By Zach Shugan
The third week of the 2021 regular season is in the books. Ten local teams played this week. Three teams picked up their first win of the season. One team (sorry, Johns Creek) had its opponent cancel on them for the second week in a row.
Here’s a breakdown of all the local action from Week Three and a look at what comes next for every team.
Life Christian (VA) 14, No. 5 Milton 34
Milton kicked off the fourth annual Freedom Bowl on Thursday and bounced back from a loss to North Cobb. More can be found on the game here. Next week, the Eagles (2–1) travel to Philadelphia to take on St. Joseph’s Prep, a team ranked No. 9 in the nation.
Grayson 42, Alpharetta 6
Taking on a national power for the second week in a row, Alpharetta took its second straight loss and fell to 1-2 this season. The path ahead does not get any easier for the Raiders. They’ll be on the road the next two weeks against the two highest-ranked teams in Class 7A, North Cobb and Collins Hill.
North Oconee 19, Cambridge 21
Following a longer-than-anticipated wait due to a bye week then a COVID cancellation, Cambridge opened its season Friday night at home against Class 4A’s North Oconee. The Bears took the lead early with a touchdown from junior running back Christian Isibor. Senior quarterback Zach Harris, who threw one touchdown and ran for another, found senior Carson Kent for a score in the second quarter to put Cambridge up 14-0. North Oconee found the end zone twice before the end of the first half, but a missed extra-point made it a 14-13 game and came back to seriously haunt the Titans. Down 21-13 in the third quarter, the Titans scored to make it a 21-19 game. They went for two points instead of attempting to kick an extra point, and the Bears came up with a stop. North Oconee had a chance to take the lead on a 32-yard field goal with 48 seconds left, but the kick went wide left. Cambridge took over on offense and was able to run out the clock for a win in its season opener. The Bears (1-0) play at home again next week against Forsyth Central (1-1), who lost Friday night to Loganville, 28-24.
Chattahoochee 41, Northview 8
The Cougars picked up their first win of the season Friday, as they won the Battle of Johns Creek in dominant fashion. The Cougars led 35-6 through one quarter and 41-6 at halftime. Chattahoochee (0-2) has next week off before opening region play Sept. 17 at River Ridge. Northview (0-2) has another opportunity to get in the win column next week at Dawson County (0-3).
No. 4 Blessed Trinity 17, St. Pius X 24
The Titans lost a close game on the road, making it their second consecutive loss against a rival. As they did the previous week in their loss to Marist, the Titans played without All-American running back Justice Haynes. Next week, the Titans (1-2) play outside Georgia for the third time in program history, as they’ll go to North Carolina to take on Charlotte Catholic. The Cougars are ranked No. 2 in North Carolina and No. 84 overall in the country by High School Football America.
Class A Private
No. 3 Fellowship 20, No. 1 Trinity Christian 56
The Paladins scored first Friday night in Sharpsburg, but after that, Trinity Christian took over. Following the Paladins’ opening score — a 24-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Caleb McMickle to senior Josh Cole — the top ranked team in Class A Private reeled off 49 unanswered points. McMickle found junior Kyle Elphick for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was far too little and too late. Fellowship (1-1) plays at home next week for the first time this season, with B.E.S.T. (1-1) coming to town.
King’s Ridge 32, Christian Heritage 34
The Tigers went back and forth with Christian Heritage Friday night in Dalton but came up just short of a victory and a 2-0 start to their season. King’s Ridge led 32-31 after trailing 25-20 at halftime. The Lions hit a field goal to take the lead and then held off the Tigers’ offense to win. King’s Ridge (1-1) heads to Fairburn next week to take on Landmark Christian (2–1).
Mount Pisgah 41, Walker 12
Following losses to No. 9 Wesleyan and Mount Paran to open the season, the Patriots earned their first win Friday night in Marietta. Next week, Mount Pisgah (1-2) hosts Hebron Christian (1-1) for their first game this season at the Patriot Athletic Complex.
Darlington 35, St. Francis 14
The Knights struck first Friday night with a 55-yard touchdown run by Kevin Maven, but the lead was short lived. Darlington scored 21 unanswered points to lead 21-14 at halftime and further padded its lead in the second half. St. Francis (0-3) has a bye next week and will return to action Sept. 17 at Class 3A’s Lumpkin County.