North captures third region title with shutout over Peachtree Ridge

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Peachtree Ridge quarterback Billy Best gets sacked by Jordan Washington, back left, and a heard of defenders, including Justin Alabi (92), during Friday's game.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Peachtree Ridge quarterback Billy Best gets sacked by Jordan Washington, back left, and a heard of defenders, including Justin Alabi (92), during Friday's game.


North Gwinnett quarterback Scotty Hosch stiff-arms Alex Gray and picks up the first down during the second half of Friday's game.


North Gwinnett's Carl Rider (50) hauls in an interception before being taken down. On the play for Peachtree Ridge is Nick Perrotta (58) and DiAndre Atwater (27) during the second half of Friday's game.


North Gwinnett's Jordan Washington celebrates a fumble recovery by the Bulldog defense on Friday night against Peachtree Ridge.


North Gwinnett's Alex Boyd (22) fights for extra yards following a reception over Peachtree Ridge's D'Aaron Hill during Friday's game.

SUWANEE -- North Gwinnett's dominance over Region 7-AAAAA will hold for another year.

The Bulldogs haven't lost a region game since 2008 and that streak continued on Friday against No. 10 Peachtree Ridge.

No. 7 North Gwinnett got three touchdowns from Scotty Hosch and 100-yard rushing performances by Joe Jones and Donnie Miles. That was more than enough for the Bulldogs' defense that dominated for four quarters in a 28-0 win.

"I'm more excited about the region championship," Hosch said. "It's kind of an expectation now."

North had never won a region title in football in its 50-year history until 2009. Now the Bulldogs have won three in a row and are the No. 1 seed out of the region for next week's state playoffs. They will host third-year program Archer from Region 8-AAAAA.

"This is a group of seniors that has never lost a Region 7 game," North head coach Bob Sphire said. "In AAAAA football, that's no easy task."

North is 43-3 in region games under Sphire. The Bulldogs' last loss was to Peachtree Ridge in 2008 title game.

Peachtree Ridge, which was averaging 34 points a game, was shut out for the first time since its second year of football in 2004. The Lions will play Brookwood at home in their first-round playoff game.

"They played good and we didn't. You can't say anything else about it," first-year Peachtree Ridge head coach Mark Fleetwood said. "My hat is off to them, they are a good team."

North (9-1, 7-0 region) broke open Friday's matchup in the second quarter. Joe Jones had a 54-yard touchdown run up the middle midway through the second quarter.

North added its second TD on its next possession when Russell King caught a five-yard pass from Hosch to go ahead 14-0 with 2:41 left in the half.

"We kept plugging away and I knew we would break one at some point," Hosch said.

Peachtree Ridge (8-2, 6-1) could never get anything going offensively. The Lions managed just three first downs and went three-and-out on three drives in the first half. Their best weapon was punter Connor Rouleau, who had punts of 64 and 60 yards.

A two-touchdown lead was plenty for the North defense to hold. The Lions were held to just 123 total yards and managed six first downs the entire game.

"I'm not going to lie. We watched them on film, they had the same record as us and and some playmakers. They are a great team, but we came up big," said North defensive lineman Jordan Washington, who had three sacks and a forced fumble.

North was stopped on downs at the Peachtree Ridge 23 to start the third quarter, but linebacker Carl Rider got the ball back for the Bulldogs with an interception to the 11.

Jones scored his second TD on a nine-yard pass from Hosch to put North ahead 21-0 with 7:54 in the third period. Jones finished with 134 yards rushing, while Miles added 129 yards.

"It's nice to have Donnie back," Sphire said. "Joe, he's a hammer running the football."

Hosch added the clincher with 3:31 left in the third with a 19-yard touchdown run. The senior was 11 of 16 passing for 86 yards.

Peachtree Ridge's biggest offensive spark was a 67-yard kickoff return by Ahmaad Harris. Myron Burton had a 13-yard pass to Joe Horn to the Bulldogs' 2, but Burton fumbled on the next play.

"We couldn't get anything going offensively and we we did, we turned it over," Fleetwood said.

Horn was the game's leading receiver with seven catches for 65 yards. The Lions' Billy Best was 12 of 22 passing for 90 yards and leading rusher DiAndre Atwater was held to nine yards rushing.

"The defense played great tonight, they really did," Sphire said.


Gary 3 years, 11 months ago

Congratulations to everyone involved in the North Gwinnett High School Varsity Football Team Victory Friday night! Starting with: the members of the Varsity Football Team for executing excellently the near perfect game plan, devised by Coach Sphire and his assistant coaches; the assistant coaches for their adjustments during the game; the football staff for keeping the team ready to play; the marching band for musically inspiring the players and fans; the cheerleaders and the fans for noisily supporting the team; and the school principal, Mr. Shaddix, for correctly answering his question! Good luck against Archer! GO BULLDOGS!


NGHS09 3 years, 11 months ago

This team has the willingness, the ability, the love, the heart, the unity, the altruism and the relentlessness to win the state title. I've been skeptical in the past, but this Sphire team is ready for the challenge and they will answer the call. The defense will guide them to a state title this year. I honestly predicted Brookwood to win last year around week 1 of the playoffs. I noticed their defense was insanely good and they ran the hell out of the ball. It is NG's turn this season. GO DAWGS! One heart, one soul, one mission.


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