Friday recap: No. 1 Lowndes, Dacula win; Blessed Trinity upsets Marist
Three No. 1-ranked teams played their biggest games and toughest opponents for region championships Friday night.
Two of three escaped with victories while Blessed Trinity reminded the other one, Marist, and the rest of Class AAAA who the two-time defending state champion still is.
In Class AAAAAAA, Lowndes defeated No. 3 Colquitt County 28-17 to claim Region 1 for the second time in three seasons. But Colquitt had won the titles four of the previous five seasons and beaten Lowndes 40-6 in 2018, so the win was sweet for the Vikings, who finished the regular season 10-0. Lowndes will enter the playoffs in two weeks as the team to beat in the highest classification.
In AAAAAA, Dacula (9-0, 4-0) beat Lanier 34-10 in a battle of unbeatens in Gwinnett County. It was the fourth straight region title for Dacula, which is 19-0 in Region 8-AAAAAA since it was formed in 2016. Dacula has never won a state title and had not been ranked No. 1 in an AJC poll until this season.
Blessed Trinity held the line and picked off Class AAAA No. 1 Marist 33-30 in overtime to win Region 7. The Titans, hit heavy by graduation, have found ways to win the past few weeks as they’ve now defeated three region opponents by three points or less. Marist had gone into Friday 9-0 without a real challenge.
Those were among several games around the state Friday that determined region championships.
No. 9 Oconee County (8-1, 3-0) beat North Oconee 35-7 in a Region 8-AAAA game between schools 4.5 miles apart along rural Hog Mountain Road. That marks the first region title for the Warriors since 2015. North Oconee fell to 9-1, 3-1.
Johns Creek defeated Alpharetta 31-16 in a winner-take-all match in Region 7-AAAAAA. Johns Creek (8-1, 7-0) has won the region three of the past four seasons. Alpharetta dropped to 6-3, 6-1.
Others winning region titles with victories Friday were McEachern (3-AAAAAAA), Parkview (7-AAAAAAA), Grayson (8-AAAAAAA), Evans (3-AAAAAA), Mays (5-AAAAAA), Harrison (6-AAAAAA), Jones County (4-AAAAA), Riverwood (6-AAAAA), Woodward Academy (4-AAAA), Crisp County (1-AAA), North Murray (6-AAA), Jefferson County (4-AA), Hapeville Charter (6-AA), Irwin County (2-A) and Holy Innocents’ (5-A).
Those were the first region titles in history for Riverwood (opened in 1995) and North Murray (2009).
Three teams hoping to clinch region titles were sent home disappointed.
Westlake (5-4, 3-1) saw its 23-game winning streak in region play end when beaten 18-13 by Wheeler (4-5, 2-2). Westlake gets another chance to clinch 2-AAAAAAA next week against Campbell (0-9, 0-4).
No. 6 Swainsboro (7-2, 4-1) of AA also will get a mulligan after losing 21-14 to Jeff Davis (7-2, 3-2). It was Jeff Davis’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since 2001. Jeff Davis had lost 21 straight to ranked opponents. Swainsboro can redeem itself in Region 2-AA if the Tigers beat Toombs County (6-2, 3-2) next week.
Thomson (4-5, 2-1) could’ve finished the deal in Region 4-AAAA but lost 37-21 to Burke County (8-2, 3-1). That region now could finish in a three-way tie as Baldwin also has one region loss.
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