Championship Preview: Class AAAAA

Photo by Jon Barash


Georgia is considered one of the most competitive states in the country when it comes to high school football, and Mays’ inspiring run to this year’s state championship is testament to everything that makes Georgia high school football so well-respected. The Raiders have won a school-record 12 games this season and became the only No. 3 seed to advance to the state championship. The Raiders won their first three playoff games by a combined 13 points but scored a more comfortable 30-15 victory over Stockbridge in the semifinals last Friday. Quarterback Asania Aderhold hit Deparis Carter for a 43-yard touchdown inthe second quarter to give Mays a 7-0 lead and Kesselly Tyler iced the game with two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. The postseason run started with a 26-19 win over South Paulding that saw Charlie Patrick carry the ball 16 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. The second round stacked Mays against undefeated and top-ranked Ware County. Aderhold finished 11-of-14 passing with touchdown passes to Tyshawn Brown and Randrecous Davis in a 21-18 victory. With the win, Mays became the first Atlanta city school to beat a No. 1-ranked team since Douglass defeated Southwest DeKalb in 1995. In the quarterfinals,Mays hosted Jones County in a rare showdown between No. 3 seeds.Mays stunned the Greyhounds on the final play of the game when Aderhold threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Julius Whitehead. Aderhold finished with three scoring strikes, including a Hail Mary to Brown that ended the first half. The victorious Raiders also got scores via reception and kickoff return by Carter. Head coach Corey Jarvis has a talented defensive line that includes defensive end Natrez Patrick (committed to Georgia) and tackle Dallas Warmack (Alabama). These four-star athletes highlight a cast with several other Division I prospects. The Raiders may be the best story this postseason as in their 34-year history they have reached double-digit wins only three times.


Northside is back in the state championship for the first time since 2009 and comes off a 30-21 victory over previously unbeaten Allatoona in the semifinals. The Eagles took a 20-7 lead at the half over Allatoona, outrushing the Buccaneers 193-to-8. Northside running back Willie Jordan scored two touchdowns in the first half and scored again in the third quarter to highlight his monster game with 41 carries for 234 yards. Northside uses its prolific running game and stout defense and has followed this formula to record at least 10 wins every season since 1998. The Eagles’ last state titles came in 2006-07 with back-to-back perfect 15-0 seasons and playoff experience is present within the Eagles program. Northside fell 45-37 to region-rival Jones County on Sept. 9, but this current 10-game win streak since the loss has seen the team improve on both sides of the football with each new week. In the quarterfinals, Northside edged Glynn Academy 31-7 and used its over-powering running game to grab the win. All four touchdowns came on the ground; two from T.J. Anderson and one each for Jordan and Tobias Oliver. Justin Alonso nailed a 31-yard field goal for the Eagles at the end of the first half. During the first round, Northside routed Northside-Columbus 48-0 and set up a 30-21 win over a dangerous Dalton squad in the second round. Jordan rushed for four touchdowns and 132 yards on 14 carries in the win over Northside and Oliver led the way in the victory over Dalton with 18 carries for 148 yards and three scores.Defensively, Kam Burnett, Rakwon Young, Chris Wright and Jayleen Kendrick have all recorded interceptions in the postseason and play aggressive with the Eagles’ reliable defensive front disrupting opposing offenses. Northside has won 14 region titles and is 436-161-6 since the school started in 1963. The Eagles didn’t get their first double-digit win season until 1975.


Mays will be looking to give the city of Atlanta its first state champion since Southwest Atlanta won the Class AA title in 1973. It just so happens that Southwest Atlanta became Mays High School in 1981. Also, this will be the first time in school history either team has met on the gridiron and the matchup features several underlying themes. Mays is led by an offensive line that averages more than 300 pounds and Northside also uses its bulk upfront to power one of the most productive rushing attacks in the state. To no surprise, the stars to watch in this matchup will come in the trenches. Mays’ defensive ends Natrez Patrick (UGA) and Aaron Cochran (Louisville) will look to funnel Northside’s running game inside. On the offensive side, Mays’ running game will depend on guard Dallas Warmack (Alabama) to lead the way and Northside will need to take advantage of Willie Jordan and Tobias Oliver’s ability to share carries as guard Brandon Sandifer (Florida-commit) opens holes against an athletic and massive Mays defensive line.


Class AAAAAA Preview

Class AAAA Preview

Class AAA Preview

Class AA Preview

Class A-Private Preview

Class A-Public Preview

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