• One defending champ falls, another pulls it out in OT

    By: Todd Holcomb


    One defending state champion and No. 1-ranked team, Hapeville Charter, went down Friday night while another, Blessed Trinity, won in overtime, and Valdosta, Kell and Cedar Grove won critical region games on a weekend when some 25 games were rescheduled because of Hurricane Michael, which took a toll on southwestern Georgia.

    Hapeville, the No. 1 team in Class AA, was beaten by Allatoona, the No. 9 team in AAAAA, 23-14. Hapeville had allowed only three points total during a 6-0 start and won 19 straight games. 

    Blessed Trinity, the No. 1 team in AAAA, defeated No. 9 Flowery Branch 21-20 in overtime. Flowery Branch attempted a two-point conversion in the first overtime, but a pass fell incomplete. Blessed Trinity (7-0, 3-0) plays at No. 6 Marist (7-1, 4-0) in two weeks for what could decide the Region 7-AAAA title. Flowery Branch fell to 6-1, 2-1. 

    In AAAAAAA, No. 9 Marietta (3-4, 2-0) beat unranked but dangerous McEachern for the first time since 2007, ending a 10-game losing streak against the Indians. The final was 28-27. McEachern, beaten last week by No. 8 Hillgrove, lost consecutive region games for the first time since 2007. 

    No. 6 Valdosta of AAAAAA defeated No. 8 Coffee 37-22. Valdosta (5-3, 2-0) validated polls that kept the Wildcats in the rankings after three lopsided losses to larger schools. Coffee, the 2017 state runner-up, fell to 6-2 overall, 0-2 in Region 1. 

    Kell upset No. 4 Carrollton 31-10 in game in 7-AAAAA, perhaps the classification’s toughest region. It also houses No. 1 Rome (8-0, 6-0). Kell quarterback Evan Conley had a big night, rushing for 165 yards and passing for 188. Kell is now 5-2, 3-2. 

    A and is now that region’s clear frontrunner. Cedar Grove is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in the region. 

    Creekside scored a wild victory over Mays - 49-48. Creekside was 0-10 last season but is now 4-3 overall, 4-1 in Region 5-AAAAAA. Mays (3-4, 3-2) is the region’s defending champion.

    Several games will be played on Saturday, moved because of weather. The main event among those is No. 1 Lee County at Northside-Warner Robins at 4 p.m.

    Next Up: