Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford defenders Ross Wood, far left, Trevor Dedecker, center, and Parker Polhill (5) take down a Stone Mountain player during a game earlier this season.
The high school football state playoffs are almost a month away and Greater Atlanta Christian and Wesleyan still have not played a region game.
While most teams are in the thick of playoff positioning, GAC and Wesleyan will play their region openers this Friday.
The two Class AA private schools played six non-region games to start the season. In terms of playoff berths, those games didn't matter. The real games start this week.
"All of them matter, but the region matters a little more," first-year GAC head coach Tim Hardy said.
GAC hasn't won a region championship since 2001. In the five-team Region 6-AA, they'll have to win just one game to make the playoffs.
"True, but that's not our goal," Hardy said. "We want to win them all and win the first region title in 11 years."
GAC and Wesleyan have traveled a tough road to region play. Both schools had to piece together non-region games that included playing larger classification schools and out-of-state teams.
"I think it's made us better," Hardy said. "The two teams we've lost to are undefeated. To play the different folks we have has made us better."
GAC (4-2) holds wins over larger schools Apalachee, Stone Mountain and Savannah. The Spartans lost to Chamblee in overtime and to No. 2-ranked Thomson. The Spartans also beat a school from Tennessee.
Wesleyan's schedule includes a pair of wins over larger schools Salem and Stone Mountain. The Wolves beat a tough Brookstone school and lost to Class A's Holy Innocents' and Class AAA power Jefferson County. They also dropped a game to a Tennessee school.
GAC and Wesleyan will play each other on Nov. 2 for the first time since 2007 when they were in the same region. GAC leads the series 7-1.
The remainder of schedule includes Hapeville Charter (2-3), Lovett (2-4) and Westminster (2-4).
"Because all of us have to reach out and up (a level) some of the win-loss records are not that good," Hardy said. "But our region has excellent competition. The quality is very high."
Priester has career day for Broncos
Ky Priester played his best game in a Brookwood uniform on Friday.
The Florida transfer posted 209 all-purpose yards in the Broncos' 45-17 win over Dacula.
"My season is going great," said Priester, who committed to N.C. State on Sunday. "Our offense is very explosive."
Priester had four catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, two punt returns for 63 yards, a 44-yard kickoff return and had 27 yards on a reverse vs. Dacula.
The senior receiver has settled nicely into Brookwood's offense after playing for Lake Mary in Orlando last year.
"The crowds and atmosphere is a lot better (in Georgia)," Priester said. "The players are a lot bigger, but the speed is different."
Priester is one of the county's top receivers with 21 catches for 396 yards and three touchdowns.
"I don't even know my numbers. I don't worry about that," Priester said. "I'm just trying to win."
Lewis becomes Hawks' all-time leading rusher
Mill Creek running back Jacorey Lewis became the Hawks' all-time leading rusher on Friday.
Lewis rushed for 101 yards and three TDs in Friday's win over Meadowcreek to give him 765 yards and 10 TDs on the season. The senior has 1,876 career yards, breaking John Russ' record of 1,823 yards. Lewis also holds the career rushing TD record with 26.
Friday night blowouts
Last Friday's Gwinnett County football games featured a slate of blowouts.
Of the 12 games, the average margin of victory was 35 points.
Buford won 61-0, Grayson won 52-0, Mill Creek won 55-6 and South Gwinnett won 61-14 for the biggest wins last week.
The closest game was a 36-27 loss by Greater Atlanta Christian. The next closest games were a 42-28 win by North Gwinnett and a 45-31 loss by Wesleyan.
Peachtree Ridge is in danger of having its first losing season since 2004, the school's second year of existence.
The Lions are 2-4 and will need to win their remaining four games to have an eighth straight winning season. That will be tough with a schedule that includes No. 3-ranked Norcross and defending region champion North Gwinnett.
Region 7 unbeatens meet
There are only two schools left that have not lost in Region 7-AAAAAA this season.
Collins Hill (4-1, 3-0) will host No. 3-ranked Norcross (6-0, 4-0) for first place in the region on Friday.
A victory for either team does not assure the region crown, but it does put Norcross in pretty good position to win its first title since 2006. The teams remaining on the Blue Devils' schedule have a combined record of 4-12.
Collins Hill's only region title came in 2004. The Eagles still have a tough road with defending region champion North Gwinnett, Mill Creek and Duluth on the schedule.