North Paulding created a virtual four-way tie for first place in Region 5-AAAAA with a 31-28 victory against South Paulding, which had taken sole possession of first place and earned the first ranking in program history with an upset of Allatoona last weekend.
North Paulding (5-1) and South Paulding (4-1) join Allatoona (5-1) and defending champion East Paulding (4-1) as the region’s four one-loss teams. But North Paulding, which already has beaten South and East, is the only one that controls its fate in the race for the region championship. North can win its first region title by winning its remaining four games, which include a trip to Allatoona on Nov. 1.
Rome and Villa Rica, tied for fifth place in the region with 3-2 records, remain in the playoff race, as well.
Here are some of the items of note from Friday’s Class AAAAA games:
- Gainesville’s Deshaun Watson keeps padding his record. The senior quarterback, who entered the season as the state’s all-time leader in career passing yardage, surpassed the 11,000-yard mark in a 51-6 victory against Cedar Shoals. Watson completed 23 of 28 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran 63 yards for a score. Gainesville is 5-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 8-AAAAA.
- Thomas County Central, the favorite in 1-AAAAA, recovered from a slow start to rout Bainbridge 50-23. The Yellow Jackets gave up two field goals and touchdown passes of 91 and 80 yards in falling behind 20-14 in the first half, but they outscored Bainbridge 36-3 in the second to win going away. Thomas County Central rushed for 446 yards, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.
- Northside and Warner Robins remain the class of 2-AAAAA. The two perennial powerhouses outscored Houston County and Jones County 79-24 and are the only undefeated teams remaining in the region. Houston and Jones fell into a tie for third place with Evans and Lakeside-Evans, who lost to the Warner Robins schools 81-40 last weekend. Northside and Warner Robins meet on Nov. 1.