It was a wild night in the first round of the Georgia high school football state playoffs. If you are a high school football coach, how can you prepare your team for winning or losing in a game that ends with a basketball score? The Lowndes Vikings defeated Hillgrove 92-61. Yes, I had to look at that score more than once and then verify it was not a typo. The 153 points scored in the game is the highest scoring game in state history. The previous record was held by Douglas A&M in their 144-0 victory of Ocilla in 1922.
Banks County had the easiest game in the first round as they defeated KIPP Atlanta by forfeit. KIPP officials decided they would forfeit the game when their players were involved in a huge brawl in their final regular season game. If you were wondering about this KIPP school, it stands for Knowledge is Power Program which is a tuition-free, public school in West Atlanta with college prep courses designed to push students to college. It would have been KIPP’s first-ever playoff game.
Of the 14 first-time schools in the playoffs, three were able to claim their first playoff wins:
- Arabia Mountain 34, Villa Rica 14
- Hapeville Charter 42, Monticello 0
- North Murray 28, Jackson County 14
Some of the nail-biting finishes:
Sandy Creek 23, Marist 20 (ot) – The Patriots rallied from a 17-point deficit at halftime to defeat Marist. Sandy Creek quarterback Bryant Walker connected with Parker Mallett for the winning touchdown pass in overtime.
Westlake 24, Etowah 23 – James Miller kicked a 22-yard field goal with three seconds left for the win. Westlake advances to play South Gwinnett in the second round.
Woodstock 35, East Coweta 34 – Woodstock overcame a 27-point deficit and scored on a 47-yard halfback pass from Louis Hall to Noah Frith with 2:19 left.
Northgate 20, Centennial 16 – Northgate scored on a 7-yard run by Ton Evans with 1:48 remaining to win the game. Northgate will play at Valdosta in the second round.
Upsets in the first round:
- Heritage-Ringgold 37, Stephens County 30
- West Hall 24, Troup 21
- Savannah 27, Cook 3
- Clarke Central 35, Carver-Atlanta 32
- Northwest Whitfield 31, Oconee County 20