The state playoffs are only two rounds old, but seven No. 1 seeds are gone in Class AAAAAA.
The lone survivor is Norcross, a 32-9 winner over Brookwood. Norcross, the defending state champion, is the top seed from Region 7, which also sent Collins Hill and North Gwinnett to the quarterfinals.
Region champions eliminated on Friday were Camden County (Region 1), Lovejoy (2), Hughes (3), North Cobb (4), Alpharetta (6) and Archer (8).
Other things learned in the highest class:
- In the game of the night, No. 1-ranked (but No. 3-seeded) North Gwinnett ended the season of the classification’s only unbeaten team, Archer, 34-32 on a 27-yard field by Michael D’Angola with 7 seconds left. D’Angola’s 29-yarder was partially blocked on North Gwinnett’s previous drive.
- Hillgrove stunned second-ranked Camden County for the second time in four seasons, winning 34-21. Hillgrove beat Camden 28-26 in the 2010 second round when Camden was ranked No. 1. Though 360 miles away, Hillgrove is the only school with two road wins at Camden since 2000.
- Collins Hill, a co-region champion in Region 7 but seeded No. 2, beat Alpharetta 48-0. That is the largest margin of victory against a region champion in the first two rounds of the playoffs since the field went to 32 teams in 1996. Colquitt County’s 52-6 victory over North Cobb on Friday ranks second.
- In beating North Cobb, Colquitt County won its 12th road playoff game since 2009. Colquitt is 12-3 in road playoff games under coach Rush Propst and 11-0 on the road in the first three rounds. No other school has won that many road playoff games in any five-year stretch.
- Cinderella teams are Dacula, McEachern and Lowndes. Dacula, a 28-21 winner over Peachtree Ridge, was 1-9 last season and a lightly regarded No. 2 seed out of Region 8. McEachern, a 22-21 winner over Hughes, was written off after losing its start quarterback, Ty Clemons, to injury two weeks ago. Lowndes, a 23-18 winner over Lovejoy, started the season with an embarrassing home loss to Newton but persevered to make its first quarterfinal since 2010.
Colquitt County vs. Dacula*
Lowndes at Norcross
McEachern at Collins Hill
North Gwinnett at Hillgrove
*Coin flip to decide home team