By Stephen Black, Sean Conway, Joe Deighton, Ricky Dimon and Travis Stigall
The first round of the playoffs tonight centered around upsets involving Gwinnett and Cobb County teams. In one of the biggest upsets in the state tonight, Brookwood went to No. 2 Lassiter and handed the Trojans their first loss of the season in overtime. Parkview traveled to east Cobb and beat Walton in overtime.
Region 4-AAAAAA squads North Cobb and Marietta teamed up to knock south Georgia powers Valdosta and Lowndes out of the playoffs with impressive wins.
Brookwood 24, Lassiter 21
Brookwood stormed back from deficits of 21-0 in the first half and 21-6 in the fourth quarter to stun host Lassiter 24-21. Brandon Morrow kicked two field goals to keep the Broncos within striking distance, and they struck with a vengeance in the final six minutes.
Josh Brown rushed for a touchdown, Zach Moon added a 2-point conversion, then Moon tossed a game-tying scoring pass to Ky Priester with eight seconds remaining. After forcing overtime, Brookwood maintained its momentum with an interception by Colin Cotter. That set up Morrow’s third field goal of the game, the clincher from 32 yards out.
Camden County 52, Hillgrove 17: Visiting Hillgrove led Camden County 10-7 in the second, but Camden County would score 35 unanswered points to regain the lead. Antonio Wimbush scored three rushing touchdowns to fuel the Camden County rally. Senior J.J. Green added a 73-yard touchdown run for the victorious Wildcats.
East Coweta 25, Newton 20: Visiting East Coweta trailed 12-7 early in the game but rallied behind Dee Godfrey’s three touchdowns. Godfrey rushed 14 times for 131 yards. He also made a leaping catch to intercept a pass late in the fourth quarter. East Coweta’s Anfernee Burks led the way on defense with seven tackles.
Grayson 49, Wheeler 9: The host Rams took the lead just 13 seconds into the game on David Fennell’s 80-yard touchdown run. Running back Wayne Gallman led Grayson with three touchdowns in the first quarter on runs of 53 and 30 yards, followed by a 52-yard catch. Aares McCall added a 29-yard touchdown run for the Rams.
Langston Hughes 37, Rockdale County 3: Host Langston Hughes took a mere 9-3 advantage into halftime, but inserting backup quarterback Kinan Humphrey for the second half proved to be a decisive move. Humphrey completed all four of his pass attempts for 82 yards, including a 26-yard scoring strike to Keion Davis and a 32-yard touchdown pass to Bingo Morton. Davis added two touchdowns on the ground.
Lovejoy 51, Tri-Cities 13: Visiting Tri-Cities could not muster any offense against Lovejoy and was down 37-0 at halftime. Travis Custis scored four touchdowns for Lovejoy. Brandon Davis scored on two key plays for Lovejoy with a 90-yard interception return and an 80-yard return of a missed field goal.
Marietta 30, Lowndes 27: Marietta led 16-6 at halftime and survived a late rally by host Lowndes. Quarterback Anthony Jennings threw three touchdown passes, one each to Chavez Hemphill, Tyree Harris and Jordan Mathis. In the fourth quarter, Jennings broke free up the middle for an 88-yard touchdown run. Two sacks by the Marietta defense ended Lowndes’ final drive.
Newnan 38, Alcovy 0: Newnan put together a spectacular defensive effort to shut out visiting Alcovy. Kelvin Khayyam scored two touchdowns for Newnan late in the game. Also scoring for Newnan was Rodney Tennie, who returned an interception for a touchdown. Tray Matthews also scored for Newnan, catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Bailey Bryant.
Norcross 34, Chattahoochee 7: The backfield combination of running back Alvin Kamara and quarterback Joseph Wilber were unstoppable for host Norcross. Kamara scored on two runs and caught a touchdown pass from Wilber. Wilber also connected with Trey Smith and Myles Autry on touchdown throws. Norcross led 27-0 at the half.
Parkview 20, Walton 17 (2OT): Justis Rosser made big plays all night to help visiting Parkview advance. Rosser scored in the third quarter on a 48-yard run to tie the game 7-7. In the second overtime Rosser stopped a Walton ball carrier on the 1-yard line forcing a field goal, then scored from 15 yards out to seal the victory.
South Gwinnett 27, Milton 20: Host South Gwinnett scored all of their points in the first half before holding off a late Milton comeback. South Gwinnett quarterback Jordan Ramey threw for 242 yards including an 80-yard touchdown pass to Coray Keel. Josh Boyd, Travon Davis and Bernard Morrison added rushing scores for South Gwinnett.
Allatoona 24, Heritage-Conyers 21: Visiting Heritage led twice, but could not hold on. Quarterback Jeremy Uzee scored on a quarterback sneak and threw a touchdown pass to Clarence Soleberry. T.J. Herron scored Allatoona’s other touchdown on an 8-yard run. Heritage-Conyers missed a 47-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining to tie the contest.
East Paulding 31, Clarke Central 23: Cameron Johnson’s two touchdown passes to Amir Williams (the second with 48 seconds remaining) weren’t enough for visiting Clarke Central. Jalani Payne scored Clarke Central’s other touchdown on a 5-yard run. The loss ends the Gladiators’ season with a 5-6 record, while East Paulding remains undefeated.
Harris County 31 Northgate 14: Host Harris County led by 10 at the half and was able to hold on to that lead and advance. Cornerback Taquon Marshall intercepted a first quarter pass and took it in for a touchdown for Harrison County’s opening score. Running back Esais Chatman led the way with 205 yards and added two touchdowns.
Kell 19, Southwest DeKalb 14: Julian Burris hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew McGuigan to give the host Longhorns the lead with just 25 seconds left. Running back Khalil Bell scored on a 5-yard run and Brendan Langley caught a 28-yard pass from McGuigan to lead Kell over the Panthers.
North Paulding 63, Flowery Branch 42: Visiting North Paulding used some trickery and quarterback Chase Noonan to defeat Flowery Branch. Noonan threw five touchdown passes and scored a rushing touchdown. Matt Mixon caught four of the five touchdown passes. North Paulding’s Jamaad Stephens caught Flowery Branch off guard by throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Davis.
Tucker 42, Creekview 25: Visiting Tucker trailed Creekview early in the game but jumped to a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Tucker would score three touchdowns in the second quarter to make the halftime score 28-7. Creekview scored 14 points in the third quarter, but could not catch Tucker.
Dalton 17, Carver-Atlanta 14: Quarterback Cole Calfee led two comeback drives to help visiting Dalton win a see-saw affair. Calfee scored on a 3-yard run in the first half and connected with Brandon Dale on a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second half. Placekicker Daniel Palacios kicked a 30-yard field goal to provide the margin of victory for Dalton.
Grady 27, River Ridge 17: Grady managed to hold off River Ridge, which had pulled to within 21-17 late in the fourth quarter after trailing 21-7. Quarterback Kivon Taylor iced it for the visitors with a 1-yard touchdown run. Jamond Glass added an interception return for Grady and Hakeem Todd rushed for a 37-yard score.
Marist 56, Gilmer 0: Marist quarterback Myles Willis ran for an 83-yard score and threw for two more as the host War Eagles rolled. Gray King got the scoring started with a 42-yard run in the first quarter. Marist led 35-0 at the half. Gilmer mustered just 87 total yards of offense. Marist rushed for 378 yards, led by Willis’ 133.
Ridgeland 45, Washington 21: Ridgeland broke open a 17-14 game at the intermission by extending its lead over Washington with a huge second half. Darrell Bridges ran wild for host Ridgeland with 202 yards and five touchdowns on 22 carries. He had scoring runs of six, eight, 11, 15 and 39 yards. Noah Cooper added 87 yards on the ground and a 30-yard touchdown run for the victors.
Stockbridge 27, Worth County 14: Nigel Hughes led the way with two touchdown catches for Stockbridge. Linebacker Clifford Lowe added a 80-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to seal the victory.
Westover 26, Jonesboro 21: Host Westover ultimately won after stopping Jonesboro in the final seconds on a fourth down from the Westover 35-yard line. Westover took the lead for good when running back Shannon Saunders scored from 40 yards out late in the third.
Blessed Trinity 35, White County 14: In a rematch of a 21-19 regular-season thriller, Blessed Trinity prevailed in more convincing fashion over White County. With home-field advantage this time, Blessed Trinity got 256 passing yards and two scores from Spencer McManes. Nathaniel Maggio caught both touchdowns while C.J. Brazil added 104 receiving yards. Sam Roberts had two interceptions for the Titans.
Buford 41, Cedar Grove 27: Montgomery VanGorder threw three touchdowns to lead host Buford past Cedar Grove. VanGorder connected with Mikey Bart from nine yards out in the second quarter then tossed 28-yard and 44-yard scoring strikes to Jaylen Mize and David Curry, respectively, in the second half. Deion Sellers had two rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score to keep Cedar Grove competitive.
Johnson-Savannah 32, Chapel Hill 23: Running back Corbin Mitchell scored on a 43-yard touchdown run to give the visiting Atom Smashers a comfortable lead with just over two minutes left in the game. Johnson took a 12-7 halftime lead and never trailed the Panthers in the second half. Chapel Hill running back Tre Mitchell rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Greater Atlanta Christian 35, Model 6: The host Spartans took a 21-0 halftime lead and held the Blue Devils scoreless into the fourth quarter. Greater Atlanta Christian quarterback Rafe Chapple threw two touchdown passes in the first half. Running back Micah Abernathy led the Spartans’ ground attack with 83 yards rushing and a touchdown.
North Hall 38, Woodward Academy 7: The host Trojans scored 31 straight points in a rout of Woodward Academy. Running back Kevin Christmas set up the first of two Bradley Brown touchdown runs with a 60-yard scamper in the first quarter. Lee Shelton caught a 56-yard touchdown pass to give North Hall a commanding 28-0 second-half lead.
St. Pius 72, Dawson County 28: St. Pius led 21-0 after the first quarter and cruised to a 35-14 halftime lead. The host Golden Lions rushed for 525 yards, including 148 by Jack Spear, 127 by Ryan Braswell and 104 by Brandon Mitchell. Braswell rushed for our scores. Dawson County was led by Tyler Dominy’s 309 passing yards and four scores.
Calhoun 42, Wesleyan 10: The visiting Wolves were no match for Calhoun, which raced to a 35-3 halftime lead. Wesleyan was led by quarterback Will Anderson, who had 150 passing yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Rhett Delk added eight tackles and kicked a field goal for the Wolves in defeat.
Lovett 27, Coosa 0: Lovett rolled up 374 total yards, including 293 on the ground. Lovett quarterback Willie Candler threw for 81 yards and rushed for 82. Candler threw one touchdown pass, a 24-yarder to Arthur Winborne. Grant Haley ran for 85 yards, including a 14-yarder to open the scoring.
Westminster 34, Pepperell 0: Westminster posted its first shutout of the season as it rolled over host Pepperell. A dominant defensive showing also featured interception returns for touchdowns by Harrison Woodward and Joe Bridges. Connor Bennett opened the scoring for Westminster with a 25-yard touchdown run and quarterback Jake Forte added a 2-yard scoring plunge in the fourth quarter.