Coin toss at Cracker Barrel means state's top team hits road for playoffs

by: Todd Holcomb Updated:

North Gwinnett running back C.J. Leggett (7) scores a touchdown over Peachtree Ridge linebacker Alex Byrd (52) during the first half of a high school football game on Nov. 8, 2013, in Suwanee.

It took some luck, but Norcross is the No. 1 seed out of Region 7-AAAAAA for the state playoffs.

The Blue Devils won a rare three-team coin toss Friday night after all the regular-season games were done.

Norcross, North Gwinnett and Collins Hill each finished 7-1 in region play, each going 1-1 against the other two. After their games Friday, all victories, the teams’ three head coaches met at a Cracker Barrel restaurant off I-85 in Suwanee. Each team flipped a coin, and Norcross was the only one to flip tails. Odd-man-out wins.

The No. 2 seed was decided by head-to-head play. Collins Hill defeated North Gwinnett, so Collins Hill will be seeded second, North Gwinnett third.

That means North Gwinnett, the No. 1 in the state in Class AAAAAA will travel to Milton in the first round. The winner is seeded to play at unbeaten Archer of Region 8 in the second round, if Archer wins their opener.

The top two seeds will play at home, Norcross against Etowah, and Collins Hill against Walton.

All three Region 7 teams are considered region champions.

In other AAAAAA news …

- No. 7 Camden County defeated No. 1 Colquitt County 22-15 to clinch Region 1. Camden has won 13 straight region titles, two in 1-AAAAAA. Colquitt remains without a region title since 1999 despite leading the highest classification in playoff victories over the past four seasons.

- Brookwood defeated Grayson 30-27 in overtime in a game that meant the loser was out of the state playoffs in Region 8. Grayson was the 2011 state champion. Brookwood was the 2010 state champion.

- Hillgrove defeated McEachern 31-17 in a game between Powder Springs arch-rivals that decided second place and a home playoff game in Region 4. McEachern quarterback Ty Clemons, once a candidate for state player of the year, was injured, and his status for the playoffs is uncertain.

- Lassiter defeated Etowah 37-20 in a game that decided the Region 5 champion. Etowah would’ve dropped to fifth and out of the playoffs but was saved by Wheeler, which broke a seven-game losing streak and upset Cherokee 30-20.

Here is the Class AAAAAA draw (unofficial):

(R2 #4) Luella at (R4 #1) North Cobb

(R3 #3) Newnan at (R1 #2) Colquitt County

(R7 #4) Peachtree Ridge at (R5 #1) Lassiter

(R6 #3) West Forsyth at (R8 #2) Dacula

(R4 #4) Marietta at (R2 #1) Lovejoy

(R1 #3) Lowndes at (R3 #2) East Coweta

(R5 #4) Etowah at (R7 #1) Norcross

(R8 #3) Brookwood at (R6 #2) Lambert

(R1 #4) Valdosta at (R3 #1) Hughes

(R4 #3) McEachern at (R2 #2) Newton

(R8 #4) South Gwinnett at (R6 #1) Alpharetta

(R5 #3) Walton at (R7 #2) Collins Hill

(R3 #4) Westlake at (R1 #1) Camden County

(R2 #3) Alcovy at (R4 #2) Hillgrove

(R6 #4) North Forsyth at (R8 #1) Archer

(R7 #3) North Gwinnett at (R5 #2) Milton

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