Topics of discussion this a.m. — Peachtree Ridge, Lovejoy, Coffee, McEachern, Alpharetta, and the wild west that is Region. 8.
First, Peachtree Ridge.
It’s been four years since the Ridge won a playoff game, five since it played in the state championship game against Camden County, seven since it won the state title.
The Lions stamped themselves as contenders again Friday with their 31-30 victory over fifth-ranked Mill Creek. They’ve matched their 2012 win total with a 4-0 start, burying the memory of last season’s losing record, the program’s first since 2004.
Peachtree Ridge running back Jordan Ellis, who has committed to Virginia, rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns, and Mill Creek missed a potential tying extra point in the final two minutes.
- Now, to Lovejoy. The Wildcats, ranked No. 4, beat East Coweta 39-35 on a late touchdown pass after trailing 35-20. The week before, Lovejoy beat Alpharetta 24-23. Is this reason for concern? It might be that East Coweta is decent, too.
- Speaking of Alpharetta, the Raiders avenged their only region loss from 2012 and beat West Forsyth 31-14. They’re probably the team to beat in Region 6.
- No. 2 McEachern beat Marietta 43-30 and helped justify their high ranking. Remember that McEachern hasn’t made it out of the second round since 1999.
- Also remember this fact for future reference: Milton (4-0) has not won a region title since 1952.
- Coffee, ranked last week for the first time since 2008, struggled to beat Mundy’s Mill 18-14. Recall that Lovejoy beat Mundy’s Mill 41-12 despite sitting three defensive starters.
And finally, what might be our top story, but buried here because it takes some time to explain: What’s up with Region 8?
Since 1993, Grayson, Parkview, Brookwood and South Gwinnett have won or shared every championship in Region 8 of Georgia’s highest classification. The revolution continued Friday. The big four is now 2-13 on the season.
Here is how the state’s most volatile region was turned upside down again:
- Parkview, a quarterfinalist last season, lost to Archer 27-7 and is 0-4 for the first time since 1986. Archer is a 4-year-old school that has never been ranked or won a playoff game but sits atop the region with a 4-0 record overall, 2-0 in region play.
- Grayson, the defending champion, lost 14-7 to Dacula, which was 1-9 last season and previously winless (0-5) against Grayson. Grayson is 1-3, and its streak of six 10-win seasons is endangered. Dacula, under new coach Tommy Jones, now shares the region lead with Archer at 2-2, 2-0.
- South Gwinnett, 9-3 last season, lost to cross-town rival Shiloh 21-14 and fell to 1-3. South Gwinnett had won 11 of the past 12 in the series, including 31-0 last season, a loss that sent Shiloh on an 0-7 slide.
- Berkmar lost 15-12 to Central Gwinnett. Berkmar entered the game 3-0. Central was 0-2. Central won despite less than 100 yards in total offense.
- Brookwood (0-3) sat Friday out. The Broncos play Parkview next week in the resumption of what formerly was metro Atlanta’s best rivalry.