Colquitt County avenged last season’s heartbreaking loss to North Gwinnett in the Class AAAAAAA championship game, shutting out the Bulldogs 45-0 in the quarterfinals. Senior running back Ty Leggett rushed for five touchdowns for the host Packers. Colquitt County (13-0) jumped out to a 17-0 lead after the first quarter and 31-0 lead at halftime. Leggett put the Packers up 7-0 on an 8-yard run with 6:43 to play in the first quarter, and a 45-yard field goal from Ryan Fitzgerald made it 10-0. Leggett’s second touchdown run of the first quarter went for 6 yards to make the score 17-0. The Packers went up 24-0 in the second quarter on a touchdown pass, and Daijun Edwards put them up 31-0 on a 6-yard rushing score with under two minutes to play in the first half. Leggett stayed hot in the third quarter, rushing for two more touchdowns—including a 56-yard score—to give the Packers their final tally. Jay Ward had two interceptions for Colquitt County in the second quarter. Colquitt County’s win avenges a last-second loss to North Gwinnett (10-3) in last year’s title game, in which the Packers were hurt by late penalties and fell 19-17 on a Bulldogs field goal with no time remaining. Colquitt County hosts Archer in the semifinals next Friday. Archer, the No. 2 seed from Region 8, defeated Tift County in the quarters to improve to 11-2. It is the Packers’ ninth trip to the semifinals in head coach Rush Propst’s 11 seasons at the school.
Archer 16, Tift County 10 (OT)
The Archer Tigers won their 10th game of the season, defeating visiting Tift County 16-10 to earn a spot in the Class AAAAAAA semifinals and a trip down south to Colquitt County. The Tigers and Blue Devils traded punts throughout the first two quarters, with the exception of Jacob Waters 31-yard field goal midway through the second that gave Archer its 3-0 lead at halftime. After another pair of punts, Tift County took the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run by Mike Jones. Semaje Banks answered on the following Tiger drive, putting Archer back up 10-7 with a two-yard run. The fourth quarter began with each team punting twice before Tift County turned it over on downs, but a recovered Archer fumble set up Rosendo Ramirez’s game-tying 38-yard field goal in the final minute of regulation. The Blue Devils began overtime on offense, but Edwin Mangual’s interception gave the Tigers the ball, which Banks took to the end zone for the 16-10 final.
Lanier 27, Coffee 7
Coffee was first on the board with a 40-yard rushing touchdown from Freshman Maurice Turner around the five-minute mark of the first. Lanier failed to put points on the board during the first half and missed a 32-yard field goal early in the third. The Longhorns offense finally got rolling when a fumble by Coffee was recovered by Senior Jake Ludwig and returned into the end zone for the tying score. Shortly after, Senior Quarterback Zach Calzada connected with Senior receiver Jahkai Richardson for a 1-yard go-ahead touchdown. Up 14-7 with 7:08 left in the game, Calzada extended the Longhorns lead with an 18-yard quarterback scramble into the end zone. A missed extra point kept the game at 20-7, but a thunderous 81-yard rushing score by Junior Taj Barnes put the game away. The Longhorns will advance to the Class AAAAAA semifinals where they’ll face off against Lee County.
Lee County 42, Creekview 20
Lee County quarterback Kyle Toole scored one touchdown through the air and two on the ground in the Trojans 42-20 win over Creekview in Friday’s Class AAAAAA quarterfinal game. The 80-yard touchdown to Artavius Warren was the game’s first score and a sign of things to come for the remainder of the game. Trojans strong safety Jammie Robinson returned an interception for a touchdown on the next drive to give Lee County an early 14-0 lead. Creekview running back Cade Radam willed himself into the end zone on the Grizzlies’ next possession, but a costly fumble by Creekview at the start of the second half opened the floodgates for Lee County for the rest of the night. First came a 19-yard touchdown run from Daveon Sanders, followed by touchdown runs of 2 yards and 25 yards from Kyle Toole to extend the Trojans’ lead to 35-7. Creekview scored again, but Lee County answered with 6-yard touchdown run by Charles Carr to give the Trojans a comfortable 42-14 lead late in the fourth quarter. Grizzlies’ star running back Cade Radam was able to add one more touchdown in the final minute of the game to cap off his spectacular season, but it wasn’t enough to keep Lee County from advancing to a Class AAAAAA semifinal match against Lanier next weekend.
Dacula 56, Valdosta 21
Dacula Falcons QB and Georgia Southern baseball commit Jason Jarrett accounted for three touchdowns in Dacula’s quarterfinal win over Valdosta on Friday night. The first touchdown pass was a 44-yard strike to wide receiver Chris Scott on Dacula’s opening drive. Jenkins got it done through the air again on the Falcons’ next possession, connecting with Konata Mumpfield for a 52-yard touchdown for a 13-0 lead in the first quarter before Valdosta responded with back-to-back touchdowns to take a 14-13 lead into halftime. Falcons wide receiver Jalen Perry opened the third quarter with a 56-yard touchdown run off an option pitch to re-claim the lead at 19-14. Dacula then added a field goal and Trenton Jones touchdown to extend their lead to 29-14. Valdosta responded with a 1-play, 80-yard touchdown to cut the lead to eight. Dacula then answered with a 49-yard touchdown run by Jenkins on a quarterback keeper, a 69-yard touchdown run by running back Kyle Efford, a fumble recovery touchdown by strong safety Jaylen Drummond, and an 83-yard touchdown run by Efford again for a convincing 56-21 victory. Dacula plays Northside-Warner Robins in the Class AAAAAA semifinals next.
Northside-Warner Robins 30, Sequoyah 6
Northside-Warner Robins stunned host Sequoyah in a 30-6 rout that earned the Eagles a trip to the Class AAAAAA semifinals. Northside opened with an 87-yard drive that ended in an 8-yard score by Zikhyree’ Hill before Daniel Neal’s 74-yard touchdown put the Eagles up 13-0 (after the missed extra point) with 2:52 left in the first. CJ Munson extended the lead early in the second with a 42-yard field goal, and Eric Smith added the first of his two touchdowns—a 5-yard run—to pad it before Sequoyah finally got on the board with an 11-yard completion from Collier Pecht to Cole Jacobs with 0:25 left in the half. The teams traded punts to open the third, then interceptions—Adam Laselva for the Chiefs, and Lafredrick Chappell for the Eagles to close the frame. The final points of the game came just over a minute into the fourth quarter with Smith’s 2-yard touchdown for the 30-6 final.
Rome 28, Dutchtown 14
Alonzo Rodriguez put the Wolves up 3-0 late in the first when the Junior drained a 45-yard field goal with :58 left on the clock. Late in the second, Rome capped off a 95-yard drive with a 1-yard rushing score by Senior Jamious Griffin. With 2:17 remaining in the half, the Wolves recovered a costly fumble by Dutchtown to set up a 2-yard rush from Senior Knox Kadum into the end zone for the score. A missed extra point and a failed 2-point conversion kept Rome ahead 15-0 at the half. The Wolves missed on a 25-yard field goal on Rome’s second half opening drive, keeping the game close. With 1:03 left in the third, a Dutchtown score made it a one-possession game. Kadum struck again in the fourth, however—once from four yards out to extend the lead and again following a second Dutchtown score to put the game away.
Warner Robins 21, Clarke Central 14
A slow first half saw only one trip to the end zone when Clarke Central Junior O’brien Barnett rushed 33-yards into the end zone late in the first. The suppressed Warner Robins offense went 3-and-out on five of their six first-half drives but would find their footing in the third quarter; just two minutes into the second half, Senior quarterback Dylan Fromm connected with Junior Marcayll Jones on a 54-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Fromm and Jones made magic again shortly after with a 4-yard scoring connection set up by a 35-yard rush from Sophomore Jahlen Rutherford. Junior running back Deondre Duehart capped off the Demons scoring early in the fourth with an 8-yard rush to go ahead 21-7. Clarke Central made it a close game following a 52-yard touchdown pass from Junior Isaac Ward to Sophomore Jairus Mack late in the fourth, but the Demons held strong to claim the win. Warner Robins now advances to the Class AAAAA semifinals where they’ll be matched up against Rome, who served the Demons a 38-0 loss in last year’s state championship game.
Stockbridge 48, Carrollton 3
Stockbridge stunned Carrollton, scoring early and often as it controlled a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and a 27-3 lead at the half. The Tigers held Carrollton scoreless in the third quarter while adding two touchdowns to enjoy a 41-3 lead entering the final quarter, where it would tack on an insurance touchdown. Jevon McDonald passed to Isaiah Taylor for three touchdowns (65, 40 and 26 yards) and ran in two touchdowns (23 and nine yards) while Yahsyn McKee added a 53-yard touchdown run. The Stockbridge defense had a say in the score as it blocked a punt which Kerick Reese returned 75 yards for a touchdown. Carrollton’s lone score was a 37-yard field goal.
Blessed Trinity 42, Eastside 15
Defending state champion Blessed Trinity was up 35-0 at the half, after holding host Eastside to just 21 yards of offense. U.S. Army All-American Steele Chambers gave the Titans their early 14-0 lead with a pair of touchdown runs, and it was Jackson Hamilton’s turn to get on the board twice in the second quarter. Blessed Trinity quarterback Jake Smith also connected with Ryan Davis for a 44-yard touchdown before the half. Eastside broke the shutout with 7:15 left in the third quarter on Noah Cook’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Antavius Cobb. Blessed Trinity returned to the end zone less than a minute later to make it 42-8, and Eastside’s Taylor Carter ran in the only points of the final frame.
Cartersville 42, Baldwin 13
A 13-0 Baldwin lead was eclipsed by Cartersville’s 42 unanswered points as the visiting Purple Hurricanes overcame their slow start. Baldwin fumbled on its opening drive, and Cartersville’s failed fake punt attempt returned the ball back to the Braves. Baldwin’s Derrick Lewis threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Noah Hill, and a blocked PAT kept the lead at 6-0. Baldwin used a 93-yard drive that was capped by a 22-yard Zaahir Salahuddin touchdown run that increased the lead to 13-0 with 9:28 left in the half. Following a turnover on a Baldwin snap, Cartersville’s Marcus Gary took four straight carries and cashed in a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Canes on the board with 3:10 left in the half. Quarterback Tee Webb gave Cartersville a 14-13 lead with a 62-yard touchdown pass to Trendon Horton on the opening drive of second half. Gary returned to the end zone following another Baldwin fumble, and added a 52-yard rushing touchdown that grew the lead to 28-13 entering the final frame. Cartersville’s Marquail Coaxum returned an interception for a touchdown, and Evan Slocum’s interception led to a 3-yard Webb touchdown run for the game’s final points.
Marist 10, Mary Persons 7
Mary Persons took a 7-0 lead midway through the third quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by senior Quen Wilson. Marist evened it up in the final frame with a 1-yard Connor Cigelske touchdown, and kicker Brendan Farrell provided a game-winning 25-yard field goal with 2:16 left to spoil the host Bulldogs’ perfect season.
Troup 20, Cairo 17
Troup quarterback Kobe Hudson found Joko Willis for a 55-yard touchdown less than three minutes into the game. Cairo’s Demetrius Coleman answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Markus Morman and a 46-yard field goal gave the Syrupmakers a 10-7 halftime lead. Hudson escaped for an 80-yard touchdown run to put Troup back in front 13-10, but Cairo answered with a Jamarcus Vicks 4-yard touchdown with 3:22 left in the third to reclaim a 17-13 lead. Troup’s game-winning points came on a reverse to Ja’Rell Smith that the junior wide receiver lofted to Jamari Thrash in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 10:35 left. The win gives Troup a season-best 12th victory and sends the Tigers into the semis for the first time since 2001.
Peach County 21, Westminster 3
Peach County’s stifling defense kept Westminster out of the end zone all evening to secure a semifinal berth for the Trojans against Calhoun—a rematch of the 2017 Class AAA championship game. Peach County relied on rushing touchdowns from Terkel Jefferson (three-yard run), Kapien Everett (five-yard run) and Tijah Woolfolk (12-yard run) for its offensive production. Westminster’s lone points came on a field goal from Charlie Ham.
Calhoun 24, Jenkins 12
Calhoun’s Gavin Gray passed for two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a semifinal berth against Peach County. Zach Fuller opened scoring on a four-yard run with nine minutes left in the first quarter to give Calhoun the lead. Gray connected with Bralin Barton on a 29-yard pass with seven minutes left in the second quarter to push the lead. Following a Jenkins touchdown and missed PAT, Gray passed to Collin Baggett for a four-yard touchdown with less than two minutes left in the third quarter to give Calhoun a 21-6 lead. Eduardo Fajardo’s 23-yard field goal with seven minutes left in the game pushed the Calhoun lead to 24-6 before Jenkins tacked on a late touchdown to bring the score to its final tally.
Cedar Grove 55, Benedictine 0
Kendall Boney threw three touchdown passes and rushed for a score—all in the first half—to give Cedar Grove the win at Savannah State University. Boney hit Jadon Haselwood for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter on a fourth-and-goal and found Haselwood again for a 9-yard score in the second to make it 14-0. Boney then ran for a 6-yard touchdown and found Montre Montfort for a 26-yard completion to put the Saints up 28-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, Rashad Dubinion rushed for a 2-yard touchdown and Chavon Wright had a 40-yard rushing score to put Cedar Grove up 49-0. Mekhi Gilstrap capped scoring in the fourth quarter with an 18-yard rush.
Pierce County 24, Monroe Area 7
Pierce County won the battle of two of the three undefeated teams in Class AAA (the other being top-ranked Calhoun) after taking a 14-0 lead following three quarters. Pierce held the high-powered Monroe Area offense, led by quarterback Chandler Byron, to just a touchdown in the final frame while tacking on 10 points to put the game away. Pierce started scoring on a short rushing touchdown with six minutes left in the first quarter. John Jones extended the lead early in the third quarter on a 70-yard run. Another short run early in the fourth quarter extended the lead to 21-0 following the PAT. Byron’s three-yard touchdown run cut into the lead (21-7) with eight minutes left in the game but a Pierce County field goal with five minutes left put the game away.
Fitzgerald 28, Rabun County 17
Ethan Gordon ran in a 26-yard score and Justin Reliford rushed for a 14-yard touchdown to put Fitzgerald up 14-0 in the first quarter. Rabun County’s Gunner Stockton found Austin Jones for a 36-yard touchdown with 3:09 left in the half, but Ethan Gordon scored on a 68-yard run to grow the lead back to 21-6 at the break. A 39-yard field goal by Rabun County’s Tito Diaz in the third quarter shrunk the lead to 21-9. Damien Devine added a 5-yard Fitzgerald touchdown run in the opening seconds of the final frame, and a Stockton 2-yard rushing touchdown, and Jones 2-point conversion tallied the final score.
Heard County 18, Dublin 3
Host Dublin used a 33-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead into the second quarter, but Heard County tallied touchdowns in each of the next three frames to win the first-ever meeting between the schools. Braves’ quarterback Alijah Huzzie accounted for all three touchdowns—breaking the plane on a quarterback sneak on the first snap of the second quarter, and finding Lequincy Shepherd for a pair of touchdowns in the third and fourth for 50 and 24 yards, respectively.
Rockmart 48, Jefferson County 13
Rockmart quarterback Dylan Bailey threw three touchdowns to three different receivers (Reed Couch-15, Juke Boozer-32, Zabrian Whatley-21) and Markus Smith ran in the first of his two touchdowns to put the visiting Yellow Jackets up 28-7 at the half. Zoryann Hendricks also rushed for a 6-yard touchdown in the win.
Callaway 35, Washington County 20
Callaway got three touchdowns from Qua Hines in the second half to help the host Cavaliers to the win. Hines rushed for touchdowns of 51 yards in the third quarter and 2 and 40 yards in the fourth quarter—the last of which was the final touchdown of the night. Callaway quarterback Demetrius Coleman started the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Markus Morman to make it 7-0 in the second quarter, and Coleman found Jacob Freeman on a 65-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter. The teams were tied at 14-14 at halftime before Hines’ three touchdowns. Coleman also threw a pass for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Washington County’s Dyquan Bloodsaw rushed for two touchdowns.
Clinch County 35, Mt. Zion 7
The Clinch County Panthers won big on the road, defeating host Mt. Zion 35-7 behind a three-touchdown performance by Senior Dantonio Robinson. After a scoreless first—Sophomore safety and quarterback Tyler Morehead intercepted Eagles’ quarterback Iaan Cousin at the goal line in the opening frame—Senior Trezmen Marshall took over, putting up the first points of the game on a short run and sacking Cousin on the following Eagles’ drive to force a punt. An offsides penalty on Clinch County continued the next Mount Zion possession and set up the Eagles only score of the night—an 11-yard run by Breon Henderson late in the second. Morehead’s 43-yard completion to Jeremiah Johnson put the Panthers up 14-7 with 0:21 left in the half, and Robinson added 21 points by way of three rushing touchdowns in the second half. The Panthers will face Marion County in the semifinals.
Savannah Christian 35, Fellowship Christian 14
The Savannah Christian Raiders took care of business at home, putting together a 35-7 lead at halftime and coasting to victory over the visiting Fellowship Christian Paladins. Marquell Brown struck first, scoring on a 9-yard run on the Raiders’ opening drive. Spencer Robicheaux threw the first of his two touchdown passes to Omar Burroughs, who found the end zone again on a 25-yard interception return on the ensuing Paladins’ drive for a 21-0 lead after the opening frame. The Paladins got on the board early in the second, but failed to recover an onside kick attempt. The Fellowship defense then forced a Savannah punt before Noah Chumley’s interception set up Robicheaux’s 18-yarder to Bradley Anderson. Nate Moon’s 50-yard pick-six all but sealed the win with two quarters left to play. The Raiders will meet Eagles’ Landing Christian next week.
Athens Academy 25, Calvary Day 19
Drama was aplenty in the hard-fought quarterfinal match between Athens Academy and Calvary Day on a rainy, cold Friday night in Athens. The first half was quiet outside of a 25-yard field goal by Athens Academy and a short touchdown run by Calvary Day’s John Leary. Things got interesting midway through the second half, however; Athens Academy quarterback Palmer Bush found Deion Colzie for a 40-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-20 to give the Spartans a 10-7 lead with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter. Calvary Day responded with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Carver to Jay Wetherington to take the lead, but a blocked extra point kept the score at 13-10. Athens Academy running back Len’neth Whitehead scored a 10-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to put the Spartans back in front 17-13. Athens Academy then forced a turnover on downs, but a fumble on the ensuing possession was returned for a touchdown by Calvary Day’s John Leary to give the Cavaliers a 19-17 lead (the extra point was blocked). Athens Academy used a long kickoff return to set up another Whitehead touchdown run from one yard out for a 25-19 lead. Calvary Day drove down the field in the final minutes, but the Spartans defense was able to hold on to put Athens Academy in the Class A semifinal against Prince Avenue next week.
Pelham 49, Green County 20
The Pelham Hornets soundly defeated the visiting Greene County Tigers, sealing the victory with a 90-yard score by Javoris Williams for the 49-20 final and Pelham’s first trip to the semifinals since 1965. The Hornets took a 14-0 lead before Greene County made it on the board in the final minute of the first, and added two more touchdowns in a span of 0:30 early in the second after they followed a touchdown with a fumble return to the end zone. Greene County scored twice in the third quarter, but Pelham kept it a two-possession game throughout with a score between the two Tiger touchdowns and was up 35-20 after three quarters. Two fourth-quarter scores padded Pelham’s lead, earning the Hornets a semifinal match-up against Irwin County.
Irwin County 26, Commerce 23
DJ Lundy scored the go-ahead touchdown with 31.6 seconds remaining, and Jay Stanley intercepted Commerce with 5.8 seconds left to seal the win. Lundy scored three touchdowns, all in the second half, and rushed 16 times for 117 yards. Stanley also rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown, and Jamal Paulk rushed 15 times for 93 yards for Irwin County, including a 24-yard reception on the Indians’ final scoring drive. Nate Ray, Dajuan Wood and Caleb Dawson each rushed for touchdowns for Commerce. Two of three Commerce passes in the game were intercepted; Gabriel Benyard had Irwin’s first interception in the first half. Irwin County quarterback Zach Smith was 6-of-7 passing for 60 yards.
Marion County 34, Schley County 27
The Wildcats were first on the board when Senior Tra Sampson scampered 39 yards into the end zone late in the first. Marion County answered back in the second with a 6-yard rushing touchdown from Junior Trice McCannon, but a failed 2-point conversion kept Schley County in the lead. Schley built on their lead in the third when Junior quarterback Garrett Peavy connected with Sophomore Zamon Ross for a 35-yard touchdown. Marion then tied the game when McCannon found his man Josh Rodgers for a 28-yard score. Ross gave the Wildcats a 19-13 lead late in the third following a 52-yard rush into the end zone and a missed extra point, but Marion County was quick to respond when McCannon and Rodgers connected again for a 7-yard score to take the lead for the first time all game. In the fourth, Ross reclaimed the lead following a booming 29-yard rushing score, but McCannon and Rodgers racked up a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 34-27. McCannon ended the game with one rushing touchdown and four passing touchdowns, all which were caught by Rodgers.
Prince Avenue 48, North Cobb Christian 20
Prince Avenue was unstoppable in their demolition of North Cobb Christian on Friday night. The Wolverines scored touchdowns on all six of their offensive possessions and another on defense to advance to their fourth-consecutive semifinal appearance in the Class A playoffs. Prince Avenue quarterback Brock Vandagriff scored two rushing touchdowns on the evening, the first coming late in the opening quarter and the second right before halftime. Wolverines wide receiver Mack Simmons had two touchdowns on the evening as well. His first was a short run early in the second quarter, and his second came on a short swing pass that resulted in a 57-yard touchdown to open the second half. Prince Avenue’s Christian Parrish is listed as a wide receiver and a free safety, and he scored in both of those roles tonight. After the Wolverines stopped North Cobb on a fourth-down attempt, Parrish capitalized with a 20-yard touchdown run to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 34-13 late in the third quarter. He then ended the game with an interception that was returned 80+ yards for a touchdown to solidify Prince Avenue’s victory. Wolverines’ fullback Tyler Payne had the team’s fifth and final offensive touchdown on the possession before Parrish’s interception return.