Surprising results from high school football this week

Battle in Gwinnett: South Gwinnett vs. Brookwood

1. Champions fall: For just the second time in state history, four defending champions lost on the same night. They were Milton (lost to Buford 26-23), Lee County (40-17 vs. Peach County), Blessed Trinity (13-10 vs. Woodward Academy) and Heard County (61-7 vs. Hapeville Charter). That's the worst night for reigning champions since Oct. 5, 1979, when Valdosta, Griffin, Westminster and Buford lost. (Griffin and Valdosta were co-champions of AAAA in 1978.)

2. Hart County 40, Commerce 20: Hart County improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2014 with its first victory over Commerce since 1955, ending an 0-12-1 drought in the series, which Commerce leads 12-3-1. The Bulldogs started 0-3 last season against the same opening schedule, which included games against Elbert County and Stephens County.

3. Cherokee Bluff 37, Johnson (Gainesville) 7: Cherokee Bluff, a second-year school in Hall County, picked up the first victory in program history, winning by 30 against an opponent that was projected as a 30-point favorite. Cherokee Bluff went 0-10 in 2018, including a 34-13 loss to Johnson, and lost to Whitefield Academy and Denmark earlier this season.

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4. South Gwinnett 35, Brookwood 21: South Gwinnett, a 14-point underdog, trailed 14-0 early but rallied to win the "Battle of Snellville" and improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2016. South Gwinnett trails the series 28-9 but has won five of the past nine meetings. The Comets are seeking their fourth consecutive playoff berth, which would be a school record.

5. M.L. King 40, Arabia Mountain 6: M.L. King is 2-0 for the first time since 2013 after a 34-point victory in a game that was seen as a toss-up by the Maxwell Ratings. M.L. King was 1-9 in 2018 and has had just one winning record since 10-win seasons in 2011 and 2012. Arabia Mountain, which beat the Lions 21-0 last year, is 0-3 for the first time since 2015.

Worth noting: Allatoona ended Creekview's 16-game winning streak in regular-season games with a 37-7 victory in the teams' Region 6-AAAAAA opener. Creekview, which won the first region title in school history last season, was a six-point underdog. ... Bowdon, a 1-9 team last year in its first season under coach Richard Fendley Jr., is 3-0 for the first time since 2013 after a 24-7 victory over Monticello. Bowdon is allowing just eight points per game after giving up an average of 22.5 in 2018. ... Central (Talbotton) ended an 11-game losing streak that was tied for fourth-longest in school history with a 26-19 win over 10-point favorite Crawford County. Central lost to Crawford twice (35-0 and 33-13) during an 0-10 2018 season. ... East Jackson, in its first season under coach Cameron Pettus, is 2-0 for the first time since 2009 after beating Oglethorpe County 30-7. East Jackson won more than one game in a season only once (4-6 in 2016) in the past seven years. ... McDonough, previously known as Henry County, picked up the first victory under its new name when it beat McIntosh 33-32. McDonough (1-1) was a four-point favorite. Henry County went 4-7 and reached the playoffs last season.

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