SUWANEE — Mill Creek stifled Collins Hill in a 24-7 victory, clinching the No. 2 seed in Region 6-AAAAAAA and locking up a first-round home game in the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs — their sixth straight season hosting the state opener. Only a fumbled punt that gave Collins Hill deep field position prevented a shutout for the No. 8 state-ranked Hawks, whose first-round opponent will be Newton.
Ronald Clarke and Caleb Downs also intercepted passes for Mill Creek (8-2, 5-1 region), which got two turnovers on fumble recoveries in its sixth straight win over Collins Hill (6-4, 4-2), which will travel to Archer next week.
Chancellor Lee-Parker carried 21 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and Parker Wroble rushed six times for 91 yards along with six catches for 31 yards. Thurman Harris completed 4 of 5 passes in the second half and rushed for a score.
Lanier 41, Gainesville 38
GAINESVILLE — Junior Tyler Washington had 226 receiving yards and three touchdowns, including a 74-yard touchdown reception with 1:23 remaining to give the No. 7 Lanier a 41-38 win over Gainesville on Friday night at Bobby Gruhn Field.
The Longhorns (9-1, 5-1) trailed 38-28 with under three minutes to go, but Washington’s touchdown capped a frantic late comeback that resulted in a thrilling win, and the home first-round playoff game against Sprayberry next week that goes with it.
Taj Barnes also had a 60-yard TD run for Lanier.
Archer 42, Shiloh 14
SNELLVILLE — It’’s difficult to say that a football game decided by 28 points came down to a handful of plays.
Yet, that is at least a partially-accurate assessment of Archer’s 42-14 win over Shiloh on Friday night at Shiloh Community Stadium, which helped the No. 9 state-ranked Tigers (7-3, 4-1) lock up the No. 2 playoff spot from Region 8-AAAAAAA, and a first-round home game against Collins Hill next week.
Of course, the 379 yards on the ground that Archer rolled up, including 157 with two touchdowns on 12 carries from Jordan Swain and 136 yards and a score on 18 carries, also played a big role.
Arthur Rodgers Jr. finished with 131 yards on 23 carries for Shiloh (7-3, 2-3), and the Generals will open their first state playoff appearance since 2003 next week by traveling to No. 4 North Gwinnett.
Dacula 61, Winder-Barrow 31
WINDER — If there were any doubts Dacula would suffer a letdown following last week’s huge Region 8-AAAAAA win over Lanier, they were soon erased.
The AAAAAA top-ranked Dacula Falcons defeated the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs 61-34 on Friday night.
Kaleb Edwards had a big game for the visiting Falcons, who will host Dalton in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs next week, by running for 190 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns.
Trenton Jones also ran for three TDs, while Kyle Efford scored twice in the ground.
Parkview 38, Central Gwinnett 14
LILBURN — Parkview head coach Eric Godfree, his succession of Cecil Flowe hit its first major milestone Friday night as his Panthers beat Central Gwinnett 38-14 and notched his 100th career coaching victory, 47 of which have come at his alma mater.
The final score didn't indicate it, but from the first whistle, the issue was never in doubt as the Panthers (9-1, 6-0 in Region 7-AAAAAAA), who will host West Forsyth in the first round of the playoffs next week, controlled both lines of scrimmage through most of the game.
Parkview was led by Tyler Curtis with 11 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns, while Bryce Fleetwood had three catches for 41 yards.
Skylar Adams finished the game going 20-for-36 for 230 yards, while Daejon Reynolds had 11 catches for 116 yards for Central (3-7, 3-3). Justin Wilkins also finished the game with 134 total yards and two touchdowns for the Black Knights, who travel to defending state champion Milton in next week’s state playoffs.
Grayson 35, South Gwinnett 7
LOGANVILLE — Grayson scored on a 58-yard reverse on its first play from scrimmage and rolled to a 35-7 win over South Gwinnett in the regular-season finale Friday.
The Rams (9-1, 5-0 in Region 8-AAAAAAA), who will host Mountain View in a first-round state playoff game next week, scored five times in the first half and never started deeper in their territory than the 42.
Smith caught another TD and LaFayette Gurvin Jr. ran for two more. Quarterback C.J. Dixon, who finished with 132 first-half yards, connected with Marsyas Fox on another one-play drive. Fox scooped up the pass along the sideline and broke for the end zone on a 51-yard score to close the first half.
South Gwinnett was playing without injured quarterback Tre Truitt, and senior receiver Deshaun Robinson stepped into the fill the role, connecting with Nigel Hussey for a 32-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
GAC 42, Fannin Co. 21
BLUE RIDGE — Greater Atlanta Christian beat Fannin County 42-21 on Friday and claimed its sixth straight region championship — the second longest active streak in the state.
The fourth-ranked Spartans (9-1, 6-0 in Region 7-AAA), who will host Pace Academy in the first round of the playoffs next week, led 35-14 at the half before pulling most of its starters.
Norcross 37, Meadowcreek 7
NORCROSS — Norcross has a statement to make in Class AAAAAAA: Anyone who writes off the Blue Devils' state championship hopes might be eating their words down the road.
Their 5-5 regular-season record won't turn heads, but their recent play just might. They enter the postseason with a four-game win streak after Friday's 37-7 triumph over region foe Meadowcreek.
Jaylen Green caught three passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns as Norcross (5-5, 5-1 Region 7-AAAAAAA) jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter and never looked back.
Fueled by Green's two scores, Mason Kaplan's 10-of-15, 187-yard passing performance and Jahni Clarke's 104 yards on the ground, the Blue Devils, who host South Forsyth next week in the state playoffs, are hitting their stride at just the right time.
Brookwood 54, Lakeside-DeKalb 0
ATLANTA — The visiting Brookwood Broncos, behind three rushing touchdowns from senior Manny Fernandez, scored on their first five possessions, led 34-0 at halftime and defeated the Lakeside-DeKalb Vikings 54-0 Friday. Brookwood (5-5, 4-2 Region 7-AAAAAAA) opens the state playoffs next Friday on the road against North Forsyth.
Mountain View 55, Duluth 6
DULUTH — With a playoff berth clinched, Mountain View looked to fine tune things before starting the postseason on the road next week.
The Bears struck early and often, cruising to a 55-6 win Friday night over Duluth at Cecil Morris Stadium in its final Region 7-AAAAAAA game of the season.
Mountain View (5-5, 3-3), which will travel to No. 3 Grayson next week, needed just three plays to start the scoring when receiver Mossiah Carter beat man coverage and caught an over-the-shoulder pass from Nathan Payne for a 7-0 score.
The duo would hook up again on another pass play later in the quarter, this one from 66 yards out to extend its lead to 14-0.
Carter amassed 116 receiving yards on four first-half catches.
Peachtree Ridge 25, Discovery 7
SUWANEE — Peachtree Ridge's combination of stubborn defense and a dominant run game led the Lions back into the win column Friday night in a 25-7 victory over Discovery.
Ashton Turner led the Peachtree Ridge rushing attack with 153 yards on 15 carries, while the Lions’ (3-7, 2-4) defense allowed a mere 135 yards of total offense, including only 64 rushing yards on 26 attempts.
Wesleyan 27, Trinity Christian 6
SHARPSBURG — In a battle of teams even in the region standings with eerily similar results, Wesleyan defeated Trinity Christian 27-6 on Friday night.
The Wolves (8-2, 5-2) await the machinations of the murky Class A power rankings. They entered the game rated eighth, which is good for a first-round bye. Trinity Christian was 10th. Theoretically a definitive win should mean Wesleyan is off next Friday and hosts its second-round game. But a handful of other results, particularly Fellowship Christian's 42-7 upset of Darlington, could play havoc with the ratings.
Clarke Central 31, Buford 28
ATHENS — Clarke Central intercepted a pass in the end zone with nine seconds left, sealing a huge upset over top-ranked Buford and claiming the Region 8-AAAAA title.
Buford's first loss of the season denied it a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs, but it was even more monumental given the history of it.
The Wolves saw a 47-game winning streak in region competition end — their last loss to a region foe was a forfeit loss Oct. 5, 2012 loss to West Hall (a game it won 61-0). Buford's last loss on the field in a region game was Sept. 11, 2009 — a 28-21 loss to Lovett.
Buford ran the ball well, but failed to find consistency on offense with a mostly one-dimensional attack. Leading rusher Gabe Ervin Jr. had 19 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns, while Elijah Turner had 13 carries for 125 yards and a TD.
Athens Academy 50, Hebron Christian 21
DACULA — Hebron Christian stayed within striking distance of Athens Academy in Friday’s matchup for the Region 8-A championship. But the Spartans’ offense never stopped and eventually gave them the boost to finish off a 50-21 win against the Lions to claim the crown.
The win came a week after both teams met at Hebron for what was basically a scrimmage with the subregion titles clinched and Friday’s matchup already set. Hebron (6-4) looked better this week with its starters playing, but Athens Academy (10-0) looked even better with its first string going the whole game.
Riverside Military Academy 42, Providence Christian 0
GAINESVILLE — Riverside Military Academy got off to a quick start and defeated Providence Christian 42-0 in the season finale for the Storm on Friday.
Evan O'Leary led Providence with 154 yards on 11 carries.
The injury-plagued Storm used three different quarterbacks. Freshman Connor Jones starter. Ryan Rose, the No. 1 for most of the season, tried to go but was still to hampered by an ankle injury. Pierce Phillips stepped in to take over in the second half.