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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

7A in review: Most regions now have clear front-runners

Several teams are just one week into their region schedules, but five regions came into focus with the results of Friday night. Virtually every region has either one clear team to beat now, or a pair that has separated itself.

Here is a wrapup of how some of those regions took shape Friday. Lots of tight games. Not much happened in regions 1, 7 and 8 Friday, so the focus is on the other five.

*Westlake (3-3, 1-0) became the front-runner in Region 2 with a 14-12 victory over East Coweta (4-2, 0-1). Westlake has won three straight region titles, and East Coweta, the 2016 runner-up, appeared to be the Lions’ toughest challenger. In other games, Pebblebrook (3-3, 1-0), seeking its first winning season since 2009, beat Campbell (2-4, 0-1) 37-21. Newnan (2-4, 1-0) beat Wheeler (2-4, 0-1) 45-20.

*Woodstock (4-2, 1-0) and Roswell (2-4, 1-1) won tight, high-scoring games and emerged as the top contenders to challenge fourth-ranked Walton (6-0, 1-0) in Region 4. Woodstock beat Cherokee County rival Etowah 38-35. Roswell beat Lassiter 36-30. The Roswell-Lassiter game was the more interesting result of the two. Roswell, the defending region champion but replacing some 20 starters and a head coach, had started 1-4 and suffered a 40-7 loss to arch-rival Milton last week. Lassiter began 4-0. Roswell is at home against Walton next week.

*McEachern (4-2, 1-0) and Hillgrove (4-2, 1-0), cross-town arch rivals from Powder Springs, are now the leading contenders in Region 3. McEachern defeated North Cobb (4-2, 0-1) 27-21. Hillgrove beat previously unbeaten North Paulding (5-1, 0-1) 16-14. It’s a deep region that figures to have tight games the rest of the way. But the Powder Springs pair has a way of rising to the top. McEachern has beaten North Cobb eight of the last nine times. Hillgrove is 4-0 all-time against North Paulding. Marietta (5-1, 1-0) beat Kennesaw Mountain (4-2, 0-1) 44-28 in the other region game and could become a factor, especially if its star quarterback, Harrison Bailey, returns from injury in time. Marietta is at home to Hillgrove next week.

*With a 63-0 win, Brookwood (4-2, 2-0) put reality back into the feel-good story of Meadowcreek (6-0, 2-1). Chauncey Williams, the state’s leading rusher, was held to 52 yards rushing on 23 carries. Brookwood’s Dante Black rushed for 147 on nine carries. Brookwood and Parkview (4-2, 2-0) will square off Oct. 27 for what looks like a region-title matchup.

*South Forsyth and Milton won their Region 5 openers and are set to do battle next week at Milton for what could decided the region title. South Forsyth (6-0, 1-0) beat Lambert 38-0. That’s significant because Lambert was the only region team to beat South last year, and it cost South the region title. Milton (5-1, 1-0) edged West Forsyth 17-13. West is probably the No. 3 team in the region, so that was a nice win for Milton, which showed its mettle last week in a 40-7 torching of Roswell.

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