North Gwinnett at Colquitt County
Last year, following the snow and the scheduling conflicts that wreaked havoc on the title games in their debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, North Gwinnett hosted Colquitt County for the state championship. North Gwinnett won the title on a game-winning field goal following a long pass interference call. This year, Colquitt’s home fans will play host to the defending state champions.
Colquitt quarterback Jaycee Harden has passed for 2,073 yards on 132-of-216 passing for 21 touchdowns with six interceptions. Lemeke Brockington leads receivers with 21 catches for 434 yards and six touchdowns. Colquitt’s two-headed rushing monster of Daijun Edwards (177 carries, 1,251 yards, 25 TDs) and Ty Leggett (115 carries, 725 yards, 10 TDs) provides trouble for even the most talented defenses.
North Gwinnett quarterback JR Martin has passed for 1,694 yards and 20 touchdowns on 109-of-163 passing. Senior Tyler Goodson leads in rushing yards with 159 carries for 1,121 yards and 25 touchdowns. Devin Crosby has ten rushing touchdowns and 731 yards on 75 carries. Josh Downs and Javonni Cunningham lead in receiving yards. Downs has 638 yards and nine touchdowns on 39 receptions. Cunningham has 640 yards and six touchdowns on 38 receptions.
Northside-Warner Robins at Sequoyah
Northside-Warner Robins is in familiar territory as the Eagles, in the past 22 seasons, have made it to the quarterfinals 14 times. Quarterback Jadin Daniels, a 6-3, 170-pound senior, is 117 of 192 passing for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions. Daniels is a formidable threat on his feet as well and has rushed for 1,367 yards and 16 touchdowns on 178 carries. Eric Smith adds 679 yards and nine touchdowns on 101 carries. Northside averages 228 rushing yards and 123 receiving yards per game.
Sequoyah is riding momentum from its 50-49 overtime victory against Creekside last week. The Chiefs also rush more than they pass. Sequoyah averages 250 rushing yards to 122 receiving yards per game. The ground attack is led by senior Cole Jacobs who has rushed for 1,114 yards and 14 touchdowns on 158 carries. Jackson Smith adds 641 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.
Marist at Mary Persons
Marist and Mary Persons are both highly-capable state title contenders. The Marist defense has been exceptional this season and flexed its muscles last Friday night in a 24-8 win over St. Pius. The victory avenged a 17-0 loss to the Golden Lions earlier in the year. Marist’s only other defeat was a 10-7 loss to Blessed Trinity in their season finale. Mary Persons has been outstanding all season long and carries a perfect 12-0 record into the matchup. Quarterback J.T. Hartage has been flawless in his first two playoff outings—completing 22-of-28 attempts for 555 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions, and also rushing for a score.
Running back Quen Wilson provides the Mary Person offensive an ideal balance, and took 13 carries for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the 65-21 win over Woodward Academy last Friday.
The Maxwell Ratings have Mary Persons a 12-point favorite.
Monroe Area at Pierce County
A first-time meeting between two of the three undefeated programs in the classification highlights the quarterfinal round of the playoffs as Monroe Area will travel to Pierce County.
Monroe Area High School, 40 miles east of Atlanta, is 220 miles north of Pierce County High School which is just north of Waycross and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Monroe Area has never started 12-0 in school history and has not appeared in a semifinal game since 2012. Pierce County, which is vying for its first-ever semifinal berth, has been 12-0 before, but it’s been since 1982 when it lost to Lincoln County in the quarterfinals.
Monroe Area quarterback Chandler Byron, a 6-foot, 160-pound senior, has passed for 1,221 on 59-of-94 passing with 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions. For a solid of a passing quarterback Byron is, he tends to earn his keep with his legs. He leads Monroe Area rushing stats and has 2,615 yards and 36 touchdowns on 242 carries. Jakia Thompson adds 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns on 130 carries.
Pierce County quarterback Jermaine Brewton has passed for 1,628 yards and 21 touchdowns on 105-of-156 passing with six interceptions. His favorite targets are Dee Bethea and Parker Peagler, both seniors, who each have seven touchdowns and around 600 receiving yards.
The Maxwell Ratings have Monroe Area a 15-point favorite.
Westminster at Peach County
The teams have met twice, both times in the quarterfinals, and Peach has won both of them. In 2016, Peach County traveled to Westminster for a 27-17 victory. Last year, Westminster visited Fort Valley and was blown out, 45-15. This year, Westminster will again travel to Peach County for the third installment of this playoff rivalry.
Peach County quarterback Jaydon Gibson has passed for 1,7-4 yards on 143-of-197 passing for 17 touchdowns with five interceptions. Gibson has rushed for 325 yards on 94 carries with eight touchdowns. TiJay Woolfolk, a 5-11 junior, scored four touchdowns in Peach’s victory over 47-8 victory over Liberty County last week. Clemson commit Sergio Allen is the Trojans’ leading tackler.
Westminster is fresh off its second victory over Greater Atlanta Christian on the season. Parks Harber, a UGA baseball commitment, has passed for 2,255 yards following his 261-yard performance last week. According to GHSFD’s newsletter, Westminster’s 12 road playoff victories in the past eight seasons easily leads the state in that timeframe.
The Maxwell Ratings have Peach County as a nine-point favorite.