Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AA in brief: Fitzgerald exits rankings

For the first time in three weeks, the Class AA rankings have a new look. With No. 10 Fitzgerald suffering a loss to Tift County, it dropped to 1-4 and exited the rankings, possibly signaling an end of a great run the Purple Hurricane enjoyed over the previous three seasons in which they reached the title game in 2015 and '16 and the semifinals in 2014.

The Purple Hurricane finally enter region play and still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs for an 18th consecutive season, but they're in Region 1 with No. 6 Thomasville and No. 7 Brooks County, and if they lose to both teams, they would be in danger of their first losing season since 1999.

The Purple Hurricane's exit from the polls cleared a spot for the Heard County Braves, who take Fitzgerald's spot at No. 10. The Braves are 5-1 and on a four-game win streak. They last played on Sept. 22 and beat Temple 35-14. Their only loss of the season was 17-14 to Saraland (Alabama), which is currently the Alabama Sports Writers Association's No. 10 team in AAAAAA.

The Braves' don't play again until Oct. 13, when they go against the No. 5 Callaway Cavaliers in a Region 5 showdown. Having an additional week off should preserve the Braves' place in the rankings until that game, but a loss to the Cavs could spell an exit form the polls. Callaway is 4-0 against the Braves since 2013.

Aside from the 10-spot, the rankings remain the same.

For a breakdown of AA games played in Week 7, go here.

Here’s a glimpse at the updated rankings, with the previous week’s rankings in parenthesis:

1. (1) Benedictine (6-0)

2. (2) Hapeville Charter (4-1)

3. (3) Screven County (5-0)

4. (4) Rabun County (5-0)

5. (5) Callaway (5-0)

6. (6) Thomasville (5-0)

7. (7) Brooks County (5-0)

8. (8) Jefferson County (6-0)

9. (9) Dodge County (5-0)

10. (NR) Heard County (5-1)

In brief

  • WSAV breaks down the play of top-ranked Benedictine's quarterback, Nick Iannone, a recent episode of the "Tuesday Blitz Countdown." WSAV also highlights the Cadets' win over Bryan County.
  • Iannone also received a Savannah Quarterback Club award recently.
  • The Douglass Astros have released a few well-produced videos here and here . The Astros are 3-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 6, vying for their first back-to-back seasons of reaching the playoffs since 2004-05.
  • AccessWDUN highlights No. 4 Rabun County's 45-7 win over Banks County at the 1:37 mark of this highlight reel.
  • The Toombs County Bulldogs are 5-0 after beating Jeff Davis 38-14. ToombsNow has complete game coverage here . Up next: 0-4 Bryan County.
  • WJBF named Josey's Dakale Fluellen's touchdown pass to Myron Godbee as its No. 2 Play of the Week and also provides coverage of Region 4 here .
  • The Elbert County Blue Devils are heating up. They beat Social Circle 52-8 on Friday, and that followed up a 56-7 win over Putnam County. They're 5-1, 2-0 in Region 8 and play Rabun County in two weeks.
  • The Rockmart Yellow Jackets are another team to keep an eye on . They've posted back-to-back shutouts over Region 7 opponents Dade County and Chattooga, winning by a combined score of 80-0. They're on bye this week before facing Pepperell in a game that could decide the No. 1 seed.
  • WMAZ has highlights of Dodge County's 36-13 win over Northeast.
  • The No. 2 Hapeville Hornets apparently think they belong in the No. 1 spot and recently tweeted as much to this blog recently. A tweet like this coming from a fan is expected, but it's somewhat of a shock to get it from an account claiming to be the "Official Twitter of Hapeville Charter Hornets." For one, the Hornets are ranked where they should be, as the defending-state champion Cadets are cruising with an undefeated record and 20-game win streak. It's their spot to lose. Secondly, regular season high school rankings are strictly fan entertainment and carry no weight on who makes the postseason. Playoff seeding is determined by region record, and if the Hornets take care of business and earn a No. 1 seed, and the Cadets do the same, they'll play each other in the state quarterfinals. But until then, or until Benedictine slips, the Hornets will have to settle for No. 2.
  • Pepperell's Blake Milam recently pulled in a one-handed interception . While a one-handed interception will happen from time to time, what makes Milam's unique is that he was born with just one hand.

“AA in brief” runs every Tuesday. Is there something you’d like to see in this space? Follow and reach out to us on Twitter.

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