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AA and A Football Playoffs
Monday, 03 December 2012

December 3--  The Georgia High School Football Daily reports on Friday night's quarter-finals in the GHSA football playoffs.

Class AA

*Jefferson 53, Fitzgerald 51: Seventh-ranked Jefferson won in the third overtime when Bryant Shirreffs threw a two-point conversion pass to Tristan Jackson. Jefferson blew a 31-16 lead in the final quarter and got it to overtime when Hanon Price blocked Fitzgerald's 33-yard field-goal attempt with 19 seconds left in regulation. Fitzgerald, ranked No. 4, is only the third team to lose a playoff game while scoring 50 points. The others were Stephens County (2007 to Chamblee) and South Cobb (2004 to Collins Hill).

     What it means - Jefferson overcame an opening-game upset loss to arch-rival Commerce to win 12 straight games and make the semifinals for the first time since 1977, while coach T. McFerrin makes the semifinals with his seventh different school, a state record.

 

*Greater Atlanta Christian 27, Early County 24: Brandon Holzgrefe kicked a 19-yard field goal on the final play of the game for GAC. Early County had driven 91 yards to tie the game 24-24 with 59 seconds left. QB Rafe Chapple was 16-of-27 passing (5-for-5 on the winning drive) for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and RB Trevor Scales rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries.

     What it means - GAC, ranked ninth and seeded No. 2 from Region 6, is in the semifinals for the third time, first since 2002.

 

*Calhoun 49, Brooks County 14: No. 1 beat No. 2 in a game between the top-ranked teams in AA as Calhoun's Taylor Lamb threw four TD passes, and RB Alex Urbano scored on a 99-yard run after a goal-line stand.

     What it means - Calhoun is in the semifinals for the fifth consecutive season and is the only 13-0 team in AA.

 

*Lamar County 35, Lovett 28: Fifth-ranked Lamar County got a 34-yard TD pass from Lance Austin to brother Lawrence Austin for a 34-21 lead with 1:40 left. Lovett, ranked eighth, scored its final touchdown with 12 seconds remaining. Lance Austin rushed for 96 yards and was 6-of-6 passing for 141 yards.

     What it means - Lamar County is in the semifinals for the first time since starting varsity football, and coach Franklin Stephens is in the semifinals for the second straight season. He won a state championship at Tucker in 2011.

 

Class A (public)

*Lincoln County 28, Wilkinson County 22: Jamar Norman returned a punt 38 yards for a touchdown with 3:03 left in the third quarter to give Lincoln County the lead for good, 21-14. QB Ben Turner was 18-of-27 passing for 232 yards and a touchdown. Lincoln County, ranked No. 4, had beaten Wilkinson County, ranked No. 7, 21-19 in the regular season in a game that decided the Region 7 title.

     What it means - Lincoln County's four-year drought of not making the semifinals - the longest of coach Larry Campbell's 41-year career - is over.

 

*Dooly County 34, Seminole County 28: Dooly County QB A.J. Smith threw for 255 yards and four touchdowns. Dooly trailed 21-7 in the first half.

     What it means - Dooly County is in the semifinals for the third time, first since 2002.

 

*Emanuel County Institute 27, Trion 10: ECI RB James Brown rushed for 176 yards, and his 80-yard TD run with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter made it 21-10.

     What it means - ECI is in the semifinals for the fifth time, first since 2008.

 

*Wilcox County 39, Marion County 21: Fifth-ranked Wilcox County led 26-7 at halftime and held on. QB Makail Grace was 28-of-34 passing for 352 yards and three touchdowns, and WR Johnathan Howard had 13 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Grace also rushed for 125 yards.

     What it means - Wilcox County is in the semifinals for the seventh time, first since 2009.

 

Class A (private)

*Prince Avenue Christian 24, Athens Academy 7: RB Carl Mattox rushed for 127 yards on 19 carries for Prince Avenue, which ended Athens Academy's undefeated season.

     What it means - Prince Avenue is in the semifinals for the second year in a row after avenging a 14-7 loss in the regular season.

 

*Landmark Christian 38, First Presbyterian 24: Landmark led 14-7 at halftime but recovered a fumble on the second-half kickoff and scored on Jeremiah Kirkland's 41-yard run. Landmark's freshman quarterback, Stockton McGuire, completed 11 of 14 passes.

     What it means - Landmark, the 2011 Class A runner-up, is in the semifinals for the second time ever and second time in a row after a 1-2 start.

 

*George Walton Academy 37, Walker 7: Stanley Williams rushed for 225 yards and scored two touchdowns for unranked George Walton and knocked out one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Class A. (Athens Academy was the other.)

     What it means - No unbeaten teams remain in Class A, and George Walton, a four-time champion in the Georgia Independent School Association, ties Monroe Area (see Class AAAA) as the first school from the Walton County to make the GHSA semifinals.

 

*Eagle's Landing Christian 42, Savannah Christian 7: QB Dalton Etheridge passed for 189 yards and rushed for 75 and had a hand in five touchdowns for No. 1-ranked ELCA.

     What it means - The 2011 Class A champion is out, and ELCA gets its second shot at the semifinals after being upset by Landmark Christian last season.

 

 
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