Friday night roundups

North Gwinnett knocked off defending 7A champ Grayson. Credit: AJ Reynolds/AJC

McEachern came back in the last minute to down No. 1-ranked Lowndes on the road in the Class AAAAAAA second round. At halftime, the Indians were trailing 24-7 against Lowndes and were down 24-0 to start the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the Indians recovered an onside kick with the score 31-22, and quarterback Malik Evans hit David Martin on the next play to make it 31-29. Following a Lowndes punt on the ensuing possession, Indians quarterback Carlos Del Rio threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Genuine Potts with 54 seconds remaining to take a 36-31 lead. Potts had two touchdown receptions, including the game-winning reception, and Tony Davis had an interception in the end zone to end Lowndes’ final drive.

McEachern’s quarterback rotation combined for 21-of-37 passing for 310 yards and four touchdowns and the ground game compiled 141 yards off 36 carries to produce 451 offensive yards. Lowndes had a total of 407 offensive yards. McEachern wide receiver Javon Baker, running back Paris Brown and tight end Austin Jones scored a touchdown apiece.


Brookwood 28, Milton 23

Despite allowing 409 yards from Milton’s offense, host Brookwood advanced to the next round after a 28-23 victory. Milton took its only lead of the night with a 36-yard field goal by Hayden Hairston early in the second quarter, but Matthew Hill’s 62-yard run to the Milton 9 set up a Chris Kotter touchdown reception on an 18-yard pass from Angelo DiSpigna. Milton’s failed trick play forced an Eagles punt and the score remained 7-3 at the end of the first half. Hill (7 carries for 78 yards and 3 catches for 80 yards) returned the opening kickoff of the third to the Brookwood 43, and the drive ended in Dante Black’s first touchdown of the night and a 14-3 Broncos lead. Milton quarterback Jordan Yates answered with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Syaire Waters, but the Broncos converted fourth-and-1 into first-and-goal on the 2-yard line on the final play of the quarter. Black, who finished with 28 carries for 109 yards, scored on a 2-yard run on the first play of the fourth before Solomon Vanhorse cut Brookwood’s lead to 21-16 with a short run with 3:46 to play. Brookwood recovered the ensuing onside kick, and DiSpigna found Black with a 50-yard pass for a 28-16 lead. Milton got the ball back with under two minutes to play, and Dash Hairston caught a Yates touchdown pass with 58 seconds remaining. Milton attempted another onside kick, but Brookwood again recovered to secure the 28-23 final.

Marietta 38, Woodstock 28

The Marietta Blue Devils upset host Woodstock with a 38-28 victory to advance to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1994. They took a 21-0 first-quarter lead with a 6-yard run by Jordan Ford and back-to-back touchdown passes from Harrison Bailey to Ramel Keyton (43 yards and 34 yards). Cooper Kipp hit a 30-yard field goal midway through the second for a 24-0 Blue Devils lead at the half. Woodstock gained momentum in the second half of the game with three straight touchdowns, all Garrett Bass passes to Noah Frith (15, 5 and 53 yards), but Bailey’s fourth touchdown pass to Keyton (15 yards) put the Blue Devils back ahead by two scores. A Rashun Bass interception return for a touchdown minutes later sealed the victory, and Bass’s 30-yard touchdown pass, again to Frith, resulted in the 38-28 final.

Parkview 48, Mountain View 13

After a slow start, the Parkview Panthers got a big performance by running back Christian Malloy for a 48-13 victory over visiting Mountain View. Malloy scored the first points of the game with a 7-yard run early in the second quarter and answered a Mountain View interception return for a score with another rushing touchdown to give Parkview a 14-7 lead at the half. He opened the third quarter with a 66-yard touchdown run, and the Panthers extended the lead to 35-7 with a Tommy Rogers rushing score and a 27-yard Jamal Copeland reception from quarterback Fred Payton. Mountain View scored again at the end of the third quarter, but Malloy’s fourth touchdown of the night, this time for 80 yards, and freshman Cody Brown’s 28-yard run gave Parkview the 48-13 victory. Malloy finished the game with 23 carries for 316 yards.


Allatoona 14, Dacula 13

The Allatoona Buccaneers upset host Dacula, putting together a 14-0 lead in the third quarter and holding on to win 14-13. After a scoreless first quarter, Brandon Nash found the end zone on a 6-yard run to put Allatoona on the board. Quarterback Dante Marshall, who finished the game 3-of-11 for 112 yards, threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Jaylan Williams on the second drive of the third quarter for a 14-0 Buccaneers lead. Dacula finally found a rhythm on offense in the fourth, with Shayne Buckingham completing 30- and 35-yard touchdown passes to Konate Mumfield and Jalen Perry, but Rett Russell blocked Dacula’s extra point attempt in the final minutes of the game to secure a 14-13 victory for Allatoona.

Coffee 55, Evans 21

In the first quarter, Coffee quarterback Wade Sumner connected on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Milton Jackson. Moments later, Evans’ Corey Watkins scored on a punt return of 100 yards. With 2:22 remaining in the first quarter, Coffee’s Jameon Gaskin answered on a 56-yard touchdown run. Early in the second quarter, Gaskin broke loose for a 90-yard run, setting up Marquavious Jackson for a 2-yard touchdown run. Gaskin had two more rushing touchdowns in the second half. Coffee had 391 offensive yards at the half and 273-yards on 18 carries, midway through the fourth quarter.

Harrison 45, Winder-Barrow 17

The Harrison Hoyas advance to the next round after a 45-10 victory over visiting Winder-Barrow. The Hoyas scored all 45 points in the first three quarters, thanks to a strong performance by quarterback Gavin Hall. Hall finished 6-of-10 for 127 yards and two touchdown passes and added a score on the ground. Micah Davis caught both passes, his only receptions of the night, for a total of 91 yards, and David Roberts carried the ball 24 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The Harrison defense had an impressive game as well, with Marquis Alston intercepting the Bulldoggs twice and Tommy Pollock and Ryan Smith each had an interception as well.

Lee County 38, Grovetown 6

Lee County’s Nikko Cruz scored four touchdowns to help the Trojans secure a home victory. He had one touchdown in the first quarter, two in the third and one in the fourth. His three second-half touchdown runs were all scored from inside 10 yards. His first touchdown came on a short touchdown pass. Lee County’s Josh Asbury scored the Trojans’ only other touchdown, a 56-yard pass from Jase Orndorff in the final minute of the first half.


Buford 48, Jackson-Atlanta 0

Buford got rushing touchdowns of 11, 6 and 2 yards from Anthony Grant, who carried 13 times for 136 yards. Grant scored two touchdowns to help the Wolves jump out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Christian Turner rushed 11 times for 89 yards and the game’s opening touchdown, a 13-yard run. Derrian Brown rushed 15 times for 82 yards and 9-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Aaron McLaughlin was 8-of-16 passing for 106 yards and two touchdowns, an 8-yard score to Tyler Gillis in the second quarter and a 38-yard TD to Matt Walton in the fourth. Buford held Jackson-Atlanta to 87 total yards.

Burke County 41, Cairo 23

Quarterback William Knight ignited the Bears offense with a 1-yard rushing touchdown midway through the first quarter. A missed extra point allowed Cairo to take the lead with a touchdown and point after. However, Knight produced again with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Odom, and a 2-point conversion made it 14-7 Bears. Knight continued to carry his team, and found the end zone off a second 1-yard rushing touchdown. Odom rushed for a 2-yard score to put Burke County up 27-7 at the half. In the second half, the Bears scored on rushing touchdowns from Cameron Holmes Damari Kelly and two from Tahj Vicks. Knight completed 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown with three rushing scores.

Carrollton 44, Arabia Mountain 0

Jaylan Thomas scored on runs of 35, 32 and 1 yards in Carrollton’s romp of Arabia Mountain. Two of his touchdowns came in the first quarter, giving Carrollton a 13-0 lead. With 5:46 left in the second quarter, Isaiah Lancaster caught a pass from Mark Wright for a touchdown. Just over a minute later, Dalton Benefield caught a 25-yard pass for a touchdown from Kashif Taylor to give the Trojans a 30-0 lead at the half. Kodee Brewer put Carrollton up 44-0 on a 5-yard run with 2:14 left in the third quarter.

Carver-Atlanta 33, Flowery Branch 19

Carver-Atlanta put the ball in the hands of Jo’Quavious Marks to come out on top of Flowery Branch. Marks started off his extraordinary night with a 62-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers up. Flowery Branch answered with a quick 4-yard touchdown run from Malik Drayton, after he had returned the kickoff 65 yards. Marks gave the Panthers their lead back, rushing for a 61-yard touchdown. Tony Jones ran in a 2-yard touchdown before the end of the half, putting Carver up 20-7. In the second half, Marks struck yet again with a 50-yard touchdown rush to extend the lead. Marks ended the night with 21 attempts for 277 yards and three scores.

Rome 56, Southwest DeKalb 0

Rome’s Knox Kadum and Jamious Griffin accounted for four touchdowns between them as Rome outclassed Southwest DeKalb to advance to the quarterfinals. Kadum passed to Xavier Roberts for a 10-yard touchdown and rushed in from 25 yards. Griffin had runs of 4 and 1 yards for scores. Xavier Roberts added a 9-yard touchdown run. Trai Hodges and Adam Anderson both had interceptions for touchdowns in the second quarter. Sevie Andrews scored on a 1-yard run with five minutes left in the game for the final points.

Stockbridge 10, Ware County 7

Ware County took a 7-0 lead on an 85-yard touchdown pass with five minutes left in the second quarter before Stockbridge mounted a charge in the fourth quarter. The Tigers started the comeback with a 2-yard touchdown run by Gabriel McKenzie to tie the game at 7-7. Rico Sanders gave Stockbridge the lead on a 38-yard field goal, and a defensive stand by the Tigers on the next Ware County possession put the game away.


Jefferson 28, Ridgeland 21

Ridgeland was first to put points on the board, scoring 14 in the first quarter. Jefferson answered with a 10-yard touchdown run from Justin Cole, making it a 14-6 game. In the second quarter, quarterback Bryce Moore tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Zac Corbin. A successful 2-point conversion to Garmon Randolph tied the game. Just before the first half ended, Moore connected with Corbin again on a 25-yard touchdown pass putting Jefferson up 22-14. Corbin scored again on a 21-yard touchdown catch in the third to cap off the Dragons’ scoring. Moore went 11-for-19 passing for 159 yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to Corbin.

Marist 31, Cedartown 18

Marist totaled 244 rushing yards in defeating visiting Cedartown. Chris Zowine ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Cedartown answered with a touchdown and held the War Eagles scoreless for the remainder of the half, and Marist led 7-6 at the break. Early in the third quarter, Marist’s Dean Johnson rushed for an 11-yard touchdown, but it was Kyle Hamilton’s 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that stretched the lead 21-12. Timmy Bleekrode kicked a 39-yard field goal, and Charlie Addicks’ 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the win for Marist.

Mary Persons 39, Baldwin 14

Quarterback J.T. Hartage rushed for 99 yards and two scores. His first touchdown was a first-quarter 33-yard run that was followed by a safety to put the Bulldogs up 9-0 at home. Baldwin cut the lead into halftime to 9-7. After a second-half Baldwin touchdown, Mary Persons answered with a 16-yard touchdown from Quen Wilson and a 2-point conversion. The Bulldogs’ lead was extended to 24-12 thanks to a 54-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. Alex Rivera’s 35-yard field goal opened the fourth quarter and Hartage’s second touchdown, a 66-yard run, put them up 34-14.

St. Pius 43, Troup 35

After scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions, St. Pius found itself down 21-14 with just under seven minutes to go in the first half. St. Pius was able to tie the game late in the second quarter, but Troup still managed to take a 28-27 lead into halftime. St. Pius struck first in the third, but Troup responded with a 27-yard touchdown catch from Jamari Thrash to set up a 35-34 score going into the fourth quarter. St. Pius stepped up its intensity and shut out the visiting Tigers in the final quarter while scoring a touchdown (missed PAT) and a field goal to secure its 43-35 victory.

Woodward Academy 42, West Laurens 31

Woodward Academy took a 28-10 lead into halftime on the back of Tahj Gary’s three rushing touchdowns. Gary scored on runs of 69, 62 and 20 yards in the first half. Gary led Woodward in both rushing and passing yardage with 114 yards receiving on three catches and 152 yards rushing on five attempts. Mike Wright added rushing touchdowns of 29 and 4 yards for Woodward. Quarterback Kimani Vidal found D.A. Allen on a 20-yard touchdown pass to give Woodward a 41-17 lead with six minutes remaining in the game. West Laurens was led by McKinley Kemp, who ran a kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown, Eric Lattimore who scored on a short run and A.J. Mathis who passed to Jeremiah Giddens for a touchdown.


Cedar Grove 58, Dawson Co. 13

Cedar Grove established its dominance early, opening the game with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Xavier Dennis to Jadon Haselwood. The Saints defense then intercepted a Dawson County pass on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage and returned it for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. Cedar Grove’s Darrell Neal II added a 64-yard touchdown run for the Saints early in the second quarter, and Chevon Wright followed it up with a 40-yard touchdown run later on. The Saints then added another touchdown and a 2-point conversion to give themselves a 35-6 lead at halftime. Haselwood, Neal and Trevon Richardson each scored touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 58-6. A Dawson County touchdown at the beginning of the fourth was the final scoring play of the game.

Greater Atlanta Christian 38, Lovett 21

Early in the second quarter, Greater Atlanta Christian quarterback Josh Rose threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake Floyd. Rose was 5-of-11 for 37 passing yards. Greater Atlanta Christian running back Kyler McMichael had 90 yards rushing and one touchdown. Spartans leading rusher Alex Boglin had a total of 210 yards and two touchdown runs.

Peach County 34, Pierce County 14

Peach took a 7-0 lead at the nine-minute mark in the first quarter, and with 11 minutes left in the second quarter, Mitchell Fineran’s field goal put the Trojans up 10-0. Quarterback Antonio Gilbert scored with four minutes left until halftime to push the Peach lead to 17-0. Pierce answered with a touchdown to cut into the halftime lead, 17-7. The Bears scored again with eight minutes left in the third quarter to pull within three, 17-14, but it was all Peach County from there. The Trojans answered with a Trevon Woolfolk rushing touchdown to push the lead to 24-15 with five minutes left in the third quarter. Woolfolk scored again with less than three minutes in the game to push the lead to 34-14.


Benedictine 70, Jefferson County 21

Benedictine jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. All three scores came from wide receiver Rico Powers, who scored one of the touchdowns on a 55-yard run. He struck again with a 38-yard touchdown reception from Nick Lannone. Adding to the high-scoring first half was Travis Blackshear, who scored twice in the first half to give Benedictine a 35-21 lead. On the first play of the second half, Terrick Smalls ran for an 80-yard touchdown to continue Benedictine’s scoring success. Andrew Warren and Dennis Bailey each scored on interception returns.

Rabun County 35, B.E.S.T. Academy 2

Fifty-four seconds into the first quarter, Rabun County quarterback Bailey Fisher scored on a 30-yard run. With 1:29 left in the first quarter, Fisher ran for another touchdown from third-and-short. With 8:25 remaining in the second quarter, Fisher scored on an 8-yard run. Late in the third, Fisher threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Hicks, giving Rabun County a 27-2 lead. With 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fisher connected with Hicks on another touchdown pass. Fisher had a total of 133 yards rushing and 312 passing.


Calvary Day 17, Wesleyan 10

Wesleyan led 10-0 at halftime but was unable to overcome six turnovers, losing two players to ejections and needing to replace its starting quarterback due to injury as Calvary Day rallied for a 17-10 road victory Friday night.

Calvary Day’s defense intercepted the ball in the Wolves end zone on one of Wesleyan’s first drives and returned it to near midfield, which became a recurring theme throughout the game. Wesleyan opened the second quarter with a field goal then scored again on a one-handed Stewart Stamper touchdown catch midway through the quarter and eventually took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

The third quarter became one to forget for Wesleyan. Calvary Day used a big play to set up a goal-line touchdown from Vince Grassi. Two Wolves players were ejected from the game on the drive for dead-ball personal fouls. Calvary Day recovered a Wolves fumble on the next drive and then hit a 39-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 with five minutes left in the third. Later in the quarter, Wesleyan quarterback Banks Ramsey was injured while getting sacked and had to leave the game.

After a Wolves punt, Calvary Day drove from the Wesleyan 40 and took its first lead of the game early in the fourth on a 10-yard touchdown run from Jalen Leary. Wesleyan’s fifth and sixth turnovers of the game came on its next two possessions, and Wesleyan was unable to find the end zone again.

Darlington 33, Aquinas 14

With 5:23 left in the first quarter, Darlington running back Tijai Whatley had an 18-yard touchdown run, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter, Darlington’s Alex Liddle kicked two field goals before the half, giving the Tigers a 13-0 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Whatley ran for a 62-yard gain, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Griffin Brewster. Aquinas scored on a 1-yard carry, but Darlington answered with two additional touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.

Eagle’s Landing Christian 54, Savannah Christian 0

Eagle’s Landing Christian continued its tear through the playoffs with a 54-0 victory over visiting Savannah Christian. Quarterback Brayden Rush had a quiet night, completing two of six passes for 92 yards and one touchdown to Devon Dorsey for 72 yards, but the Chargers were unstoppable on the ground. Josh Mays finished with seven carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns (80, 9 and 17 yards), Keaton Mitchell had five carries for 208 yards and three touchdowns (35, 82 and 75 yards), and Nate McCollum scored the remaining touchdown on an 11-yard run. The three tailbacks finished with 420 of the Chargers’ 536 total yards, and Austin Reed made six of eight extra-point attempts.

Mount Paran Christian 53, Mount Vernon Presbyterian 12

Early in the third quarter, Mt. Paran Christian quarterback Niko Vangarelli threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wilson, giving the Eagles a 39-6 lead. Mt. Paran had a total of 300 yards rushing and 150 yards passing. Eagles running back Cameron Moore had three rushing touchdowns. Mt. Paran’s defense got four interceptions, from Christian Manion, Cameron Cantwell, Davis Stephens and Bo Stallings.

Prince Avenue Christian 33, Whitefield Academy 7

Whitefield Academy led host Prince Avenue Christian 7-0 until Grant Roland found Brock Vandagriff on a fourth-and-goal pass from the 3-yard line to tie it with just 34 seconds left in the first half. The Wolverines fueled their 33-0 run by outscoring the Wolfpack 26-0 in the second half. Roland completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Christian Parrish midway through the third frame and then made it a 21-7 game with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Vandagriff with 7:52 left in the fourth quarter. Sam Wessinger (32 yards) and Mack Simmons (26 yards) added fourth-quarter touchdown runs.

Savannah Country Day 20, Mt. Pisgah 17

Savannah Country Day opened up with a 53-yard field goal to get in front early. The Mt. Pisgah Patriots answered with a touchdown by Jacob Cendoya and field goal by Payton Broaddus, but the SCD Hornets jumped back in front after a pair of touchdowns going into halftime. Johnathan Palmer ran in a 3-yard touchdown for SCD. Hawkins Pindar accounted for the two field goals for the Hornets, one of which was for 54 yards. Adam Byck had a touchdown on a 12-yard run and had 302 yards rushing.

Stratford Academy 36, Fellowship Christian 22

The visiting Fellowship Christian Paladins scored the first touchdown of the game, but Stratford Academy quickly answered with two touchdowns to take the lead. In the third quarter, Stratford’s Deondre Duehart rushed for a 65-yard touchdown. With 9:27 remaining in the quarter, the Eagles returned an interception for a touchdown to push the lead to 27-7. The Paladins’ 92-yard kickoff return by Casey Barham was not enough to turn the game around as the Eagles answered with a field goal late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Stratford Academy added a final touchdown to seal the win. Stratford’s Deondre Duehart rushed 14 times for 211 yards and scored two TDs.


Irwin County 28, Lincoln County 14

Irwin County quarterback D.J. Lundy rushed 27 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Javon Stanley added 67 yards rushing on 13 carries, and Eric Anderson rushed for a 32-yard touchdown. Anderson’s score was set up by a Davion Pollard interception. Lincoln County’s Javon Reid rushed 17 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns, one for 60 yards. Irwin County scored its first two touchdowns in the final 2:22 of the first half to take a 14-0 halftime lead.

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