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Georgia High School Football Daily-11/21/12

November 21, 2012
By Calvin Scandrett of Lamar County Trojans



Playoff Preview: AA and A

Class AA

Fitzgerald at Vidalia

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buck Cravey Stadium/The Reservation, Vidalia

Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AA and ranked No. 4; Vidalia is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 2-AA and ranked No. 3.

Last meeting: Vidalia won 14-7 in the 1999 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Vidalia RB Juan Foster rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in a 57-0 victory over Westside of Augusta last week. The score was 36-0 at halftime. Vidalia is within a victory of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004. 2. Fitzgerald FB Ron Swain rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 35-19 victory over Northeast in the first round. He rushed for 119 the week before against Thomasville, breaking 100 for the first time. The playoff win moved Fitzgerald within a game of reaching the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season. 3. Fitzgerald coach Jason Strickland is one of three coaches in his first year at a Class AA school that is in the round of 16. Another is Franklin Stephens, who took Strickland's place at Lamar County. The third is Rob Duncan at Screven County.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Vidalia by 4

Winner plays: Westminster/Jefferson winner

 

Westminster at Jefferson

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Jefferson

Records, rankings: Westminster is 5-6, the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AA and unranked; Jefferson is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 8-AA and ranked No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Jefferson is trying to make the quarterfinals for the first time since 1977. If successful, Jefferson would be the seventh school that coach T. McFerrin has led to the quarterfinals in a head-coaching career that began in 1968. Westminster is trying to break a six-game losing streak in the second round and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. 2. Jefferson held Kendrick to 128 yards rushing, 0 passing, in a 42-8 victory in the first round. It was Jefferson's 10th consecutive victory, one short of the school record. 3. Westminster's Harrison Woodward and Joe Bridges returned interceptions for touchdowns and Nelson Douglas and Ross Johnston each had two of Westminster's 12 tackles for losses in a 34-0 victory over Pepperell in the first round.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Jefferson by 15

Winner plays: Fitzgerald/Vidalia winner

 

Early County at Screven County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Kelly Memorial Stadium, Sylvania

Records, rankings: Early County is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AA and unranked; Screven County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 3-AA and ranked No. 10.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Screven County RB Jeremy Johnson rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in a 41-7 victory over Bacon County in the first round. Johnson has 231 points on the season, which breaks the school record of 228 held by Michael Cooper. 2. Early County's Trey Woolf is one of three AA playoff coaches at his alma mater. The others are Greg Oglesby at Manchester and Maurice Freeman at Brooks County. 3. Early County won its first playoff game since 2006 last week. Screven won its first since 2003.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Early County by 4

Winner plays: Greater Atlanta Christian/Heard County winner

 

Greater Atlanta Christian at Heard County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Staples Stadium, Franklin

Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 8-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AA and ranked No. 9; Heard County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 5-AA and ranked No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. QB Wes Holcombe threw for 200 yards as part of Heard County's 505 yards in total offense in a 56-29 victory over Rabun County in the first round. It was Heard County's first playoff win since 2006. 2. GAC RB Mike Abernathy rushed for 129 yards and scored a touchdown in the Spartans' 35-6 victory over Model in the first round. GAC's 1,000-yard rusher, Kyle Scales, was injured from the final game of the regular season. 3. Heard County is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1990. GAC last made the quarterfinals in 2007.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Heard County by 1

Winner plays: Early County/Screven County winner

 

McIntosh Co. Academy at Brooks County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman

Records, rankings: McIntosh County Academy is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AA and unranked; Brooks County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 1-AA and ranked No. 2.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Brooks County QB Malcolm Parrish, a leading contender for Class AA offensive player of the year, was limited to 176 yards passing and minus-2 rushing in a 22-18 victory over Macon County in the first round. He played the second half with an injured ankle. Brooks led 22-6 and held on. 2. McIntosh County Academy lead 7-6 at halftime but scored touchdowns on its first three drives of the second half in a 27-6 victory over East Laurens. Four backs had between 50 and 75 yards rushing out of the pistol-based offense. 3. McIntosh Academy is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in school history and first since 2001. Brooks' last trip was in 2004.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Brooks County by 18

Winner plays: Washington-Wilkes/Calhoun winner

 

Washington-Wilkes at Calhoun

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Phil Reeve Stadium, Calhoun

Records, rankings: Washington-Wilkes is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AA and unranked; Calhoun is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 7-AA and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. These teams have two of the top-rated quarterbacks in Class AA. Washington-Wilkes QB Buck Robinson threw for 407 yards and five touchdowns in a 66-28 victory over Bowdon in the first round. Robinson has thrown for 2,385 yards on the season. Calhoun QB Hal Lamb was 15-of-17 passing for 224 yards (six completed to Josh Barnes for 156 yards) in a 42-10 victory over Wesleyan in the first round. Lamb has thrown for 2,588 yards on the season. 2. Calhoun has won 15 consecutive home playoff games. That's one of the 10 longest streaks of its kind in state history. The last loss came in 2007 to Greater Atlanta Christian. Washington-Wilkes has lost 10 straight road playoff games, last winning in 2001. Washington-Wilkes is 7-23 on the road in the playoffs since the 1960s, when the school won four state titles. 3. These teams rank 1-2 in average margin of victory in AA. Calhoun is first in scoring offense (47.4) and ninth in scoring defense (14.7) among the 16 teams remaining. Washington-Wilkes is third in scoring (41.5) and third in scoring defense (8.9).

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Calhoun by 23

Winner plays: McIntosh County Academy/Brooks County winner

 

Benedictine at Lamar County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Barnesville

Records, rankings: Benedictine is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AA and unranked; Lamar County is 10-0-1, the No. 1 seed from 4-AA and ranked No. 5.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Benedictine won its first playoff game since 1996 last week with a 24-20 victory over Laney. It broke a seven-game losing streak in the postseason. RB Chance Jackson rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. 2. Lamar County rushed for 356 yards and attempted only three passes in a 51-13 victory over Cook. Antwan Wallace (five rushes, 90 yards, two touchdowns) led four players with between 60 and 90 yards on the ground out of the wing-T offense. The victory put Lamar County within a game of reaching the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. 3. Lamar County coach Franklin Stephens and Benedictine coach Danny Britt are graduates of Georgia Southern.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lamar County by 13

Winner plays: Lovett/Manchester winner

 

Manchester at Lovett

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium/Conley-Oakley Field, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Manchester is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA and unranked; Lovett is 7-4, the No. 1 seed from 6-AA and ranked No. 8.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Manchester cashed two Greene County turnovers into touchdowns early in a 41-23 victory in the first round. The score was 41-10 in the third quarter. QB Quinn Prather scored two touchdowns and threw a 33-yard TD pass. It was Manchester's first playoff victory since 2006. 2. Lovett had nine tackles for losses, two each by Brant Wells and John Coletti, in a 27-0 victory over Coosa in the first round. It improved Lovett's home playoff record to 27-5 since 1987. 3. Manchester is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001. Lovett had made five consecutive quarterfinals before losing in the first round last season to Carver of Columbus.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lovett by 22

Winner plays: Benedictine/Lamar County winner

 

Class A (public)

Hancock Central at Lincoln County

When, where: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Bufford Field, Lincolnton

Records, rankings: Hancock Central is 5-5, the No. 16 seed and unranked; Lincoln County is 9-1, the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 4.

Last meeting: Lincoln County won 27-8 on Nov. 9 in the regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Lincoln County is 15-0 all-time against Hancock Central, including the 27-8 victory in the final game of the regular season. The GHSA points system for Class A teams does not consider region affiliation in the draw. This is the only first-round game in the public-school division that matches teams from the same region. But at 58 miles, they are only the second-closest geographically behind Turner County vs. Dooly County. 2. Lincoln County RB Mike McIntire has rushed for 1,088 yards and 15 touchdowns. 3. Hancock Central RB Deonte Franklin scored five touchdowns against Twiggs County and four against Greene County.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lincoln County by 26

Winner plays: Wilkinson County/Miller County winner

 

Wilkinson County at Miller County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Pirate Stadium, Colquitt

Records, rankings: Wilkinson County is 7-3, the No. 9 seed and ranked No. 7; Miller County is 8-2, the No. 8 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: Miller County won 32-26 in the second round of the 1999 Class A playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Miller County ranked ahead of Wilkinson County in the GHSA's points system, but the Maxwell Ratings had a different idea. Maxwell, whose computer model is more similar to those that influence the NCAA's BCS rankings, ranks Wilkinson at No. 3 among Class A public schools and puts Miller County at No. 18. Miller County's schedule ranks 35th out of 38 public schools playing regions schedules. 2. Both teams finished second in their regions. Wilkinson County failed to hold a 13-0 lead against eventual champion Lincoln County and lost 21-19. Miller County lost 20-0 to Seminole County in the key Region 1 game. 3. Miller County has made the playoffs for six consecutive seasons but is seeking its first quarterfinal since 2008. Wilkinson has made the playoffs seven straight seasons and got as far as the semifinals in 2008 and 2010.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Wilkinson County by 25

Winner plays: Hancock Central/Lincoln County winner

 

Turner County at Dooly County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Grove, Vienna

Records, rankings: Turner County is 6-4, the No. 12 seed and unranked; Dooly County is 8-2, the No. 5 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: Dooly County won 27-6 in the 2009 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Dooly County DL Montravius Adams has more than 20 tackles for losses and was an Atlanta Journal-Constitution preseason Super 11 pick. QB A.J. Smith has passed for 1,516 yards and 12 touchdowns. 2. Turner County effectively ended Clinch County's streak of 17 playoff appearances with a 30-20 victory in the final week of the regular season. Turner entered the game ranked 18th in the GHSA's points rankings for public schools. Clinch was 14th. The top 16 made it. QB Erik Soliday surpassed 1,000 yards passing for the season in that game. 3. Turner County and Dooly County are 31 miles apart, each less than three miles off I-75. They've been in the same region 12 times, most recently in 1997, but often play non-region games against each other because of their proximity. Turner leads the series 10-9. They've never met in the playoffs.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Dooly County by 5

Winner plays: Commerce/Seminole County winner

 

Commerce at Seminole County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Seminole Stadium, Donalsonville

Records, rankings: Commerce is 5-5, the No. 13 seed and unranked; Seminole County is 8-2, the No. 4 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Commerce has made the playoffs 16 consecutive times, a streak kept alive by the GHSA's points system. Commerce finished sixth in Region 8 but was 13th in the points standings. Non-region victories over Class AA playoff teams Jefferson (22-7) and Rabun County (18-17) were critical. 2. Seminole County wrapped up its second straight Region 1-A championship in the ninth game with a 20-0 victory over runner-up Miller County. Miller was held to 165 yards. Seminole has won 20 consecutive region games, not counting a forfeit in 2009, when Seminole didn't have enough non-suspended players to field a team. The leading rusher is QB Jakhari Martin, with 804 yards. 3. These schools are 289 miles apart, making for a 5-hour, 19-minute ride. Three of the eight first-round games in the public division will entail road trips of more than five hours. The others are Gordon Lee at ECI and Trion at Irwin County.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Seminole County by 18

Winner plays: Turner County/Dooly County winner

 

Gordon Lee at Emanuel County Institute

When, where: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Rountree Stadium, Twin City

Records, rankings: Gordon Lee is 5-5, the No. 14 seed and unranked; Emanuel County Institute is 9-1, the No. 3 seed and ranked No. 2.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. These schools are 300 miles apart, making for the longest road trip of any Class A opponents this week. 2. ECI is the highest-ranked public school in the AJC/GHSF Daily rankings at No. 2. ECI RB Greg Purcell has 718 yards rushing and 320 yards receiving and has scored 15 touchdowns. 3. Gordon Lee finished fourth in its subregion, then lost a play-in game, so would not have made the playoffs under the traditional region format. But as it stands, Gordon Lee is in the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Emanuel County Institute by 32

Winner plays: Trion/Irwin County winner

 

Trion at Irwin County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field, Ocilla

Records, rankings: Trion is 8-2, the No. 11 seed and unranked; Irwin County is 7-3, the No. 6 seed and ranked No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. This will be Irwin County's first home playoff game since 1999. That's bad timing for Trion, which has lost 14 consecutive road playoff games dating to 1988. Trion is 3-26 all-time in road playoff games. At 277 miles, this will be Trion's longest road trip ever in the playoffs. 2. Trion won a Class B championship in 1974, beating Lincoln County 7-0. The next year, Irwin County won its first state title, beating Jefferson 39-19 in the Class A final. Those are the only state titles for these schools. Trion is seeking its first quarterfinal appearance since 2003. Irwin County is seeking its first since 1997. 3. Trion began playing football in the 1930s. Irwin County's football history goes back to the 1920s with Ocilla High.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Irwin County by 14

Winner plays: Gordon Lee/Emanuel County Institute winner

 

Charlton County at Marion County

When, where: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Eagle Stadium, Buena Vista

Records, rankings: Charlton County is 5-5, the No. 10 seed and unranked; Marion County is 8-2, the No. 7 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Charlton County needs a victory to avoid its first losing season under 23-year head coach Rich McWhorter, whose record is 242-55-2. Charlton's streak of making the playoffs also extends to 1990 and would have ended under the old region standings format. Charlton finished fifth in Region 2. 2. Marion County has made the playoffs each of the past four seasons, but a victory would give the school its first berth in the quarterfinals. The past three seasons have been under coach Mike Swaney (29-5 record). 3. Charlton County is 13-9-1 in road playoff games under McWhorter. Those include two wins at Buford, two at Lincoln County and one each at Calhoun and Clinch County.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Marion County by 3

Winner plays: Greenville/Wilcox County winner

 

Greenville at Wilcox County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Patriot Stadium, Rochelle

Records, rankings: Greenville is 5-5, the No. 15 seed and unranked; Wilcox County is 8-2, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 5.

Last meeting: Wilcox County won 39-19 in the second round of the 2009 Class A playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Greenville made the playoffs despite finishing fifth in its region. A 7-6 victory in a non-region game against county rival Manchester was critical. Now, both Meriwether County schools are in the sweet 16 in the same season for the first time since the GHSA established a round of 16 in 1990. 2. In 2009, in the only other meeting between these schools, Wilcox County ended Greenville's undefeated season after 11 wins. Greenville coach Jeremy Williams made national news that year for his battle with ALS and his undefeated team. Williams retired after the 2010 season and is being nominated for the Georgia Coaches Hall of Fame this year. 3. Wilcox County QB Makail Grace has thrown for 2,481 yards and 25 touchdowns, and WR Johnathan Howard has 82 catches for 1,231 yards.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Wilcox County by 27

Winner plays: Charlton County/Marion County winner

 

Class A (private)

Mt. Pisgah Christian at Athens Academy

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Slaughter Field, Athens

Records, rankings: Mount Pisgah Christian is 6-4, the No. 16 seed and unranked; Athens Academy is 10-0, the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 3.

Last meeting: Athens Academy won 36-6 in the 2007 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Mount Pisgah, an Alpharetta school that began football in 2003 and joined the GHSA in 2006, is playing in its first playoff game under the GHSA banner. The Patriots reached the Georgia Independent School Association playoffs in 2005. 2. Athens Academy coach Michael Gunn is in his 23rd season, the most of any private-school coach in Class A. This season, Gunn achieved his ninth 10-win season, his seventh region title and his second perfect regular season. 3. Athens Academy beat five playoff teams toward its 10-0 finish. The biggest win came Oct. 26, when Athens Academy defeated George Walton Academy 21-20 after trailing 20-7 at halftime. QB Austin Schulte threw second-half TD passes to Eric Williams and Bobby Marshburn.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Athens Academy by 25

Winner plays: Prince Avenue Christian/Darlington winner

 

Prince Avenue Christian at Darlington

When, where: 7 p.m. Friday, Chris Hunter Stadium, Rome

Records, rankings: Prince Avenue Christian is 8-2, the No. 9 seed and unranked; Darlington is 7-3, the No. 8 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: Darlington won 49-13 in the first round of the 2010 Class A playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Darlington has made the playoffs nine of the past 10 seasons but advanced to the quarterfinals only once, in 2009, when the Tigers also made the semifinals. 2. Prince Avenue reached the semifinals last season and lost to eventual champion Savannah Christian. The Wolverines started football in 2005 and made the playoffs only one other time, 2010, when beaten at Darlington 49-13. 3. While Savannah Christian's Donald Chumley is the only coach in the private division who has won a state title in the GHSA, Prince Avenue coach Mark Farriba and George Walton's Don Williams have won state titles in the GISA. Farriba won with Stratford Academy of Macon in 2004 and First Presbyterian Prep in 1985. Farriba's record is 144-96-3.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Prince Avenue Christian by 4

Winner plays: Mount Pisgah Christian/Athens Academy winner

 

Landmark Christian at Calvary Day

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, M.C. Anderson Field, Savannah

Records, rankings: Landmark Christian is 7-3, the No. 12 seed and unranked; Calvary Day is 9-1, the No. 5 seed and ranked No. 8.

Last meeting: Calvary Day won 28-21 on Aug. 24 in the regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Landmark Christian RB Jeremiah Kirkland has rushed for 1,563 yards this season. 2. Calvary Day QB Jake Clemens was a preseason all-state pick. He was 8-of-17 passing for 195 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards in the regular-season game between these teams. Calvary won 28-21 despite trailing 21-0 at halftime. 3. Landmark Christian eliminated Calvary Day the round of 16 last season with a 21-7 victory at Calvary Day. Landmark won four consecutive road games to reach the finals as a No. 4 seed. Calvary Day has not advanced to the quarterfinals since 1999.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Calvary Day by 7

Winner plays: First Presbyterian/Brookstone winner

 

First Presbyterian at Brookstone

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rex Knight Stadium, Columbus

Records, rankings: First Presbyterian is 6-4, the No. 13 seed and unranked; Brookstone is 8-2, the No. 4 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. First Presbyterian QB Brooks Stroud has passed for 1,073 yards and run for 674 and scored 14 touchdowns. 2. Brookstone QB Duncan Fletcher has thrown for 1,812 yards and 13 touchdowns. 3. Both schools began football around the same time, Brookstone in 1972, First Presbyterian a year later. Brookstone joined the GHSA, partly because another Columbus private school, Pacelli, already was a member and a natural rival. First Presbyterian started football in 1973 and joined GISA, which had several middle Georgia members. First Presbyterian won GISA state titles in 1980 and 1985 before joining the GHSA in 2010. Brookstone's best GHSA finish has been the 1987 finals.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: First Presbyterian by 2

Winner plays: Landmark Christian/Calvary Day winner

 

Athens Christian at Walker

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Robertson Field, Marietta

Records, rankings: Athens Christian is 4-6, the No. 14 seed and unranked; Walker is 10-0, the No. 3 seed and ranked No. 10.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Athens Christian's 4-6 record is the weakest in the field. But the computer Maxwell Ratings rank Athens Christian's schedule the toughest in Class A among private schools and also rank the Eagles as the No. 15 team in the private division. Athens Christian played seven playoff teams, including a ranked Class AAA team in North Oconee. By contrast, Walker's schedule is ranked 33rd among 35 in the private division. 2. Walker RB Evan Kasian leads Class A in rushing with 1,795 yards. He has run for 24 touchdowns. 3. Neither team has won a playoff game in the GHSA. Walker began football in 2001. Athens Christian joined the GHSA in 2000.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Walker by 16

Winner plays: George Walton Academy/Aquinas winner

 

George Walton Academy at Aquinas

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aquinas Stadium, Augusta

Records, rankings: George Walton Academy is 7-3, the No. 11 seed and unranked; Aquinas is 8-2, the No. 6 seed and ranked No. 9.

Last meeting: Aquinas won 28-21 on Sept. 7 in the regular season.

Three things to know: 1. This game matches two of the elite running backs in the state. Aquinas' Brendan Douglas has rushed for 1,369 yards and 22 touchdowns on 176 carries despite missing a game with an injury. George Walton's Stanley Williams, a junior who has committed to Georgia, also has been banged up much of the season but has rushed for 1,348 yards and 18 touchdowns. 2. In the regular-season meeting between these teams, Ruben Garrett of Aquinas returned a kickoff 100 yards for the tying touchdown with three minutes left, and Aquinas took the lead when Douglas (78 yards rushing, 22 carries) scored on a 1-yard run in overtime. Shane Meehan made an interception to clinch the victory. 3. George Walton coach Don Williams has won two state championships in the GISA in 2003 and 2009, both with George Walton. His record is 136-84-1.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Aquinas by 10

Winner plays: Athens Christian/Walker winner

 

Holy Innocents' at Savannah Christian

When, where: 7 p.m. Friday, Garden City Stadium, Garden City

Records, rankings: Holy Innocents' is 6-4, the No. 10 seed and unranked; Savannah Christian is 7-3, the No. 7 seed and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Holy Innocents' has qualified for the playoffs in every season except its first, 2006, under coach Ryan Livezey, who started the program. His seven-year record is 51-28. 2. Savannah Christian is rebuilding after winning Class A last season with a 15-0 record. This season's 7-3 record represents the most losses since coach Donald Chumley took over the program in 2005 and finished 6-4. Chumley is 84-17 in nine seasons. 3. Savannah Christian ATH Jalen Myrick is the most vital returning player for his team. He is a champion sprinter who has committed to Minnesota.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Savannah Christian by 12

Winner plays: Our Lady of Mercy/Eagle's Landing Christian winner

 

Our Lady of Mercy at ELCA

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Commitment Field, McDonough

Records, rankings: Our Lady of Mercy is 6-4, the No. 15 seed and unranked; Eagle's Landing Christian is 9-1, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: Eagle's Landing Christian won 49-0 on Oct. 19 in the regular season.

Three things to know: 1. This will be the first playoff game for Our Lady, which started football in 2001. The school did not have a winning season until coach Mike Earwood was hired in 2010. Our Lady has finished 7-3, 6-4 and 6-4 since. Earwood got his 200th career victory this season. 2. ELCA RB/LB Keyante Green has rushed for 1,033 yards and averaged 12.3 yards per carry despite missing two games with an ankle injury and most second halves this season because of blowouts. 3. ELCA has beaten its seven Class A opponents by an average score of 52-4. According to Maxwell Ratings simulations, ELCA wins the Class A tournament 620,836 times out of 1 million.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Eagle's Landing Christian by 29

Winner plays: Holy Innocents'/Savannah Christian winner

Playoff Predictions: AA and A

Each day this week, GHSF Daily's Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye will pick which teams they think will win in the second round of the playoffs (and first round for Class A). Today we look at AA and A.

 

 

 

 

Games

Holcomb's Picks

Last week: 64-16

Playoffs: 64-14

Overall: 238-82

Saye's Picks

Last week: 62-18

Playoffs: 62-18

Overall: 250-70

Class AA

 

 

Fitzgerald at Vidalia

Fitzgerald

Vidalia

Westminster at Jefferson

Westminster

Jefferson

Early Co. at Screven Co.

Early Co.

Screven Co.

GAC at Heard Co.

GAC

Heard Co.

McIntosh Co. at Brooks Co.

Brooks Co.

Brooks Co.

Wash.-Wilkes at Calhoun

Calhoun

Calhoun

Benedictine at Lamar Co.

Lamar Co.

Lamar Co.

Manchester at Lovett

Lovett

Lovett

Class A (Public)

 

 

Hancock Cnt. at Lincoln Co.

Lincoln Co.

Lincoln Co.

Wilkinson Co. at Miller Co.

Wilkinson Co.

Wilkinson Co.

Turner Co. at Dooly Co.

Dooly Co.

Dooly Co.

Commerce at Seminole Co.

Seminole Co.

Seminole Co.

Gordon Lee at ECI

ECI

ECI

Trion at Irwin Co.

Irwin Co.

Irwin Co.

Charlton Co. at Marion Co.

Marion Co.

Marion Co.

Greenville at Wilcox Co.

Wilcox Co.

Wilcox Co.

Class A (Private)

 

 

Mt. Pisgah at Athens Acd.

Athens Academy

Athens Academy

Prince Ave. at Darlington

Prince Avenue

Prince Avenue

Landmark at Calvary Day

Calvary Day

Calvary Day

First Pres. at Brookstone

Brookstone

Brookstone

Athens Christian at Walker

Walker

Walker

George Walton at Aquinas

Aquinas

Aquinas

Holy Innocents' at SCPS

Savannah Christian

Savannah Christian

Our Lady of Mercy at ELCA

ELCA

ELCA


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On The Web

GHSAtv

Live playoff games

PlayOn! Sports and the GHSA Network will provide live Internet coverage of more than 30 playoff games this weekend. The available games are listed below and can be found by clicking here.

 

Friday

* Allatoona at M.L. King

* Benedictine at Lamar Co.

* Blessed Trinity at Cartersville

* Brookwood at Mill Creek

* Buford at North Oconee

* Carrollton at Marist

* Colquitt Co. at Newnan

* Commerce at Seminole Co.

* Dalton at Sandy Creek

* Gainesville at Kell

* Glynn Acad. at Whitewater

* Grady at Monroe Area

* Hart Co. at St. Pius

* H. Innocents' at Sav. Christ.

* Landmark at Calvary Day

* Manchester at Lovett

* Mary Persons at Cairo

* McIntosh Co. at Brooks Co.

* Morgan Co. at North Hall

* North Cobb at Hughes

* North Gwinnett at Grayson

* North Paulding at Tucker

* Our Lady of Mercy at ELCA

* Parkview at West Forsyth

* Peach Co. at Pierce Co.

* South Effingham at Westover

* Stephenson at East Paulding

* Thomas Central at Northside

* Warner Robins at Harris Co.

* Wash.-Wilkes at Calhoun

* Wayne Co. at Stockbridge

* Westminster at Jefferson

* Wilkinson Co. at Miller Co.

In This Issue
Playoff Preview: AA and A
Playoff Predictions: AA and A
On The Web: Live playoff games
List: Maxwell Ratings' favorites to win state titles
Trivia: Oldest Atlanta high school with most state titles
Playoff Scores, Pairings
On TV
Maxwell Ratings
In The News: Sanderson fired after two seasons as Roswell's head coach
Classifieds
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List

Odds-on favorites

The Maxwell Ratings rank each team's chances of winning the state title. For a more in-depth look, with each team's actual odds in 1 million, see Loren Maxwell's article at ajc.com.

 

AAAAAA

1. Norcross

2. Grayson

3. Camden County

4. North Gwinnett

5. Colquitt County

6. South Gwinnett

7. Lovejoy

8. Parkview

9. North Cobb

10. Mill Creek

11. Brookwood

12. West Forsyth

13. Marietta

14. Hughes

15. Newnan

16. East Coweta

 

AAAAA

1. Northside (Warner Robins)

2. East Paulding

3. M.L. King

4. Kell

5. Allatoona

6. Ware County

7. Gainesville

8. Tucker

9. Whitewater

10. Warner Robins

11. Thomas County Central

12. Stephenson

13. North Paulding

14. Glynn Academy

15. Union Grove

16. Harris County

 

AAAA

1. Sandy Creek

2. Burke County

3. Ridgeland

4. Marist

5. Carrollton

6. Stockbridge

7. Cairo

8. Grady

9. Monroe

10. Westover

11. Monroe Area

12. Mary Persons

13. Wayne County

14. Dalton

15. LaGrange

16. South Effingham

 

AAA

1. Thomson

2. Washington County

3. Carver (Columbus)

4. Peach County

5. St. Pius

6. Buford

7. Cartersville

8. North Hall

9. North Oconee

10. Blessed Trinity

11. Callaway

12. Morgan County

13. Pierce County

14. Hart County

15. Rockmart

16. Johnson (Savannah)

 

AA

1. Calhoun

2. Brooks County

3. Vidalia

4. Jefferson

5. Fitzgerald

6. Lamar County

7. Lovett

8. Heard County

9. Greater Atlanta Christian

10. Early County

11. Washington-Wilkes

12. McIntosh County Academy

13. Benedictine

14. Screven County

15. Westminster

16. Manchester

 

A (Public)

1. Emanuel County Institute

2. Lincoln County

3. Wilcox County

4. Wilkinson County

5. Irwin County

6. Dooly County

7. Seminole County

8. Turner County

9. Marion County

10. Charlton County

11. Trion

12. Hancock Central

13. Miller County

14. Greenville

15. Commerce

16. Gordon Lee

 

A (Private)

1. Eagle's Landing Christian

2. Athens Academy

3. Aquinas

4. Calvary Day

5. Prince Avenue Christian

6. Walker

7. Landmark Christian

8. Savannah Christian

9. First Presbyterian

10. George Walton Academy

11. Brookstone

12. Darlington

13. Our Lady of Mercy

14. Holy Innocents'

15. Athens Christian

16. Mount Pisgah Christian

Trivia

Grady is the only city of Atlanta school remaining in the state playoffs. Which Atlanta school is the oldest and holds the most state titles? (Answer Monday)

 

Answer to Tuesday's question: Marist holds the records for most consecutive home victories in the playoffs with 28 from 1996 to 2010.

Playoff Scores, Pairings

GHSA

Class AAAAAA

First round

Lovejoy 51, Tri-Cities 13

Marietta 30, Lowndes 27

Grayson 49, Wheeler 9

North Gwinnett 49, Johns Creek 19

Hughes 37, Rockdale Co. 3

North Cobb 42, Valdosta 14

Brookwood 24, Lassiter 21

Mill Creek 41, Alpharetta 39

Camden Co. 52, Hillgrove 17

East Coweta 25, Newton 20

Norcross 34, Chattahoochee 7

South Gwinnett 27, Milton 20

Colquitt Co. 30, McEachern 28

Newnan 38, Alcovy 0

West Forsyth 66, Collins Hill 41

Parkview 20, Walton 17

 

Second round

Marietta at Lovejoy

North Gwinnett at Grayson

North Cobb at Hughes

Brookwood at Mill Creek

East Coweta at Camden Co.

South Gwinnett at Norcross

Colquitt Co. at Newnan

Parkview at West Forsyth

 

Class AAAAA

First round

Northside, W.R. 41, Effingham Co. 13

Thomas Co. Central 27, Creekside 24

North Paulding 63, Flow. Branch 43

Tucker 42, Creekview 25

Ware Co. 27, Lakeside, Evans 7

Union Grove 21, Bainbridge 14

East Paulding 31, Clarke Central 23

Stephenson 31, Pope 11

Harris Co. 31, Northgate 14

Warner Robins 17, Richmond Hill 15

Kell 19, Southwest DeKalb 14

Gainesville 41, Rome 14

Whitewater 49, Lee Co. 7

Glynn Academy 26, Jones Co. 14

M.L. King 34, Sequoyah 14

Allatoona 24, Heritage, Conyers 21

 

Second round

Thomas Co. Central at Northside

North Paulding at Tucker

Union Grove at Ware Co.

Stephenson at East Paulding

Warner Robins at Harris Co.

Gainesville at Kell

Glynn Academy at Whitewater

Allatoona at M.L. King

 

Class AAAA

First round

S. Effingham 43, Westside, Macon 33

Westover 26, Jonesboro 21

Monroe Area 21, Shaw 14

Grady 27, River Ridge 17

Burke Co. 35, Perry 7

Monroe 33, Griffin 17

Sandy Creek 55, Eastside 0

Dalton 17, Carver, Atlanta 14

Cairo 24, Riverdale 13

Mary Persons 40, Statesboro 14

Ridgeland 45, Washington 21

LaGrange 59, Chestatee 46

Stockbridge 27, Worth Co. 14

Wayne Co. 35, Baldwin 14

Marist 56, Gilmer 0

Carrollton 40, Stephens Co. 7

 

Second round

South Effingham at Westover

Grady at Monroe Area

Monroe at Burke Co.

Dalton at Sandy Creek

Mary Persons at Cairo

LaGrange at Ridgeland

Wayne Co. at Stockbridge

Carrollton at Marist

 

Class AAA

First round

Carver, Columbus 42, Dodge Co. 21

Rockmart 34, Appling Co. 33

North Oconee 37, Ringgold 14

Buford 41, Cedar Grove 27

Thomson 27, Jackson 3

Johnson, Sav. 32, Chapel Hill 23

Cartersville 56, Jackson Co. 21

Blessed Trinity 35, White Co. 14

Pierce Co. 33, Central, Carroll 27

Peach Co. 35, Jefferson Co. 21

North Hall 38, Woodward Academy 7

Morgan Co. 24, Gordon Central 21

Callaway 49, Tattnall Co. 7

Washington Co. 55, Pike Co. 7

St. Pius 72, Dawson Co. 28

Hart Co. 32, Adairsville 11

 

Second round

Rockmart at Carver, Columbus

Buford at North Oconee

Johnson, Savannah at Thomson

Blessed Trinity at Cartersville

Peach Co. at Pierce Co.

Morgan Co. at North Hall

Washington Co. at Callaway

Hart Co. at St. Pius

 

Class AA

First round

Vidalia 57, Westside, Augusta 0

Fitzgerald 35, Northeast 19

Jefferson 42, Kendrick 8

Westminster 34, Pepperell 0

Screven Co. 41, Bacon Co. 7

Early Co. 40, Bleckley Co. 20

Heard Co. 56, Rabun Co. 29

Greater Atlanta Christian 35, Model 6

Brooks Co. 22, Macon Co. 18

McIntosh Co. Acd. 27, E. Laurens 6

Calhoun 42, Wesleyan 10

Washington-Wilkes 66, Bowdon 28

Lamar Co. 51, Cook 13

Benedictine 24, Laney 20

Lovett 27, Coosa 0

Manchester 41, Greene Co. 23

 

Second round

Fitzgerald at Vidalia

Westminster at Jefferson

Early Co. at Screven Co.

Greater Atlanta Christ. at Heard Co.

McIntosh Co. Academy at Brooks Co.

Washington-Wilkes at Calhoun

Benedictine at Lamar Co.

Manchester at Lovett

 

Class A (public)

First round

Hancock Central at Lincoln Co.

Wilkinson Co. at Miller Co.

Turner Co. at Dooly Co.

Commerce at Seminole Co.

Gordon Lee at Emanuel Co. Institute

Trion at Irwin Co.

Charlton Co. at Marion Co.

Greenville at Wilcox Co.

 

Class A (private)

First round

Mount Pisgah Christ. at Athens Acd.

Prince Avenue Christian at Darlington

Landmark Christian at Calvary Day

First Presbyterian at Brookstone

Athens Christian at Walker

George Walton Academy at Aquinas

Holy Innocents' at Sav. Christian

Our Lady of Mercy at ELCA

 

GISA

Class AAA

Semifinals

Stratford at Deerfield-Windsor

Westfield at Heritage School

 

Class AA

Semifinals

Valwood at John Milledge

Brentwood at Westwood

 

Class A

Semifinals

Robert Toombs at Thomas Jefferson

Dawson Street Christian at Frederica

On TV

Friday

*Marietta at Lovejoy, 7:30 p.m., CSS

*North Gwinnett at Grayson, 7:30 p.m., WSB 2.2 (Atlanta)

*South Gwinnett at Norcross, 7:30 p.m., GPB

Maxwell Ratings

Here are this week's state rankings as determined by the Maxwell Ratings. Below, we give you the top 25 overall teams. To see all 412 football-playing schools in Georgia and how they rank in their classification, click here.

 

All-classification

1. Norcross (97.78)

2. Grayson (91.79)

3. Camden County (89.37)

4. North Gwinnett (87.7)

5. South Gwinnett (84.74)

6. Sandy Creek (83.3)

7. Colquitt County (81.28)

8. Northside, W.Robins (81.23)

9. Lassiter (80.46)

10. East Paulding (80.24)

11. Parkview (79.92)

12. Lowndes (79.3)

13. Lovejoy (79.23)

14. West Forsyth (78.38)

15. M.L. King (78.32)

16. Mill Creek (77.32)

17. Calhoun (77.11)

18. Brookwood (76.78)

19. North Cobb (76.63)

20. McEachern (76.25)

21. Thomson (74.74)

22. Valdosta (74.37)

23. Burke County (73.94)

24. Marietta (73.37)

25. Archer (72.83)

Invitation To Coaches

Salute to High School Football Reception

All GHSA-affiliated football head coaches are invited to attend the 2012 Salute to Georgia High School Football Reception, presented by Russell Athletic. The event will take place on Dec. 15 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Atlanta Falcons Owners Club at the Georgia Dome.

 

With the first state championship game on that Saturday kicking off at the new start time of 11:30 a.m., the event has been changed from a luncheon to a reception. The invitation allows coaches and a guest to enjoy a meal and mingle with fellow coaches as well as the 2012 Classification Coaches of the Year, Warrick Dunn Captain in the Community honorees and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Additionally, prizes will be awarded for commitment to the sport of football.

 

The Atlanta Falcons will offer to the first 100 coaches to RSVP for the reception the opportunity to receive two tickets to the Falcons-Buccaneers game on Dec. 30 at the Georgia Dome. Make sure to mention the tickets when you RSVP, and Mia Scott will follow up with a confirmation of attendance and tickets.

 

For coaches staying in Atlanta, the following hotels within six blocks of the Georgia Dome are recommended: Omni at CNN Center, 404-659-0000; Embassy Suites, 404-223-2300; Residence Inn by Marriott, 404-522-0950; and Quality Hotel, 404-524-7991.

 

RSVP by Dec. 3 by calling 404-367-2243 or e-mailing Scott at mscott@falcons.nfl.com.

 
In The News

Sanderson fired after two seasons as Roswell's head coach

Roswell has fired head football coach Justin Sanderson, whose teams finished 0-10 and 3-7 in his two seasons.

 

Sanderson's final game was a 28-24 upset of playoff-bound Walton, but it wasn't enough to save his job after Roswell suffered consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1979-80. Roswell lost seven of its 17 games under Sanderson by three points or less.

 

Sanderson, who was promoted from offensive coordinator in 2011, joined Roswell's staff in 2003 and coached during one of Roswell's more successful eras. The Hornets won a Class AAAAA championship in 2006. Sanderson has never coached at another high school.

 

"It's just my home; I love this place, and it's going to be hard to leave," Sanderson said. "Ending with that Walton win and as well as we played against Lassiter [a 28-14 loss the week before against the region champion], I thought we'd have another chance. But the bottom line is I'm 3-17 as head coach, and it's a results-oriented business."

 

Roswell has made nine coaching hires since 1950, each time promoting from within its staff.

 

Gable resigns at LaFayette

Tab Gable, whose first head coaching job in Georgia came in 1977, has resigned as football coach at LaFayette after three seasons to spend more time with family. Gable's LaFayette teams finished 5-5, 5-5 and 1-9. Gable was an assistant at Shorter College in Rome when he took the LaFayette job in 2010. His record in 25 seasons as a head coach is 136-114-6 at LaFayette, Trion, Model, Haralson County and Jefferson.

 

Job openings:

Americus-Sumter - Former coach Michael Pollock/Chris Wade

Creekview - Former coach Al Morrell

Forsyth Central - Former coach Chris Bennett

Harrison - Former coach Tommy Galbraith/Bruce Cobleigh

Howard - Former coach David Cape

LaFayette - Former coach Tab Gable

Lanier County - Former coach David Ward

Roswell - Former coach Justin Sanderson

 

Please make GHSF Daily aware of any coaching changes as most schools do not announce them immediately to the media.

Classifieds

Football recruiting fair to be held at Atlanta Technical College

The 2012 Fall Metro Atlanta College Football Recruiting Fair will be held at Atlanta Technical College on Dec. 4 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Dec. 5 (8 a.m.-noon). Colleges from across the country will be in attendance, looking for football players from the class of 2012 and 2013. Bring copies of your prospect sheet, player highlights, transcripts, and official test scores if applicable. NCAA and NAIA schools, junior colleges and prep schools will be in attendance. There are only 80 slots available for high schools. For more information, go to www.fresports.com or contact coach Ahmand Tinker (atinker@footballrecruitingexpos.com or 706-412-3556) or coach Tim Glanton (timglanton@footballrecruitingexpos.com or 404-429-6220).

About Us
GHSFD logoGeorgia High School Football Daily is a free e-mail newsletter produced
and owned by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye. Holcomb is a former lead high school football writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and co-founder of the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Saye is a 25-year veteran of the newspaper industry who has covered high school sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Athens Banner-Herald, Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and Gwinnett Daily News.
 

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