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AA Playoff Games
Thursday, 21 November 2013

November 21--  Here's a report on this weekend's GHSA AA football playoff games from the Georgia High School Football Daily.

 

 

Class AA

 

Vidalia at Laney

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium, Augusta

Records, rankings: Vidalia is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 2 and No. 9; Laney is 9-2, the No. 1 seed from Region 3 and unranked.

Last meeting: Vidalia won 25-6 in the 2009 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. The focus of the Vidalia offense is RB Tra Hardy, who rushed for 1,486 yards and 22 touchdowns during the regular season. Hardy had 108 yards and a TD in the Indians' 52-14 victory over Taylor County in the first round. QB DeJarius Mincey attempts about 11 passes per game and has thrown for 1,291 yards this season, including a season-high 196 against Taylor County. 2. Laney QB Horatio Keller rushed for 152 yards on 22 carries and had touchdown runs of 46 and 20 yards in an 18-13 victory over Cook in the first round. He also was 7-of-15 passing for 176 yards and threw a 26-yard TD pass to Vicente Thompkins. Laney has four shutouts this season and has held seven of its 11 opponents to six points or less. 3. Neither team has advanced beyond the second round since 2004, when Laney beat Vidalia 34-28 in the quarterfinals. Vidalia has lost twice in the first round and twice in the second round since then. Laney has lost four times in the first round and three times in the second in that same stretch.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Vidalia by 3

Winner plays: Kendrick/Lovett winner

 

 

Thomasville at Lamar County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Barnesville

Records, rankings: Thomasville is 8-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 1 and unranked; Lamar County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 4 and No. 1.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Thomasville's Mario Cherry rushed for 252 yards on 16 carries and had touchdown runs of 16, 61 and 66 yards in a 45-20 first-round victory over Westside of Augusta. Vantez Gordon added 129 yards and two TDs on 10 carries. The Bulldogs finished with 543 yards, including 174 passing, while holding Westside to 228. 2. Lawrence Austin rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns on eight carries in Lamar County's 58-15 victory over Metter in the first round. He has a team-best 945 yards this season for a team averaging 281.4 rushing yards per game. Austin's brother, Lance, is second with 779 yards rushing and has passed for 706. Both players have committed to Georgia Tech. 3. Lamar County is in the second round for the third consecutive season and can tie the school record for victories with a win on Friday. Thomasville, under first-year coach Leroy Ryals, is in the second round for the first time since 2010.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lamar County by 21

Winner plays: Jefferson/Heard County winner

 

Jefferson at Heard County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Staples Stadium, Franklin

Records, rankings: Jefferson is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 8 and No. 8; Heard County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 5 and No. 10.

Last meeting: Jefferson won 21-13 in the first round of the 2009 Class AA playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Tristen Jackson rushed for 84 yards and scored three touchdowns and Isaiah Blake ran for 144 yards and a TD in Jefferson's 28-0 first-round victory over Westminster. The Dragons have held four of their past five opponents to three points or less. They have three shutouts in that span and five for the season. 2. Heard County junior RB Duranta Dunson rushed for 200 yards and three TDs (1, 11 and 82 yards) in a 27-14 victory over Pepperell in the first round, giving him 1,730 yards for the season. He also broke the school's career rushing record, according to the Heard Citizen, with 4,588 yards. 3. Jefferson won its first state title last year in T. McFerrin's final season as head coach. Heard County has been playing football since 1972 but has advanced past the second round only once, in 1990 when it lost to Dacula 20-14 in the Class A quarterfinals. The Braves lost to GAC 52-21 in the second round last year.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Jefferson by 2

Winner plays: Thomasville/Lamar County winner

 

Fitzgerald at Benedictine

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Savannah State University's T.A. Wright Stadium, Savannah

Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 6-4-1, the No. 3 seed from Region 1 and unranked; Benedictine is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 2 and No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Fitzgerald ran for 454 yards on 49 carries in its 41-21 victory over Dublin in the first round on Saturday. The Purple Hurricanes spread the workload as seven players had at least six carries and 29 yards. Antonio Wilcox led the way with 97 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, followed by Trey Graham (six carries, 80 yards, one TD) and Taeylon Gaulden (7-76-2). Fitzgerald was 1-of-3 passing for six yards. 2. Chance Jackson rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns in Benedictine's 56-12 first-round victory over Metter. Jackson is second on the team in rushing for the season with 636 yards, behind J.J. Gaines with 683. Benedictine averages 236.6 yards per game rushing, while QB Stevie Powers has passed for 1,312 on the season. 3. Benedictine is 11-0 for just the second time in school history and trying to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1996, when it played in the highest classification. A victory would put Fitzgerald in the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive season.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Benedictine by 30

Winner plays: Greater Atlanta Christian/Calhoun winner

 

Greater Atlanta Christian at Calhoun

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Phil Reeve Stadium, Calhoun

Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 6 and No. 3; Calhoun is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 7 and No. 5.

Last meeting: GAC won 26-7 in the second round of the 2007 Class AA playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Micah Abernathy rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Greater Atlanta Christian's 34-7 first-round victory over Rabun County. QB Rafe Chapple ran for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion and threw a TD pass to Chris Williams. Abernathy had 1,252 yards rushing in the regular season. 2. Calhoun was tied 3-3 at halftime against Manchester last week but broke the game open with a 21-point third quarter and went on to a 42-9 victory. The Yellow Jackets, who have won 13 consecutive region titles, took the lead for good on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Fields Chapman to Chandler Curtis early in the third quarter. 3. Calhoun has won 19 consecutive home playoff games since its loss to GAC in the teams' most recent meeting. The Yellow Jackets have played in five consecutive state championship games since then, losing three to Buford, beating Buford in 2011 and losing to Jefferson last year. GAC also lost to Jefferson last season, 42-14 in the semifinals.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Greater Atlanta Christian by 8

Winner plays: Fitzgerald/Benedictine winner

 

 

Kendrick at Lovett

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Martin E. Kilpatrick Stadium, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Kendrick is 7-4, the No. 3 seed from Region 5 and unranked; Lovett is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 6 and No. 2.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Kendrick's Reno Lee rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown in a 12-0 victory against Dade County in the first round. Brandon Wade added 67 yards, and Triston Dowdell scored on a 15-yard run for the Cherokees, who rushed for 239 yards on 44 carries. The shutout was one of four in Class AA in the first round and one of eight in any classification. 2. Jay Harris and Grant Haley each ran for two touchdowns as Lovett built a 42-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 56-21 victory over Union County in the first round. Harris finished with 127 yards on five carries and Haley had 121 on two carries for the Lions, who rushed for 384 yards and finished with a 464-171 advantage in total offense. 3. Kendrick is trying to reach the eight-victory mark for the first time since 1995, which also was the last time it won a playoff game. Lovett has won 10 games for the fifth time in eight seasons and reached at least the state semifinals the four previous times.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Lovett by 39

Winner plays: Vidalia/Laney winner

 

Bleckley County at Brooks County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman

Records, rankings: Bleckley County is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 4 and unranked; Brooks County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 1 and No. 7.

Last meeting: Bleckley County won 16-14 in the 1985 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Antavias Robertson scored on a 14-yard run in overtime to give Bleckley County a 20-14 victory over Bryan County in the first round. Bleckley County missed a potential game-winning field goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation. It was Bleckley County's first playoff victory since beating Fitzgerald and Savannah Christian in 2006. 2. Brooks County QB Malkom Parrish (committed to Georgia) was 7-of-9 passing for 174 yards and a touchdown and rushed five times for 43 yards and another score in a 54-22 victory over Screven County last week. The 54 points were the most Brooks County has ever scored in a playoff game. 3. Bleckley County, which would tie the school record for victories with a second-round victory, is 17-5 in Tracy White's two seasons as coach. It's the best two-year stretch in school history. Maurice Freeman is 59-16 in his second stint at Brooks County and trying to get the Trojans into the quarterfinals for the fourth time in six years.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Brooks County by 13

Winner plays: Bowdon/Washington-Wilkes winner

 

Bowdon at Washington-Wilkes

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium, Washington

Records, rankings: Bowdon is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 5 and unranked; Washington-Wilkes is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 8 and No. 4.

Last meeting: Washington-Wilkes won 66-28 in the first round of the 2012 Class AA playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Marcus Holland rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown and recovered a block punt for another TD in Bowdon's 20-10 victory over Model in the first round. Chris Keith led the Red Devils with 114 yards on 26 carries. QB Marcus Thurman, who recently committed to Kennesaw State, had a 34-yard touchdown run and finished with 49 yards. 2. Washington-Wilkes QB DeAndre Harris ran for two touchdowns and threw TD passes of 30 and 32 yards in a 46-14 first-round victory over Wesleyan. Washington-Wilkes is 11-0 for the first time since 2000, when it lost 14-0 to Americus in the state championship game. 3. This will be the fourth time in nine seasons that these teams have met in the playoffs. Washington-Wilkes rallied to win the first game 18-14 in the 2005 semifinals. The other two meetings came in the first round, with Bowdon winning 49-35 in 2009 and Washington-Wilkes winning 66-28 last season.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Washington-Wilkes by 19

Winner plays: Bleckley County/Brooks County winner

 

 
 

 

 
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