Second-Round Roundups

The Mill Creek Hawks won big on the road, defeating the host Roswell Hornets 41-17 with a potent run game led by star backs Chancellor Lee-Parker and Parker Wroble and a stingy defensive effort that kept the Hornets offense out of the end zone until the 1:28 mark in the fourth quarter.

Myles Jackson set the tone for the Hawks defense on the Hornet’s opening drive, forcing an incomplete pass and a Roswell punt. Sophomore quarterback Thurman Harris scored on the keeper for a 7-0 Mill Creek lead, and Roswell’s next drive ended in a punt after a sack by Josh Battle. Parker Wroble’s return gave him an all-time career record 32 punt returns, passing Chase Turner, before Doneiko Slaughter tied the game with a fumble recovery and return for a touchdown with 2:50 remaining in the opening frame. Romeo Pelham returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield, however, and Lee-Parker capitalized on the friendly field position with a 42-yard run to reclaim the lead.

Roswell began the second quarter at the Mill Creek 10-yard line, but had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Caleb Long. Lee-Parker scored again with 7:49 to go before the break, this time taking a screen pass from Harris 41 yards to the end zone. He broke through several tackles on Mill Creek’s next drive to give the Hawks 1st-and-goal at the Roswell 7-yard line, but the Hornets defense held strong and Brock Pelligrino gave the Hawks a 24-10 lead with a 35-yard field goal. Lee-Parker finished the first half with 10 carries for 169 yards and a rushing touchdown, along with the 41-yard touchdown reception.

Pelligrino’s 29-yard field goal in the third provided the only points of an eventful quarter in which Harris Tutson had a sack and Jackson and Brayden Dudley combined for another following Roswell’s recovery of a Mill Creek fumble, leading to a faked Hornets punt that RJ Smith ensured was unsuccessful. Battle carried the ball to the Roswell 1-yard line early in the final frame, setting up his own touchdown on the next play, and Wroble capitalized on Caleb Spike’s fumble recovery with another touchdown for a 41-10 Mill Creek lead with 8:07 to play. Roswell completed three straight passes to the Mill Creek 29 and finally found the end zone with 1:28 left on the clock for the 41-17 final.

Mill Creek will face the Marietta Blue Devils next week following their 38-24 victory over Milton.


North Gwinnett 60, Walton 10

J.R. Martin had three passing touchdowns and one rushing score for the host Bulldogs, who led 46-3 at halftime. Martin found Seth Anderson (3 yards), Blake Young (74 yards) and D.J. Hart (8 yards) for touchdowns and rushed for a 13-yard score. Devin Crosby had rushing touchdowns of 27 and 5 yards, and Anderson’s second touchdown reception came on a 17-yard pass from backup quarterback Ashton Wood in the fourth quarter. Jarvis Cunningham had an interception return for a touchdown and Andrew Lim made a 39-yard field goal for the Bulldogs. Walton’s points came on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Zak Rozsman to Teagan Bierria and a 23-yard field goal from Conor Cummins.

Grayson 42, East Coweta 21

The Rams were first to put points on the board with a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback CJ Dixon to his man Ryan King early in the first, and junior running back Phil Mafah continued his stellar playoff showing with a 30-yard rushing touchdown to extend the lead. East Coweta finally reached the end zone early in the second when senior Jager Weddington snagged a 5-yard touchdown to keep the Indians close, but Mafah struck again for the Rams before the half could end for a 21-7 Grayson lead at the break. Grayson was held scoreless in the third quarter, and East Coweta’s Jayland Rivers made it a one-score game with a short rush into the end zone. However, a dominant fourth-quarter performance with three scores for the Rams sealed the second-round win. Dixon hit Jamal Haynes on touchdowns of 49 and 43 yards, and Mafah found his third score of the night on a bruising 42-yard run.

Lowndes 44, Norcross 14

Lowndes grew an 8-7 first-quarter lead into a 31-14 advantage at the break and held Norcross scoreless in the second half to earn the home win. The No.1-seeded Vikings got a touchdown pass (15 yards to Deaunte Hunter) and two touchdown rushes (7 and 9 yards, both in the third quarter) from sophomore quarterback Jacurri Brown, who finished 10-of-12 passing for 196 yards. Israel Mitchell scored the game’s first touchdown on a 57-yard rush, with a two-point conversion on a run by Tiberius Drocea giving Lowndes an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. The Vikings led 21-7 after the opening frame after Brown’s touchdown pass and a fumble recovery by Devonn Lane in the end zone off a sack and forced a fumble by Jacques Hunter. A 13-yard Justin Lee rush for a touchdown and a 28-yard Brian Palacios field goal in the second gave Lowndes its 17-point lead at halftime. For Norcross, quarterback Mason Kaplan threw touchdown passes to Zion Alexander (52 yards) and Jaylen Green (71 yards). Lane led Lowndes with eight tackles and a sack, and Drocea had six tackles and a sack. Norcross managed 308 passing yards but was held to 20 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

Archer 45, Cherokee 14

After a tightly-contested first half that ended with a narrow 17-14 Archer lead, the Tigers pulled away with a three-touchdown third quarter in their 45-14 victory over the visiting Cherokee Warriors. Cherokee took an early lead with Landon Ergle’s touchdown on a screen pass from AJ Swann less than two minutes into the game, but Carter Peevy answered for Archer with a score on a quarterback sneak on the next possession. The Tigers tacked on a 27-yard field goal from Jacob Waters late in the opening frame, and Jackson McCrary took the ball off the punter’s foot for a 10-yard touchdown return and a 17-7 lead. Patrick Dahlen came up with a big hit for Cherokee, forcing Archer to settle for a field goal that was no good, and Cherokee cut Archer’s lead to 17-14 with a score from Devin Ellison on a Swann pass before the break. Swann finished the first half with 196 of Cherokee’s 216 yards on offense. The Tigers, who compiled 220 yards before halftime, got hot in the third with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Peevy to Trey Messer, a 1-yard rushing score on 4th-and-goal by Renoldo Spivey Jr and a touchdown run from Jordon Swain that put Archer ahead 38-14. Schmari Campbell provided the final points of the night in the fourth. The Tigers will face Parkview in the quarterfinals.


Dacula 42, Glynn Academy 20

The No. 1 seed Dacula Falcons took care of business against visiting Glynn Academy, coming away with a 42-20 victory behind a balanced offensive attack led quarterback Jarrett Jenkins and junior back Kaleb Edwards. Jenkins found Konata Mumpfield for the pair’s first touchdown of the night midway through the opening frame. The Falcons lost two fumbles deep in their own territory in the first half, but the Red Terrors—who finished the half with 60 yards on offense and 59 yards in penalties—couldn’t get anything going and settled for a pair of second-quarter field goals to cut Dacula’s lead to 7-6. Kyle Efford’s rushing score with 2:20 left in the second marked the first of four straight touchdowns for the Falcons, with the Kaleb Edwards providing the second as the half came to an end for a 21-6 lead. Jenkins and Mumpfield connected again early in the third before Edwards scored for the second time on a 15-yard run. A Glynn Academy touchdown cut Dacula’s lead to 35-13 heading into the fourth, and the Red Terrors scored again after a 40-yard touchdown run by Dacula’s Trenton Jones for the 42-20 final. Jenkins finished the night with 190 passing yards, and Jones compiled 106 yards on the ground. The Falcons will face the Lee County Trojans in the quarterfinals.

Harrison 51, Brunswick 19

Brunswick scored two first-quarter touchdowns to take a 13-7 lead before host Harrison began to pull away. The Hoyas led 14-13 after the first quarter thanks to two Mason Babay touchdown runs of 6 and 9 yards, and 28-13 at the break after rushing scores from Marcus Bleazard (4 yards) and David Roberts (9 yards). Roberts scored again from 5 yards out in the third quarter, and quarterback Gavin Hall found James Ziglor III for a 5-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to give Harrison a 42-19 lead. A Brunswick safety and a 2-yard touchdown rush from Brandon Godfrey capped the scoring for the Hoyas.

Richmond Hill 48, Lanier 34

The Lanier Longhorns started off the game strong, taking a 14-0 first-quarter lead with a 73-yard catch by senior Cole Thornton and a 56-yard rush by senior Taj Barnes. The second quarter was all Wildcats, however; junior kicker Britton Williams had a pair of field goals to go with a 2-yard rushing score from Jalen Rouse, and junior Greggory Freightman also snagged an interception and ran it back to give Richmond Hill a 20-13 lead at the half. The Wildcats continued to extend the lead in the third with a pair of long touchdown runs from Rouse, but Lanier managed to hang in the game with a 64-yard rushing touchdown from Barnes to make it a two-possession game in the fourth. Rouse, who finished with five touchdowns, continued to dominate on the ground, scoring on runs of 83 and 6 yards to help edge out the Longhorns and earn Richmond Hill a spot in the quarterfinals.

Valdosta 28, Johns Creek 24

Tate Rodemaker threw a 45-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the game to lead Valdosta to a dramatic road win at Johns Creek. The Gladiators responded with a frantic final drive in which they marched to the Wildcats’ 30-yard line with two seconds left. A pass-interference call in the end zone led to a final untimed down from the 15, but Valdosta came up with a game-ending interception. Ben Whitlock threw two touchdown passes to Justin Campbell, while Johns Creek also got a touchdown run from Cole Nelson and a 44-yard field goal by Caleb Adegboyega. Rodemaker also tossed a 41-yard scoring strike to Tarrell Roberts, with Roberts doing most of the work of himself after catching a screen. Patrick Taylor had two interceptions for the Gladiators.

Allatoona 23, Stephenson 13

The Allatoona Buccaneers picked up a 23-13 road win over host Stephenson, maintaining control throughout the gritty victory with key performances on defense and three field goals by senior Jude Kelley. Kelley’s first two field goals came in the second quarter, bookending an 18-yard touchdown run by Stephenson’s Deondre Jackson that was set up by Joseph Jackson’s 47-yard pass to Trevon Farrell. Dante Marshall added a touchdown on a quarterback sneak in the final minute of the half, and the Buccaneers held a 13-7 advantage at the break. After the Jaguars were held to a three-and-out, Allatoona picked up 1st-and-goal at the Stephenson 9-yard line. The Bucs ultimately settled for another Kelley field goal, but got the ball back with Jonathan West’s fumble recovery to set up another score on a quarterback sneak by Marshall for a 23-7 lead early in the final frame. Allatoona’s defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs, which were both followed by Buccaneers punts—the second of which was blocked by Stephenson. Blomquist Brett intercepted Jackson in the end zone, however, and returned it to the Allatoona 42. Stephenson was more successful on their next drive, but the Jaguars still trailed 23-13 with 0:13 remaining after the 86-yard touchdown by Deondre Jackson. Allatoona will host Coffee in next week’s quarterfinals.


Warner Robins 25, Rome 17

The Warner Robins Demons defended home field to advance in the playoffs with a 25-17 victory over the Rome Wolves. Warner Robins held a 12-0 lead after the first, thanks to rushing touchdowns by Ahmad Walker and James Smith. Ahijah Blackwell scored for Rome in the second to make it a 12-7 game at the break. A field goal from Rome’s Alonzo Rodriguez brought the Wolves within 2, but a rushing touchdown from Jalen Addie extended the Warner Robins lead to 18-10. Ahmad Walker scored for the Demons to make it a 25-10 game to end the third before Caleb Ellard connected with Adam Peterson to give Rome its final touchdown of the night.

Starr’s Mill 45, Kell 28

The Starr’s Mill Panthers took care of business at home and advance to the quarterfinals with a win over the Kell Longhorns. After a scoreless first quarter, Starr’s Mill dominated in the second by outscoring Kell 24-7. It was a 7-7 game early in the quarter after a rushing score by Starr’s Mill’s Ben Bonde and a Kell touchdown off a pass from Corbin Lafrance to Jamal Hill. After recovering a Kell special teams fumble, Starr’s Mill went on a 17-0 run with two rushing touchdowns by Hunter Lawson and a completed field goal by Nate Kearns. Kell kept Starr’s Mill scoreless in the third, making it a 24-21 game with a rushing score from Tyler Barrett and a touchdown by Camron Ball off a pass from Lafrance. Lawson scored his third touchdown of the night midway through the fourth, and Bonde’s second touchdown gave Starr’s Mill a 17-point lead. Kell was able to bring the game back within 10 with 1:47 to go off a touchdown pass from Lafrance to Arthur Nwanu, but any hopes of a comeback were quashed when Starr’s Mill’s Gavin Necessary completed a 60-yard pass to Cole Bishop on a fake punt play to seal the Panthers win with 0:22 left on the clock.

Carrollton 21, Veterans 10

Mecose Todd scored on a short run with 10 minutes left in the game to put Carrollton up 21-3, and the Trojans held on for the victory to keep their flawless season alive at 12-0. Carrollton started the scoring on a 33-yard touchdown run from quarterback Myles Morris early in the second quarter. Daniel Gibbs got Veterans on the board with a 54-yard field goal with seven minutes left in the half, but Morris connected with Melvin Edwards on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 9:29 left in the third quarter to give Carrollton a 14-3 lead. Veterans scored on a short run by LeBron Fields with 7:29 left in the game but would fail to score again. Carrollton amassed 232 rushing yards and 119 passing yards in the victory. Todd led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 125 yards and the touchdown run. Morris was 9-of-20 passing for 119 yards and a touchdown, and Terrell Carmichael led with two receptions for 53 yards. Carrollton will host Buford in the quarterfinals.

Buford 34, Ware County 6

The visiting Buford Wolves will advance to the quarterfinals with a 34-6 victory over the Ware County Gators. A 41-yard touchdown rush by Gabe Ervin and a blocked punt returned to the end zone by Victor Payne gave the Wolves a 14-0 lead at the end of the first. Buford held a 24-0 lead at halftime thanks to a touchdown pass from Jarvis Evans to Treyton Rank and a field goal by Hayden Olsen. Olsen hit another field goal after Buford recovered a Ware County fumble in the third, bringing the score 27-0, and Victor Venn’s rushing touchdown in the fourth gave Buford a 34-0 lead before Ware County scored with a 35-yard touchdown pass to avoid the shutout.

Dutchtown 31, Riverwood 7

The Dutchtown Bulldogs defense had shut out opponents for 16 consecutive quarters before Riverwood scored its lone touchdown of the game at home on Friday night. The visiting Bulldogs had a commanding 28-7 lead and were one quarter away from advancing to the third round of the state playoffs. The Dutchtown defense recovered a fumble in its own territory early in the game, which set up Dutchtown runningback Javorri Mack to score a 5-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Nate McCollum scored the first of his two touchdowns of the evening on a 24-yard run early in the second quarter to give Dutchtown the 14-0 lead it carried into the second half. Despite a blocked punt and interception by Riverwood to begin the third quarter, the Bulldogs were able to force a turnover of their own and capitalize with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Arendez Fredd to McCollum for a 21-0 lead. Dutchtown ended the third quarter with another short touchdown run from Mack. Riverwood scored a touchdown on its next possession to end Dutchtown’s shutout streak. The Bulldogs will travel to Starr’s Mill for next week’s third-round playoff game.

Class AAAA

Madison County 38, Mary Persons 14

For the first time in program history, the Madison County Red Raiders will move on to the third round of the playoffs with a win over the Mary Persons Bulldogs. Madison County’s Colby Smith helped to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 first-quarter lead by connecting with Martavian Cooper for a 72-yard touchdown and taking it to the end zone himself from 21 yards out. Mary Persons’ first touchdown came on a pass from Logan Hickman to Andre Jackson before Cooper had his second touchdown of the night to give Madison County a 21-7 lead at the half. An 8-yard touchdown rush by Mary Persons’ Enrico Harden cut the deficit to 14 to end the third quarter, but Madison County outscored Mary Persons 17-0 in the fourth quarter with two rushing touchdowns from Dayton Gresham and a field goal from Camden Jordan.

Cartersville 35, Thomson 0

Top-ranked Cartersville is another step closer to claiming its third state championship since 2015. Quante Jennings scored Cartersville’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run less than two minutes into the game. Next, Tee Webb connected with Devonte Ross for a 40-yard touchdown pass on 4th down in the final seconds of the first quarter. Harrison Allen added a 2-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter to give the Canes a 21-0 lead at halftime. Jennings scored his second touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run midway through the third quarter. Later in the period, Evan Slocum, who wore #7 for an injured teammate, scored Cartersville’s final touchdown on a 40-yard touchdown run consisting of multiple broken tackles. Cartersville hosts Woodward in the quarterfinals next week.

Sandy Creek 56, Americus-Sumter 7

Americus-Sumter opened up a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter before host Sandy Creek poured on 56 unanswered points to run away with the victory. Quarterback Matt Williams threw three touchdown passes to Brian Branch (23, 26 and 25 yards) and two to Ahmad Jackson (65 and 16 yards) and also became the first quarterback in school history to surpass 3,000 passing yards in a single season. Branch also had a historic night, complementing his trio of touchdown receptions with three interceptions and becoming the school’s all-time leader in career interceptions (15) in the process. Sandy Creek running back Rashad Amos rushed for a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter that put the Patriots up 14-7 and Dorien Graham scored on a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the 56-7 final.

Oconee County 39, Perry 7

Oconee County quarterback Max Johnson threw five touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 39-7 home win against Perry on Friday night. Johnson’s three first-half touchdown passes went to receiver Ben Noland for 29, 4 and 15 yards. Oconee County linebacker Justin Coleman added a pick-six for the Warriors in the first quarter as well, and Oconee County took a commanding 26-0 lead into halftime. Johnson picked up where he left off in the second half, tossing two touchdown passes to Jake Johnson on plays of 10 and 16 yards. Oconee County hosts Marist in the quarterfinals next week.

Woodward Academy 41, St. Pius X 0

Woodward Academy put on an offensive exhibition through the air as it advanced past St. Pius X and into the quarterfinals with the 41-0 victory. Woodward led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and 14-0 at the break before it tacked on 27 second-half points to put the game out of reach. Quarterback Mike Wright finished 13-of-19 passing for 162 yards and four touchdowns and led all rushers with nine carries for 78 yards and one touchdown. Wright connected with Ambe Caldwell on touchdown passes of 41 and 21 yards, Chase Marshall on a 20-yard touchdown pass and Jacorrei Turner on a 16-yarder. James Mayfield kicked field goals of 30 and 27 yards, and Caldwell finished the game with three receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

Marist 30, Carver-Columbus 20

Marist stopped Carver-Columbus on its opening drive and went up 7-0 two plays later with a 78-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cigelski to James Wise. The War Eagles increased the lead to 10-0 with a 31-yard Richard Bowed field goal. Later in the second quarter, Carver-Columbus forced a punt that was blocked and returned for a Tigers’ touchdown, and a successful 2-point conversion cut the deficit to 10-8 at the half. Cigelski grew back the Marist lead with a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:42 left in the third quarter. Carver-Columbus running back Khiari McCoy fumbled on the Tigers’ next possession, but the loose ball was picked up and advanced for a touchdown to shrink Marist’s lead to 17-14 with 6:50 left in the frame. Marist went up 24-14 on a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Lincoln Parker, but Carver-Columbus made it 24-20 heading into the final quarter following a 24-yard touchdown pass from D.J. Riles to Richard Nelson. Marist’s final touchdown came on a 28-yard run by Parker with 5:42 left in the game.

Class AAA

Peach County 35, Calhoun 0

Peach County evened the all-time series at 2-2 against Calhoun after overpowering the Yellow Jackets in all facets of the game for a 35-0 victory at Anderson Field in Fort Valley. Peach opened the scoring on a 22-yard run by quarterback Jaydon Gibson, but the extra-point struck the upright and missed. Noah Whittington scored on a short run with 6:08 left in the second quarter for a 12-0 Peach lead after another missed PAT. Zion Shaw gave Peach an 18-0 lead on a 9-yard touchdown run just before halftime and Gibson found Justin Harris for the 2-point conversion and a 20-0 Trojans lead. Whittington scored again with 8:42 left in the third quarter to put Peach up 28-0, and his 74-yard touchdown run with 4:14 left in the third quarter brought the score to its final tally. Peach will travel to Cedar Grove in the quarterfinals.

Greater Atlanta Christian 38, Cook 0

Jackson Hardy threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Zac Mixon on the third play of the game, and Greater Atlanta Christian never looked back against visiting Cook. That scoring strike alone would have been enough, thanks to a dominant defensive performance by the Spartans, but the offense was just getting started. They surged to a 14-0 lead after one quarter, 31-0 at halftime, and by the final 38-0 margin going into the fourth. Hardy also tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Miller and Tyler Curland booted a 44-yard field goal, all in the first half. The victory marked head coach Tim Hardy’s 100th career win.

Jefferson 28, Appling County 7

The Jefferson Dragons will advance to the quarterfinals with a victory over visiting Appling County Pirates, led by senior quarterback Colby Clark’s four-touchdown performance. Appling County led 7-0 in the first after a touchdown by Jeremiah Holmes, but the Pirates failed to score for the remainder of the game. Clark scored once in the second quarter, twice in the third, and once more in the fourth. Clark had 21 carries for 126 yards and went 2-for-3 with 18 passing yards. Terry Martin and Kadin Bailey each had a sack for the Dragons.

North Murray 24, Jackson 14

North Murray (11-1) jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the third quarter and held off Jackson to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. Quarterback Ladd McConkey blocked a Jackson field goal attempt in the opening quarter and found Hayden Hullett for a touchdown pass to put the Mountaineers up 7-0 at the half. North Murray’s Dylan Flood ran in a 2-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter, but Jackson got on the board to make it 14-7 heading into the final quarter. North Murray tacked on an Owen Hannah field goal with 10:07 left in the game to increase the lead to 17-7 and then McConkey found Dante Edwards Tidwell for a touchdown pass that made it 24-7 with 4:34 left in the game. Jackson’s Anthony Henderson rushed for a touchdown to cut it to 24-14 with 3:34 remaining, but the Red Devils’ comeback attempt came to an end with a Landon Burrell interception.

Class AA

Callaway 50, Fitzgerald 31

Fitzgerald opened the game with a 9-minute scoring drive to take a 7-0 lead, but Callaway’s Charlie Dixon capped off the Cavaliers’ first drive of the game with a 4-yard touchdown to tie it up 7-7 with just 52 seconds left in the opening frame. The Purple Hurricanes sustained another long drive that ate up the majority of the second quarter and connected on a field goal to regain a 10-7 lead. Callaway’s Cartavious ‘Tank’ Bigsby finished the Cavs’ second possession of the first half with a 15-yard touchdown run with just 2:38 left. Following a Fitzgerald punt, Callaway drew up a hook-and-ladder play; Demetrius Coleman hit Antizez Blount on a short hitch route and then Blount lateralled it to Bigsby, who took it the remaining 58 yards for a touchdown that made it 21-10 at the half. Bigsby found the end zone on a 6-yard run early in the third quarter. Fitzgerald answered to cut the deficit to 28-16 minutes later, but Coleman found Jacob Freeman for a Callaway touchdown pass and the Cavs took a 36-16 lead into the final quarter. A Jymere Jones interception gave Callaway the ball to start the fourth quarter, and Bigsby broke loose for a 65-yard score to put Callaway up 43-16. Callaway’s final touchdown came on a 6-yard run by Dixon that made it 50-24.

Douglass 12, Jefferson County 8

Douglass scored 12 unanswered points to defeat Jefferson County and pick up its 11th win of the season, a mark that the Astros (11-1) have not reached since the 1995 season. After a scoreless opening quarter, Carlton Brown’s 2-yard trip to the end zone and the Warriors’ successful 2-point conversion made it an 8-0 lead. Douglass answered with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Quandarious Sterling to Quienten Williams with 3:09 to go in the half, but the Astros failed to convert the 2-point try and trailed 8-6 at the break. Douglass got the go-ahead touchdown with 7:04 left in the game on a 4th-and-goal call, but the failed 2-point conversion kept the lead at 12-8. Jefferson County converted a pair of fourth downs, including one on 4th-and-11, but the Astros stripped Brown and recovered a fumble to kill the potential go-ahead drive with two minutes left to play.

Thomasville 58, Pepperell 14

Thomasville’s Ronnie Baker rushed for three touchdowns (19, 5 and 4 yards) and threw touchdown passes to Ricardo Johnson (9 yards) and Boomer Slocumb (12 yards) to pace the Bulldogs past visiting Pepperell. Slocumb’s 12-yard reception came on the final play of the first half and gave Thomasville a commanding 35-7 lead at the break. Slocumb also returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Gage Moses provided Pepperell’s lone first-half touchdown, and teammate Shannen White’s 1-yard run with 4:08 left in the game brought the score to its final tally. Thomasville’s Ricky Fulton rushed for a 33-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Bulldogs up 42-7, a safety in the fourth quarter increased Thomasville’s lead to 51-7 and Patrick McNeill’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Parker Folson grew the lead to 58-7 before White’s late score.

Hapeville Charter 70, Swainsboro 28

Hapeville Charter opened up a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and took a 47-7 lead into the half en route to a 70-28 victory over Swainsboro. Timothy Taylor caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Nae’Saan Dickerson for the Hornets’ first score, and Jeremy Stephens rushed for a 1-yard score before a fumble recovery touchdown grew the lead to 20-0. Stephens found Rico Powers Jr. twice and Taylor once in the second quarter on touchdown passes, and teammate Marcus Carroll also added a 17-yard touchdown run in Hapeville Charter’s explosive second quarter. Marcus Carroll (5 yards) and Stephens (18 yards) added rushing touchdowns in the second half, and Eric Brown connected with Antavious Bradley for the Hornets’ 10th and final touchdown of the game. Swainsboro’s Kade Youman completed three touchdown passes to Fredrick Seabrough and one to Cedric Seabrough.

Class A-Private

Fellowship Christian 14, North Cobb Christian 0

Fellowship Christian got the best of a defensive battle by shutting out visiting North Cobb Christian. Not a single point was scored by either team until Jayven Hall found the end zone from eight yards out with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter. The Paladins took a 6-0 lead into the fourth and all but put the game away when Eli Hildebrandt delivered a 1-yard touchdown run and Josh Cole rushed for the ensuing two-point conversion.

Savannah Christian 35, Savannah Country Day 14

Savannah Christian avenged its 35-21 regular-season loss to No. 1 seed Savannah Country Day and served the Hornets their first loss of the year. Marquell Brown returned the opening kickoff 60 yards and then scored on a 12-yard run to give Savannah Christian a 7-0 lead.  Savannah Country Day had a 4th-and-goal opportunity midway through the second quarter, but Bradley Anderson came up with an interception to keep the Hornets off the board. The Raiders orchestrated an 80-yard drive on their next possession capped off with a quarterback sneak by quarterback Spencer Robicheaux to extend the lead to 14-0 with 5:44 left in the half. Savannah Country Day answered with a 5-yard touchdown from Barry Kleinpeter to Andrew Miller, but Savannah Christian executed a 2-minute drill for another Robicheaux goal-line rushing score to make it 21-7 at the break. Kleinpeter threw a 23-yard score to Logan Ziegler on the final play of the third quarter to get the Hornets within one possession, but the Raiders outscored Savannah Country Day 14-0 in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory. Dawson Benton found the end zone on a 7-yard run with 7:45 left and Brown iced the game with a 61-yard touchdown with 2:55 on the clock.

Wesleyan 34, Christian Heritage 13

J.C. French threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead visiting Wesleyan past Christian Heritage. The Wolves, who never trailed, battled through a scoreless first quarter before French caught fire in the second. He scored twice on the ground and then hurled an 11-yard touchdown strike to Cooper Blauser en route to a 21-6 halftime advantage. Wesleyan extended its lead to 34-6 thanks to a Griffin Caldwell touchdown run and a pair of field goals by Javy Martinez. Christian Heritage got a touchdown run from Gage Leonard, who also set up the scoring drive with an interception. Lions quarterback Christian Thomas capped off the night’s scoring with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Evan Lester.

Eagle’s Landing Christian 62, Prince Avenue Christian 57

Keaton Mitchell scored six touchdowns to lead the Eagle’s Landing Christian Chargers to a wild win against visiting Prince Avenue Christian. The Chargers briefly found themselves behind 7-0 but erased that deficit late in the first quarter and did not trail again until Prince Avenue Christian pulled ahead 57-56 with four minutes remaining. The Chargers had shown signs of pulling away with a 35-21 halftime advantage, but the Wolverines made it a one-point game (43-42) by the end of the third quarter. Eagle’s Landing Christian regained the lead for good when quarterback Gabe Wright rushed for an 11-yard touchdown with one minute left, and the home team stopped the Wolverines on downs thereafter to clinch victory. Mitchell rushed for five touchdowns—including three from at least 33 yards away—and returned a kickoff 80 yards to the end zone. Brock Vandagriff accounted for all eight Prince Avenue Christian touchdowns, with four of his six touchdown passes going to Logan Johnson.

Hebron Christian 35, Mt. de Sales 6

The Lions earned themselves a spot in the Class A-Private quarterfinals following a sound 35-6 win over Mt. de Sales. Hebron struck first in the opening frame when Karim Muhammad caught a short pass from junior quarterback Colten Gauthier for a touchdown. While this play was Gauthier’s only passing score of the game, he was able to pick up a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first and second quarters to help mount a 21-0 lead at the half. Senior Winston Gassant was next to extend the lead with a 10-yard scamper into the end zone before sophomore Ethan Burroughs ended the scoring spree with a 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The Lions will now face against Fellowship Christian to play for a spot in the semifinals.

Athens Academy 52, Brookstone 7

Fresh off an opening-round bye, Athens Academy needed only two offensive plays to score the first touchdown of the game. From there, the rout was on as the Spartans scored six more touchdowns and tacked on a safety for a dominant 52-7 win against Brookstone at home on Friday night. Spartans quarterback Palmer Bush threw four touchdown passes in the game, with the first three going to Deion Colzie on plays of 38, 35 and 19 yards. Bush’s fourth touchdown was caught by runningback Kurt Knisely, who took the screen pass 45 yards to the house. Prior to his touchdown reception, Knisley had already provided rushing touchdowns of 10, 4 and 23 yards on the evening. Athens Academy hosts Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in the next round of the playoffs next Friday night.

Mt. Paran 16, Darlington 13

Mt. Paran fell behind 13-9 with eight minutes remaining after a 50-yard Darlington touchdown pass from Griffin Brewster to Trystin Wright, but the Eagles got a game-winning 4-yard touchdown run from quarterback Niko Vangarelli with two minutes remaining before forcing Darlington into a turnover on downs to preserve the road win. Vangarelli, who rushed for 223 yards on 27 carries, scored the game’s first touchdown early in the second quarter on a 25-yard run. The Eagles pushed their lead to 9-0 in the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal by Parker Rostowsky before Darlington mounted its comeback. Running back Matthew Moore had 67 yards on eight carries and tight end Jackson Manning had three catches for 47 yards for Mt. Paran.

Class A-Public

Irwin County 47, Chattahoochee County 22

Irwin County jumped to a 40-6 halftime lead and closed out a dominant home win to improve to 10-0 on the season. Quarterback Zach Smith threw a 24-yard touchdown to Gabriel Benyard to get the Indians on the board. D.J. Lundy added a 5-yard touchdown run before the end of the opening quarter and Irwin County’s second-consecutive missed PAT kept the lead at 12-0. On the first play of the second quarter, Benyard added a 42-yard touchdown run, but Kewan Harris returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 19-6. Following Harris’ special teams touchdown, Garland Benyard scored a 6-yard touchdown run, Gabriel hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Smith and Kam Ward added a 17-yard rushing score to build the lead back to 40-6 at the break. Lundy scored on a 49-yard fumble recovery touchdown in the third quarter to give the Indians a 47-6 lead before Chattahoochee County’s Harris scored on a 15-yard touchdown run and a 1-yard score to bring the game to its final tally. Irwin County will face Manchester next Friday in a rematch of the 1997 Class A State Championship.

Marion County 35, Schley County 27

Schley County opened up a 13-0 lead with a 58-yard Trent Bivins touchdown run and a 10-yard rushing score by Zykeivous Walker. Marion County’s Roderick Dixon got the Eagles on the board with a 14-yard return following a blocked punt, and quarterback Trice McCannon found Brandon Thomas on a 7-yard touchdown pass to give Marion County a 14-13 lead at the half. McCannon rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to increase the lead, but Schley County’s Landon Bailey ran in an 11-yard touchdown and the Wildcats converted the 2-point try to even it up 21-21 heading into the final frame. McCannon completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Markevious Kelley, but the Eagles missed the PAT and the lead remained 27-21. Schley County’s Walker got in the end zone on a 3-yard carry, but the Wildcats’ missed the go-ahead PAT and the score remained tied 27-27. McCannon connected with Brandon Thomas from 29 yards out with less than a minute to play for the game-winning touchdown, and McCannon rushed in the 2-point conversion to seal the Eagles’ 8-point victory.


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