Class AAA first round preview

R6 T3 Ringgold at R5 T2 Callaway

Ringgold came off last year’s school-record 11-win season and cruised to an 8-2 record this year. The Tigers suffered region losses to Adairsville and Calhoun but have been building momentum since and sit one win away from matching a school-record six-game winning streak. Callaway played for its first region championship last Friday but saw a potential game-winning kick get blocked by Central-Carroll and returned for a touchdown as time expired. However, the close loss to 9-0 Central-Carroll should give the Cavaliers confidence heading into the postseason.

R4 T4 Jackson-Atlanta at R3 T1 Washington County

Washington County has outscored its opponents by an average of 43 points per game this season. The 10-0 Golden Hawks are led by Player of the Year candidate AJ Gray at quarterback. The team has gone 33-3 with the senior under center the past three seasons. Jackson is led by running back Quintavious Monday and quarterback Keenan Moore.

R2 T3 Jackson at R1 T2 Pierce County

Pierce County clinched the No. 2 seed this year and is two wins away from their third straight 10-win season under Sean Pender. Pierce County’s two losses came in a one-point loss to Cook and a three-point loss to Appling County. This will be the first time Pierce and Jackson have met on the gridiron. Jackson is a running team that has accounted for 214 rushing yards per game this season. Sophomore Antavius Grier and senior Juan Sims have each paced the backfield with seven touchdowns this season.

R8 T4 Oconee County at R7 T1 West Hall

West Hall is the higher seed, but Oconee County carries a 6-0 all-time record against the Spartans. West Hall tied a school-record with nine wins and can post double-digit victories for the first time in school history with a win on Friday. Oconee County made a tremendous turnaround this season under first-year head coach Travis Noland. After winning just five games during the last two seasons, Oconee County sits at 7-3 and is in the playoffs for the first time in six years.

R5 T3 Cedartown at R6 T2 Adairsville

Superstar running back Nick Chubb led Cedartown into the playoffs with a 9-1 record last year and the Bulldogs have had to carry on without the current Georgia running back. Cedartown was able to sneak into the postseason with a 2-3 region record and a 3-7 overall mark. Adairsville lone loss came to Calhoun and the 9-1 Tigers are one win away from the school’s third double-digit winning season in 58 years.

R3 T4 Hephzibah at R4 T1 Blessed Trinity

Blessed Trinity made it to the quarterfinals last year and rides into the playoffs undefeated for the first time in school history. Junior quarterback Conor Davis has led the Blessed Trinity offense with 15 passing touchdowns and three rushing scores. Hephzibah’s last playoff appearance came in 2009 and the team has rebuilt itself after a combined 1-19 record from 2011-12. This is the first time the two teams have ever played.

R1 T3 Dodge County at R2 T2 Westside-Macon

Dodge County’s 7-0 start was followed with back-to-back losses to Cook and Pierce County but the Indians closed the season on a winning note with a 31-15 victory over Jenkins. This is another first-time matchup between two schools and Westside-Macon is one of the better No. 2 seeds in the postseason. The Seminoles are 9-1 with their lone loss to 10-0 Peach County.

R7 T4 Franklin County at R8 T1 Jefferson

After winning the 2012 Class AA state title, Jefferson has not taken a step back with second-year head coach Ben Hall. The Dragons went 10-3 in Hall’s first season and have jumped to a 10-0 regular season record this year. Jefferson and Franklin County have met 14 times with the last meeting coming in 1997. Jefferson owns the series with an 8-6 all-time record. After a 1-9 finish last year, Jerry Underwood and Franklin County enter the playoffs with a 4-6 record.

R3 T3 Westside-Augusta at R4 T2 Cedar Grove

Cedar Grove sits at 8-2 and one win away from the first 9-win season since 1992. The Saints battled with undefeated Blessed Trinity for the region title last Friday but fell short 28-21. Westside-Augusta hired former Cross Creek head coach Scott Tate this offseason and the Patriots are in the playoffs for just the second time in nine seasons.

R5 T4 Rockmart at R6 T1 Calhoun

Rockmart edged Pepperell 6-0 in the mini-playoff on Monday for a spot in the postseason, despite a 3-7 record. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets take on the mighty Calhoun Yellow Jackets. Undefeated Calhoun is looking for its third state title and has posted a 35-point average margin of victory this year. Olicio Dennis, Cole Jackson and Kaelen Riley share the bulk of the carries out of the Calhoun backfield.

R8 T3 Elbert County at R7 T2 Lumpkin County

Elbert County has never posted a losing season under 5-year head coach Sid Fritts and is in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. The 7-3 Blue Devils lost to a trio of difficult opponents with Westminster, Hart County and Jefferson. First-year head coach Ty Maxwell led Lumpkin County into the playoffs after the Indians posted consecutive 2-8 seasons the previous two years. The Indians must slow down an Elbert County offense that has averaged 32 points per game this season. This is the first meeting between the schools.

R1 T4 Appling County at R2 T1 Peach County

Peach County is looking to repeat its 15-0 state champion season in 2009 and enters the playoffs unscathed after dominating this year’s competition. The Trojans have won 70 games the last six seasons and they very well could make that 75 with another run to the Georgia Dome. Appling County has lost its last five games to Peach County and last topped the Trojans 17-6 in 1994.

R4 T3 Westminster at R3 T2 Laney

Gerry Romberg is in his 23rd season as the Westminster head coach and has led the Wildcats to a 9-1 record in the school’s first year in Class AAA. The Wildcats’ 13-10 win over Lovett to open the season set the tone and still stands as one of their biggest wins of the year. Westminster beat Laney 14-6 on Sept 5 at Laney and will try to repeat the results against a Laney team that made a run to the state quarterfinals a season ago.

R6 T4 Sonoraville at R5 T1 Central-Carroll

Central-Carroll followed up a 10-3 season a year ago with a perfect 10-0 record and Region 5 title. The Lions won 40-34 over Callaway on Saturday and only allowed 43 total points in the nine games prior. Sonoraville posted a school-record 6-win season this year and is looking for the first playoff win in school history.

T7 T3 East Hall at R8 T2 Hart County

Hart County saw its hopes for a region title fall 21-14 last Friday to Jefferson, but being competitive in the loss and having a chance to win should serve as a boost entering the postseason. Hart County is 7-1 all-time against East Hall and has not lost to the Vikings since its 7-6 defeat in 1971. Bryan Gray is in his eighth season as East Hall’s head coach and has the Vikings in the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

R2 T4 Central-Macon at R1 T1 Cook

Jon Lindsey left Irwin County and took the Cook job this year and immediately made his impact. Cook lost to Tift County and Berrien to open the season but followed the two losses with eight straight wins. Central-Macon sits at 5-5 and has only posted one six-win season since 1999.

*Stats and team history found at


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