North Cobb had high hopes for the season after a run to the semifinals in 2012, but a game-two loss to Walton sent the Warriors packing from the Class AAAAAA Top 10.
North Cobb redeemed itself in full Friday with a 28-26 victory over second-ranked McEachern. The Warriors are now favored to win their first region title since 2007. North Cobb defeated another unbeaten Region 4 opponent, Hillgrove, the week before.
In other AAAAAA developments:
Archer’s magic number for a first-ever region title is now one. That’s because second-place Grayson lost to South Gwinnett 28-21. Grayson had beaten South 40-0 and 41-0 the past two seasons but fell to 4-4 with the loss, meaning Archer (8-0, 6-0) is the only Region 8 team with a winning record overall. Shiloh moved to 4-4 by ending a 21-game losing streak (dating to 1992) against Parkview. The final was 23-21.
Embarrassed last month by a 37-7 loss to Colquitt County, Lowndes (6-2, 3-1) won its third straight Region 1 game Friday with a 35-10 victory over Coffee, a team that was ranked briefly after a 4-0 start but is now 0-4 in region play. Valdosta (5-2, 1-2) beat Tift County 31-21 in a must-win game.
Despite a 2-3 start, Lassiter is suddenly the team to beat again in Region 5 after defeating Milton 31-3 in a game between teams with one region loss. Meanwhile, first-place Etowah was upset by county rival Cherokee 28-21. Lassiter and Etowah control their destinies and play each other Nov. 8, probably for the region title.
In Region 6, the top four teams beat the bottom four Friday, so it looks almost certain that the playoff qualifiers will be Alpharetta, South Forsyth, West Forsyth and Lambert. Alpharetta (5-2, 4-0) is in the driver’s seat.
In a game between teams that hadn’t lost in Region 3 play, Hughes dominated Newnan 30-3 on Friday and has won six straight since the opening loss to Creekside. The Panthers (6-1, 2-0) will all but clinch their second straight Region 3 title next week if they win at East Coweta (4-3, 2-0).