Three big Class AAAAAAA games were decided by dramatic fourth-quarter comebacks on a night when two defending state champions went down, another gave up 51 points and still won, and the state’s longest losing streak ended.
The champions that lost were Clinch County of Class A and North Gwinnett of the high class.
Clinch, ranked No. 1 in the public-school division, lost to No. 2 Irwin County 17-3. Irwin also beat the Panthers in the 2017 regular season, and Clinch then got revenge in the state championship, so look for more chapters in that story.
North Gwinnett, meanwhile, was the victim of one of those fourth-quarter comebacks.
Dominick Blaylock, a wide receiver, scored on a 11-yard run out of the wildcat formation with 32 seconds left – the AJC Super 11 player’s third touchdown - to give second-ranked Walton (4-0) the 27-24 victory in a game televised by ESPN2. (Read Chip Saye’s story from the game.) North (2-2) was ranked No. 5 and had lost to Florida power Wekiva.
In another AAAAAAA thriller, sixth-ranked Parkview beat Tift County 31-28 in Tifton. Parkview (3-0) trailed 28-17 entering the fourth quarter. Cody Brown scored on a seven-yard run with about three minutes left for the winning touchdown.
Roswell upset third-ranked Milton 22-20 after trailing 20-10 midway in the fourth quarter. From there, Ethan Roberts threw two touchdown passes, one to Jeremy Slaughter, then an 8-yarder to Kamonty Jett in the final seconds for the final 22-20 edge. (Read Adam Krohn’s story the game.)
In a Class AAAAA showdown, defending champ Rome defeated No. 4 Carrollton 65-51. The high-powered teams put up 1,259 yards of total offense – 685 by Rome, 574 by Carrollton. Rome’s Jamious Griffin rushed for 285 yards, Knox Kadum passed for 287 yards, and Xavier Roberts-Donaldson had 248 yards receiving.
In other games, Coahulla Creek broke a 27-game losing streak, longest active skid in the state, with a 35-7 victory over Murray County. The Colts of Dalton hadn’t won since Oct. 9, 2015, against Gordon Central.
No. 1 Colquitt County of AAAAAAAA beat No. 3 Warner Robins 41-14. Colquitt sacked Warner Robins quarterback Dylan Fromm eight times.
No. 5 St. Pius upset No. 2 Marist 17-0 in AAAA. St. Pius broke a three-game losing streak in that rivalry.
East Paulding upset No. 7 Kell of AAAAA 33-31 in a Region 7 opener. That’’s the region that includes Carrollton and Rome, so any slipup is dangerous.
No. 8 Wayne County of AAAAA beat No. 6 Glynn Academy of AAAAAA 29-14. It was the second straight time that Wayne had beaten the No. 6 team from the second-highest class. Last week, it was Richmond Hill. Wayne had lost to Glynn four straight times.
No. 6 Troup of AAAA beat No. 2 Callaway of AA 37-20 in a Spalding County rivalry game.
No. 4 Mary Persons of AAAA beat No. 3 Peach County of AAA 35-21. Mary Persons had lost seven straight to Peach, last winning in 2002.
Brooks County beat No. 8 Dublin of AA 13-10. Brooks, a perennial contender, had fallen out of the top 10 after losing badly to Clinch County.
Christian Heritage beat No. 3 Mount Zion of Class A public 30-22. It was the first-ever victory over a top-10 opponent for Christian Heritage, which is unranked in Class A private but 4-0 for the first time.
Tucker, the No. 9 team in AAAAAA, defeated Mundy’s Mill 36-35 in overtime. That would’ve been the first time Tucker has lost as a ranked team to an unranked opponent in the regular season since 2006, when St. Pius did it.
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