Marietta coach Richard Morgan talks with tight end Arik Gilbert during the Blue Devils' game at Collins Hill last week.

Cobb County now features eight teams in the Georgia Sports Writers Association's state rankings, as well as one in USA Today's national top five.

Marietta, which rose to No. 5 nationally, now shares the No. 1 ranking in Class AAAAAAA with Colquitt County after being ranked second last week. It marks is the first time the Blue Devils have been No. 1 since 1996, and the first time a Cobb team has been ranked No. 1 in the highest classification during the season since Lassiter in 2012.

McEachern was the preseason No. 1 in 2014, the most recent Cobb team to hold the honor.

Marietta will face another top team Friday when it travels to take on Grayson, which is at No. 3 in the Class AAAAAAA poll. The Rams are also ranked No. 8 in the Southeast according to USA Today, though they do not crack the overall top 25.

“They’re a really good team,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “They’re fast, athletic. They’ve got a lot of really good players. It should be a very challenging contest, but our schedule has been challenging every week so far.”

The challenging run the Blue Devils have navigated to start the season has garnered them national attention, with a victory over national No. 11 St. Joseph’s Prep the driving force behind the ascent. Marietta could also move higher with a win this week as No. 2 Mater Dei (Calif.) and No. 4 St. Frances Academy (Md.) play one another Saturday.

In the state rankings, Kell is the county's only new addition, entering the Class AAAAA top 10 at No. 10. The Longhorns beat east Cobb neighbor Lassiter 27-0 last Friday, holding the Trojans to only 67 yards of total offense.

Every other team in the county that was in last week’s polls moved up.

In Class AAAAAAA, McEachern moved up one spot to No. 4, despite having last week off. Hillgrove also moved up one to No. 7 after handily defeating Banneker 42-7, scoring all 42 points in the first half.

In Class AAAAAA, Harrison moved up one spot to No. 4 and Allatoona jumped two spots to No. 7, with both teams winning blowouts last Friday against River Ridge and Creekview, respectively.

Mount Paran Christian and North Cobb Christian also advanced one spot each in the Class A private-school rankings, coming in at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively.

Valdosta (AAAAAA), Buford (AAAAA), Cartersville (AAAA), Peach County (AAA), Dublin (AA) and Clinch County (A Public) are the other No. 1 teams.


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