Class AAAAAA semifinal previews

Etowah Eagles Football

McEachern vs. Colquitt County

Colquitt County won its only state championship in 1994 and has set a state record with six consecutive semifinals appearances under its seven-year head coach and former Hoover head man, Rush Propst. The Packers’ state crown in ‘94 is the only championship won among  Class AAAAAA’s semifinalists. Colquitt County is the lone unbeaten team in the state’s top classification and captured its first region championship since 1999 with its perfect record in Region 1. Sihiem King leads Colquitt’s backfield and has 13 rushing touchdowns this postseason. Quarterback Chase Parrish keeps the Packers balanced and averages just under 200 passing yards per game with his 73.5 completion percentage and 25 passing touchdowns this year. Defensively, DeThemeyus “Bull” Barge leads Colquitt County with 160 total tackles and linebacker Quintin Hampton has 131 total takedowns. The aggressive Packers defense has produced 107.5 tackles for loss this year. Colquitt County will have to get to the backfield fast against a McEachern team that is the hottest aerial attack in the state. Lefty sophomore Bailey Hockman, who has thrown for 3,272 yards and 40 touchdowns this season, quarterbacks the Indians. Duke-commit T.J. Rahming leads the receiving corps with Tyler Smith. Rahming has 1,431 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns this season and is 214 yards away from tying former MLK receiver, Demarco Robinson, for the state record for most receiving yards in a season. The sophomore Smith, is not far behind Rahming with 1,100 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Right tackle Chuma Edoga is one of the best linemen in the nation and will look to buy Hockman and his dynamic receiving duo time with Louisville-commit and standout guard Chandler Jones. Colquitt County owns a 2-1 all-time record over McEachern, including a thrilling 30-28 road victory over the Indians in the opening round of the 2012 playoffs.

Etowah vs. Archer

Archer was a preseason No. 1 in various polls but dropped its first three games and flew under the radar during its run to a share of the Region 7 title. The Tigers, which opened as a school in 2009, are making their first-ever semifinals appearance and enter their final four matchup as arguably the hottest team in the state. Archer eliminated two-time defending champion Norcross with a 38-22 first round victory and has sent Lee County and Hillgrove home with consecutive 56-13 wins. The triumph over Hillgrove in the quarterfinals saw Archer explode to a 56-0 lead in the second quarter. Junior Dylan Singleton led Archer with a punt return touchdown, a receiving score and a rushing touchdown before the first half ended. Archer quarterback Gabe Tiller emerged as one of the state’s top passers last season and continues to spread the ball around to Singleton and South Carolina commits Connor Redmond and Kyle Davis. Etowah became the first Cherokee County school to advance to the semifinals after stamping a school-record 11th win in the quarterfinals. The Eagles have doubled their three playoff opponents in scoring (114-57) with wins over South Forsyth, Westlake and Newton. Etowah is the only remaining playoff team that never made it into the state rankings this season but has plenty of talent that has been recognized. Tyray Devezin leads the backfield after his older brother Raishod suffered a season-ending injury the seventh game of the season. Devezin rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns in Etowah’s 43-29 win over Newton and has more than 1,500 rushing yards this season. Brad Morgan and Scott Morgan are Etowah linemen committed to Georgia Tech and junior Alex Smith is a 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle that has started to gain momentum in recruiting circles.

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