After giving up an early lead to Collins Hill on a 75-yard run by Isaiah Love, the Parkview Panthers soundly defeated the visiting Eagles 42-19 to advance to the second round of the playoffs. William Mitchell III scored the first points of the night for the Panthers with a 45-yard punt return in the final minute of the opening frame for a 7-6 lead (Collins Hill failed a two-point conversion attempt on its opening score), but Jared Bartlett answered with a 3-yard run to give the Eagles their last lead of the game early in the second. Quarterback Jordan Williams connected with Elijah James for 65 yards, and Cody Brown’s first touchdown of the night—a 42-yard run set up by Tavian Coleman’s fumble recovery—put the Panthers out front 21-13 at halftime. Brown and Williams each had rushing scores in the third quarter, for 5 and 4 yards, respectively The Eagles scored again early in the fourth—a pick-six by JaQuan Reece—before Cody Brown found the end zone for the third time on another 5-yard run.
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Archer 56, Forsyth Central 0
Archer hosted Forsyth Central, who made their first playoff appearance since 2001, and welcomed them back with scores by six different Tigers. Archer started the game by scoring 21 unanswered in the first quarter, behind two Carter Peevy passing touchdowns. With a demanding lead, the Tigers found the end zone three more times in the second quarter for a 42-0 lead at half. Coming out with the big lead, Archer put the icing on the cake in 3rd quarter behind DJ Taylor’s 76-yard rushing touchdown—his second on the night.
North Gwinnett 49, Central Gwinnett 0
After securing a No. 1 seed, North Gwinnett hosted No. 4 Central Gwinnett. The Bulldogs wasted no time finding the end zone going up 7-0 on a Tyler Goodwin touchdown run. Still in the first quarter, North Gwinnett added on to the lead with a Devin Crosby rushing touchdown, making it 15-0. Looking to extend the lead in the second quarter, Crosby found the end zone once more for a 22-0 Bulldog lead. North Gwinnett’s DJ Martin threw for two passing touchdowns at the end of the half, putting this game essentially out of reach 36-0. With no chances of a comeback, the Bulldogs put the final dagger after Crosby broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown—his third on the night.
Walton 40, Camden County 20
Walton quarterback Austin Kirksey passed for 190 yards in the first half of Walton’s 40-20 win over visiting Camden County and three touchdowns, including a 10-yard play-action touchdown to 6-foot-6 tight end Luke Boyton, who was making his return from a broken arm in the season opener. Walton running back D.J. Soyoye had a touchdown and 125 rushing yards in the first half as the Raiders took a 28-14 lead. The lead grew to 40-14 before Camden County tacked on the only touchdown of the fourth quarter.
Milton 28, South Gwinnett 19
South Gwinnett pulled to within 21-19 with 2:34 to play after a Jalen Samuels 7-yard touchdown run, but Milton intercepted the pass on the ensuing two-point try to preserve its lead. Then on first down after the South Gwinnett kickoff, Milton quarterback Jordan Yates rushed for a 70-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 28-19 lead they would hold. Yates rushed 20 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns, including a 7-yard run in the first quarter and a 1-yard run in the third. He was 10-of-15 passing for 153 yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Charleston that gave Milton a 21-13 lead with 7:55 to play. For South Gwinnett, Samuels rushed 29 times for 104 yards and two scores, his first touchdown a 5-yard run in the second quarter that gave the Comets a 13-7 halftime lead.
Grayson 38, South Forsyth 6
Host Grayson overcame a slow start, leading just 7-6 at half, to cruise in the second half against South Forsyth. After a 43-yard touchdown pass from Josh Stinson to Keelan Marion on a trick play in the second quarter, the Rams scored 17 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth to put the game away. In the third, Kevin Sanchez made a 43-yard field goal, Phil Mafah rushed for a 19-yard touchdown and C.J. Dixon hit Stinson for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Mafah had another 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth, and Dixon found Ryan King for a 15-yard TD pass to cap the scoring. Mafah led the Rams with 80 yards on eight rushes.
Norcross 30, Mountain View 23
Leading 24-23 with under a minute to play, Randy Cochran of Norcross returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown to seal the win for the host Blue Devils. Norcross trailed 10-0 in the first quarter after Mountain View got a rushing score from quarterback Luke Hennebaul and a field goal. The Blue Devils answered with under a minute to play in the first half when Louis Williams hit Isaiah Wilson for a 19-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, Norcross took a 14-10 lead and a 21-16 lead on Lance Jackson touchdown runs of 9 and 30 yards, respectively. But Mountain View returned a blocked punt 30 yards for a touchdown with under a minute remaining in the third to go up 23-21. A Kellen Grave de Peralta 42-yard field goal early in the fourth gave Norcross its 24-23 advantage.
West Forsyth 35, Newton 3
On the first play from scrimmage, West Forsyth Sophomore quarterback Drew Southern fumbled the ball resulting in a Newton ball on the Wolverines 25-yard line. The West Forsyth defense stepped up big following the turnover, holding Newton to a field goal despite their excellent field position. On the Wolverines next drive, Senior running back Saxby Waxer rushed 21 yards into the end zone to take the lead with 7:26 left in the quarter. In the second, Southern redeemed his first-quarter fumble with a 41-yard screen pass to Senior Stephon Bland for the score. Southern racked up two more touchdowns before the half could end, both to Senior Abraham Camara—who ended the game with six receptions for 117 yards, including a 48-yard score at the back end of the second. Waxer capped off the Wolverines scoring in the third to start the running clock in the fourth and put the game away.
Lowndes 54, Cherokee 14
Lowndes controlled the game and outclassed Cherokee in all facets as it advanced to a second-round game against Westlake. Shawn Martin returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and Lowndes led 6-0 after the failed 2-point conversion. Gary Osby scored on a four-yard run to put the Vikings up 13-0 just 1:30 into the game. Travis Tisdale put Lowndes up 20-0 on a 60-yard run with 7:09 left in the first quarter before the Lowndes defense stepped up to block a punt, which Osby returned to put Lowndes up 27-0 with 5:45 left in the opening frame. Tisdale scored again with 9:04 left before the half on an eight-yard run, and Jalen Rowe caught a pass for a 55-yard touchdown to give Lowndes a 41-0 lead at the break. Devonn Lane returned an interception 40-yards on Cherokee’s opening drive of the third quarter to push the lead to 48-0. Cherokee finally scored with a minute left in the third quarter before Lowndes quarterback Joe Almond iced the game on a four-yard run with 6:29 to go.
McEachern 48, Newnan 21
McEachern was first on the board with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Sophomore quarterback Carlos Del Rio to Jordan Simmons. Newnan struck back in the middle of the first when Sophomore quarterback Michael Maginnis connected with Senior Woody Waters for a 24-yard touchdown. The Indians retook the lead when Simmons rushed 10 yards into the end zone for his second score of the game. A pick-six by Junior Jacob Thomas followed by a 31-yard touchdown play gave Newnan a 21-14 lead in the third, but the Cougars soon succumbed to the explosive McEachern offense. Del Rio hit Dacari Collins on a 5-yard score, and soon after Senior Paris Brown rushed 2 yards into the end zone to give the Indians a 28-21 lead heading into the fourth. Simmons snagged his third score of the game early in the fourth off a 2-yard run. Del Rio hit Johmanuel Arnold for the quarterbacks third score of the game, and Christian Mason scampered into the end zone from 3 yards out to cap the Indians tremendous fourth-quarter performance. McEachern advances to the second round, where the Indians will face Colquitt County.
More Class AAAAAAA Action:
- Host Westlake outscored North Paulding 21-10 in the second quarter of its 28-24 victory and went up 21-17 at the half. The Lions grew the lead to 28-17 before a Wolfpack touchdown late in the third quarter brought the game to its final tally.
- Top-ranked Colquitt County outscored Etowah 34-2 following an early field goal by the visiting Eagles and ran away with a 34-5 victory.
Coffee 45, Stephenson 17
No. 1 Stephenson hosted No. 4 Coffee, but Coffee County didn’t waste any time showing that seeding isn’t everything. Josiah Killiebrew found the end zone twice to open up the lead at 14-0. Already up and looking to add on, the Trojans made it 21 unanswered first quarter points on a Maurice Turner touchdown. Looking to make an early comeback, Stephenson would cut into the lead after a Deshon Stoudemire 30-yard rushing touchdown, making it 21-10 Coffee. With the lead cut to 11, Coffee County scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to go up 45-10. Stephenson added a late touchdown, but Coffee advances to the second with a big 45-17 road win.
Lanier 20, Mays 12
Lanier chipped away at a first-quarter touchdown by Mays with a field goal from Senior Michael Decu, before Mays struck again at the end of the quarter with a second touchdown—but the 2-point conversion attempt failed. Lanier was kept out of the end zone for the entire first half, but a 40-yard field goal from Decu made it a one-possession game heading into the half. With 6:26 left in the third, Senior quarterback Zach Calzada kept the ball and rushed into the end zone to take a 13-12 lead. In the fourth, Calzada slung the rock to Junior receiver Cole Thornton to extend the lead and secure the win. Defensively, Nahil Perkins racked up two blocked punts while Demontae Lipscomb snagged an interception. The Longhorns advance to the second round where they’ll face off against Harrison.
Allatoona 38, Centennial 7
A field goal for the Buccaneers by Jude Kelley put Allatoona up in the first. With :36 left in the second, Senior Daniel Parsons rushed 10 yards into the end zone for a 10-0 Allatoona lead at the half. A third-quarter interception by Senior Izaiah Taylor set up a touchdown run from TJ Carr to extend the lead. Junior Alex Wilson added another score in the third with a stomping 54-yard run to take a 24-0 lead. Centennial finally reached the end zone in the fourth, but a pair of scores from Carr and Senior Cameron Moore during the games final minutes put the game away.
Creekview 38, Pope 14
No. 1 Creekview battled No. 4 Pope at home in this 6A first round matchup. After Creekview took the opening kickoff down to the 5-yard line, Ethan Dirrim pounded it in for the early 7-0 lead. Then on their second possession of the game, the Grizzlies went up 14-0 on another Dirrim rushing touchdown. Later in the second quarter after a Creekview field goal, the Grizzlies made it a 24-0 lead at half time. After Pope went 3-and-out to start the third quarter, Dirrim broke loose for his third touchdown on the night—this one on a 41-yard rush. Creekview snagged an interception late in the third, leading to a Cade Radam 72-yard rushing touchdown, and a 38-0 lead.
More Class AAAAAA Action:
Creekside’s 47-12 win over Gainesville is the Grizzlies’ first playoff win since 2014. A 26-point first half performance by Creekside was more than enough to fend off the Red Elephants, who were held to just six points in each half.
- Valdosta exploded to a 42-21 halftime lead over visiting Lovejoy and stamped a 70-29 victory.
- Top-seeded Glynn Academy outscored Evans 21-0 in the second half of its 42-7 victory.
- Dacula jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and completed a 28-0 shutout victory over Northgate.
- Northside-Warner Robins’ Eric Smith Jr ran in a touchdown at the end of the third quarter that put the Eagles up 29-21 and they ran away in the fourth to defeat Tucker 43-21.
- No. 4 seed Bradwell Institute jumped to a 21-7 lead at the half and completed a 28-21 win over top seed Grovetown.
- Richmond Hill led 13-0 at the half and held off host Greenbrier 19-14.
- Jullian Legrande’s 55-yard interception return was Effingham County’s only touchdown in a 16-10 victory over visiting Lakeside-Evans.
- Defending champion Lee County built a 41-0 lead by the end of the third quarter and stamped a 48-13 win over Mundy’s Mill.
- Habersham Central took a 21-0 lead at the half and defeated host Douglas County 35-0.
Loganville 14, Southwest DeKalb 13
Loganville pulled the road upset over previously unbeaten Southwest DeKalb, holding the Panthers scoreless for the second half. After Southwest DeKalb scored a touchdown to take a 13-0 lead with under a minute remaining in the first half, Loganville’s D’errius Hart returned the kickoff for a touchdown to pull within 13-7 at the break. After forcing Southwest DeKalb into a punt on the first possession of the second half, the Red Devils capped a drive with a 20-yard screen pass from Tanner Greene to Trevon Williams for a touchdown. Yovanny Martinez made his second extra point to give the Red Devils a 14-13 lead that would be the final.
Rome 62, Jackson 14
Jamious Griffin paced host Rome with four first-quarter touchdowns and and 231 rushing yards in the opening half. Quarterback Knox Kadum added an 18-yard touchdown early in the second quarter and Tre Lawrence rushed for two more scores to increase the lead to 48-0. Jackson fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Jamar Roberts returned it for another Rome touchdown. Jackson added two touchdowns in the running clock second half before Rome freshman Bryson Hill found the end zone with 6:21 left to make it 62-14.
New Hampstead 21, Starr’s Mill 10
The 4-5 New Hampstead Phoenix went on the road to battle the 7-3 Starr’s Mill Panthers and were looking to upset in this lopsided matchup. New Hampstead grabbed the early 7-0 lead on a Hunter Lawson 38-yard touchdown run. Starr’s Mill tied things up with 11:46 left in the first half after Ryan Smith recovered a fumble and took it 50 yards to the end zone. New Hampstead grabbed the lead again just before half with Deyandre Ruffin finding Sam Brown for the 15-yard touchdown pass. After a scoreless third quarter, Starr’s Mill cut into the lead early in the fourth on a Michael Lantz 25-yard field goal. New Hampstead denied any chance of a late Starr’s Mill comeback after a Donte Wallace 2-yard rushing touchdown in the final two minutes.
Bainbridge 40, Jones County 13
Host Bainbridge went behind 10-0 after a Hunter Costlow touchdown pass and 30-yard field goal by Jones County freshman Evan West. Sophomore Rashad Broadnax got the Bearcats on the board before the end of the first quarter, and fellow sophomore Caleb McDowell ran in the first of his three touchdowns to give Bainbridge its first lead (14-10) early in the second. Aaron Spivie ran in a reverse for a Bainbridge touchdown and West added 31-yard field goal to cut it back to 21-13 at the half. Quayde Hawkins got the second-half scoring going with a quarterback sneak, and McDowell made two more trips to the end zone to provide the final tally.
Kell 48, Carver-Atlanta 8
Ebony Jackson rushed for four touchdowns in the first half for host Kell. Jackson’s runs of 7, 39, 4 and 32 yards helped the Longhorns to a 30-0 halftime lead, as quarterback Evan Conley rushed for two-point conversions after Jackson’s third and fourth scores. Xavier Parris had a 60-yard rushing score and Logan Flesher made a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter, and Kell forced a safety in the fourth to go up 41-0. Tyler Read had a 5-yard touchdown reception from backup quarterback Corbin LaFrance with five minutes remaining to cap Kell’s scoring.
Buford 35, Miller Grove 13
Derrian Brown rushed for touchdowns of 11 and 8 yards in the first quarter and finished with 16 carries for 111 yards for the host Wolves. Elijah Turner added a 6-yard rushing score in the first quarter, and Buford held a 21-0 halftime lead after a scoreless second. The Wolves got two touchdowns from Jamaal Singleton in the third quarter, on rushes of 23 and 5 yards, which brought the score to 35-0. Buford held Miller Grove to 91 total yards in the first half.
Carrollton 41, Riverwood 30
After two Carrollton touchdowns to start the game—a 67-yard run by Nick Tuggle and another score on the ground by Brandon Marenco—Riverwood outscored the visiting Trojans 23-6 in the second quarter to lead 23-20 at the half. Carrollton reclaimed the lead (34-30) at the end of the third quarter on a 32-yard run from Kodee Brewer before adding insurance by way of a 10-yard score from Zantavious Graham. Riverwood cut into the lead, but it wouldn’t be enough; with eight minutes left in the game, Marenco scored on a short run to push the score to its final tally. The Trojans advance to face Loganville in the second round.
More Class AAAAA Action:
- No. 4 seed East Paulding upset top-seeded Banneker 28-26 and snapped the Trojans’ seven-game winning streak. Banneker went up 20-19 midway through the third quarter, but East Paulding found the end zone with 9:56 left in the fourth to take a 25-20 lead. Banneker answered with a touchdown just a minute later to go up 26-25, but East Paulding connected on a game-deciding field goal.
- Wayne County kept its perfect season alive with a 17-9 win over Jonesboro. The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with a 7-6 lead, but Frenando Lobo’s field goal put the visitors up 9-7 before Wayne County’s 10 unanswered points clinched the victory.
- Stockbridge never trailed in its 20-14 win over visiting Veterans. The Warhawks set up for a potential game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, but Stockbridge came up with the game-clinching interception in the end zone.
Griffin 19, Statesboro 12
Dutchtown 35, Harris County 0
Cedar Shoals 41, Lithonia 0
Ware County 35, Riverdale 7
Warner Robins 27, Locust Grove 7
Troup 42, Oconee County 28
Troup got the playoffs started early with a Thursday night victory over the visiting Warriors—giving the program its first 10-win season since 2003. Running back Tyree Carlisle rushed for a 4-yard touchdown, Kobe Hudson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Joko Willis and a King Mwikuta forced fumble was recovered by teammate Andy Boykin for a touchdown to give Troup a 21-14 halftime lead. Carlisle added a 17-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Hudson connected with Trey Williams and found Willis for a 56-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 42-21 early in the final frame.
Cartersville 34, Stephens County 17
Visiting Stephens County broke a scoreless game with 9:17 left in the second quarter on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Colwell to Kamon Taylor. Dadrian Dennis capped off a 14-play Cartersville drive with a touchdown to tie it 7-7 with 6:24 left in the half. Cartersville quarterback Tee Webb put the Canes out in front with a touchdown pass to Marquail Coaxum with 19 seconds left before the half, and a failed PAT kept the lead at 13-7. Marcus Gary rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter to increase the lead to 27-7 entering the final quarter, and Webb made it 34-7 with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Devonte Ross.
North Oconee 27, Sandy Creek 8
North Oconee’s Ryan Coates scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that held for a 7-0 halftime lead. Kaleb Sherrer threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Paxton with 9:20 left in the third, and an interception by Rashad Finch set up Coates for a 6-yard touchdown run to put North Oconee up 20-0. Mason Vanderford intercepted Sandy Creek on its next possession and Adam Weynand ran it in from 5 yards out to increase the lead to 27-0. Dealo Parson gave Sandy Creek its only points with a 4-yard touchdown on the first snap of the final quarter and the Patriots converted the 2-point try.
Pickens 42, White County 0
Undefeated Pickens dominated visiting White County and celebrated the first playoff win in program history. CJ Streicher rushed for a 9-yard touchdown and connected with Zach Goss for an 83-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Michael Burrell got on the board with an 8-yard touchdown run early in the second, and Brady Moore (29 yards) and Trevon Hawkins (1 yard) piled on touchdown runs to extend the halftime lead to 35-0. Jarod Whitmore provided the final touchdown on a 10-yard carry with 3:12 left in the third frame.
Marist 61, Heritage-Catoosa 20
Connor Cigelske accounted for Marist’s first five touchdowns as the home team cruised to a victory over Heritage-Catoosa. Cigelske had touchdown runs of 42, eight, and 67 yards while also throwing a pair of scoring strikes from 27 and 37 yards away to Kyle Hamilton. That paced the War Eagles to leads of 10-0 after one quarter and 34-0 at halftime. They led 41-0 before the Generals finally got on the scoreboard with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Letzgus to Clint Petteys. Letzgus also had an interception on defense. Matthew Dunmon added two touchdown runs for the War Eagles, whose defensive effort was headlined by interceptions courtesy of Tyler Hare, John Flor, and Joshua Moore.
Woodward Academy 55, Carver-Atlanta 40
Woodward’s Mike Wright scored on a 70-yard rush on the first play from scrimmage to set the tone, but Carver answered just a minute later to tie the game. With five minutes left in the first quarter, Wright connected with Tahj Gary on a 50-yard pass to push the lead to 14-7. Woodward’s 21-point cushion (35-14) at the half was set up by Wright touchdown passes to Cross Patton (23 yards), Ambe Caldwell (41 yards) and Gary (9 yards) in the second quarter. Carver outscored Woodward in the third quarter 12-7 to make it a 42-26 game, but Woodward tacked on two touchdowns—rushes by Gary of 58 and 64 yards—in the final quarter to put the game away. Woodward Academy will face Mary Persons in the second round.
St. Pius X 38, Cedartown 6
Senior Jason Jones rushed 1 yard into the end zone to put the Golden Lions on board 7-0 with 6:51 left in the second. Cedartown was quick to respond with an 8-yard run by Senior Tony Mathis for the score, but the Bulldogs failed to put points on the board again. Senior quarterback Connor Egan connected with Junior Jacob Pajer on a 28-yard touchdown with a minute left in the half, and Nolan Aldrch knocked in a 37-yard field goal to take 17-6 before the quarter ended. In the third, St. Pius picked up right where they left off with a 5-yard touchdown run by Pajer for his second score of the night. Two more rushing scores from St. Pius safely put the game away, pushing the Golden Lions through to the second round where they’ll take on Marist.
Ridgeland 34, Flowery Branch 14
The Ridgeland Panthers blew open a 10-7 lead with a 24-point fourth quarter to defeat the visiting Flowery Branch Falcons and advance to the second round of the playoffs. After a rocky start—quarterback Tanner Hill was intercepted on the Panthers’ opening drive—Connor Middleton’s 45-yard field goal and the first of Jordan Blackwell’s three touchdowns (17 yards) gave Ridgeland a 10-0 first-quarter lead. Flowery Branch defensive lineman Cody Inman’s 3-yard run in the third made it a three-point game, but Blackwell capitalized on an interception with a 35-yard score to open the final frame. Terrance Roberts added a rushing score, and Blackwell further padded the lead with an interception return for a touchdown. The Falcons scored once more to cut Ridgeland’s lead to 31-14 before Middleton completed a 37-yard field goal for the final tally.
More Class AAAA Action:
- Mary Persons jumped to a 52-0 halftime lead and cruised past visiting Richmond Academy 59-0. The Bulldogs outgained Richmond Academy 466-to-24 in first half yardage and quarterback J.T. Hartage completed 9-of-11 pass attempts for 225 yards and four touchdowns.
- Columbus led Salem 14-0 after the first quarter and 21-6 earlier in the third before closing out a narrow 35-32 road victory. After cutting it to 21-12, Salem quarterback Donald Wilson found Markari Pruitt for a touchdown and the Seminoles converted the 2-point try to make it a 21-20 game entering the fourth quarter. Columbus grew the lead to 28-20 and Wilson answered with another touchdown pass to Pruitt, but a failed 2-point attempt left the Seminoles down 28-20 and another return to the end zone for both squads kept the Blue Devils in front.
- Top-seeded Baldwin jumped out to a 21-10 lead early in the third and cruised past Perry 39-22. Baldwin three-star safety Donte Justice iced the game with 3:09 left as he secured the 10th interception of his senior season.
- Burke County outscored Howard 21-0 in the second quarter of its 28-22 victory. The Bears’ lead stood at 28-8 at the half and 28-15 at the end of the third quarter—proving to be just enough to keep the Huskies from completing their valiant rally in the second half.
- Undefeated Eastside found itself in a battle with fourth-seeded Hardaway, but prevailed 41-23 thanks to a strong closing effort. Eastside’s lead stood at 27-17 at the break, but Hardaway received the ball to open the third quarter and brought it within 27-23 with 8:43 left in the period. Eastside built the lead back up to 34-23 heading into the fourth, and used a gutsy direct snap on a fake punt to keep its game-clinching touchdown drive alive.
- Defending state champion Blessed Trinity was all business—jumping to a 39-0 halftime lead and cruising past Northwest Whitfield 55-16.
- Thomson led Upson-Lee 27-0 at the half of its 34-28 victory. The Knights trailed 27-7 at the end of the third quarter and outscored Thomson 21-7 in the fourth quarter to shrink the margin.
- Cairo jumped to a 30-0 halftime lead and cruised past Henry County 44-0. The Syrupmakers outgained Henry County 417-to-180 in total yardage and only one Warhawk drive managed to cross midfield.
Cedar Grove 49, Hart County 0
Five different players scored touchdowns for Cedar Grove, which had no trouble getting the best of visiting Hart County. The Saints seized a 21-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter and coasted from there, leading 35-0 at halftime and 42-0 going in the fourth. Austin Smith had two touchdown runs in the opening frame of play, including one from 23 yards out, after Chavon Wright got the scoring started with a 15-yard TD rush. Robert Jones II added two touchdown scampers, Mekhi Gilstrap scored on a 13-yarder, and Jadon Haselwood hauled in a 21-yard scoring strike.
Lovett 40, Morgan County 7
Blaine McAllister accounted for three total touchdowns as Lovett rolled over visiting Morgan County. McAllister had bookend touchdown runs to help the Lions start strong and finish the same way, while also throwing an 80-yard scoring strike to Nick Jackson. They also got touchdowns on the ground from Jackson and K.J. Wallace. Henry Beery made all five of his extra-point attempts and tacked on a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter. Morgan County got a touchdown pass from Trenton Folds and an interception by Seth Robertson, but it was nowhere near enough for the Bulldogs.
Greater Atlanta Christian 49, North Murray 17
Greater Atlanta Christian scored 42 unanswered points following an early 7-0 deficit to overwhelm visiting North Murray. Josh Rose threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jake Hicks, getting the Trojans on the scoreboard late in the first quarter, and Rose scored twice on the ground during third-quarter action to help the Spartans pull away. Tyler Bride had two second-quarter touchdown runs, Jackson Hardy tossed a 37-yard scoring strike to Ty James, and Tre Henry capped off Greater Atlanta Christian’s scoring with an 18-yard scamper. The Mountaineers got two touchdown passes from Preston Poag, who connected with Landon Burrell and Will Campbell.
Monroe Area 38, Pace Academy 22
Monroe Area scored all five of its touchdowns on the ground to run over visiting Pace Academy. Chandler Byron found the endzone three times while breaking the school’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback. Jakia Thompson had two touchdowns for the Purple Hurricanes, who led 7-0 after 12 minutes and 28-0 at halftime. The Knights made a minor second-half charge with two touchdown runs by Jared Rayman and a 24-yarder to the house by Keashawn Perryman, but they never got closer than a 14-point margin. Perryman set up Rayman’s first score with an 80-yard kickoff return to begin the second half.
Westminster 35, Jefferson 7
Westminster reeled off 35 unanswered points following a quick 7-0 deficit to pick up a road win over Jefferson. Three first-half turnovers by Jefferson were the early difference, including a fumble that was returned 80 yards by Jake Jones to set up a score on a quarterback sneak by Parks Harber. The Wildcats led 28-7 at halftime thanks in part to a pair of scoring strikes thrown by Harber–one from 55 yards out to Luke Jannetta plus a 22-yarder to Nance Hill. Will Hallmark scored the final two touchdowns to put the game away for Westminster. The Dragons got their lone TD on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Colby Clark.
Calhoun 55, Fannin County 17
Calhoun earned a second-round berth against Lovett after taking a 35-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 49-3 lead at the half. Calhoun’s Zack Fuller scored on a 5-yard run just a minute into the game and added another touchdown with six minutes left in the first quarter. Payton Morrow scored on a 13-yard run set up by a Logan Parker interception. Clemson commit Davis Allen returned an interception 36 yards with four minutes left in the first quarter to push the lead to 28-0. Gavin Gray extended the lead with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Parker. Early in the second quarter, Fuller scored again—this time on a 56-yard run. Gray extended the lead in with under a minute left in the half on a 21-yard pass to Luke Moseley. Fannin County cut into the lead on a 40-yard pass (49-10) with 10 minutes left in the game but Calhoun responded with a long touchdown pass from Jake Morrow to Jerrian Hames a minute later. Fannin County scored the final touchdown on a run, and Sarah Sosebee’s PAT brought the game to its final tally.
More Class AAA Action:
- Pike County scored the first points of the game on a 53-yard field goal by Parker Madrey with 0:37 left in the third quarter. Down 3-0 with 0:21 to play, Crisp County tied the game on a 21-yard field to force overtime. Crisp County turned it over on a fumble on the first play, and Pike County’s Gerald Hines found the end zone for the first time all game for the 9-3 overtime win.
Fitzgerald 51, Harlem 14
Fitzgerald overwhelmed visiting Harlem with 606 total yards of offense. Quarterback Justin Reliford accounted for 75 yards on the ground and went an efficient 12-of-14 passing for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Damien Devine caught eight passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 70 rushing yards off 10 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Harlem’s Cameron Garnett finished with 69 yards off six carries and rushed for both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns.
More Class AA Action:
- Swainsboro outscored Northeast-Macon 16-0 in the second half of its 23-7 victory.
- Chattooga freshman Lashaun Lester rushed for a 10-yard touchdown with 2:15 left in the second quarter that proved to be the game-winner in a 7-6 victory over Booker T. Washington.
- Top seed Rabun County stormed to a 37-0 halftime lead and defeated visiting Spencer 65-0.
- Thomasville capitalized on a Hephzibah fumble before the half to grow a 21-7 lead and defeated the Rebels 42-7.
- Dublin led No. 4 seed Toombs County 35-0 at the half and stamped a 49-14 victory.
- Douglass broke open its 13-0 halftime lead and defeated the Pepperell 34-0.
- Heard County took a 28-6 lead in the first quarter, and cruised past Monticello 63-22.
Dodge County trailed 21-19 before producing a 20-0 scoring run that closed out a 39-21 victory over Jeff Davis.
- Early County rallied back from a 14-6 halftime deficit to tie it up 21-21 in the fourth quarter, but top seed Jefferson County prevailed 28-21.
- Bremen jumped to a 21-3 halftime lead and defeated host Union County 40-10.
- Rockmart led South Atlanta 34-0 at the half and cruised to a 55-0 victory.
- Washington County took a 19-12 lead at the half and held off host Vidalia 31-25.
- Brooks County outscored Screven County 40-0 in the first half of its 47-0 victory.
- Callaway’s 14-0 lead slipped away as Elbert County tied it 14-14 in the third quarter, but a 75-yard touchdown run by Callaway’s Qua Hines and Cartavious Bigsby’s 23-yard touchdown run ultimately lifted the host Cavaliers to a 27-14 victory.
Mount Vernon Presbyterian 41, Savannah Country Day 28
Mount Vernon hosted Savannah Country Day and made sure to put on a show. Mount Vernon scored 28 unanswered for a demanding lead. After a Savannah Country touchdown, Mount Vernon added another touchdown for a 34-7 lead. Savannah Country would cut the deficit just before half, making it 34-14 at half. Up by 20 and late in the third quarter, Mount Vernon extended the lead to 41-14. Looking to make a late comeback, Savannah County cut the lead to 41-28 in the fourth, but that ended up being all they could do. Mount Vernon advances with the 41-28 lead at home.
Wesleyan 10, Tattnall Square 8
No offensive points for either team in the second half allowed Wesleyan to hang on for a hard-fought victory over visiting Tattnall Square. Donald Conley got the scoring started for Wesleyan with a 35-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter. The Trojans answered with a six-yard score by Jamal Marshall before the Wolves tacked on a 48-yard field goal from Harrison Larner as time expired in the first half. Wesleyan appeared to seal the deal when it made a defensive stand at its own nine-yard line, turning over Tattnall Square on downs with 1:42 remaining. After a three-and-out near their own end zone, however, the Wolves took a safety on purpose rather than punting. An ensuing free kick prevented the Trojans from gaining favorable field position and they failed to engineer a potential game-winning drive.