Georgia High School Football Weekly (12/20/17)

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Clinch County becomes sixth team in Georgia to win at least seven state titles.

After five of the state championship games were postponed due to the winter storm, the games were finally played last week at various locations around the state.  There were several coaches and school administrators who complained when they ended up having to travel; however, only two (North Gwinnett and Lee County) of the five home teams won the title game on their own fields.

Let’s take a look back at the games:

Class 7A:  North Gwinnett 19, Colquitt County 17 – If you missed this game, you will need to go to the Georgia Public Television site and watch the final two minutes of this game.  After Colquitt County was called for two illegal substitution penalties, they were also penalized for pass interference on the final play which set up a game winning 38-yard field goal from North Gwinnett’s Cameron Clark to win the game.  I believe Colquitt County Coach Rush Propst’s clipboard is still spinning in the sky somewhere.  North Gwinnett won their first state title in school history.

Class 6A:  Lee County 28, Coffee  21 (overtime) – Lee County QB Jase Orndorff connected with Drequan Garmon on an 11-yard TD pass in overtime then Tay Mayo secured Lee County’s first state championship with an interception on Coffee’s possession.  Coffee missed a 29-yard field goal at the end of regulation.  Coffee RB Jameon Gaskin scored three touchdowns in the game to put Coffee up 21-7 before Lee County rallied in the second half.

Class 5A:  Rome 38, Warner Robins 0 – Trai Hodges returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown as Rome broke open the game in the second quarter.  They would take a 21-0 lead at halftime as QB Knox Kadum was 8-0f-12 for 90 yards passing and a touchdown.  He also rushed for 73 yards.  Warner Robins could never get anything going as they were held to 1 yard rushing.  Rome repeated as state champion.

Class 4A:  Blessed Trinity 16, Marist 7 – QB Jake Smith completed 11-of-12 passes for 111 yards and a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Blessed Trinity all they would need to defeat Marist for the school’s first state championship.  The Titans’ defense held Marist to 63 yards rushing in the game.

Class 2A:  Hapeville Charter 35, Rabun County 23 –  Playing in only their seventh season, Hapeville Charter won the state title.  QB Hajj-Malik Williams was responsible for all the scoring for the Hornets with three passing and two rushing.  Hapeville Charter led 35-10 and held off a late rally by Rabun County in the final two minutes.

Class 1A (Public):  Clinch County 21, Irwin County 12 – Trezmen Marshall and Charles McClelland combined for 249 yards and three touchdowns to lead Clinch County to their seventh state title.  The Panthers’ defense set up the offense for the score which sealed the win when Marshall had a sack and forced a fumble to give the Panthers the ball at the Irwin County 24 with less than three minutes left.

BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:

I don’t want to talk about.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

North Gwinnett Kicker Cameron Clark kicked the game-winning 38-yard field goal on the last play to give the Bulldogs their first state title.  Clark had missed an extra point earlier in the quarter as Colquitt County took the lead later 17-16.  Clark responded to the pressure to kick the winning field goal.

NOTES:

  • Clinch County became the sixth school to win at least seven state championships.  They join the elite company of Valdosta (22), Buford (11), Lincoln County (11), Carrollton (7), and Americus (7).
  • Rome dominated their playoff competition this season.  Their average margin of victory was 46.2 in the playoffs.
  • Lee County-Coffee played only the sixth overtime game in championship history.  Buford won the first championship overtime game in 2010.
  • Lee County had never advanced past the second round before this season.
  • Blessed Trinity and Marist was the first state championship game played between Catholic schools.
  • Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin became the 15th coach in Georgia history to win state titles at two schools.  He previously won a title at Roswell.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:

ngwinnettThe North Gwinnett Bulldogs have played for 57 seasons.  They have a record of 307-283-9.  They have made the playoffs 15 times.  Their best season was in 2017 when they finished 14-1 and won their first state championship.  North Gwinnett played their first game on October 27, 1961 when they lost 38-0 to Duluth.  They won their first game on November 9, 1962 with a 12-0 win over Forsyth County.   Their biggest rival is Duluth.  They have an all-time record of 25-23-1.  Bob Sphire is the winningest coach in their history with 110 wins.  Their most notable players are OT Austin Shepherd (Minnesota Vikings), TE C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals), OT Ja’Wuan James (Miami Dolphins) and TE Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders).  The Bulldogs play at Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium in Suwanee.

REVIEW OF MY PREVIEW:

From my preview of the 2017 Georgia High School Football season, let’s take a look at my picks and what really happened in the season.  Correct predictions are in BOLD.

  • State Champions:
    • 7A – Roswell – finished 3-8. Lost to Hillgrove 49-7 in first round.
    • 6A – Dalton – finished 7-4.  Lost to Douglas County 13-6 in first round.
    • 5A – Kell – finished 5-6.  Lost to Flowery Branch 21-14 in first round.
    • 4A – Cartersville – finished 11-1.  Lost to Blessed Trinity 21-17 in second round.
    • 3A – Peach County – finished 13-2.  Lost to Calhoun 10-6 in state final.
    • 2A – Callaway – finished 11-2.  Lost to Brooks County 31-0 in quarterfinals.
    • 1A (Public) – Clinch County – finished 12-2.  Won state championship.
    • 1A (Private) – Prince Avenue Christian – finished 11-2.  Lost to Eagle’s Landing Christian 55-0 in semifinals.
  • Surprise teams:
    • 7A – Camden County – 2-7 in 2016 to 3-7 in 2017 after starting 2-1.
    • 6A – Johns Creek – 8-3 in 2016 to 3-7 in 2017.
    • 5A – Warner Robins – 3-8 in 2016 to 14-1 in 2017. 
    • 4A – Cairo – 11-2 in 2016 to 8-4 in 2017.
    • 3A – Liberty County – 11-2 in 2016 to 9-4 in 2017.
    • 2A – Thomasville – 5-5 in 2016 to 12-1 in 2017.
    • 1A (public) – Charlton County – 3-6 in 2016 to 9-3 in 2017.
    • 1A (private) – Tattnall Square – 12-1 in 2016 to 7-4 in 2017.

GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONS:

  • 7A: North Gwinnett
  • 6A: Lee County
  • 5A: Rome
  • 4A: Blessed Trinity
  • 3A: Calhoun
  • 2A:  Hapeville Charter
  • 1A (public): Clinch County
  • 1A (private): Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy
  • GISA-AAA: Valwood School
  • GISA-AA: Memorial Day
  • Glory for Christ (homeschool football):  East Atlanta
  • GICAA-Division I:  Crosspointe Christian Academy
  • GICAA-Division II: Holy Ground Baptist Academy

FINAL NOTE:

The 2017 Georgia High School football season is now over.  I want to thank all of my blog followers, visitors and those who liked these posts during the season.  It has been a lot of work for me but a lot of fun to keep you informed during the season.   I gather my information from several sources such the Georgia High School Football Daily, Georgia High School Football Historians (this is an awesome website), ScoreAtl, Tommy Palmer (The Professor of Georgia High School football) and several media websites.  Each week I have tried to give you any tidbits I have learned or researched for this blog.

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The Agony of Defeat

I didn’t play a single play or coach in the game yet I sit here an hour after listening to my team lose the state championship game. It wasn’t even close.

I’m very familiar with this hollow feeling having experienced this same feeling in June when the Nashville Predators lost the Stanley Cup and before that in February when the Atlanta Falcons collapsed in the Super Bowl. That one nearly ended my sports life.

I will be okay tomorrow. I will move on. Right now it stinks.

Yes, my football team had an amazing season. If you had told me they would even be playing in the state championship game I wouldn’t have believed you. It was a good season. I will appreciate that more later but I’m not so much into reflection right now.

Life will go on. It’s just sports right? Why do I get so caught up in it? I don’t know. That’s just how I am. It’s the roller coaster ride I live.

None of this really matters in the grand scheme of things of my life. My life is not changed by it even if my team had won. So, I need to shake it off and finish my Christmas shopping.

I won’t have much time to recover from my sports blues with Georgia playing in the college football playoff, watching to see how the Titans finish the NFL season as well as a peek or two at how the Falcons finish. I’m inviting more misery aren’t I?

I need to write another football book with a happy ending. It seems fiction is the only way I’m going to experience the thrill of victory anytime soon on my sports rollercoaster.

Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Georgia High School Football Weekly (12/13/17)

GHSA_title
Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy and Calhoun Win State Titles before snow hits Atlanta

The high school football season is not over yet as a freak winter storm hit the Atlanta area last weekend with snow which forced the cancellations of six state championship games which were scheduled to be played inside of the Mercedes Benz Stadium.  Although the games were indoor, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) postponed the games out of concern for players, coaches, students, parents and fans traveling to the game.  Only two games were played before the postponements were announced.  The postponed games reverted us back to the past when state championship games were played at the location of one of the participating schools.

Here’s a look at the games that were played:

Class 1A (Private):  Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 41, Athens Academy 3

I don’t think anyone was surprised by this result as ELCA continued their domination of the 2017 season.  The Chargers jumped out to a 27-0 lead at halftime and held Athens Academy without a first down and just 22 yards.  ELCA’s average margin of victory in its four playoff games broke the previous record held by Warner Robins in 1976.  The Chargers won their 36th straight game and third straight state title.

Class 3A:  Calhoun 10, Peach County 6

In one of the most controversial games in recent memory, Calhoun’s only touchdown came when Brannon Spector intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the first half.  The controversy occurred late in the fourth quarter when Peach County QB Antonio Gilbert connected with Noah Whittington on a 21-yard pass.  Whittington caught the pass and stretched for the goal line.  The ball popped loose when the ball came down on the goal line which was ruled incomplete.  This week Peach County had issued a statement that they would appeal.  Don’t expect anything to happen.  Appeals like this are rarely granted.  In spite of the controversy, the low scoring game was not expected.  Calhoun won its third state title in seven seasons.

Here are the games to be played this week:

Class 7A:  Colquitt County at North Gwinnett

  • Coaches:  Rush Propst (Colquitt County) 281-94, Bill Stewart (North Gwinnett) 54-27
  • Key Players:
    • Colquitt County:  QB Steven Krajewski has completed 184 of 282 passes for 2,211 yards and 22 touchdowns
    • North Gwinnett:  QB Jimmy Urzua is 12-0 as a starter since Cade Fortin went down with an injury early in the season.
  • Championship Game Records:
    • Colquitt County (3-2)
    • North Gwinnett (0-2)
  • OUTLOOK:  Colquitt County has no fear to play on the road.  They have won their last four on the road in the playoffs after losing their last two games of the regular season.  North Gwinnett has rolled along quietly after losing their opener against Walton.  They took down Grayson in the second round.  My prediction is:  Colquitt County 33, North Gwinnett 21

Class 6A:  Coffee at Lee County

  • Coaches:  Robby Pruitt (Coffee) 340-78-1, Dean Fabrizio (Lee County) 65-35
  • Key Players:
    • Coffee:  RB Jameon Gaskin has rushed for 1,242 yards and 17 TDs this season; QB Wade Sumner has passed for 2,106 yards and rushed for 413 yards on the ground.
    • Lee County:  The defense has held 11 opponents to 17 points or less this season; QB Jase Orndorff has passed for 3,099 yards this season
  • Championship game records:  First game for both teams
  • OUTLOOK:  Many are picking this game to be a low-scoring, defensive battle but I do not.  These two teams have some powerful offensive weapons.  It will come down to who has the ball last to win it.  My prediction is:  Coffee 30, Lee County 24

Class 5A:  Rome at Warner Robins

  • Coaches: John Reid (Rome) 152-50, Mike Chastain (17-8)
  • Key Players:
    • Rome:  DE Adam Anderson, DT Quon Griffin and DE Jamarcus Chatman are all college talent;  QB Knox Kadum has passed for 1,956 yards and 22 touchdowns.
    • Warner Robins:  QB Dylan Fromm is 277 of 443 passing for 3,437 yards and 35 touchdowns; WR Julius Cobbs has 1,123 yards in receiving and 12 touchdowns;  RB Jarius Burnett has 1,248 yards rushing
  • Championship game records:
    • Rome (1-0)
    • Warner Robins (4-1)
    • Last state championship game at home:  Warner Robins 33, Brookwood 7 (1988)
  • OUTLOOK:  Rome has not played a close game all season since winning their opener against Harrison (33-21).  The Wolves have rolled over their playoff opponents.  Warner Robins has a very potent passing attack and explosive running back in Jarius Burnett.  Rome has three Division I college prospects on the defensive line.  My prediction:  Rome 38, Warner Robins 14.  (Not the way I WANT it to go and I’m still glad they play the game.  Anything can happen.)

Class 4A:  Blessed Trinity at Marist

  • Coaches: Tim McFarlin (Blesssed Trinity) 155-53-2, Alan Chadwick (Marist) 364-67
  • Key Players:
    • Marist:  QB Chase Abner has passed for 1.577 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He has also rushed for 959 yards and 16 touchdowns.
    • Blessed Trinity:  QB Jake Smith has passed for 2,020 yards; RB Steele Chambers has 1,250 yards rushing; RB Elijah Green has 1,231 yards;  WR Ryan Davis has 1,213 yards.
  • Championship game records:
    • Marist (2-8)
    • Last state championship game at home:  Marist 21, Statesboro 6 (2003)
    • Blessed Trinity (0-1)
  • OUTLOOK:  Blessed Trinity has rolled through the playoffs.  The Titans shocked Cartersville in the second round.  They have a powerful offense that can score.  Marist has rolled through the season undefeated.  Marist always seems to be around at the end of the season but often has trouble winning the big game.  My prediction:  Blessed Trinity 21, Marist 17

Class 2A:  Hapeville Charter at Rabun County

  • Coaches: Winston Gordon (Hapeville Charter) 37-34-1, Lee Shaw (Rabun County) 152-91
  • Key Players:
    • Rabun County:  QB Bailey Fisher has passed for 3,145 yards and rushed for 1,175  with 67 touchdowns.
    • Hapeville Charter:  DE Kingsley Enagbare, CB Chris Smith, DL Caleb Kelley and LB Zyon Bagley lead a strong defense.
  • Championship game records:  First game for both teams
  • OUTLOOK:  Hapeville Charter is only in their seventh season back.  The Hornets’ defense has been difficult for their opponents.  They have only given up 21 point or more three times this season.  Rabun County has been piling up the points scoring 35 or more 12 times this season.  My prediction:  Rabun County 33, Hapeville Charter 14

Class 1A (Public):  Clinch County at Irwin County

  • Coaches: Jim Dickerson (Clinch County) 138-43-1, Buddy Nobles (Irwin County) 41-11-2
  • Key Players:
    • Irwin County:  RB D.J. Lundy has rushed for 1,170 yards and 22 touchdowns
    • Clinch County:  Charles McClelland and Trezmen Marshall lead the Panthers’ offense.
  • Championship game records:
    • Clinch County (6-2)
    • Irwin County (1-5)
  • OUTLOOK:  Irwin County is looking to finally winning it all after making the state final in three of the last four years.   Clinch County has a capable offense but will have to eliminate penalties and turnovers that have plagued them in their losses this season.  This should be a tough, defensive battle.  My prediction:  Irwin County 21, Clinch County 14

NOTES FROM THIS WEEK:

  • This is the first time since 2007 that championship games will not be held at neutral sites.
    • Lowndes 34, North Gwinnett 6 (at Lowndes)
    • Northside Warner Robins 20, Ware County 14 (at Waycross)
    • Carver-Columbus 16, Cairo 13 (at Cairo)
    • Buford 50, Lovett 0 (at Buford)
    • Emanuel County Institute 41, Wilcox County 21 (at Cordele)
  • North Gwinnett, Lee County, Irwin County and Rabun County have never hosted a state title game.
  • Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy is the first team to have a “three-peat” since Buford did it 2007-2010.  They join the exclusive club along with Valdosta, West Rome, Thomas County Central, Parkview and Charlton County.
  • Three of the state title games are between teams from the same region.  (Coffee-Lee County, Blessed Trinity-Marist, Clinch County-Irwin County.)
  • Warner Robins and Rabun County won coin flips to host the title games.
  • Wright Bazemore (Valdosta) won 14 state titles as head coach.

BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 41, Athens Academy 3.  The Chargers are no stranger to this category in 2017.  They have blown out 13 of their 14 opponents this season.  The closest game they played was a 21-14 win over Eagle’s Landing in the first game of the season.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy WR Sean Queen had three catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns – both in the third quarter – in the Chargers’ win over Athens Academy.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:

Irwin

The Irwin County Indians play in Ocilla, Georgia.  The school has fielded a football teams since 1952.  The team is 423-285-17 over 66 seasons.  They have qualified for the playoffs 32 times.  The Indians played their first game on September 19, 1952 when they lost to Mitchell County 27-0.  They won their first game on October 24, 1952 when they shutout Bacon County 31-0.    Their biggest rivalry is Fitzgerald.  They trail the all-time series 17-44-3.  Joe Compton is their winningest coach with 44 wins from 1983-1988.   Irwin County’s best season was in 1975 when they went 13-0 and won their only state championship over Jefferson.   Their most notable players were DB Jack Smith who played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1971) and DB Walt Sumner who played for the Cleveland Browns (1969-1974).

Georgia High School Football Weekly (12/6/17)

lee-glynn
Lee County overcomes 38-21 deficit in 4th Quarter to defeat Glynn Academy in semifinals

It is championship weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta as each classification will be crowning champions.  Here are the results from last week’s semifinal games:

  • Class 7A
    • Colquitt County 31, Brookwood 14
    • North Gwinnett 38, McEachern 17
  • Class 6A
    • Coffee 14, Tucker 3
    • Lee County 42, Glynn Academy 38
  • Class 5A
    • Rome 45, Buford 7
    • Warner Robins 31, Carver-Atlanta 7
  • Class 4A
    • Marist 35, St. Pius X 14
    • Blessed Trinity 28, Mary Persons 7
  • Class 3A
    • Peach County 28, Greater Atlanta Christian 23
    • Calhoun 14, Cedar Grove 6
  • Class 2A
    • Rabun County 23, Brooks County 12
    • Hapeville Charter 28, Heard County 21
  • Class 1A (Private)
    • Eagle’s Landing Christian 55, Prince Avenue Christian 0
    • Athens Academy 14, Mount Paran Christian 7
  • Class 1A (Public)
    • Clinch County 23, Mount Zion-Carroll 20
    • Irwin County 38, Emanuel County Institute 35

Here is the schedule for this week’s state championship games:

  • Class 7A – Colquitt County vs. North Gwinnett (Saturday at 8 pm)
    • Colquitt County probably shocked a lot of Atlanta area folks with their win over Brookwood.  The Packers outscored the Broncos 21-0 in the second half.
    • Colquitt County is seeking their fourth state championship.  They last won it in 2015.
    • North Gwinnett is looking for their first title.
    • Colquitt County leads the series 2-1.
    • Last year:
      • Colquitt County lost to Grayson in the quarterfinals
      • North Gwinnett lost to South Gwinnett in the first round.
    • Championship Game Records:
      • Colquitt County (3-2)
        • 1991 – lost to LaGrange 17-16
        • 1994 – defeated Valdosta 23-10
        • 2010 – lost to Brookwood 52-38
        • 2014 – defeated Archer 28-24
        • 2015 – defeated Roswell 30-13
      • North Gwinnett (0-2)
        • 2007 – lost to Lowndes 34-6
        • 2013 – lost to Norcross 31-14
  • Class 6A – Coffee vs. Lee County (Friday at 8 pm)
    • Coffee took advantage of key Tucker turnovers to advance to their first state championship game.  Lee County trailed 38-21 in the fourth quarter but four turnovers by Glynn Academy helped the Trojans make a dramatic comeback to win.
    • Coffee leads the all-time series 4-2.  The two teams come from the same region.  Lee County won their regular season meeting 23-7.
    • Last year:
      • Coffee lost to Dalton in the quarterfinals
      • Lee County lost to Mays in the second round
    • Championship game records:  First game for both teams
  • Class 5A – Rome vs. Warner Robins (Friday at 4:30 pm)
    • Rome ended Buford’s state record of 10 semifinal wins as they dominated the Wolves.  Warner Robins had key interceptions, the final one by Ke’Shawn Duvall for a 55-yard touchdown.
    • Warner Robins is looking for their fifth state title.
    • Rome won the title last year.
    • Rome has outscored its opponents 223-30 in the playoffs.
    • Warner Robins won the only meeting between the schools in the 2004 quarterfinals.
    • Last year:
      • Rome defeated Buford for the state title
      • Warner Robins lost in first round
    • Championship game records:
      • Rome (1-0)
        • 2016 – defeated Buford 16-7
      • Note:  Rome was created in 1992 merging East and West Rome.
      • Warner Robins (4-1)
        • 1976 – defeated Griffin 34-0
        • 1981 – defeated Newnan 21-0
        • 1985 – lost to Clarke Central 21-7
        • 1988 – defeated Brookwood 33-6
        • 2004 – defeated Statesboro 34-13
  • Class 4A – Marist vs. Blessed Trinity (Saturday at 4:30 pm)
    • Marist broke open a tight game in the second half when QB Chase Abshier connected with Matthew Houghton for a 55-yard TD pass.  Blessed Trinity continued their amazing roll through the playoffs since their upset over Cartersville by avenging their loss to Mary Persons in last year’s quarterfinals.
    • Marist is playing in their 11th state final.  They have won two titles (1989 and 2003).
    • Blessed Trinity is playing in their second state final.  They lost the 2015 title to Westminster.
    • The all-time series is tied at 1-1.  Marist won the regular season meeting 25-24.
    • Last year:
      • Marist lost to Sandy Creek in first round
      • Blessed Trinity lost to Mary Persons in quarterfinals
    • Championship game records:
      • Marist (2-8)
        • 1948 – lost to Lanier (Macon) 15-14
        • 1979 – lost to Redan 17-14
        • 1980 – lost to Woodward Academy 14-10
        • 1983 – lost to Mitchell County 21-13
        • 1984 – lost to Thomson 27-17
        • 1987 – lost to Worth County 26-15
        • 1989 – defeated Worth County 30-8
        • 2003 – defeated Statesboro 21-6
        • 2006 – lost to Northside (Warner Robins) 30-6
        • 2008 – lost to Tucker 15-3
      • Blessed Trinity (0-1)
        • 2015 – lost to Westminster 38-31
  • Class 3A – Peach County vs. Calhoun (Friday at 1 pm)
    • Peach County jumped out to an early lead over Greater Atlanta Christian as QB Antonio Gilbert passed for over 300 yards.  Calhoun ended Cedar Grove’s 23-game winning streak.  Both teams a very familiar with playing in December.
    • Peach County is playing in their eighth state title game.  They are 3-4.
    • Calhoun is playing in their 10th having won the title in 1952, 2011 and 2014.
    • Calhoun won the only previous meeting – a 20-14 win – in the 2015 second round.
    • Last year:
      • Peach County lost to Greater Atlanta Christian in semifinals
      • Calhoun lost to Cedar Grove in quarterfinals
    • Championship game records:
      • Peach County (3-4)
        • 1992 – lost to Thomas County Central 14-13
        • 1998 – lost to Dougherty 27-7
        • 2003 – lost to LaGrange 16-7
        • 2005 – defeated Dougherty 35-14
        • 2006 – defeated Shaw 28-7
        • 2009 – defeated Gainesville 13-12
        • 2011 – lost to Burke County 28-14
      • Calhoun (3-6)
        • 1952 – defeated Fort Valley 19-14
        • 1953 – lost to Hawkinsville 27-6
        • 2005 – lost to Charlton County 27-21
        • 2008 – lost to Buford 45-21
        • 2009 – lost to Buford 13-10
        • 2010 – lost to Buford 31-24
        • 2011 – defeated Buford 27-24
        • 2012 – lost to Jefferson 31-14
        • 2014 – defeated Washington County 27-20
  • Class 2A – Rabun County vs. Hapeville Charter (Saturday at 1pm)
    • Rabun County QB Bailey Fisher connected with Austin Jones on a 74-yard touchdown pass with 3:25 left to put the game away against Brooks County.  Hapeville Charter’s Marcus Carroll scored on a TD run with five seconds left in their win over Heard County.
    • This is the first state title appearance for each school.  This will be the first meeting between the schools.
    • Last year:
      • Rabun County lost to Fitzgerald in quarterfinals
      • Hapeville Charter lost to Fitzgerald in semifinals
    • Championship game records:  First game for both teams
  • Class 1A (Private) – Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy vs. Athens Academy (Friday at 11 am)
    • ELCA dominated Prince Avenue Christian on the ground with 458 yards and seven touchdowns.  Their passing game – not so great with two attempts for -3 yards and one interception.  Athens Academy broke up their semifinal game with Mount Paran Christian in the third quarter scoring two touchdowns within 26 seconds.
    • ELCA is looking for their third straight title and fifth overall.
    • Athens Academy is playing for their first title.
    • ELCA won their only previous meeting in the 2009 playoffs.
    • Last year:
      • ELCA defeated Fellowship Christian for state title
      • Athens Academy lost to Mount Paran Christian in second round
    • Championship game records:
      • ELCA (4-2)
        • 1996 – defeated John Hancock Academy 41-23
        • 1997 – lost to Bulloch Academy 21-20
        • 2012 – defeated Prince Avenue Christian 33-0
        • 2014 – lost to Mount Paran Christian 49-7
        • 2015 – defeated Aquinas 35-14
        • 2016 – defeated Fellowship Christian 34-27
      • Athens Academy (first appearance)
  • Class 1A (Public) – Clinch County vs. Irwin County (Saturday at 11 am)
    • Clinch County blocked a field goal attempt by Mt. Zion in the closing seconds to win their semifinal game.  Irwin County got a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter then held on for the win over ECI.
    • Homerville will shutdown once again as Clinch County will be playing in the state finals for the ninth time.  The Panthers have won it six times (1988, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2015).
    • Irwin County last won the state title in 1975.  This is their seventh appearance in the final.
    • Irwin County leads the all-time series 21-20-1.  They won the regular season meeting 21-7 on September 15th.   Clinch County beat Irwin County 24-7 in the 2015 state championship game.
    • Last year:
      • Clinch County lost to McIntosh County Academy in semifinals
      • Irwin County lost to ECI in quarterfinals
    • Championship game records:
      • Clinch County (6-2)
        • 1980 – lost to Greenville 12-10
          • Note:  Clinch County lost this game in the closing seconds when Greenville won on the high school version of the “immaculate reception” when pass was deflected off a defender into the hands of a Greenville receiver who raced to the end zone.
        • 1988 – defeated Palmetto 34-14
        • 1991 – defeated Lincoln County 11-8
        • 2002 – defeated Dooly County 50-14
        • 2004 – tied Hawkinsville 14-14 (GHSA counts this as a win)
        • 2006 – lost to Lincoln County 21-14
        • 2010 – defeated Savannah Christian 24-14
        • 2015 – defeated Irwin County 24-7
      • Irwin County (1-5)
        • 1953 – lost to Model 25-19
        • 1968 – lost to Roswell 32-6
        • 1975 – defeated Jefferson 39-13
        • 1997 – lost to Manchester 28-7
        • 2014 – lost to Hawkinsville 15-6
        • 2015 – lost to Clinch County 24-7

BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 55, Prince Avenue Christian 0 – ELCA rushed for 458 yards and scored seven touchdowns.  ELCA is looking for their third straight title.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Lee County QB Jase Orndorff had 355 yards passing in their dramatic win over Glynn Academy.

NOTES FOR THE WEEK:

  • Warner Robins is the 28th team to make it to the state finals after a losing season.  In 1986, Villa Rica did it after going 4-5-1 the previous season.
  • Colquitt County began the 10th team in history to win four state playoff games on the road and advance to the state final.
  • Coffee, Lee County, Rabun County, Hapeville Charter and Athens Academy are making their first appearance in the state finals.
  • Lee County overcame a 31-14 deficit at halftime to defeat Glynn Academy.  Dashawn King returned a fumble 78 yards for the winning touchdown with less than three minutes left.
  • Rome and ELCA are the only remaining teams that are attempting to repeat as state champions.
  • ELCA will be going for their third straight title.  Buford was the last team to win it as they won four straight from 2007-2010.
  • This first GHSA state champion was Lanier in 1947.
  • Valdosta has won the most state titles (24).

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:

coffee

The Coffee Trojans started playing football in 1970 under coach John Stephens.   They won their first game on September 25, 1970 over Groves (12-7).  The Trojans are 286-224-6 in their 48 seasons of football. Coffee has made the playoff 22 times.  Before this current season, their best finish was in 1981 when they made it to the semifinals losing to Warner Robins.  The Trojans’ biggest rival is Ware County.  They have played each other 45 times.  Coffee leads the series 26-19.  Bonwell Royal is the team’s winningest coach with a record of 165-105-5 over 26 seasons (1972-2004).   The most notable players are WR Tyreek Hill now with the Kansas City Chiefs and LB Willis Crockett who played with the Dallas Cowboys in 1990.  The Trojans play at Jardine Stadium in Douglas, Georgia.

THANKS TO THE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL HISTORIANS WEBSITE FOR SOME VALUABLE STATISTICS.

Georgia High School Football Weekly (11/29/17)

MtZion
Mt. Zion-Carroll Advanced To First Semifinal Appearance In School History

The games get bigger as we trim the number of teams left down to the final four for each classification.  Here’s a look at last week’s scores and the games scheduled for the semifinal rounds:

Class AAAAAAA
Quarterfinals
Brookwood 35, Tift County 28
Colquitt County 12, Archer 7
McEachern 43, Parkview 28
North Gwinnett 51, Marietta 41

Semifinals
Colquitt County at Brookwood
McEachern at North Gwinnett

Class AAAAAA
Quarterfinals
Coffee 28, Alpharetta 14
Tucker 20, Allatoona 12
Lee County 34, Mays 14
Glynn Academy 31, Harrison 7

Semifinals
Coffee at Tucker
Glynn Academy at Lee County

Class AAAAA
Quarterfinals
Rome 59, Starr’s Mill 10
Buford 20, Stockbridge 17
Warner Robins 63, Carrollton 24
Carver, Atlanta 26, Jones County 21

Semifinals
Buford at Rome
Carver, Atlanta at Warner Robins

Class AAAA
Quarterfinals
Marist 28, Burke County 6
St. Pius 35, Woodward Academy 31
Blessed Trinity 43, Thomson 13
Mary Persons 51, Jefferson 32

Semifinals
St. Pius at Marist
Blessed Trinity at Mary Persons

Class AAA
Quarterfinals
Greater Atlanta Christian 51, Jenkins 14
Peach County 45, Westminster 15
Cedar Grove 28, Pike County 0
Calhoun 31, Liberty County 7

Semifinals
Peach Co. at Greater Atlanta Christian
Calhoun at Cedar Grove

Class AA
Quarterfinals
Brooks County 31, Callaway 0
Rabun County 56, Screven County 14
Heard County 28, Thomasville 14
Hapeville Charter 31, Benedictine 17

Semifinals
Brooks County at Rabun County
Hapeville Charter at Heard County

Class A (private)
Quarterfinals
ELCA 55 Calvary Day 0
Prince Avenue 31, Darlington 18
Athens Acad. 38, Sav. Country Day 14
Mount Paran 14, Stratford Academy 7

Semifinals
Prince Avenue Christian at ELCA
Mount Paran Christ. at Athens Acad.

Class A (public)
Quarterfinals
Mount Zion, Carroll 10, Manchester 6
Clinch County 21, Mitchell County 0
Irwin County 21, Macon County 15
ECI 49, Charlton County 25

Semifinals
Mount Zion, Carroll at Clinch County
Emanuel County Institute at Irwin Co.

BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 55, Calvary Day 0 – ELCA piled up 426 yards of offense in the game.  RB Josh Mays scored three touchdowns.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

QB Dylan Fromm of Warner Robins was 25-of-34 passing for 357 yards and three touchdowns.  He also scored three touchdowns on the ground in their semifinal win over Carrollton

NEWS AND NOTES:

  • Heard County, Lee County, Mt. Zion (Carroll) and Rabun County have advanced to the semifinal round for the first time in their school’s history.
  • The 63 points scored by Warner Robins against Carrollton are the most they have ever scored in a playoff game.  The previous record was 56 when they defeated Wayne County 56-7 in the 1976 semifinals.
  • Two more defending champs fell short this week as Macon County and Benedictine were eliminated.
  • Buford has an 18-3 record in semifinal games.
  • North Gwinnett, Lee County, Buford, Marist, Greater Atlanta Christian, Rabun County, Eagle’s Landing Christian and Clinch County are favored to win their classification titles of the teams that are remaining.
  • Blessed Trinity is making their third semifinal appearance in four seasons and looking for their first state title.
  • Coffee’s last semifinal appearance was a 31-6 loss to Warner Robins in 1981.
  • McEachern started the season 0-2 but have been 10-1 since then.
  • Lee County has now won 12 games – the most in the school’s history.  Previous bests were 10 wins in 2005 and 2013.

PERSONAL WATCH LIST:

  • Warner Robins 63, Carrollton 24 – This certainly wasn’t what I had expected.  It was a close game at halftime as Warner Robins led 21-17 but the Demons blew it open in the third quarter.  Julius Burnett had 142 yards rushing.  QB Dylan Fromm accounted for 357 yards and six touchdowns.  Warner Robins will host Carver (Atlanta) in the semifinals.  This will be the first meeting between the two teams.  Carver last played in the semifinals in 1968.  Warner Robins is 5-8 in semifinal games.  The Demons lost to Lovejoy in 2011.
  • Clinch County 21, Mitchell County 0 – Trezmen Marshall put the Panthers up 14-0 with a touchdown run before halftime as the Panthers controlled the game in the second half for the win.  The Panthers will host Mt. Zion (Carroll) in the semifinals. The teams have never met.  Clinch County is 8-7 in the semifinal round.  The Panthers lost to McIntosh County Academy last season.

TOP FIVE GAMES THIS WEEK:

  • Colquitt County at Brookwood – This is a rematch from September 15th when Brookwood won 42-25.  The Broncos have a 13-game winning streak at home.  The Packers have won their last 7 away playoff games.  Brookwood leads the series 4-2
  • Glynn Academy at Lee County – Leesburg will be rocking in their first semifinal appearance in school history.  The teams have never played.
  • Buford at Rome – Two monster powerhouse programs will meet in the semifinals this week.  This will be a rematch of last year’s state title game where Rome defeated Buford 16-7.
  • St. Pius X at Marist – These two teams know each other really well.  This will be their 53rd meeting.  Marist leads the all-time series 32-17-3.   Marist has won the last two games including a 17-14 win on September 8th.
  • Calhoun at Cedar Grove – Here is another matchup of two power teams.  The series is tied 1-1 with Cedar Grove winning 47-21 in the quarterfinal round last year.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:

HeardThe Heard County Braves have fielded a football team for the past 46 seasons.  Their record over that span is 253-237-3.  They have qualified for the playoffs 26 times.  Their first game was played on September 8, 1972.  They were coached by Danny Pounds.  They lost to Mt. Zion-Carroll 35-6.  Their first win came against Taylor County on September 21, 1973.  The longest winning streak has been 11 games from November 6, 1987 to November 4, 1988.  Their best seasons came in 2006 & 2012.  The teams won 11 games and lost in the second round of the playoffs.  Their biggest rival is Greenville but they are 8-23 in the all-time series.  The current coach is Tim Barron who is the Braves’ all-time winningest coach (129-56-0).  Their most notable players were RB Dontavius Jackson who played at Georgia and RB Carlos Brown who went on to Michigan.  The Braves play at Staples Stadium in Franklin, Georgia.

Georgia High School Football Weekly (11/22/17)

Blessed Trinity Shocks Cartersville In The Second Round

Last week was the week for huge upsets in the Georgia High School Association playoffs.  Two more defending champions went down to defeat (Grayson and Cartersville) in addition to one of the highest scoring teams of the season (Lowndes).   Here are the scores from last week and this week’s schedule for the quarterfinals:

Class AAAAAAA
Second round
Brookwood 28, Milton 23
Tift Co. 31, Hillgrove 24
Archer 16, Mill Creek 10
Colquitt Co. 28, Walton 21
Parkview 48, Mountain View 13
McEachern 36, Lowndes 31
North Gwinnett 35, Grayson 28
Marietta 38, Woodstock 28
Quarterfinals
Tift Co. at Brookwood
Colquitt Co. at Archer
Parkview at McEachern
Marietta at North Gwinnett
Class AAAAAA
Second round
Alpharetta 24, Douglas Co. 21
Coffee 55, Evans 21
Allatoona 14, Dacula 13
Tucker 28, Northside, Warner Robins 7
Mays 48, Centennial 41
Lee Co. 38, Grovetown 6
Harrison 45, Winder-Barrow 17
Glynn Acad. 34, Heritage, Conyers 26
Quarterfinals
Coffee at Alpharetta
Allatoona at Tucker (A)
Mays at Lee Co.
Harrison at Glynn Academy (GL)
Class AAAAA
Second round
Rome 56, Southwest DeKalb 0
Starr’s Mill 49, Bainbridge 28
Buford 48, Jackson, Atlanta 0
Stockbridge 10, Ware Co. 7
Carrollton 44, Arabia Mountain 0
Warner Robins 26, Eagle’s Landing 23
Carver, Atlanta 33, Flowery Branch 19
Jones Co. 26, Wayne Co. 21
Quarterfinals
Rome at Starr’s Mill
Buford at Stockbridge
Carrollton at Warner Robins (MT)
Jones Co. at Carver, Atlanta (G)
Class AAAA
Second round
Marist 31, Cedartown 18
Burke Co. 41, Cairo 23
St. Pius 43, Troup 35
Woodward Acad. 42, W. Laurens 31
Blessed Trinity 21, Cartersville 17
Thomson 35, Americus-Sumter 34
Jefferson 28, Ridgeland 21
Mary Persons 39, Baldwin 14
Quarterfinals
Marist at Burke Co.
St. Pius at Woodward Academy
Blessed Trinity at Thomson
Jefferson at Mary Persons
Class AAA
Second round
Greater Atlanta Christian 38, Lovett 21
Jenkins 35, Cook 34
Westminster 59, East Hall 57
Peach Co. 34, Pierce Co. 14
Cedar Grove 58, Dawson Co. 13
Pike Co. 26, Crisp Co. 25
Calhoun 28, Monroe Area 20
Liberty Co. 21, Westside, Macon 0
Quarterfinals
Greater Atlanta Christian at Jenkins (P)
Westminster at Peach Co.
Pike Co. at Cedar Grove (GO)
Calhoun at Liberty Co.
Class AA
Second round
Callaway 40, Rockmart 35
Brooks Co. 35, Dodge Co. 17
Rabun Co. 35, B.E.S.T. Academy 2
Screven Co. 34, Toombs Co. 20
Heard Co. 41, Pepperell 28
Thomasville 44, Dublin 22
Hapeville Charter 56, Elbert Co. 10
Benedictine 70, Jefferson Co. 21
Quarterfinals
Callaway at Brooks Co.
Rabun Co. at Screven Co.
Heard Co. at Thomasville
Hapeville Charter at Benedictine (SS)
Class A (private)
Second round
Calvary Day 17, Wesleyan 10
ELCA 54, Savannah Christian 0
Prince Avenue 33, Whitefield Acad. 7
Darlington 33, Aquinas 14
Sav. Country Day 20, Mount Pisgah 17
Athens Acad. 56, First Presbyterian 7
Stratford Acd. 36, Fellowship Christ. 22
Mount Paran 53, Mount Vernon 12
Quarterfinals
Calvary Day at ELCA
Darlington at Prince Avenue Christian
Sav. Country Day at Athens Academy
Stratford Academy at Mount Paran
Class A (public)
Second round
Mount Zion, Carroll 20, Marion Co. 12
Manchester 58, Washington-Wilkes 20
Clinch Co. 48, Dooly Co. 35
Mitchell Co. 22, Schley Co. 21
Macon Co. 41, Pelham 28
Irwin Co. 28, Lincoln Co. 14
Charlton Co. 42, Commerce 14
ECI 55, Jenkins Co. 26
Quarterfinals
Mount Zion-Carroll at Manchester
Clinch Co. at Mitchell Co.
Macon Co. at Irwin Co.
Charlton Co. at Emanuel Co. Institute
NEWS AND NOTES:
  • Blessed Trinity shocked heavily favored Cartersville 21-17 as QB Jake Smith connected with Ryan Davis with a 26-yard pass with 12 seconds remaining.  The win ended Cartersville’s 41-game winning streak and a bid for a third-straight state title.  This is the second time in three seasons that Blessed Trinity has beaten a top-ranked team in the playoffs.
  • Lee County and Pike County have advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
  • I was two years’ old the last time (1966) Jenkins played in the quarterfinals.
  • McEachern overcame a 31-14 deficit late in the game against Lowndes as Carlos Del Rio, a freshman, threw a 31-yard TD pass to Genuine Potts for the winning score with 54 seconds left.
  • North Gwinnett broke a 28-28 tie with Grayson late in the fourth quarter with a 15-yard TD run by Tyler Goodson.
  • Warner Robins and Carrollton have 11 state titles between them.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: 
QB Matthew Downing of Alpharetta had a season-high 324 yards passing in a 24-21 win over Douglas County last week.
PERSONAL WATCH-LIST:
  • Warner Robins 26, Eagle’s Landing 23 (ot) – Wow.  This one was back-and-forth and drove me out of my mind.  An injured and hobbled Jarius Burnett willed his way into the end zone on a fourth-and-1 in overtime to give the Demon’s the winning score.  Warner Robins is now in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.  The Demons will host Carrollton this week.  Carrollton is in their third straight quarterfinal round.  These teams have never met but both have storied histories.  Carrollton has won seven state titles and Warner Robins has four state titles.  Carrollton (10-2) has lost two games this season to Rome (45-24) and Hiram (41-14) but have won their last five.  Warner Robins has won 12 straight.
  • Clinch County 48, Dooly County 35 –  The Panthers were outgained 488-474 but QB Charles McClelland passed for 179 yards and ran for 84 to help his team to advance to their second straight quarterfinal appearance.  Clinch County will travel to Camilla to play Mitchell County (10-1).   The Panthers lead the all-time series 4-2.  The Panthers defeated Mitchell County 54-12 in the second round last season.

TOP GAMES THIS WEEK:

  • Colquitt County at Archer – This is a rematch of the 2014 state championship game when Colquitt County won 28-24.  Archer comes into the game 12-0 and primed to eliminate the Packers but Colquitt County always seems to find a way to win on the road.
  • Allatoona at Tucker – Allatoona (9-3) won the state title in 2015 while Tucker (11-1) came up short to Valdosta in the championship game last season.
  • Carrollton at Warner Robins – This is a game between two schools with storied football traditions meeting for the first time.  Warner Robins has problems on offense the last couple of games with turnovers and penalties.
  • Blessed Trinity at Thomson – Blessed Trinity toppled the Goliath known as Cartersville and QB Joey Lawrence last week.  It will be interesting to see how they respond this week at Thomson.  These teams have never met previously.  The Titans are 10-2 with their two losses some to Marietta and Marist.  Thomson is 10-1 with their only loss to Burke County on October 27th.
  • Macon County at Irwin County – Macon County (8-3) is the defending 1A (Public) champions but they lost to Irwin County earlier in the season 36-28.  Irwin County enters the game at 10-1 with their only loss to Fitzgerald.   The all-time series is tied 2-2.
  • Charlton County at Emanuel County Institute –  These teams aren’t as dominant as they have been in past years but should be a good matchup.  Charlton County is 9-2.  ECI is 10-1.  This will be the first meeting between the schools.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT: 

The Blessed Trinity Titans have played football since 2001 when they started at 0-3.  They haveblessed not had another winless season since then.  The Titans are 121-65-1.  Their best season came in 2015 when they finished 13-1-1 and came up short to Westminster in the state final in overtime.  Blessed Trinity has qualified for the playoffs 10 of their 17 seasons.  Tim McFarlin is the teams’ winningest coach with a record of 71-19-1 from 2011-present.  The Titans have had 19 First Team All-Star Players in their history.  Most recently, RB Steele Chambers in 2016.   Their most common opponent has been Westminster.  The all-time series is tied at 7-7.  The Titans play at Blessed Trinity Stadium in Roswell.

Georgia High School Football Weekly (11/16/17)

northside
Northside Warner Robins Surprises Brunswick 24-21 in First Round of GHSA Playoffs

It’s playoff time in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) as teams battled in the first round of the state playoffs last week.  Rankings mean nothing at this point as you have to win to advance.  So let’s take a look at the scoreboard from last week and schedule for the second round games:

Class AAAAAAA
First round
Milton 44, Collins Hill 15
Brookwood 28, South Gwinnett 0
Tift Co. 59, Newnan 13
Hillgrove 49, Roswell 7
Mill Creek 29, West Forsyth 14
Archer 37, Meadowcreek 0
Colquitt Co. 49, Pebblebrook 7
Walton 28, North Cobb 14
Parkview 42, Newton 35
Mountain View 31, South Forsyth 13
McEachern 39, Etowah 7
Lowndes 60, Campbell 6
Grayson 31, Norcross 14
North Gwinnett 55, North Forsyth 7
Woodstock 28, North Paulding 14
Marietta 34, Westlake 7
Second round
Milton at Brookwood
Tift Co. at Hillgrove
Mill Creek at Archer
Colquitt Co. at Walton
Mountain View at Parkview
McEachern at Lowndes
Grayson at North Gwinnett
Marietta at Woodstock
Class AAAAAA
First round
Douglas Co. 13, Dalton 6
Alpharetta 40, Gainesville 24
Coffee 52, Effingham Co. 32
Evans 69, Drew 32
Allatoona 27, Hughes 7
Dacula 42, Pope 14
Northside, W. Robins 24, Brunswick 21
Tucker 55, Lakeside-Evans 7
Centennial 48, Lanier 14
Mays 48, Sequoyah 28
Grovetown 35, Lovejoy 27
Lee Co. 29, Richmond Hill 21
Winder-Barrow 36, Chattahoochee 7
Harrison 33, Alexander 28
Heritage, Conyers 20, Stephenson 7
Glynn Academy 27, Valdosta 3
Second round
Douglas Co. at Alpharetta
Coffee at Evans
Allatoona at Dacula
Northside, Warner Robins at Tucker
Centennial at Mays
Grovetown at Lee Co.
Winder-Barrow at Harrison
Heritage, Conyers at Glynn Academy
Class AAAAA
First round
Southwest DeKalb 35, Banneker 17
Rome 63, Cedar Shoals 13
Bainbridge 48, New Hampstead 6
Starr’s Mill 31, Dutchtown 28
Jackson, Atlanta 14, Miller Grove 0
Buford 54, Paulding Co. 23
Ware Co. 24, Harris Co. 6
Stockbridge 40, McIntosh 7
Carrollton 35, Clarke Central 16
Arabia Mountain 35, North Springs 21
Eagle’s Landing 45, Whitewater 3
Warner Robins 30, South Effingham 17
Flowery Branch 21, Kell 14
Carver, Atlanta 36, Columbia 0
Jones Co. 32, Griffin 8
Wayne Co. 28, Thomas Co. Central 0
Second round
SW DeKalb at Rome
Bainbridge at Starr’s Mill
Jackson, Atlanta at Buford
Ware Co. at Stockbridge
Carrollton at Arabia Mountain
Eagle’s Landing at Warner Robins
Flowery Branch at Carver, Atlanta
Jones Co. at Wayne Co.
Class AAAA
First round
Cedartown 47, Northwest Whitfield 14
Marist 38, Madison Co. 14
Cairo 26, Spalding 20
Burke Co. 35, Salem 7
Troup 31, Heritage, Ringgold 7
St. Pius 44, West Hall 31
West Laurens 14, Northside, Col. 7
Woodward Acd. 48, Richmond Acd. 35
Blessed Trinity 35, Oconee Co. 0
Cartersville 48, Pickens 21
Thomson 48, North Clayton 8
Americus-Sumter 27, Howard 14
Jefferson 29, White Co. 13
Ridgeland 63, Chapel Hill 7
Baldwin 21, Eastside 16
Mary Persons 27, Carver, Columbus 0
Second round
Cedartown at Marist
Cairo at Burke Co.
Troup at St. Pius
West Laurens at Woodward Academy
Blessed Trinity at Cartersville
Thomson at Americus-Sumter
Jefferson at Ridgeland
Baldwin at Mary Persons
Class AAA
First round
Lovett 32, Bremen 0
GAC 49, Jackson Co. 0
Cook 26, Tattnall Co. 14
Jenkins 28, Jackson 21
Westminster 37, North Murray 7
East Hall 50, Morgan Co. 36
Pierce Co. 28, Monroe 21
Peach Co. 45, Savannah 0
Dawson Co. 49, Hart Co. 14
Cedar Grove 48, Adairsville 13
Pike Co. 43, Southeast Bulloch 28
Crisp Co. 56, Appling Co. 7
Monroe Area 42, North Hall 7
Calhoun 27, Pace Academy 3
Westside, Macon 14, Windsor Forest 0
Liberty Co. 43, Dougherty 6
Second round
Lovett at Greater Atlanta Christian
Cook at Jenkins
East Hall at Westminster
Pierce Co. at Peach Co.
Dawson Co. at Cedar Grove
Pike Co. at Crisp Co.
Monroe Area at Calhoun
Westside, Macon at Liberty Co.
Class AA
First round
Callaway 28, Douglass 8
Rockmart 47, Monticello 7
Brooks Co. 39, Vidalia 7
Dodge Co. 44, Butler 8
B.E.S.T. Academy 34, Temple 27
Rabun Co. 49, Chattooga 6
Toombs Co. 34, Fitzgerald 31
Screven Co. 42, Washington Co. 7
Pepperell 57, Banks Co. 0
Heard Co. 42, South Atlanta 3
Dublin 42, Harlem 0
Thomasville 35, Jeff Davis 14
Elbert Co. 41, Coosa 7
Hapeville Charter 24, Spencer 0
Jefferson Co. 45, Southwest 14
Benedictine 56, Berrien 14
Second round
Callaway at Rockmart
Brooks Co. at Dodge Co.
B.E.S.T. Academy at Rabun Co.
Toombs Co. at Screven Co.
Pepperell at Heard Co.
Dublin at Thomasville
Elbert Co. at Hapeville Charter
Jefferson Co. at Benedictine
Class A (private)
First round
Calvary Day 42, Strong Rock Christ. 7
Wesleyan bye
Sav. Christian 22, Hebron Christian 15
Eagle’s Landing Christian bye
Whitefield Academy 26, Walker 7
Prince Avenue Christian bye
Darlington 26, Mount de Sales 3
Aquinas bye
Sav. Country Day 33, Brookstone 7
Mount Pisgah Christian bye
First Presbyterian 49, Tattnall Square 28
Athens Academy bye
Fellowship Chr. 41, George Walton 35
Stratford Academy bye
Mount Vernon 21, O.L. of Mercy 14
Mount Paran Christian bye
Second round
Calvary Day at Wesleyan
Savannah Christian at ELCA
Whitefield Academy at Prince Avenue
Darlington at Aquinas
Sav. Country Day at Mount Pisgah
First Presbyterian at Athens Academy
Fellowship Christ. at Stratford Acad.
Mount Vernon at Mount Paran Christ.
Class A (public)
First round
Marion Co. 28, Telfair Co. 27
Mount Zion, Carroll bye
Wash.-Wilkes 34, Chattahoochee Co. 0
Manchester bye
Dooly Co. 56, Trion 35
Clinch Co. bye
Schley Co. 14, Turner Co. 6
Mitchell Co. bye
Pelham 41, Towns Co. 14
Macon Co. bye
Lincoln Co. 28, Taylor Co. 12
Irwin Co. bye
Charlton Co. 49, Montgomery Co. 46
Commerce bye
Jenkins Co. 30, Miller Co. 14
Emanuel Co. Institute bye
Second round
Marion Co. at Mount Zion, Carroll
Washington-Wilkes at Manchester
Dooly Co. at Clinch Co.
Schley Co. at Mitchell Co.
Pelham at Macon Co.
Lincoln Co. at Irwin Co.
Charlton Co. at Commerce
Jenkins Co. vs. Emanuel Co. Institute
BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:
  • Ridgeland 63, Chapel Hill 7

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Stockbridge WR Marquez Ezzard had six receptions for 255 yards in the 40-7 win over McIntosh.

NOTES FROM LAST WEEK:
  • Towns County lost their first playoff game in school history, 41-14 to Pelham.
  • B.E.S.T. Academy, Eagle’s Landing, Grovetown, Jackson-Atlanta, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, Mountain View and Pike County won their first playoff games.
  • Jenkins County won their first playoff game since 1960.
  • Northside-Warner Robins had a mild upset of Brunswick as they held on for a 24-21 win.  Northside was outgained 442-213 and completed on one pass which was a 43-yard TD for the winning score.  Northside will now play Tucker.  Both teams are very familiar with each other having played five times.  Tucker won last year’s game.   With the way Northside has played this year, I really don’t see them advancing.
  • Marietta made the most of their at-large entry by shocking Westlake 34-7.
  • Valdosta is the first defending champion from last season to go down as they lost to Glynn Academy 27-3.

PERSONAL WATCH LIST:

  • Warner Robins 30, South Effingham 17 – Warner Robins won against 1-9 South Effingham but they were not sharp.  Jarius Burnett rushed for 212 yards to help Warner Robins pull away from South Effingham.  The Demons will host Eagle’s Landing (7-4) this week in the second round.  Warner Robins is 3-0 all-time against Eagle’s Landing.  They last played in 2005.  This is the first time Warner Robins has advanced past the first round since 2013.
  • Clinch County had a bye.  The Panthers will host Dooly County (5-6) this week.  Clinch County leads the series 8-4.  They last played in 2015 when the Panthers defeated Dooly County 30-8 in the first round of the playoffs.

TOP SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS:

  • Milton at Brookwood – Milton (no relation to me) has been on a roll but must now face Gwinnett powerhouse Brookwood.  This will be the first meeting between the schools.
  • Coffee at Evans – I think this is an intriguing matchup.  No one has paid much attention to Evans from Augusta.  Coffee is a team that you can never put away.   This should be one of the better games in the second round.
  • Jones County at Wayne County – Wayne County got everyone’s attention when they beat Valdosta earlier in the year.  Jones County has rolled along with only a loss to Stockbridge in week 9.  Wayne County leads the all-time series 7-2.  Jones County beat Wayne County 39-15 in the first round last season.
  • Baldwin at Mary Persons – This will be a good one in Middle Georgia.  Baldwin has stumbled into the second round with a 7-4 record but seems to be peaking at the right time.  Mary Persons is 9-2 and hoping to go further than their semifinal appearance last season.  Mary Persons leads the all-time series 8-2 and have won the last four games.
  • Westside Macon at Liberty County – Westside Macon is a hard time to predict.  I expected more than a 14-0 win over Windsor Forest in the first round but the Seminoles won and now they play Liberty County who has won their last six games.  This will be the first meeting.
  • Cook at Jenkins – Cook always seems to find a way to win in the playoffs on the road.  You can’t count the guys from Adel out of any game.  Jenkins is hoping to go where they haven’t been since 1966.  The teams have played once before in 2015 where Cook won 30-21.
  • Brooks County at Dodge County – Dodge County has quietly flown under the radar undefeated.  Brooks County is 9-1 and has had lots of success under Coach Maurice Freeman.  Eastman will be rocking on Friday night for this one.  This will be the first meeting between the schools.
  • Dublin at Thomasville – This one seems like one of those old-school matchups.  Their first meeting was in the 1963 semifinals won by Dublin 9-6.  The all-time series is tied 3-3.  They last played in 2008.
  • Savannah Christian at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy – Both of these teams have been dominate among the private schools in Class 1A.  Savannah Christian has been rebuilding in the past few seasons.  ELCA has won 32 straight and looking for their third straight title.  ELCA won the only previous meeting between the schools 42-7 in the 2012 quarterfinals.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:

The Pike County Pirates are located in Zebulon, Georgia.  They have fielded a team since 1971. pikeco Their all-time record is 159-296-4.  They have qualified for the playoffs seven times.  Their best season was in 2008 when they finished 9-2.  Their longest winning streak was nine games from October 13, 2000 to October 5, 2001.    Their biggest rival is Lamar County.  They have played 32 times with Lamar County leading the all-time series 25-7.    Their most recent most notable player was offensive lineman Dylan Jeffery who was one of the top lineman named by the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2012.