NORCROSS -- Norcross may be the defending Class AAAAAA champ, but its looking more and more like the 2013 crown may run through Suwanee.
Top-ranked North Gwinnett continued its strong start to the season and showed that, at least, the Bulldogs will have much to say about the Region 7-AAAAAA crown in a 36-17 defeat of Norcross.
Bulldogs quarterback Hayden Sphire excelled on yet another big stage, completing 20 of 30 passes for 297 yards and four scores in a game that North Gwinnett trailed 17-10 at the half.
Nate Brown proved Sphire's explosive target on the night, hauling in 11 passes for 196 yards and all four scores -- on strikes of 15, 33, 28 and 29 yards.
North Gwinnett (3-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAAAAA) also completed a perfectly-executed hook and lateral play early in the fourth quarter, as Caleb Scott took the pitch from Almonzo Brown 35 yards for the touchdown.
Michael D'Angola also converted a 28-yard field goal for the Bulldogs, who forced a fumble from the Blue Devils one interception and sacked Norcross quarterback A.J. Bush four times.
Norcross managed just 265 yards of offense and, most importantly, no scores in the second half.
North Gwinnett will play host to Meadowcreek next Friday.
-- Bryan Pirkle contributed to this report.