North Gwinnett escaped with its No. 1 ranking a couple of weeks ago when it won a game against Mill Creek 50-47 after trailing by 21 in the fourth quarter. On Friday, the Bulldogs were out of comebacks.
Collins Hill, ranked ninth but now a contender to win powerful Region 7, stunned North Gwinnett 53-28. Collins Hill quarterback Tyler Herman threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns. North Gwinnett quarterback Hayden Sphire injured his ankle late in the first half and did not return.
Oddly, Collins Hill was shut out 28-0 last week by Norcross, a team that North Gwinnett was impressive in beating 36-17 in September.
Meanwhile, Norcross, the defending state champion, won its sixth straight game Friday, beating 10th-ranked Peachtree Ridge 24-20. Norcross drove 90 yards on 15 plays for the winning touchdowns.
North Gwinnett became the third No. 1 team in the in Class AAAAAA to lose this season. The others have been Norcross and Colquitt County.
In other news from AAAAAA:
- Colquitt County is in line to be ranked No. 1, again. The second-ranked Packers defeated Valdosta 17-10. They trailed 10-3 at halftime and 10-9 in the fourth quarter before taking advantage of a fumbled punt to pull it out. Colquitt’s only loss is to nationally ranked Hoover of Alabama.
- Archer, which opened in 2009, is the Region 8 champion. The Tigers clinched their first region title with a 48-31 victory over South Gwinnett. Archer, ranked No. 5 last week, is now the only undefeated team in Class AAAAAA after No. 1 North Gwinnett’s demise.
- Alpharetta cleared its final major hurdle toward winning Region 6. With a 14-12 victory over Lambert, Alpharetta now has defeated its main region rivals and can clinch with a victory over Centennial (1-7) or Johns Creek (0-8) the next two weeks. It would be Alpharetta’s second region title in three seasons.
- No. 4 Camden County was looking like an upset victim early, trailing 12-3 at halftime against Brunswick. But the Wildcats came back to win 18-12.