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Lovejoy, ELCA remain ranked

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy coach Al Hughes has watched as his team has won 16 straight regular season games over the last three seasons. The Wildcats are ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Lovejoy coach Al Hughes has watched as his team has won 16 straight regular season games over the last three seasons. The Wildcats are ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll.

Two teams from the Southern Crescent — Lovejoy and Eagle’s Landing Christian — remained in the Associated Press poll that was released on Tuesday.

ELCA was the only team from the area to retain its spot in the PrepCountry.com/GACA Coaches poll. The Chargers are No. 3 in the AP poll and remained at No. 4 in the coaches poll in Class A.

After a season-opening loss to Alabama powerhouse Briarwood Academy, the Chargers have won four straight, including two Region 5-A South games.

“We have been progressing with each game,” junior running back Keyante Green said. “We don’t pay much attention to the rankings, we just play each game that is on our schedule.”

Lovejoy, which is coming off a 24-20 win over Tri-Cities for its homecoming, moved up one spot to No. 9 in the AP poll. The Wildcats are riding a 16-game regular-season winning streak into Friday’s Region 4-AAAA contest against Mount Zion at Twelve Oaks Stadium.

Lovejoy has not lost a regular season game since a 20-13 loss on Oct. 30, 2009 to Chapel Hill. The Wildcats last lost a game in 2010 in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs to Glynn Academy.

ELCA will host Strong Rock Christian (3-2) on Friday in its homecoming game. The Patriots are under first-year coach Mark Miller, who previously coached at his alma mater, Woodward Academy in College Park.

Strong Rock’s three wins is one better than last season, its first in the Georgia High School Association. Last season, one of the wins came as a result of a forfeit by First Presbyterian Day.

Next week, ELCA will take on Landmark Christian in a game that will probably decide the subregion championship. Landmark is off to a 6-0 start and ranked No. 8 in the AP poll. The winner of the South subregion will play the North champion in the last game of the season to determine the region champion and the top seed for the playoffs.

Last season, ELCA defeated Wesleyan for its first GHSA region championship. The Chargers lost to eventual Class A champion Clinch County in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

“I feel like this team is a work in progress,” ELCA coach Jonathan Gess said. “The kids are buying into what we are doing.”

Stockbridge, which was ranked No. 9 in the coaches poll last week, dropped out after its 31-7 loss to Drew. The Tigers, who take on Henry County in a key Region 4-AAA contest Friday, were ranked for the first time in 43 years.

However, the Tigers did receive one vote in the latest AP poll.