Observations from Week One in the high class. Still no clear sense of where things are headed.
-Grayson, the defending champion, opens Saturday against Alabama’s best, Hoover. Grayson lost most of its starters but returns one of the most talented junior classes maybe ever.
-No. 2 Colquitt County blew a 13-0 halftime lead Saturday but won on a long drive and held No. 9 Norcross to minus-12 yards rushing in the 20-17 victory. Colquitt has a new QB and new defensive scheme. Both looked sharp most of the time.
-No. 3 Roswell, the two-time state runner-up, lost 17-14 in overtime to South Forsyth. OLB/DE Ryan LaFlamme had 3.5 behind-the-line tackles for 21 yards in losses for S.F. Roswell lost a ton to graduate and its coach to Buford. It might take time to re-set. But don’t underestimate South Forsyth. The War Eagles have won three playoff games the past two seasons.
-No. 4 Lowndes (soon to be moving up) thrashed defending AAAAAA champion Valdosta 45-0. That’s the most lopsided game in that series’ history. Defense was supposed to be Lowndes’ weakness. Not Friday in Winnersville.
-No. 7 Mill Creek beat No. 5 McEachern 23-19 in a strange game. McEachern led 19-7 at halftime, and it wasn’t that close. McEachern had over 300 yards in total offense at that point, and Mill Creek had run a punt 97 yards. Then Mill Creek dominated the second half with drives of 80 and 96 yards. Mill Creek has won 26 straight regular-season games, and McEachern is the seventh ranked opponent to fall during that streak.
-Unranked Archer beat No. 6 Brookwood 25-17. Brookwood returned 10 offensive starters from an 8-4 team, so expectations were high. But Archer returned 10 defensive starters and held Brookwood to 30 yards rushing. Archer was 4-7 last season. The Maxwell Ratings
-No. 8 Parkview beat Peachtree Ridge 50-13. Fred Payton, who was Peachtree Ridge’s quarterback last season, is playing for Parkview now, and he threw for 160 yards. Parkview ran the ball well despite not having star RB Christian Malloy.
-No. 10 Westlake opens this week against Hughes. Hard to gauge the Lions. They returned six first-team all-region players from a state semifinal team, but it’s not the strongest region.
-If there are open spots in the Top 10, look for North Cobb, South Forsyth, Archer, Marietta or Walton-North Gwinnett winner to fill any vacancies.