SUWANEE - Looks like the only thing Peachtree Ridge needed in order to get past any remaining emotional wounds left by last week's licking at Lowndes was a good dose of Northview.
The No. 9 Lions (2-1) scored every time they had the ball in the first half and rolled to a 44-0 win. The lopsided victory more than enabled them to put last week's 51-17 game in the rear-view and focus on repeating as the Region 7-AAAAA champion. It was certainly a good start to the region schedule.
"I don't think it was a statement game. We just wanted to come out and play a complete game, try to start fast and finish a game," Peachtree Ridge coach Bill Ballard said. "Our guys came out and did what we asked them to do, which was play hard and finish what we started."
Peachtree Ridge used all its weapons and had a 34-0 halftime lead over the struggling Titans (0-3), who have now allowed 123 points. The Lions established the flavor of the game early, when Brad Roby returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. It was the start of a good night for Roby, who has committed to Vanderbilt. He also caught a 28-yard touchdown pass and intercepted a pass and returned it 62 yards to set up another touchdown.
"I knew I had to get in there early and make a play," Roby said. "I'd say the punt return was my favorite of the three. I knew when I touched the ball I wanted to score."
The Lions also got a stellar effort from quarterback Nick Lombardo, who completed 4 of 5 passes for 100 yards and rushed five times for 83 yards and two touchdowns before being relieved after two series in the third quarter by Tanner Mack. Brandon Stanley carried 11 times for 99 yards and two TDs and Chris Sawdey rushed six times for 40 yards.
The Peachtree Ridge defense made its presence felt, too. Junior linebacker Dubem Nwadiogbu had four sacks and pressured Northview quarterback Evan Jacks into throwing an interception, which was snagged by Brian Williams and set up a score.
It didn't take Peachtree Ridge long to score on any of its first half possessions: 47 yards in six plays, with Lombardo hitting Roby for a 28-yard score; 23 yards in one play on Lombardo's keeper; 72 yards in eight plays, with Lombardo scoring on a 9 yard run; and 64 yards on nine plays, with Stanley scoring from the 2. The first team had two scoring drives in the second half, the first that set up a 48-yard field goal by Justin Watts, the second a two-play drive culminated by Stanley's 31 yard run.
Northview, competitive in last year's 25-14 loss to Peachtree Ridge, was simply too young and too small. The Titans had only one legitimate scoring drive, which ended in an interception, and lost their 13th consecutive game.
"We know we can play with Lowndes. We had to come out here and make a statement that we're state contender," Roby said.