currently in Region 1 or Gwinnett County did not win a state championship in the highest classification. The nine remaining teams that meet that criteria are Brookwood, Camden County, Colquitt County, Grayson, Mill Creek, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview and South Gwinnett.

- Parkview won its first playoff game since 2005, which was the unofficial end of the Parkview dynasty that netted four state titles from 1995 through 2005. Parkview was 136-19. Parkview is 41-34 since.

- Colquitt County is 9-2 since 2009 in road playoff games under Rush Propst. No team or coach has ever had such consistent success on the road in the playoffs.

123 comments Add your comment

G-dub

November 17th, 2012
9:49 am

FIRST!!!!!!!!!

region4fan

November 17th, 2012
9:58 am

It seems that Region 1 had problems with the teams that had a good passing attack. Lowndes and Valdosta fell victim to teams with really good quarterbacks and receivers. Colquitt played McEachern which had a really good running game.I saw North Cobb stuff the Valdosta running game and then Valdosta could not throw the ball . Valdosta looked slow on offense and North Cobb ran right at them on defense where they seemed to have some speed. I am no expert for sure but Valdosta looked a little slow offensively on their youtube highlights .

Colquitt Fan

November 17th, 2012
10:14 am

Colquitt had 5 turnovers against Valdosta and lost by two and Lowndes knew our plays and won by three. That pretty much sums those games up.

stalin's ghost

November 17th, 2012
10:14 am

Gwinnett vs Cobb – nothing new here. when it matters, Cobb traditionally folds.

stalin's ghost

November 17th, 2012
10:15 am

and Valdosta has been living on rep for over a decade

slim065

November 17th, 2012
10:16 am

Lassiter just laid an egg in the 2nd half. Credit Brookwood for playing tough, but Lassiter was out of synch the entire half. They will be a losing a ton of talent from that team, but in a weird way the loss could lead to a different mentality next year to play 4 quarters every game.

They tried to not lose the game in the 2nd half and not try to keep going for the kill…and they have done that all season. Their defense played amazing, but were just too tired by the 4ht to make 1 more play.

Chad31601

November 17th, 2012
10:28 am

Lowndes has gotten so predictable on offense that my 7 year old son could call defensive plays for the opposing team and completely shut the viking offense down

yo

November 17th, 2012
10:56 am

Colquit Fan are you really Rush Probst? You sure do offer up a lot of excuses.

yo

November 17th, 2012
10:59 am

The Lowndes game wasn’t as close as the score. Lowndes simply stunk this one up. I don’t know why they started a different qback to start the game for about a quarter and a half. Except against Camden Stephenson (qback) had the team playing pretty good ball. By the time he came back in they were already down 16-3.

Unlike Colquit Fan though no excuses. Rush Probst would have definitely beat us too on this night.
And we OWN Rush Probst.

Colquitt Fan

November 17th, 2012
11:02 am

Just stating the facts cuz. Am I wrong? The last 3 years you have a 1 TD win, a FG win, and a 34-7 beat down from Propst. That’s far from owning him IMO

sportsnut

November 17th, 2012
11:11 am

@ Todd H. == It does make sense. What it shows is that region1’s # 4 was not the # 4. Their # 2 and 3 were over-rated. This makes the region not so good. For all the talk, it shows there is good football played all over Georgia and you or anyone else will never know what will happen. I will say that I told many about what was about to take place. Name recognition is great but does not win you games. Sooner or later, all who was involved in the talk of Region 1 being so dominant, must now sit back and wonder if your assesments are true. Apparently, many are mistaken. No one wants to listen to the voice of an outsider. There are those of us who are truely objectionable and look at what is and not what we think it should be. The past is just that, the past. Let us now move on to the next round.

Ballhawka

November 17th, 2012
11:13 am

Marietta entered the 1996 playoff as the No. 1 seed before losing to Parkview in the second round.

Delbert D.

November 17th, 2012
11:28 am

Borrowing a spellchecker word from an ESPN.com article the other day, we are seeing more parody among teams these days.

warhawk

November 17th, 2012
11:38 am

Gwinnett is still GREAT !!!!

Tommydawg22

November 17th, 2012
11:42 am

Its all about matchups…To me it has nothing to do with being over-rated, now laying an egg maybe…

Broncoman

November 17th, 2012
11:44 am

If it wasn’t for Camden moving over to Reg#1 it would almost been a complete sweep. South GA football isn’t what it use to be. There are always two good teams from the region but never three. Too many students in the metro area and better coaching have evened things out.

Lassiter had no business being ranked #1. They were out coached. They were supposed to have a potent passing attack but hardly threw the ball down the field which played into our hands because the B’wood secondary is weak. Berkmar threw for over 400 yds against us and the Lassiter POY didn’t throw for more than 150. Thanks for the help Lassiter coaches. Up 21-0 in the 1st half and never came close to scoring again.

packer fan

November 17th, 2012
11:48 am

yo- Lowndes can own probst every year just tune in and watch us in the playoffs every year to.

packer fan

November 17th, 2012
11:51 am

sportsnut You can not change the seeding to make your #1 seed Lovejoy feel better about their lose to the #4 seed out of Region 1-AAAAAA

Heisenberg

November 17th, 2012
12:16 pm

Lassiter laid an egg. I explained 2 adjustments Brookwood made on another blog last night that Lassiter did not have an answer for. As far as ratings go, if I were to look at it from the “if they played on a neutral field – who would win” criteria, I would have rated Camden, Grayson, & Norcross ahead of Lassiter. But Lassiter started the season rated ahead of Norcross, and beat everyone they were supposed to beat while Camden and Grayson had stumbles. So the way the polls work Lassiter did nothing to cause them to move down so they move up when those ahead of them lose. No apologies coming for the 1 week they were on top. I suspect they will move down this week.

As for 2013, Lassiter has all but 1 starting offensive linemen returning and a couple others with significant playing time ready to step into that opening. So O-line should be a strength which is always good to have when breaking a new QB. Never got to see the backup play but I assume he was the guy running the show on a JV team that had a good season. Watching him warmup the arm strength was not what Printz has but that could change as he grows and gets stronger. He will have a returning starter at running back and receivers with plenty of experience. All that experience around a new QB will sure help. It is on defense where Lassiter is losing at lot across all levels – line, linebackers, & secondary. There will only be 2-3 starters returning so they got some work to do there.

The one weakness in Printz I noticed all season was his tendency to hold the ball too long. Those deeper routes require the QB to trust his receiver to get open and deliver the ball sooner. Printz tended to wait until the receiver had separation before throwing which gave defender time to recover. He will need to move through 2nd, 3rd, & 4th options faster as well. Hopefully things that will improve with more coaching and experience at the next level. Those guys were fun to watch this year and I will be back watching them next year.

Murph31

November 17th, 2012
12:26 pm

Todd,
You’re an idiot! I loved your article how mceachern was Region 4aaaaaa’s only hope. Now that the greater Valdosta areas dic$ are out of your mouth, how does it taste?!

BehindEnemyLines

November 17th, 2012
12:29 pm

Overrated pretty much sums up all three teams you asked about.

Packerfan2000

November 17th, 2012
1:03 pm

I laugh at some of the comments on this blog. I’m from south Georgia, and I have a respect for what the north Georgia schools are doing. I’m glad that competition has stepped up over the last decade. However, north Georgia does not really understand south Georgia football. Our region is a gauntlet. You can brag about winning a playoff game, but don’t diss our region. It’s a lot tougher than people think. Also, keep in my mind that there are a lot more state championships in region 1 AAAAAA, and when you added Camden, the stash got higher.

Heisenberg

November 17th, 2012
1:06 pm

Legend has it the tornados that hit south Georgia a few years ago let out the ghosts when Valdosta HS got damaged and they have not been as good since.

Fred

November 17th, 2012
1:11 pm

I’m predicting @Murph31 doesn’t last very long here! :-D

Fred

November 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

@Packerfan2000 – It all comes down to the bad-mouthing that goes back and forth. Except for a few R1 shows no respect to any team/region outside their own. There are other regions where the competition is tough as well. As far as championships, most of those are courtesy of Valdosta and from years ago. Those wins should be respected without doubt. However, they just aren’t relevant to today’s teams. Since the advent of 5A and now 6A, titles have been pretty evenly split. Truth be told, R8 has more titles in that time than any other single region considering where teams were playing at the time of the championship. If you want to combine Camden’s into region 1, then do we get to combine R7 & R8 as those are Gwinnett regions?

slim065

November 17th, 2012
1:24 pm

One thing I think Printz missed this year on those deep throws was WR he could totally trust. Going into the year that looked like it would be Dickey, but he was injured most of the year. Last year he had Dickey and Hegedus to be those threats that could jump and get it. This year just didn’t have that. When he trusts himself to throw the deep ball he puts it in the right spot where only hsi WR can get it, which is huge. Just needs a little better touch which comes with experience.

Lassiter didn’t try and stretch the field much though alst night which still boggles my mind. I think if they tried that more they would have eventually hit something and allowed them to win the game.

Lassiter in 2013 may have to be more like 08 and 09 in that they will need to really outscore opponents the first 4-5 weeks until the defense can gel and gain experience. One bright spot is the secondary for Lassiter should be very good like it has the past 2-3 years. LB corps though will be a perceived weakness…at least based on experience, or lack of.

Colquitt Fan

November 17th, 2012
1:28 pm

The entire region don’t go through the Atl schools, just Colquitt

NCHS Fan

November 17th, 2012
1:34 pm

The boys at North Cobb have a lot of talent and enough toughness to make it to the semi-finals. They’re road is easier than most they just have to come out ready and play like they can! Good team with Great D and a fast pace offense at times that can really tear apart a defense. Tyler Queen is just a sophomore but him and his explosive receiving core have been connecting all year and with the threat of him and Herrod’s running game its hard to stop them when they get rolling. Keep it up Warriors!

WILDHAWG2012

November 17th, 2012
1:47 pm

@yo=I understand u are up set but why attack us like we caused this.Its the playoffs and we were cheering u guys on even tho it was hard too.Camden and Coffee fans were rooting for Lowndes too cause we know its us against Atl.But yet u still have to nerve to be salty at us.Wow. I told BK about 3 weeks ago that at some piont in the playoffs your team will have to depend on your QB at least in one game or better yet on at least one important drive to get a win in the playoffs. So its not our fault your QB’s were not ready at this time of the year its your coaches!!

North Cobb Warrior

November 17th, 2012
1:49 pm

NCHS fan, you are correct! If this team just retains its composure, plays smart and coaches smart it will keep advancing. The D is awesome. The O is when it is calm. Kicker whose name I cannot remember is an unsung hero and entire kickoff coverage team is fantastic.

Reeze

November 17th, 2012
1:57 pm

Breaking news for Lowndes coach Randy Mac http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wmpxkd1CR8

The Cross

November 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

Packerfan2000-You guys try to lean on your past way too much. Youir region (as proven last night) is far from a gauntlet. Gwinnett football pulled neck and neck with you guys over the last 10 years and now it is clear to everyone that we have sped past you. Gwinnett football is way better than region 1 and it is not even close. Keep watching and you’ll see. Next week we have to knock each other out but by round three there will not be a region 1 team left.

The Cross

sportsnut

November 17th, 2012
2:41 pm

@ Packer Fan == Not trying to change anything except for history to show that Region 1 was not all you guy’s said and not what the AJC and others thought. Colquit is still alive and so is Lovejoy. I knew all along that Lowndes was not a serious contender. I have said it all year. I told you, you guy’s need to get out more because there is more than Valdosta in football. That includes both teams. The best football in America is played in Georgia and you guy’s think it is only in South Georgia. You are wrong. I have given Camden their props and will continue to do so as long as they win. Colquit will receive the same. I just don’t like those who think that they have the market cornered on football and football talent. That includes coaching and players. Many are down on Region 1 for one simple reason, their fan’s mouth’s. No respect for other teams, coach’s, fans, stadiums, nothing. Region one posters are the most ardent fans I know but a large tad over-bearing.

sportsnut

November 17th, 2012
2:44 pm

Good one, Reeze !

syrupmaker

November 17th, 2012
2:58 pm

The REGION 1 Higher Classification did go 2 up and 2 down in the first round. AA though AAAAAA are currently 12 and 8 in the first round. Not to bad for REGION 1

HSFootballFan

November 17th, 2012
3:28 pm

Kudos to Camden! Great host’s and incredible sportsmanship. This was Hillgrove’s second time making the trip and all I can say is WOW! Love the tradition and completely impressed with your program, you’re what we want to be when we grow up. Good luck in the playoffs, I’d love to be able to say that we lost in the playoffs to the state champs!

I do hope now that Region 4 will gain a little respect going 2-2 with Region 1.

reddawg

November 17th, 2012
3:32 pm

What I don’t understand is why someone would comment while last night’s game was still being played “watch out Grayson Air something or another is coming for you”. I’m guessing half the folks on here never played competitive sports in their life. Maybe they should learn to worry about the task at hand instead of the next weeks opponent. Georgia is very deep in HS football and I enjoy picking one game each week to try and go see. Congratz to the teams moving on and hope to see ya on a cold, crisp fall Friday night.

wfhs fan

November 17th, 2012
3:34 pm

Absolutely nothing about West Forsyth…yet again. We’ve been a top 10 team since our win over Gainesville the first week of the season. We beat Collins Hill 66-41 last night with 2 kick offs returned for touchdowns. I guess you’re probably saying we’re overrated. All I have to say is we will see you in the dome.

Dostadawg

November 17th, 2012
4:07 pm

colquit fan,please quit showing ur stupidity. The only team to beat lowndes and valdosta was camden co. And as far as stealing signs r.prost knows thing or two bout cheating, just ask is x-wife.

BamaBornDukie

November 17th, 2012
4:13 pm

The article states:

“Only 12 No. 4 seeds have made the semifinals since 1996. The last to do it in the highest classification was Peachtree Ridge, which won the title in 2006.”

Lassiter was the 5A Region 5 (5A was the largest class last year) #4 seed and played Region 5A #1 seed, Walton in the 5A Semifinals.

Perhaps I’m reading the statement wrong.

In terms of Walton, 2012, I wasn’t impressed with their coaching staff and to a lesser extent their college football bound scholarship players as overall, the program regressed. Complacency?? Odd when you have 4 offensive starters that [although injured at various points during the season] are bound for SEC football programs next season…..their offense was not overly impressive after a great 2-0 start. With that said, Walton was missing the top offensive player in the state last night. Hard to overcome his absence.

Colquitt Fan

November 17th, 2012
4:24 pm

Dostadawg, it’s ok man. Y’all might be back next year. Feel free to cheer us on like we did y’all before the choke job. You try and be nice to these other teams but all they want to do is attack us. What has Rush done to anybody besides nothing. It’s really all you guys have, y’all keep being mad when we have our 4th straight final four appearance

Colquitt Fan

November 17th, 2012
4:27 pm

And when did I say we beat y’all? Who’s the stupid one?

Lowndes1995

November 17th, 2012
4:30 pm

Chad and Yo, you were right on about Lowndes. Reeze, great video. Lowndes had a great defense this year but we did not have the QB play to get us anywhere in the playoffs. The Wing-T is not a play from behind offense. I support my team year in and year out but I am sick of the vanilla play calling. We are way too predictable. Marietta was putting 8 and 9 in the box and we did not even try to mix it up to create some space. Marietta’s QB was the real deal and he was the difference maker in the game. They were definitely the better team last night. Lowndes had two weeks to learn to throw a pass other than on 3rd and long when everyone is looking for it as well as practice defending the pass…but as always McPherson is not going to change his bread and butter. Hope we can make some changes before next season. Good luck to Camden and Colquitt! Guess the city of Valdosta gets to think about basketball season now.

Titletown USA

November 17th, 2012
4:39 pm

Wow sportsnut…a packer fan saw through your BS…..how can you say that Lowndes and Valdosta should not have been ranked #2 and #3 when they actually both of them beat Colquitt in the regular season (which by the way is something your team did not do)? And moreso, what does it matter if Colquitt was #2 and they were #3 and #4? I think the results would have been the same.

I understand and respect everyone’s desire to bash Region1, especially because of our incessant posters, but often those who have been abused become the abusers….don’t allow your disdain for South Georgia football cloud your ability for rational thought. If so, then you have become that which you propose to dislike so much.

And to all the Gwinnett, Cobb, and whatever Atlanta area posters, let’s be real….the reason that you have seen an emergence of good teams in your area is due to influx of the African American populations in those rural areas over the past 10-20 years. Georgia has slowly moved from agricultural/manufacturing which gave the South the advantage from a population standpoint. I do not even like to count Valdosta’s titles prior to integration.

NGHS 09

November 17th, 2012
4:39 pm

@ wfhs fan…Quite frankly I was not a believer in the Wolverines…I grew up down the road from the high school before it was even thought of lol. I would have attended West but it opened two years behind schedule so I went to South. What a joke so I transferred to NG and played 4 years varsity in both baseball and football. WEST FORSYTH is the real deal folks. They might not be a proven state title chaser, but this program is building a big name for itself. They won’t shy away from anything or anyone and I highly doubt that any coach would be dumb enough to think that his team can look past them. West Forsyth has put Forsyth County Football on the map (a small dot).

You are absolutely right! I’m tired of talking about North vs South and talking about the “favorable” winners. I want to hear about West Forsyth, North Cobb, East Coweta, Newnan, and especially Marietta. Nobody needs to mention North Gwinnett lol. We are cruising right along well under the radar and loving every second of it!

Let’s talk about the meaningful and the necessary! All games this week and the awesome matchups we will see.

Easy Rider

November 17th, 2012
4:42 pm

Easy WFHS Fan… Your boys have had a good year with only one blemish that could have gone the other way real easy with a call here or there from the officials. The problem is you have more swagger than heart. Talented football players like #3 and #2 would be great if they had the heart of #49. If your team all played like him then you could be a true contender, but swagger alone will not get you past a team full of heart like Parkview…

Colquitt Supporter

November 17th, 2012
5:11 pm

Colquitt fans, you have got to get over the loss to Lowndes because of “stolen” signals. Looking at the video, do you really believe there was enough time to get the signals to the D? I do not think so but you can have a different opinion if you want. The simple reason we lost is because Lowndes scored more points than we did. If you continue to let Buzz get in your head over this incident then he continues to win. Just take the loss like a man and move on. Let’s concentrate on Newnan rather than a game from 2 months ago.

Colquitt Supporter

November 17th, 2012
5:36 pm

Todd, I am not sure that they were overrated – it is just the nature of HS football or any HS sport. The losses by Lassiter, Lowndes, VHS, Mac may reveal the following:
1. Some teams/regions may be more evenly matched that we give credit,
2. # 3 and 4 seeded teams want to win just as much as the 1s and 2s, and
3. my favorite – we are dealing with 15 to 18 year olds who still have a lot of maturing to do. Family, school, and girlfriend issues can certainly affect these kids. The best coach in the world will not be able to overcome these type issues that teenagers face.

Nafu

November 17th, 2012
6:41 pm

If any of you have paid attention the last few seasons you should know that Colquitt County plays their best ball in the playoffs. They are 11-3 in the playoffs since 2009 and have found their way to the semi finals the last 3 years in a row. Valdosta and Lowndes have proved that when it really counts, they simply can not deliver. The McEachern and Colquitt game was by far the most exciting game in the first round and McEachern is a great team and almost pulled off a win. Camden and Colquitt are the only two reps from Region 1 and clearly the best teams in that region when the playoffs start and it is all on the line.

Allen

November 17th, 2012
6:47 pm

And we all know that Lowndes was suffering from not having their star player Buzz Payne. It is had to steal signs without Buzz and those trusty binoculars. I know they really missed him and it showed. Maybe Buzz can help them see the rest of the playoffs as they sit at home wondering what if.