Hayden SphireIf there were any remaining doubts as to who was the top team in Georgia,
and Nate Brown
The quarterback-wide receiver duo connected for four touchdowns as North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.)
, the nation's No. 8-ranked team in the Xcellent 25
, hammered defending Class AAAAAA champion Norcross (Ga.)
36-17 in one of the biggest games of the young season in the Peach State.
It was one of the most highly-anticipated games of the year in Gwinnett County, featuring Norcross defensive lineman Lorenzo Carter
and North Gwinnett star tackle Mitch Hyatt
. Norcross began the season ranked No. 3 in the country with the possibility of competing for a national title.
It was Norcross that struck first, as Josh Boyd
scored from six yards out to make it 7-0. An A.J. Bush
touchdown pass to Chris Herndon
quickly made it 14-0 in favor of the Blue Devils.
After that it was all North Gwinnett, as the Bulldogs finished the game on a 36-3 run.
Sphire hit Brown for his first touchdown, an 11-yard strike, to make it 14-7. A field goal brought the score to 14-10. Norcross responded with a field goal — its final points of the game — to take a 17-10 lead into the locker rooms.
The second half belonged entirely to North Gwinnett. Sphire found Brown for a 32-yard score to make it a one-point game, 17-16. Minutes later, they connected again to give North Gwinnett its first lead, 22-16.
After a Caleb Scott
score made it 29-16, Brown grabbed yet another touchdown pass from Sphire to put an exclamation point on a 36-17 victory that solidifies its spot as the No. 1 team in the Peach State.
With wins over Grayson, Camden County and Norcross, North Gwinnett (3-0) now owns wins over three of the top programs in the state. It will look to move to 4-0 with a game against Meadowcreek next week.
Norcross (1-2) will look to rebound against Duluth.