VALDOSTA -- Lowndes' 30-0 semifinal win over Class AAAAA No. 1 Camden County Saturday in the Georgia Dome brought more than just an increase in state recognition.

Think national.

The Vikings (14-0) cracked USA Today's Super 25 national poll Tuesday, coming in at No. 19 among the country's elite football teams.

Lowndes hadn't been ranked in the poll all season, or probably ever for that matter, until the Vikings ended Camden's 28-game winning streak, which had propelled the Wildcats to No. 8 in the USA Today Super 25. Camden dropped to No. 24 with the loss, while Lowndes, the only team from the state of Georgia ranked other than Camden, crept into the South Region rankings at No. 10.

Vikings' head coach Randy McPherson has never cared much for state rankings, but what a national ranking?

"Is that right?" McPherson said when told about the national poll rank. "I don't care nothing about that."

Lowndes' third-year head coach was more concerned about being ranked No. 1 in his own classification. Lowndes can solidify that top spot with a win in Saturday's AAAAA state title game at Parkview, which was ranked in the poll earlier this season before losing to Camden in the season opener.

"They'll rank them 1-2 Saturday night," McPherson said.

Parkview reached the No. 2 spot in the rankings at the end of the 2002 season during its three-year run of state titles from 2000-2002.

Lowndes beat Brunswick, ranked No. 10 in the Super 25 poll back in 1999, for the state title.

South Region rankings

1. Southlake (Texas) Caroll (13-0)

2. Independence, Charlotte, N.C. (13-0)

3. Hoover, Ala. (13-0)

4. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (14-0)

5. John Curtis, River Ridge, La. (12-0)

6. Denton Ryan, Denton, Texas (12-1)

7. Lufkin, Texas (13-0)

8. Carol City, Fla. (11-1)

9. Katy, Texas (12-1)

10. Lowndes, Valdosta, Ga. (14-0)

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