Top teams look strong in week 5.
What did we learn from Class AAA in Week 5?
Peach sizzled late; the Saints marched in; Mills looks like new, and Pace rolled a Stone.
No. 4 Peach County (3-1) faced a potential shutout but turned things around by coming from behind to win 20-19 against Class AAAA No. 5 Mary Persons (3-2). The Trojans trailed 19-0 entering the fourth quarter. Peach struggled in the first half with several dropped passes and special-teams errors, but shifted momentum late in the game.
“We still have a long way to go,” Peach coach Chad Campbell said Saturday morning. “We made some bone-headed mistakes in the first half. We couldn’t catch a cold in that half and couldn’t make plays.”
All that changed in the fourth quarter when the Peach County offense got rolling. The Trojans kept drives alive by completing two fourth-down plays in the final minutes. The game-winning play came on fourth-and-12 with 3:16 remaining, when quarterback Antonio Gilbert completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Devontae Howard.
“This is a great spring-board into region play, and we will enjoy it,” Campbell said. “But it is in the past, and we have to get ready for region.”
Peach County will face Westside-Macon (1-2) Friday in a Region 4 game.
Here were other games that mattered:
— No. 3 Cedar Grove (3-1, 1-0) beat No. 7 Lovett (2-2, 0-1) 28-21 in a Region 5 game. The Saints overcame 23 penalties for 210 yards — a 19-yard touchdown pass was called back — by relying on running back Grant Walker, who rushed for 211 yards on 28 carries.
Coach Jermaine Smith praised his teams’ effort after trailing 14-7 at halftime.
“We learned so much about adversity and we continue to fight,” Smith told the AJC’s Adam Krohn following Cedar Grove’s win. “The guys did a good job not worrying about the outside noise and just focusing on the game and focusing on their job. From the linebackers to the quarterback to the coaches, everyone did their job.”
Cedar Grove will travel to Westminster (2-2, 1-0) next week. Lovett heads to Towers (1-2).
— Top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian (3-1) defeated St. Pius X (0-4) 37-7 in Davis Mills’ first home game of the season after overcoming a knee injury that threatened to keep him sidelined until the playoffs. Mills, a Super 11 selection, has committed to Stanford.
“(He) looks good,” said GAC coach Tim Hardy after the win. “Last week we didn’t know until midweek if he was going to be able to play, and he played fine. He really looked comfortable, like himself tonight.”
Mills completed 13 of 15 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for another.
Hardy and the Spartans faced a tough start to the season after losing Mills, but salvaged victories against Lovett and Westminster in their first two games. They lost last week in Colorado to Valor Christian.
“We just needed to take a step, and I feel like we took a step,” Hardy said.
— No. 2 Pace Academy (3-1, 1-0) defeated Stone Mountain (1-3, 0-1) 44-20 in another Region 5 game. The Knights will face Redan (1-3, 0-1) next week.
In other top-10 games, No. 6 Calhoun defeated Coahulla Creek 57-12 to improve to 2-2. The Yellow Jackets face North Murray (3-1) next week. … No. 8 Westminster (2-2, 1-0) moved past Redan 45-13 in another Region 5 matchup. … On Thursday, No. 9 Crisp County defeated Rutland 49-14.