Cedar Grove 14, Milton 7
Milton dropped their first matchup of the season Friday at home with a bitter loss to Cedar Grove, the top-ranked team in Class 3A and two-time defending state champs. Cedar Grove (1-0) scored two unanswered touchdowns to take the lead and held off a final-minute drive by the Eagles to end the thrilling contest.
The game featured stout defensive play that started on the opening possessions of the game. The Saints returned the opening kickoff to Milton’s 21-yard line, but the Eagles held to force a turnover on downs. Cedar Grove force a Milton turnover on downs on the ensuing possession.
After the teams traded defensive blows, Milton broke through with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Devin Farrell to Jordan McDonald with under three minutes left in the first half. McDonald, Milton’s highly touted running back, went down with an apparent shoulder injury in the third quarter and did not return.
The Saints scored in the third quarter but missed the PAT to allow Milton to keep a 7-6 lead. However, Cedar Grove found the end zone again in the opening minute of the fourth and converted its 2-point play to go ahead, 14-7.
Milton looked to tie the game with under three minutes remaining but were stuffed on a fourth-and-1 play on Cedar Grove’s 28-yard line. They would get another offensive possession.
After some poor clock management from the Saints, Milton took over the ball with two minutes left on its own 21-yard line. The Eagles used a string of passes and rushes from Farrell to move the ball to the Saints 10-yard line with a spike stopping the clock with five seconds left.
Looking for the score to allow Milton to tie, Farrell threw a corner route to defensive end LT Overton, the nation’s top sophomore recruit, but the pass was batted away by a Saints defender as Milton faithful looked for a pass interference call that never came.
The Eagles (2-1, 0-0) face another strong opponent Friday with a home contest against McEachern.
Collins Hill 30, Alpharetta 22
Alpharetta’s struggles against top-10 ranked teams continued Friday night with the Raiders falling to No. 8 Collins Hill, 30-22, at home. The loss was Alpharetta’s fifth straight to ranked teams dating back to 2017.
The Raiders stood with the Eagles, but Collins Hill remained one step ahead throughout the contest.
The Eagles went up 14-0 in the first quarter, but Alpharetta cut the margin to 17-14 at the half.
Collins Hill responded with another two-score run to lead 30-14 late in the third quarter.
With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Alpharetta found the end zone and converted its 2-point play to pull within one score. After the teams exchanged possession, the Raiders were back on the ball in the final minutes looking for the tying touchdown.
Though they moved the ball inside Eagles’ territory, a turnover on downs in the final minute ended Alpharetta’s comeback bid.
The Raiders (1-2, 0-0) take on defending Class 6A state champions Harrison in Kennesaw Oct. 9.
Denmark 20, North Forsyth 10
Denmark earned a statement win Friday by knocking off previously undefeated North Forsyth in the Danes’ inaugural Region 6-7A contest. The victory was the first of the season for the Danes (1-3, 1-0) and first under head coach Mike Palmieri.
The Danes, who entered the game averaging just nine points per game, scored 20 unanswered points to take the win while its defense stonewalled North in the second half.
North (4-1, 0-1) raced to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter with an 84-yard touchdown pass from Brady Meitz to Tucker Hartsfield on the Raiders’ first offensive play before North’s next possession yielded an 18-yard field goal.
Denmark quarterback Aaron McLaughlin, back from an injury that sidelined him for the opening two games of the season, connected with Azari Brown to put the Danes on the board just before the half.
After the Danes forced a turnover on downs, McLaughlin and Brown linked up for their second score of the night to put Denmark ahead 14-10 with three minutes remaining in the third. Just two minutes later, McLaughlin threw another touchdown pass to Casey Gunn to push the score to 20-10.
The Raiders had two more offensive possessions in the game, but both ended in interceptions with Denmark’s senior cornerback Kaden Henley and sophomore safety Dee Crayton hauling in the picks.
The Raiders and Danes both have a bye week before continuing region play Oct. 16.
Norcross 40, Dunwoody 3
With DeKalb county delaying the start of fall sports until Oct. 1, Dunwoody hit the field for the first time in 2020 Friday night in a Region 7-7A contest.
The Wildcats had a tough draw in taking on No. 5 ranked Norcross, a team that already had three wins under its belt. The Blue Devils proved to be too much for Dunwoody, which fell 40-3 in Gwinnett County.
The matchup was the first game for the Wildcats in their new region and first against Norcross despite the close proximity of the schools.
Dunwoody (0-1, 0-1) continues its schedule with another region game Friday against Archer.
Gainesville 33, Forsyth Central 28
Forsyth Central opened up Region 6-7A play Friday night in Cumming with a heart-wrenching 33-28 loss to region newcomers Gainesville. The Bulldogs appeared to have the game wrapped up with a field goal block resulting in a touchdown in the final seconds of the game, but a penalty on the play allowed the Red Elephants to convert on their second attempt to seal the win.
Both teams were on the board early with a kickoff return for a score from Central’s Peyton Streko knotting the game at 7-7 in the opening minutes. Central (2-1, 0-1) took its first lead of the contest midway through the first with a touchdown run from quarterback Bronson Landreth, but Gainesville responded on its ensuing drive to tie the game.
Gainesville (3-1, 1-0) found the end zone in the second and third quarter to build a 28-14 lead, but Central came charging back in the fourth.
Eli Ruis scored from six yards out and Noah Chol hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Graham Long to put the score at 28-28 midway though the final period.
In the final minute, Gainesville moved the ball inside the red zone and lined up for the potential game-winning kick. Central blocked the attempt and returned the ball the length of the field in what appeared to be an electrifying Bulldogs’ win. However, a penalty on the kick allowed Gainesville another shot at the field goal, which was converted.
Central’s offense did take the field with just a few ticks left, but a high snap allowed the Red Elephants to seal their dramatic win with a safety.
The Bulldogs have a bye before continuing Region 6-7A play against Denmark Oct. 16.
South Forsyth 44, Lambert 14
South Forsyth ended Lambert’s undefeated start to the season Friday night and put on another impressive offensive display with a 44-14 win in the Region 6-6A opener for both squads. South has won the last four meetings between the programs. Lambert’s loss ended its bid to go 5-0 for the first time since 2012.
South, who entered the game averaging 58 points per game, opened a 37-0 lead to power its win.
South running back Tre Green had two rushing scores, including a 54-yard scamper to put South ahead 37-0 midway through the third quarter.
War Eagles’ quarterback Kyle Durham had four touchdown passes with Gavin Morris and Mitch Thompson hauling in two scores each.
Lambert’s scores came on a 54-yard touchdown pass from James Tyre to Kojo Antwi and a short run from Khalil Burgess.
Lambert (4-1, 0-1) has a bye Friday before a region matchup with Gainesville Oct. 16. South Forsyth (3-0, 1-0) will be off until its Oct. 23 meeting with West Forsyth.
Roswell 37, Campbell 7
For the third straight year, Roswell bested Campbell with the Hornets picking up a 37-7 win over the Spartans Friday night. The Hornets, who are outscoring their opponents by nearly 30 points per game, maintained their undefeated record and moved to 3-0.
Junior quarterback Robbie Roper had three touchdown passes in the first half, two finding Shaun Spence and another connecting with Michael Fitzgerald. Spence scored his third touchdown of the game on the ground to give Roswell a 27-7 lead at the half.
Junior running back Ryan Stephens bowled over several defenders on his way to the end zone to put the Hornets up 34-7 in the third quarter, and Caden Long converted a field goal in the fourth to round out Roswell’s scoring.
The Hornets (3-0, 0-0) close out non-region play Friday against former region foes Walton at home.
Mill Creek 20, West Forsyth 17
West Forsyth led Gwinnett County powerhouse Mill Creek heading into the final minute of play, but the Hawks used a dramatic special teams play to take the lead and eventual win to put the Wolverines at 2-2 overall.
West tied the game late in the first quarter with a touchdown throw from Ashton Van Horn to Oscar Delp before Mill Creek converted two field goals for a 13-7 halftime lead.
Van Horn and Delp linked for another touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the third to give West its first lead of the contest. A 34-yard field goal from West’s Alex Wilson pushed the lead to 17-14 early in the fourth.
That score remained until West was forced to punt the ball away with one minute remaining and allowed Mill Creek to return the kick for the game-winning score.
West (2-2, 0-0) has a bye week before opening Region 6-6A play against North Forsyth.
Johns Creek 14, Sequoyah 10
Johns Creek shook of its 0-2 start and continued its long streak of region wins Friday night in their first 7-6A matchup with newcomer Sequoyah. The two-time defending 7-6A champ Gladiators have won 17 straight region contests.
Special teams were responsible for the first score in the defensive battle. Johns Creek’s TJ Williams avoided several tacklers on a punt return and found a seam down the sideline for a touchdown.
Sequoyah converted a field goal in the second quarter and added a touchdown in the third to take the lead.
The Gladiators turned the ball over late in the third, but on their ensuing possession they needed just a few plays to reclaim the lead. Quarterback Quinton Teeples hit Brandon Palmer from 30-yards out for the go-ahead touchdown with 10 minutes remaining.
The defensive stalemate continued for the remainder of the game. The Gladiators were forced to punt with time running out, but their defense forced a turnover on downs by stuffing Sequoyah’s fourth-and-5 play from their own 25-yard line to ice the game.
Johns Creek (1-2, 1-0) is on the road Oct. 9 to take on Riverwood, another new team to Region 7-6A.
Creekview 19, Cambridge 0
A constant for the Cambridge program since its debut in 2012 has been a loss to Creekview each season. That continued Friday night with Creekview taking a 19-0 win over the Bears, their ninth-straight win over their North Fulton foe.
The matchup was the first Region 7-6A matchup this season for both squads.
Cambridge’s defense forced two turnovers on downs and an interception in the first half, and neither team could put points on the board.
Creekview ended the stalemate in the third quarter, however, scoring passes of 47- and 50-yards to take a 13-0 lead into the final period.
Cambridge turnovers quelled any hopes for a Bears comeback. Cambridge fumbled in its own end zone and the Grizzlies recovered to go up 19-0. The Bears lost another fumble on their next offensive play, allowing Creekview to cruise to the win in final seven minutes.
Cambridge (1-2, 0-1) finishes its non-region schedule Oct. 9 at home against Hughes.
Riverwood 37, Centennial 0
Centennial’s losing streak was stretched to 14 games Friday night with the Knights opening Region 7-6A play with a shutout loss to Riverwood in the first meeting of the schools. The Knights were held scoreless for the third time in their last nine games.
Riverwood scored a touchdown in each of the opening three quarters for a 21-0 lead before adding 16 points in the final period to seal the win.
The Knights (0-3, 0-1) go on the road Oct. 9 to continue region play against Chattahoochee.
River Ridge 52, Chattahoochee 35
Chattahoochee lost its first region game of the year for the third straight season Friday night with a loss to Riverwood at home in a high-scoring affair.
Despite an early touchdown pass from Hooch quarterback Jaylen Smith to Jordan Palmer, River Ridge opened a 36-7 lead in the second quarter with four touchdowns from running back Amehre Morrison.
Despite the margin, Hooch battled back for the remainder of the contest.
Smith scored on a 23-yard run just before the half and the Cougars pulled within 39-21 entering the fourth quarter. However, the Knights added more scores and Smith’s 4-yard touchdown pass with under two minutes remaining was too little too late for Hooch.
The Cougars (1-2, 0-1) play their fourth straight home game Oct. 9 and will face off with region foes Centennial.
Northview 21, Grady 6
Northview earned its first win of 2020 Friday night by downing Grady at home, 21-6.
The Titans jumped on the board first with a touchdown midway through the first quarter and put together an 88-yard drive in the second to build a 14-0 lead.
Grady added a touchdown just before the half, but Northview’s defense held steady the remainder of the game while the Titans added an insurance touchdown to secure the win.
The Titans will begin their first campaign in their new region, 5-5A, against St. Pius X next Friday.
Fellowship Christian 27, North Cobb Christian 0
Fellowship Christian shut down North Cobb Christian Friday night in a battle of two of the top Class A-Private programs. The Paladins are 4-0 for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
Fellowship’s shutout was its second straight after downing B.E.S.T Academy 42-0 Sept. 25.
The Paladins received touchdown runs from Josh Cole and Garret Wagner in the first quarter to go up 13-0. Murphy Reeves added an 18-yard score in the third, and a 22-yard touchdown from run from Lawson Haigler in the fourth iced the game.
Fellowship’s shutout win over North Cobb Christian was its third straight in the series between the programs. The Paladins won a 14-0 contest between the squads in the second round of the 2019 state playoffs and pitched a shutout in the prior meeting in 2011.
Fellowship (4-0, 0-0) is on the road again Friday night to kick off Region 6-A play against St. Francis.
King’s Ridge 20, Heritage School 0
King’s Ridge improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2013 and now has as many wins in 2020 as its prior two season combined after downing Heritage School at home Friday night.
The shutout win was the first for the Tigers since 2012 and fifth in the program’s 108 games played.
The Tigers (2-0, 0-0) are in for a test Oct. 9 where they will face top-10 ranked Darlington on the road.
St. Francis 35, Lumpkin County 7
St. Francis earned its first “W” of the season Friday night at home with a lopsided, 35-7 win over Lumpkin County. The win rights the ship for the Knights who had allowed 38 points per game and scored just 23 combined points through three games entering Friday’s matchup.
St. Francis quarterback Jaiden Jenkins hit Jackson Westmoreland for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Knights up 7-0 early. St. Francis’ Jordan Hancock forced a fumble on Lumpkin’s ensuing drive which set up another touchdown throw from Jenkins, this time to Marcellus Hazelton.
Lumpkin scored to cut the lead to 14-7 before the half, but the Knights struck next midway through the third with Jenkins’ third touchdown of the night on a pass to Camden Lusk.
Jenkins added score number four midway through the third with another TD throw to Jake Heintzelman, and Gianni Dorsey ran in from 20-yards out minutes later to seal the Knights’ win.
St. Francis (1-3, 0-0) is home again Oct. 9 and kick off their Region 6-A schedule against top-10 ranked Fellowship Christian.
Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools 8-man football
Pinecrest Academy 32, Southern Christian 7