Class AAAA Quarterfinal previews

R5 T2 Sandy Creek at R7 T1 Cartersville

Eric Swinney leads the charge for the Patriots as they visit the 11-1 Cartersville Purple Hurricanes. The four-star Ole Miss commit has 1,704 rushing and 19 touchdowns. He added two scores last week over Wayne County. The Canes will be tested after dominating a weak Region 7. Cartersville has allowed just three points total in the first two rounds. Freshman Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 2,603 yards and 25 touchdowns.

R6 T2 Marist at R8 T1 Buford

Two of the most prestigious programs in the state go at it. Marist is anchored by a defense that allows just eight points a game. The ground-and-pound of the War Eagles is headed by Ian Gipson, Sam Phelts, and Griffin King. As a team they are averaging 284 yards per game and 35 points. Buford has won six of the past seven state titles. The Wolves have outscored opponents on an average of 45 to 6. Luke Humphrey, Martin Mangram and Isaac Nauta all play big roles on offense.

R2 T1 West Laurens at R6 T1 St. Pius

St. Pius averages 323 yards per game on the ground and has five players with over 300 yards rushing. Dalton Wilson leads them all with 742 yards and 13 scores. West Laurens has a balanced offensive attack with Garrel Quainton throwing for 1,502 yards and Darius Bradford rushing for 1,152 yards. Senior Justin Smith is the Raider’s main option on the outside catching 52 balls for 855 yards and nine touchdowns.

R8 T2 North Oconee at R5 T1 Woodward Academy

Kawon Bryant is the engine that makes the North Oconee Titans go. He ran for 360 yards in their round one rout of Gilmer and helped the Titans knock off Cairo 14-7 last week. He has 1,835 yards rushing 25 touchdowns on the season. Woodward has a stud running back of its own in Elijah Holyfield. He has 1,322 yards rushing and 28 total touchdowns. Holyfield had 124 yards rushing and two scores in their win over Burke County.

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