After opening the season 1-2, the Norcross Blue Devils have regained the form that made them AAAAAA state champions last season and after a 24-20 win over Peachtree Ridge on Friday night, Norcross is again on top of Region 7.
Norcross (7-2, 6-1) quarterback AJ Bush led his team on a fourth-quarter scoring drive that secured the Blue Devils four-point victory over Peachtree Ridge (6-2, 4-2) as the No. 6 team in the state pulled out a hard fought win over the No. 9 team. The victory, combined with the North Gwinnett loss to Collins Hill, puts the Blue Devils on top of the region standings with two weeks to play in the regular season.
The Blue Devils held a 17-14 advantage at halftime despite four turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play, but the Lions battled back to take the lead in the third quarter and were up 20-17 with just over five minutes to go in the contest. It was then that Bush led his team on a 15-play, 90-yard scoring drive that ended when the senior QB carried the rock the final six-yards with 1:03 left on the clock.
Bush finished the night 11 of 26 passing for 182 yards and a touchdown, and added another 47 yards rushing in the Norcross victory. Josh Boyd had another 100+ yard game for the Devils, going 133 yards on 24 carries. Clinton Lynch led all receivers with 119 yards on five receptions for Norcross.
The Lions ground attack was led by Jordan Ellis (21 carries for 81 yards), while Myron Burton tallied six catches for 52 yards in a losing effort. QB Chance Thrasher was 14 of 33 on the night for 126 yards.
Norcross (7-2, 6-1) now sits atop Region 7-AAAAAA, followed by Collins Hill (7-1, 5-1), North Gwinnett (7-1, 5-1) and Peachtree Ridge (6-2, 4-2). Norcross has just one region game remaining, while Collins Hill, North and Peachtree Ridge each have two.
The Blue Devils are likely to finish region play at 7-1 since they face Meadowcreek (1-7, 1-5) on November 8 while the other three still have a tough game on their schedule.
Collins Hill still has to face a tough Mill Creek (5-3, 3-3) team to end the season after hosting Duluth (2-6, 2-4) this week, North faces an improving Mountain View (2-6, 2-4) and then ends the season at home against Peachtree Ridge. The Lions will play Meadowcreek next week before the big game with North.
Consider this: When play begins on November 8, Norcross is likely to be 7-1 in region with their loss coming to North early in the season. Collins Hill, North and Peachtree Ridge will most likely all be 6-1 with the Eagles loss coming to the Lions, the Bulldogs loss at the hands of the Eagles and the Lions loss also coming to the Eagles.
Norcross can only lose the region if North wins out. If the Eagles win out, they would finish 7-1, but would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the Bulldogs go 7-1, they would capture the region because of their win over the Blue Devils.
Region 7-AAAAAA Week 10 Results:
Collins Hill over North Gwinnett, 53-28
Norcross over Peachtree Ridge, 24-20
Duluth over Habersham, 27-14
Mountain View over Meadowcreek, 49-13
Region 8-AAAAAA Week 10 Results:
Archer defeats South Gwinnett to remain undefeated, 48-31
Dacula over Shiloh, 21-7
Brookwood over Berkmar, 14-0
Parkview over Central Gwinnett, 21-13
Buford joins Archer as the only remaining Gwinnett teams without a loss after beating Fannin County, 45-8
Lanier over Stephens County, 31-14
Examiner was 8-2 in projections for Week 10, and is now 67-20 on the season.
After Week 10 action, the Big Four matchup breakdown looks like this: Collins Hill and Norcross are both 2-1, North is 1-1 and Peachtree Ridge is 0-2 with the North-Peachtree Ridge the only remaining contest between the region leaders.
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