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Murphy: Another season of shocks

POSTED: September 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

There’s never a week that goes by in the high school football season, where fans don’t have to say, "Did that really just happen?"

Every week it seems at least one game has gone in a direction that wasn’t anticipated. It’s not always an upset win that grabs an onlookers attention. Some of the biggest shockers are the manner in which teams cruise to a victory.

This season has been no exception. We’ve seen plenty of games through four weeks of the high school schedule that have changed the tide of the entire season.

In Week 1, we saw Gainesville charge out of the gates with a five-touchdown win against Chestatee. I have no doubts that victory gave notice to all of Region 7-AAA that Class AAA’s No. 8 ranked Red Elephants (4-0) are for real.

Since then, Gainesville hasn’t let up in its dominance, allowing only two touchdowns in four games. Gainesville’s win in Week 1, combined with Flowery Branch’s loss to Stephens County, started to change the hierarchy for the rest of the season. The Red Elephants have a legitimate shot at this stage of finishing the regular season undefeated.

Riverside Military (3-1, 2-1 Region 8-AA) made the biggest news in Week 2 with a 28-point victory against Banks County.

The Eagles were a mystery up to that point with the transition back to the GHSA from the GISA. I don’t think anyone is going to take Riverside Military for granted now in that region.

Riverside Military plays host to East Jackson on Friday night, then visits Jefferson (4-0, 3-0) on Oct. 3 in a game that could make-or-break the Eagles shot at a region title this season.

Jefferson asserted its own legitimacy in Week 3 with a win against defending Region 8-AA champion Fannin County. The Dragons made their own move this season, up to Class AA from a long stint in Class A. Jefferson has probably played the toughest stretch of its schedule already with wins against Commerce, Dawson County, Fannin County and Oglethorpe County. Jefferson’s only difficult tests on its schedule left are against the Eagles and North Oconee. It would be a surprise if the Dragons weren’t able to lock down home field advantage to start the playoffs.

The biggest surprise in Week 4 was White County’s (2-2) victory over previously undefeated West Hall (3-1). The Warriors have been a little up-and-down so far in the season, but still have as good of a chance as anyone to pull out the subregion title in a wide open Region 7A-AAA. Four teams realistically have a shot of securing a playoff spot out of that side of the region.

While we’re talking about surprises, what about West Forsyth (4-0) and Creekview (0-3)? Anyone that said they knew West Forsyth would be undefeated heading into subregion play is telling a lie. When the Wolverines hung 77 points on Adairsville in Week 2, I think everyone raised an eye brow.

And Creekview is playing much better than the record indicates. The Grizzlies lost to Class AAAA’s Sequoyah by 1, took Flowery Branch down to the wire, and almost knocked off West Forsyth for their first win last week. Creekview has a chance to pick up its first win against North Hall (1-2) on Friday night at The Brickyard.

Those are just some of the games that have changed the complexion of the high school football season. I’m sure we’ll have more of the same with seven more weeks remaining in the regular season. That’s what makes high school football so interesting.



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