In the first quarter of Cartersville’s 62-0 win over Chapel Hill Friday night, quarterback Trevor Lawrence broke the state record set by Deshaun Watson for career yardage. Lawrence needed just 105 yards to tie the record and finished the first half of action with 283 yards, four touchdowns off 17-of-23 passing and a 49-0 lead. Below the top-ranked Purple Hurricanes, the classification saw by far the most eventful week of this 2017 season.
The region action started early in 1-AAAA with a pair of Thursday night matchups. Americus-Sumter held off Hardaway 55-41 to move to 5-0 in region play and Columbus scored a huge 36-13 win over Carver-Columbus to join the defeated Tigers and Hardaway at 2-3. Cairo (4-1) and Northside-Columbus (4-1) are now a full two games ahead of the three-way tie for fourth place (Carver-Columbus, Columbus, Hardaway) and have locked up playoff spots. Now it will be a fight for the finish for the No. 4 seed for these three teams.
In Region 2, Howard was Week 9’s biggest winner, scoring a 22-21 victory at Upson-Lee. The win moved Howard to 6-2 overall and more importantly put the Huskies at 2-1 in region play. Mary Persons sits alone at 3-0 in region play after beating West Laurens and dropping them at 2-1. Spalding, which plays Howard next week sits at 1-2 with Upson-Lee.
In Region 3, Burke County (3-0) will host Thomson (3-0) next week for the region title, while Baldwin, Hephzibah and Richmond Academy all sit at 1-2 in a battle with just two playoff spots remaining.
Woodward Academy clinched the Region 4 title Friday night with a 57-22 win over Druid Hills. Eastside observed its bye week at 3-1 while North Clayton’s 8-7 win over Salem Friday improved the Eagles to 3-1. North Clayton will face Henry County next Friday and then could potentially close the regular season against Eastside with a chance at the No. 2 seed.
In Region 5, Cartersville will be off next week and is just waiting for its season finale against Troup. Troup’s potent offense struggled against Cedartown on Friday and the Tigers fell 21-18 for their first loss of the year. Troup will play 3-5 Central-Carroll this week and a win would still make the season finale against Cartersville Region 5’s championship matchup regardless how favored the Canes would be in it.
Ridgeland can clinch the Region 6 title next week against 0-8 Gilmer since the Panthers already beat Heritage-Catoosa (4-1) and all the other Region 6 teams have at least 2 losses in region play. This will be an exciting playoff race to keep an eye on as Northwest Whitfield, Southeast Whitfield and Pickens battle for the final two spots beneath Heritage and the Panthers.
Marist held off Blessed Trinity 25-24 to move to 8-0 on the season and the War Eagles can eliminate Chestatee from the playoffs next week with a victory and guarantee a postseason appearance for White County and West Hall in the five-team region.
Saving the best for last; Region 8 saw an incredible weekend that not only shook its standings, but was felt in the latest classification rankings. St. Pius took control of the region with a massive 43-29 win over ranked Jefferson. The Golden Lions will face 1-7 North Oconee next week before closing the season against Madison County. Madison County already lost 49-0 to Jefferson, so the Dragons should be safe for the No. 2 seed. Last year, St. Pius was 0-8 after a 24-0 loss to Jefferson and then snuck into the playoffs with a 2-8 record after closing out wins over North Oconee and Madison County. Now, St. Pius rides a three-game winning streak into its final two weeks.
Week 9 Results
Americus-Sumter 55, Hardaway 41
Cairo 39, Westover 6
Columbus 36, Carver-Columbus 13
Northside-Columbus 7, Shaw 0
Howard 22, Upson-Lee 21
Mary Persons 28, West Laurens 9
Spalding 31, Perry 7
Burke County 32, Baldwin 14
Thomson 44, Cross Creek 14
Richmond Academy 17, Hephzibah 0
Henry County 38, Druid Hills 21
Woodward Academy 57, Luella 22
North Clayton 8, Salem 7
Cartersville 62, Chapel Hill 0
Cedartown 21, Troup 18
Sandy Creek 41, LaGrange 0
Northwest Whitfield 51, Gilmer 0
Heritage-Catoosa 49, LaFayette 13
Ridgeland 55, Pickens 21
Southeast Whitfield BYE
Marist 25, Blessed Trinity 24
White County 56, Chestatee 27
West Hall BYE
St. Pius 43, Jefferson 29
Madison County 21, North Oconee 9
Stephens County 24, Oconee County 17