McEachern is the new No. 1 team in the state in Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAAAAA football poll.
The Indians leapfrogged previous No. 1 Lowndes and took over the top spot this week following their 53-15 victory over East Coweta last Friday.
It marks the first time since the preseason poll heading into 2014 that McEachern (5-0) has held the top spot, and the first time since 2011 it has been No. 1 during the regular season.
"There's going to be some guys week-in and week-out that are going to be trying to knock us off," Stephens said. "Hopefully our guys will use it as motivation.
"We appreciate those that voted us No. 1. It's a testament to the hard work the coaches and players have put in."
During that 2011 season, the Indians held the top spot for four weeks until they faced No. 6 Hillgrove. The Hawks won that game 12-10.
Coincidentally, Hillgrove (5-0) -- ranked No. 6 this week -- will open Region 3AAAAAAA play at McEachern on Friday, in the annual "Battle Down in Powder Town."
Fifth-ranked Marietta (4-1), which McEachern will play next week, opens region play at North Paulding (5-0), which is among those receiving votes in the poll. The Blue Devils come in ranked fifth, while the Wolfpack are receiving votes.
Colquitt County and Grayson were Nos. 3 and 4, with North Gwinnett, Mill Creek, Parkview and Camden County rounding out the top 10.
Also making some history this week is Harrison (6-0), which moved up one spot to No. 2 in Class AAAAAA.
It is the Hoyas' highest ranking since the final week of the 2002 regular season, after they went undefeated en route to the state quarterfinals.
Harrison and No. 6 Allatoona (4-1) will play a key Region 6AAAAAA game Friday, which could go a long way toward deciding the eventual region champion.
Dacula maintained the No. 1 spot, with Valdosta, Lee County and Lanier rounding out the top five. Coffee, Dalton and Stephenson followed Allatoona.
Kell (4-1), which moved up one spot to No. 7 in Class AAAAA, will travel to Villa Rica on Friday before hosting No. 2 Carrollton next week.
Buford is No. 1, followed by Jones County, Dutchtown, Stockbridge and Warner Robins. Bainbridge, Rome and Southwest DeKalb rounded out the top 10.
Among the Class A private schools, North Cobb Christian was No. 8. The Eagles (4-1) hit the road Friday to face Gordon Lee.
Athens Academy was No. 1, followed by Holy Innocents', Darlington, Eagle's Landing Christian, Fellowship Christian, Aquinas and Mount de Sales. Prince Avenue Christian and Wesleyan rounded out the poll.
Cartersville held onto the No. 1 spot in Class AAAA, as did Peach County (Class AAA), Dublin (Class AA) and Irwin County (Class A public).