First-Round Roundups

Facing a 13-0 deficit in the waning moments of the third quarter, backup quarterback Devin Gelband took the field after Gabe Gray was carted off of it with an arm injury and found Amariyon Moss with a 7-yarder for the first of three unanswered East Coweta touchdowns in the Indians’ thrilling 20-13 comeback victory over the visiting Etowah Eagles. After a three-and-out on the opening East Coweta drive, senior quarterback Dalton Miller connected with his go-to guy and fellow senior Jackson Manns for a 20-yard touchdown completion and the early 7-0 Etowah lead. Manns made noise in the second quarter as well with an interception to end the Indians’ most promising drive of the opening half, and Carson Allen’s 21-yard field goal extended Etowah’s lead with 1:51 to go before the break. Allen had a chance to extend it further less than a minute later when the Eagles recovered an East Coweta fumble, but the 37-yard attempt sailed wide.

The Etowah defense picked up where they left off when the second half began, and Austin Skinner’s sack of Gray resulted in another fruitless drive for the Indians. Allen made good on his next field goal—this one from 34 yards out—to give the Eagles a 13-0 advantage midway through the third quarter. The game was stopped at the 2:05 mark of the third when Gray suffered an arm injury, but the Indians finally got on the board in the final seconds of the frame with the Gelband-to-Moss touchdown (the PAT was blocked). Gelband connected with Rakiyan Moss for 50 yards on East Coweta’s first drive of the fourth quarter to set up a 15-yard rushing score by junior Jaylen Bolton for the tie. Bolton then capped off a 70-yard drive with a 6-yard trip to the end zone with 3:13 to go, and the defense secured the 20-13 victory with a sack on Etowah’s final drive.

The No. 2 seed Indians will travel to Loganville in Round 2 to face off against the Region 8-AAAAAAA champion Grayson Rams.

Check out all the GHSA playoff brackets HERE!


Grayson 31, Mountain View 0

The Rams earned their spot in the second round of the Class AAAAAAA playoffs following a stellar defensive performance, keeping the Bears off the board through the entire game. Grayson’s pair of running backs in LaFayette Gurvin Jr. and Phil Mafah were a huge key to the Grayson offensive production. Gurvin managed to find the end zone twice in the first quarter for an early Grayson lead. With under 10 minutes left in the second, it was Mafah’s turn to score on 52-yard run. A field goal provided the lone points of the third, and Mafah capped off the Rams’ scoring. Grayson will host the No. 2 seed East Coweta Indians next week.

Walton 27, Newnan 24

Host Walton got second-half touchdowns on a pass from Zak Rozsman to Julian Bumper and a run from Kenny Djaha to hold on against Newnan. Rozsman hit Bumper for a 55-yard touchdown at the 3:31 mark in the third quarter to make it 20-10 Raiders. Newton scored at the 10:38 mark of the fourth to pull to within three points (20-17), then forced a quick Walton punt to get the ball back, but A.J. Brown intercepted a Cougars pass and the Raiders regained possession on their own 47-yard line. Djaha scored on a 29-yard run to give Walton a 27-17 lead. Newnan again scored with 3:26 to make it a three-point game and then forced a Walton punt with 48.6 seconds, but a roughing-the-punter penalty on the Cougars allowed the Raiders to run out the clock. Walton scored in the first minute of the game on a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown by Austin Eldred and got two 36-yard field goals by Conor Cummins, one in the first quarter and one in the second, to take a 13-7 halftime lead.

Mill Creek 45, Newton 14

Chancellor Lee-Parker rushed for three touchdowns for host Mill Creek, a 58-yard score in the first quarter and a 4-yarder and 65-yarder in the third quarter, the last of which gave the Hawks a 38-7 lead. M.J. Patterson scored the game’s first points on a 34-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper, and Parker Wroble found Tim Page on a halfback pass for a 20-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. Brock Pellegrino hit a second-quarter field goal to give Mill Creek a 24-7 halftime lead. The Hawks’ final touchdown came in the fourth quarter, when Romeo Pelham covered a bad punt snap in Newton’s end zone.

Marietta 41, Camden County 13

Marietta quarterback and Tennessee-commit Harrison Bailey threw four touchdown passes and Kimani Vidal added a pair of rushing scores to lead the Blue Devils past visiting Camden County. Vidal’s 15-yard touchdown run and Bailey’s 20-yard screen pass touchdown to LSU-commit Arik Gilbert gave Marietta a 13-0 lead after the opening quarter. Camden County’s Jamie Felix scored on a 5-yard run to cut it to 13-7, but Bailey found Ricky White for a 27-yard touchdown and went deep to Gilbert on a 48-yard score before the half to push the lead to 27-7. Bailey completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Taji Johnson midway through the third quarter that gave Marietta a 34-7 edge heading into the final frame. Felix scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard carry in the opening minute of the fourth, but Vidal answered with a 21-yard touchdown run with nine minutes left and teammate Ra’Shun Bass intercepted a Camden County pass attempt in the Marietta end zone and returned it out to midfield to ice the game.

Archer 31, Collins Hill 28

Archer quarterback Carter Peevy rushed for three touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a home win. Jalen Johnson of Collins Hill also scored three rushing touchdowns. A 4-yard Peevy touchdown and a 1-yard Johnson touchdown, both in the second quarter, left the game tied 7-7 at the break. Peevy gave Archer a 14-7 lead four minutes into the third quarter on a 1-yard run, and Johnson answered four minutes later with a 4-yard touchdown to tie it up again. Jacob Waters made a 38-yard field goal with two minutes remaining in the third to put the Tigers back on top 17-14. Renoldo Spivey Jr. rushed for a 9-yard score two minutes into the fourth quarter to give Archer its biggest lead of the game, 24-14, but Johnson answered with a 69-yard touchdown run on the next possession to make it 24-21. Archer’s final touchdown came on a Peevy 8-yard run with seven minutes remaining, and a 22-yard Sam Horn pass to Sean Norris two minutes later was the game’s final touchdown.

Colquitt County 35, North Cobb 7

North Cobb gave No. 2 seed Colquitt County—and the big crowd in Moultrie—a bit of a scare throughout the opening half before the Packers ran away with the first-round matchup in the third and fourth quarters, outscoring the Warriors 28-7 behind quarterback Jaycee Harden’s 256 yards passing and three touchdowns. All-time Colquitt rushing leader Daijun Edwards added a rushing score and 87 yards on the night to help the third-ranked Packers punch their ticket to a second-round road game against the Region 7-AAAAAAA champion Parkview Panthers, who bested West Forsyth with a 35-14 first-round victory. The North Cobb Warriors earned the No. 3 seed in Region 3-AAAAAAA with a huge upset of Hillgrove last week, and got a 100-yard rushing performance from freshman quarterback Malachi Singleton in the first half. Though the Warriors controlled the clock in the first two quarters, running 36 plays, Singleton couldn’t get his offense in the end zone. The lone first-half score was Harden’s 51-yard strike to Tajh Sanders. North Cobb’s only score came on a blocked punt late in the third quarter.

Roswell 31, Wheeler 0

Roswell held a 3-0 lead after a slow first half by both teams, but the Hornets found a groove late in the game to serve Wheeler a 31-0 shutout. While Roswell’s offense managed to put points on the board, it was the Hornets defense that was a real force during the game. They accumulated three turnovers while holding the Wildcats’ offense to under 100 total yards. The Hornets now advance into the second round where they’ll face Mill Creek.

McEachern 47, North Paulding 29

For the second straight week, the undefeated and second-ranked Indians rolled over the Wolfpack, who came into the playoffs as the classification’s at-large bid. The Indians scored 47 points in the first half on a light night from star quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, who threw only two passes but hit Johmanuel Arnold on an 80-yard strike. McEachern rested its starters in the second half and the Region 3-AAAAAAA champions will host North Forsyth following the Raiders’ comeback victory against Brookwood.

Norcross 21, South Forsyth 0

The No. 2 seed Norcross Blue Devils fought through a stingy South Forsyth defense for two second-quarter touchdown completions from Mason Kaplan to Jaylen Green, then held on through a scoreless second half to advance to the second round and put an early end to the visiting War Eagles’ six straight playoff appearance. The Kaplan-to-Green connections of 21 and 88 yards both came near the end of the second quarter, combining with a first-quarter rushing score from Jahni Clark for a 21-0 halftime lead that stood through the remainder of the game. Cameron Schurr and Alex Stephens each had interceptions for South Forsyth, and Stephens also recovered a blocked punt in the final frame, but South Forsyth’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the takeaways.

Milton 42, Central Gwinnett 7

The Milton Eagles closed out their first-round match-up against visiting Central Gwinnett with 28 unanswered points, including two fourth-quarter rushing scores by Jordan McDonald within a minute and a half. McDonald also found the end zone following Devin Farrell’s touchdown completion to Jack Rhodes barely a minute into the game for the successful two-point conversion. The Black Knights’ lone score—a 66-yard reception by Daejon Reynolds from quarterback Skylar Adams in the second quarter—was bookended by touchdown runs from Wil Marinich (25 yards) and Ahmad Junearick (3 yards), and Farrell added to Milton’s 21-7 halftime lead with a third-quarter completion to Matthew Evert for a 6-yard touchdown. McDonald’s touchdowns brought the score to its final tally, and Caron Anderson Jr sealed the Eagles win with an interception in the final minutes of the game.

Parkview 35, West Forsyth 14

Host Parkview led 35-0 at the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter before West Forsyth scored two late touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Williams threw two touchdown passes to C.J. Daniels—including a 70-yarder—and another to J.J. Magee, and he also rushed for a 1-yard score for the Panthers’ final touchdown. Tyler Curtis scored Parkview’s first touchdown on a 26-yard rush in the first quarter.


Lanier 15, Sprayberry 14

Junior Andrew Blackford hit Tyler Washington on a screen on the second play of the game for a 56-yard touchdown to give the Longhorns a 7-0 lead. Sprayberry field goals in the first and second quarters—the later of which followed a blocked Lanier punt—put the Yellow Jackets just one point behind Lanier heading into the half. A muffed punt by Sprayberry led to a safety early in the third for a 9-7 Longhorns lead, and Lanier expanded it further with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Blackford to senior Cole Thornton to make it a 15-6 game later in the frame. A costly mishandled snap by Lanier in the fourth gave Sprayberry a safety, and the Yellow Jackets again made it a one-point game with another touchdown. The Lanier defense managed to keep Sprayberry off the board for the rest of the game, however, earning the Longhorns a second-round matchup against Richmond Hill.

Houston County 31, Evans 21

No. 4 seed Houston County outscored top-seeded Evans 17-0 in the second half and punched its ticket into the second round with the road victory. Quarterback Max Rigby had a huge night, rushing for a 7-yard touchdown in the opening quarter and connecting with wide receiver Isaia Harris for touchdowns of 69, 95 and 12 yards. The duo’s 95-yard connection tied the game at 21-21 with 5:32 left in the third quarter and the go-ahead score came with 3:13 left in the frame. Kicker Luke Rigby added a 27-yard field goal with 6:40 left to make it a 10-point game.

Johns Creek 59, Alexander 34

The Johns Creek offense had a huge night, pouring in 59 points on over 400 yards to lead the Gladiators to their first playoff victory in program history in the win over the Alexander Cougars. The Gladiators outscored the Cougars 20-0 in the first on two touchdowns by Will Watson and a completion from Ben Whitlock to Dalton Pearson. Pearson returned a punt to the end zone midway through the second before Alexander scored its first touchdown of the night on a 16-yard pass from Blake Hembree to Jordan Watts. Whitlock found Justin Campbell on the next possession for his second touchdown pass of the night, and another Hembree-to-Watts connection brought the score to 35-13 at the half. A touchdown from Pearson, a field goal from Caleb Adegboyego, and a touchdown from Campbell gave Johns Creek a 39-point lead before Tavis Maloy scored for Alexander to make it a 52-20 game. Tank Pritchett scored for Johns Creek to begin the fourth, and Traedon Foster and Hembree scored Alexander’s final touchdowns of the evening.

Glynn Academy 31, Tucker 7

Glynn Academy quarterback T.J. Lewis had two rushing touchdowns and another through the air to help lead the Red Terrors to a home win. Lewis’s 1-yard rush in the first quarter was set up by a punt block by Byron Bacon. Glynn Academy took a 14-0 lead on Lewis’s touchdown pass, and Tucker scored its lone touchdown at 3:45 in the second quarter. Chase Gabriel made a 47-yard field goal just before halftime to give Glynn Academy a 17-7 lead. In the third quarter, Jayden Drayton rushed for a 7-yard touchdown at the 2:23 mark, and in the fourth quarter with 3:09 remaining, Lewis capped the scoring with his 7-yard rushing touchdown.


Buford 43, Decatur 6

Buford led 43-0 three minutes into the second quarter in its home win over visiting Decatur. In the first quarter, the Wolves scored on an 8-yard rush from Gabe Ervin, a 21-yard pass from Jarvis Evans Jr. to Treyton Rank, an 11-yard rush from Victor Venn (and two-point conversion run from Cole Wright) and a 7-yard pass from Evans to Julian Lewis to go up 29-0. Xalan Taylor rushed for a 5-yard score in the second, and backup quarterback Dylan Wittke added a 6-yard touchdown to complete the Wolves’ scoring. Evans was 3-of-3 passing for 68 yards.

Kell 48, Columbia 32

The Kell Longhorns bested Columbia in a first-round shootout with key performances on both sides of the ball. Senior Arthur Nwandu was first to put points on the board for Kell, recovering a blocked punt and returning it into the end zone. Freshman running back David Mbadinga was up next with an inside run of 40 yards to extend the Longhorn lead, and junior Jamal Hill capped off the first-quarter scoring on a screen pass from Junior quarterback Corbin LaFrance. Kell added a second-quarter score on a 4-yard rush from Mbadinga in the second, but the Columbia offense managed to tack on 12 points before the first half could end. The Kell defense gave up 32 points over the last three quarters of play, but the Longhorns offense kept rolling to keep the game out of Columbia’s reach. LaFrance hit Jaylen Brown on a screen pass he took 70 yards to the house in the third. Another score from Nwandu and a pick-six by Nate Woghiren gave Kell plenty of leeway as the Longhorns secured their first-round win. They now await a second-round matchup against Starr’s Mill.

Carrollton 42, Arabia Mountain 14

Top-ranked Carrollton advanced past Arabia Mountain with a relentless ground game led by Brandon Marenco’s three touchown runs. The Trojans amassed 246 of 257 yards on the ground and averaged 38 yards per carry to overwhelm the Rams. Marenco, who finished with 13 carries for 122 yards, scored on runs of 59, 3 and 2 yards. Kodee Brewer helped the rushing effort with seven carries for 58 yards and one touchdown on a 2-yard draw in the second quarter that put the Trojans up 42-7. Nick Tuggle only completed two passes, but one was a 4-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to Terrell Carmichael. Juan Carlos Nieves returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown with 5:01 left in the second quarter to give Carrollton the 35-7 lead. Arabia Mountain got on the board first and last with an 80-yard pass from Brandon Adams to Damion Fitzpatrick less than a minute in the game and a 20-yard pass from Adams to Fitzpatrick, but that’s all the offense Arabia could muster. Carrollton will host Veterans, the Region 1 No. 2 seed, in the second round.

Rome 52, Lithonia 0

The Rome Wolves will move on to the second round of the playoffs with a dominating win over the Lithonia Bulldogs. Ahijah Blackwell scored off a 13-yard rush, and a rushing touchdown by Caleb Ellard made it a 14-0 game to end the first quarter. An eventful second ended with the Wolves ahead 39-0; Ellard connected with Adam Peterson for a touchdown, a Wolves got a team safety, a field goal from Alonzo Rodrizuez, another rushing score by Blackwell and a touchdown by EJ Burks. Blackwell scored his third touchdown of the night in the third quarter, and Rome’s final touchdown of the evening came on Ethan Scales’ interception return.

Warner Robins 28, Jonesboro 7

Warner Robins entered the final frame with a narrow 14-7 lead before pulling away with two late scores for a three-touchdown home victory over visiting Jonesboro. Ahmad Walker scored his second touchdown, a 2-yard run with 5:48 remaining, to give the Demons a 20-7 lead. After a sack, strip and fumble recovery at the Jonesboro 17-yard line on the next possession, Warner Robins put the game away with a 7-yard Jalen Addie touchdown run on fourth down with 1:52 left. The Demons made it 28-7 after a successful two-point conversion. Warner Robins led 14-0 at halftime after a 9-yard Jahlen Rutherford run and an 11-yard Walker run, both in the opening quarter. Jonesboro scored its touchdown on an 11-yard pass at 8:28 in the third quarter.

Starr’s Mill 28, Harris County 7

Starr’s Mill scored the first touchdown of the night in the second quarter with a pass from Hunter Lawson to Cole Bishop, and Kalen Simms added a 14-yard rushing score for a 14-0 Panthers edge at the half. Simms scored his second touchdown of the night midway through the third making it a 21-0 game going into the fourth. Harris County scored at the beginning of the fourth, but a touchdown from Lawson secured the win for Starr’s Mill.

Veterans 28, Riverdale 6

Veterans went up 7-0 on a Lebron Fields touchdown run with 5:11 left in the first quarter. Tylon Chambers recovered a fumble on the ensuing Riverdale possession and teammate Julian Barnes increased the Warhawks lead to 14-0 with 3:17 left in the opening frame. Riverdale brought it within 14-6 at the half, but Fields’ third-quarter touchdown run and another from Barnes with 9:38 left in the fourth quarter kept Veterans in control.

Riverwood 17, Loganville 14

A Red Devil touchdown with 2:43 to play put visiting Loganville out front for the first time since the opening frame, but Sophomore quarterback Avery Smith found Donovan Logan in the end zone for the pair’s second touchdown of the night and a 17-14 Riverwood lead with one second left on the clock. The first Smith-to-Logan touchdown (a 35-yarder in the first quarter) also came on the heels of a Loganville score, and Nathan West added a 37-yard third-quarter field goal in the Raiders’ narrow win. Elijah Kirby led Riverwood with 117 yards on 26 carries, Khalil Anderson contributed a first-quarter red-zone interception and senior Jaeden Patterson sealed the win for Riverwood with a fumble recovery following Loganville’s last-ditch lateral attempt on the final play of the game. The Raiders will host No. 2 seed Dutchtown in Week 2.

Class AAAA

Marist 42, Cedartown 22

Marist senior quarterback Connor Cigelski scored all six touchdowns on the ground to give the War Eagles the win over the Cedartown Bulldogs. After Cigelski’s first score in the opening minute and second at the end of the first bookended a 6-yard rushing touchdown by Cedartown’s CJ Washington for a 14-7 Marist lead heading into the second. A field goal from Cedartown’s Jorge Pineda cut the Marist lead to four, but a 32-yard rushing score by Cigelski made it a 21-10 game at the half. Following a scoreless third quarter, Cigelski found the end zone right away in the final frame. Cedartown’s Jayden Johnson then found Chadriq Neal for a touchdown, and with a failed two-point conversion the score was 28-16. Cigelski soon scored again, then Cedartown’s Johnson found his brother Jeremiah Johnson for a touchdown. Cedartown again tried for two but were unable to convert. Cigelski’s final touchdown brought the score to its final tally.

Cartersville 14, Flowery Branch 6

Kyler Johnson hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Tee Webb to give No. 1 seed Cartersville a first-quarter lead. Flowery Branch capped off a scoring drive aided by two personal fouls called on the Canes’ defense with a 5-yard Jaizen Ellingham touchdown run, but a failed PAT kept the Falcons trailing 7-6 at the half. Cartersville’s Devonte Ross recovered a fumble to set up his 49-yard touchdown reception from Webb for the 14-6 Canes lead. Ross’ fumble recovery was the first of five turnovers forced by Cartersville’s defense in the second half to close out the victory and keep its perfect season alive. Marko Dudley intercepted Flowery Branch in the end zone, teammate La’Kwayme Jupiter recovered a Flowery Branch fumble and then Koble Benham forced a fumble that was recovered by Marquail Coaxum for the team’s fourth. The exclamation point and final turnover came with 1:18 left when Benham iced the game with an interception.

Woodward Academy 40, Upson-Lee 14

Undefeated Woodward Academy coasted on a 40-0 halftime lead for a dominating first-round win over Upson-Lee. Mike Wright got Woodward going on a 41-yard pass to Alan Wright just over a minute into the game and added a 5-yard touchdown run three minutes later to put the War Eagles up 14-0. Wright, who was 6-of-11 passing for 128 yards and three touchdowns, found Ambe Caldwell (87 yards on five receptions) twice in the second quarter for touchdowns of 13 and 7 yards. Damari Alston, who scored on a 37-yard touchdown run with 5:32 left in the second quarter, finished with 13 carries for 90 yards, and James Mayfield went 4-for-4 on extra points and added a 26-yard field goal in the victory. Upson scored on a 67-yard run by Demek Colbert in the third quarter and a 52-yard pass from Jake Davis to Millique Smith in the fourth, and Brady Puckett was 2-for-2 on PATs. Woodward will host St. Pius X, the Region 8 No. 3-seed, in the second round.

Sandy Creek 42, Denmark 7

Senior running back Rashad Amos rushed 12 yards into the end zone to give Sandy Creek a 7-0 second-quarter lead. The Fighting Patriots capitalized on an interception with a 23-yard touchdown from Matt Williams to Brian Branch, who stripped the ball from a defender’s hand to make the play. Denmark’s lone touchdown of the night, a 3-yard rush from Aaron McLaughlin, was set up by a turnover as well. The Patriots ended the first half with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Amos to go up 21-7, and Amos added two third-quarter touchdowns on the opening drive of the second half and later in the frame following a pick-six by Branch. Sandy Creek will face Americus-Sumter in the second round.

North Oconee 45, Pickens 24

The North Oconee Titans defeated the Pickens Dragons to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Two touchdowns from Adam Weynand for the Titans and a 35-yard Picken field goal made it a 14-3 game at the end of the first. A touchdown by Pickens’ Alex Snelgrove off a pass from CJ Streicher cut the North Oconee lead to four, but a touchdown off a kickoff return from Parker Herndon and another Dragons touchdown by Eli Warrington made it a 28-10 game at the break. North Oconee got a field goal from Thomas Dowis and a touchdown by Titans’ Gavin Bloom before another touchdown by Snelgrove brought the score to 38-17. Each team added a touchdown in the fourth.

Madison County 27, Ridgeland 20

Madison County rallied past top-seeded Ridgeland to earn the program’s first-ever playoff victory. Martavian Cooper scored a 46-yard touchdown run to put the Red Raiders up 7-0, but Ridgeland answered with touchdowns by Jordan Blackwell and Terrance Roberts to grab a 13-7 lead at the half. Cooper hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but the PAT attempt hit the upright and the teams remained tied 13-13. Cooper scored his third touchdown of the game on a 16-yard toss sweep, but Ridgeland evened it up 20-20 heading into the final quarter. Ridgeland turned it over on downs at the Madison County 33-yard line and Madison County orchestrated a game-winning drive that was capped by Dayton Gresham’s 5-yard touchdown run with just 1:44 left in regulation.

Carver-Columbus 54, Richmond Academy 7

Senior running back Khiari McCoy paced Carver-Columbus with 353 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Three of McCoy’s rushing scores were runs of 50 or more yards, including a 71-yard scamper that put the Tigers up 34-7 with 7:41 left in the third quarter. The Carver defense scored on fumble recovery touchdown on the following Musketeers’ possession to make it 42-7. Carver’s Jaiden Credle also found the end zone on a 2-yard run in the opening quarter.

Class AAA

Dawson County 27, Westminster 3

The visiting Dawson County Tigers will advance to the second round of the playoffs after defeating the Westminster Wildcats. The first quarter ended with a score of 3-3 after a 28-yard field goal from Dawson County’s Caleb Bonesteel and 45-yard field goal from Westminster’s Alex Bacchetta. The first touchdown of the night came off a 1-yard rush by Zach Holtzclaw with a minute left to go in the second, and the Tigers held a 10-3 lead at the break. Bonesteel added another field goal in the third, and two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns by Shawn Thomas sealed the win.

Greater Atlanta Christian 35, Pace Academy 14

Senior Mbiti Williams returned the opening kickoff all the way to the end zone for an early Pace lead, but GAC answered with a touchdown reception from junior Thomas Lowman to tie the game. The Spartans pulled away from Pace Academy in the second quarter with a trio of touchdowns, including an 82-yard heave from senior quarterback Jackson Hardy to Christian Thomas and an electric fumble recovery by Royce Izundu that put GAC up 28-7 at the break. Pace Academy added a touchdown in the third, but a fifth Spartan touchdown in the fourth put the game away. GAC advances to the second round of the Class AAA playoffs where a matchup against Cook awaits.

Calhoun 38, Morgan County 10

Calhoun advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the 19th consecutive season with a victory over Morgan County on the back of Jerrian Hames’ three touchdown runs. The Yellow Jackets trailed 10-7 after the first quarter, but scored 31 unanswered points to pull away from the Bulldogs. Morgan County’s Seth Robertson scored on the opening kickoff, but the Bulldogs were stymied by the Yellow Jacket defense and mustered only a field goal more on a cold, rainy night in Calhoun. Hames got the Yellow Jackets rolling on the first play from scrimmage on a 66-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes left in the first quarter. Eduardo Fajardo tied the game on a 28-yard field goal with 5:40 in the second quarter. Hames gave Calhoun the 17-10 lead on a 5-yard run just before halftime. Jake Morrow’s touchdown pass to Carson Speer with eight minutes left in the third quarter gave Calhoun at 24-10 lead following Fajardo’s extra-point. Morrow found Grant Gilmer on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 3:27 left in the third to push the lead. Hames’ third touchdown run, a 7-yard scamper, brought the game to its final tally.

Class AA

Swainsboro 37, Harlem 3

Harlem took a 3-0 lead into the second quarter following a 23-yard Brett Sterner field goal before Swainsboro poured on 37 unanswered points to come away with a win on the road and punch its ticket into the second round. Robert Allen rushed for a 10-yard touchdown with 4:15 left in the half to give the Tigers their first lead of the game and a Kade Youmans 8-yard touchdown pass to King Screws made it 14-3 heading into the third quarter. Allen scored a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter and then completed the hat-trick with an 11-yard touchdown run with 7:28 left in the fourth. Sophomore running back Ryan Dekle’s rushing touchdown with 5:14 left completed the 37-0 spree.

Callaway 54, Chattooga 7

Callaway scored three of its four touchdowns in the opening quarter on one-play drives and raced out to a 28-0 lead. Running back Tank Bigsby took the first play from scrimmage in for a 51-yard touchdown and later added a 60-yard score between a pair of touchdown passes from Demetrious Coleman to Jacob Freeman (65, 20 yards). Coleman connected with Jalin Shephard for a 21-yard score with 8:50 left in the second quarter to make it 34-0 and Shephard intercepted Chattooga’s next possession. Coleman connected with Antinez Blount for a 7-yard touchdown and a 40-yard touchdown before the break for a 47-0 lead. Backup quarterback Javion Parks threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Billigslea before Chattooga finally got on the board with 4:32 remaining.

Bremen 17, Model 0

Montarious Banks capped off Bremen’s opening drive of the second half with a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Blue Devils’ a 7-0 lead. Kicker Evan Fuller sent through a 31-yard field goal with 10:05 left in the fourth quarter to make it 10-0 before senior Evan Marcuz iced the game with a 3-yard touchdown run with just 1:14 left on the clock.

Class A-Private

Prince Avenue Christian 46, Stratford Academy 0

Junior quarterback Brock Vandagriff accounted for all five Wolverine touchdowns in the first half to lead Prince Avenue Christian to a commanding 33-0 lead. Following an 11-yard touchdown run to get the Wolverines on the board, Vandagriff threw two touchdown passes to Landon Owens and also connected with Logan Johnson and Zac Dyer for scores. Owens added a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Trey Stiles returned an interception 30 yards to push the lead to 46-0 heading into the final frame. With the win, No. 11 seed Prince Avenue Christian advances to set up a visit to four-time defending state champion and No. 6 seed ELCA next round.

North Cobb Christian 16, George Walton Academy 14

The Class A-Private 13th-seeded Eagles controlled the game on the ground in their gritty first-round match-up with George Walton Academy, led by quarterback Anson Mathis’s two-touchdown, 112-yards yard performance. George Walton Academy capitalized on the first of North Cobb Christian’s three fumbles with a 33-yard completion from Colby Bell to Jake Whitten for the early lead. The Eagles tied it halfway through the second quarter on a 10-yard run by Mathis. Backed up at their own 8-yard line in the third quarter, Bell had the ball stripped and the Bulldogs had to fall on it in the end zone for a safety, giving the Eagles a 9-7 lead. North Cobb Christian went up 16-7 late in the third quarter when Mathis pushed in from two yards out. George Walton Academy scored a late touchdown but North Cobb Christian held on late for the win and will travel next Friday to Fellowship Christian, who is seeded fourth and had a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Class A-Public

Commerce 23, Trion 6

Commerce took a 9-6 lead after the first half and outscored visiting Trion 14-0 in the second half to advance to the second round. Kicker Eryck Diaz put the Tigers on the board with a 35-yard field goal with 3:01 left in the first quarter. A short touchdown run by senior fullback Sam Roach increased the lead to 9-0 before a missed PAT attempt by Diaz. Trion brought it within 9-6 with a touchdown before the half, but Commerce senior Daniel Wilson tacked on an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for a 16-6 Tigers advantage heading into the final frame. Roach added his second rushing touchdown with 9:12 left to make it 23-6 before Wilson iced the game with an interception with just over six minutes left.


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