1. Allatoona Buccaneers

The Buccaneers take over the top spot after a shutout victory over Osborne. Allatoona has found it can win playing defense, running the ball, throwing the ball and on special teams if necessary. It makes for a good combination as it gets deeper into region play with big games against Sprayberry, Kell and Pope on the horizon.

2. North Cobb Warriors

The Warriors’ starting field position in their game against North Gwinnett was their own 18-yard line. Between the weather and a good North Gwinnett defensive line, it did not allow for much success, or for the offense to get in rhythm. North Cobb’s defense showed it is a force against anyone it plays, and it likely wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Bulldogs and Warriors meet again in the postseason.

3. Hillgrove Hawks

The Hawks beat Gainesville, but they made it more difficult on themselves than it really needed to be. Hillgrove had a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, but watched that lead vanish, and then it needed to make a good defensive play to avoid having the Red Elephants from completing a 2-point conversion to take the lead.

4. Walton Raiders

The Raiders fell in overtime to Roswell, their former region rival. Coach Daniel Brunner said the off week prior to the game was going to help them against the Hornets. Now, they have another before they begin Region 3AAAAAAA. Walton will open region play next week when it hosts Hillgrove.

5. Kell Longhorns

The Longhorns have had two weeks to prepare for South Cobb. They are expected to get quarterback Corbin LaFrance back healthy for this game, and the defense will likely want to get out and prove something after they gave up points to Blessed Trinity.

6. Pebblebrook Falcons

The Falcons needed overtime to beat North Atlanta and reach 5-1 for the first time since the 2000 season. Pebblebrook now has a week off to prepare for a Region 2AAAAAAA schedule that begins with No. 8 East Coweta.

7. Sprayberry Yellow Jackets

The Yellow Jackets have been off for two weeks and will try to get to 3-0 in Region 6AAAAAA play Friday when they take on Osborne. A victory there would keep Sprayberry in at least a tie for the region lead, and the Oct. 30 matchup against Allatoona is starting to loom large on the calendar.

8. McEachern Indians

The Indians are getting better on the defensive side of the ball. After giving up 55 to Grayson and 38 to Hillgrove, McEachern only gave up 23 points total to Newton and Milton. The question as they prepare to start Region 2AAAAAAA play next week is can the offense start to get things going to give the defense some extra help?

9. Marietta Blue Devils

The Blue Devils’ offense is starting to get cranked up. They scored 28 points against Parkview and followed that with 42 against Brookwood, two top-10 teams. Tyler Hughes is leading the county in passing and has 11 touchdowns without throwing an interception. Marietta’s offense is beginning to look good enough to win Region 3AAAAAAA, but to do it, the defense will have to catch up.

10. North Cobb Christian Eagles

The Eagles are on a double bye after suffering a 27-0 loss to Fellowship, which coach Mark Hollars called an “old-fashioned butt-kicking.” He also said it was an introduction to the kind of football his team will have to play once it begins Region 7A play. This might be a case of something good coming out of something bad. Plus, North Cobb Christian still has another game to play before beginning the region slate.

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John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and the former president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski

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