The quarterfinals are history in the 2018 GHSA Prep football playoffs --- and now there are only four teams remaining in each of the eight Classifications as we move into the semifinals. Thirty-two teams remain in play and the dream of a state title is alive for all of them. If a team makes the Final Four, anything can happen.
There were surprises galore in the Elite Eight holiday weekend round of play. There was Bainbridge over Buford, 23-20. Lowndes topping Grayson, 20-15, and Cedar Grove eliminating Benedictine Military of Savannah, 55-0, just to name a few.
Heading into Final Four week, there are 12 undefeated teams and two 8-5 teams still in the hunt for a 2018 title. All of the other teams still playing have captured at least 10 wins.
Here are this week’s Final Four matchups: in Class 7A, it’s Lowndes (10-3) at Milton (11-2) in a game that will be played at Denmark High School due to GHSA playoff seating regulations. This game is also the GPB-TV game of the week. In the other 7-A game, it’s Archer (11-2) at top-ranked Colquitt County (13-0) in Moultrie.
Class 6A finds Northside-Warner Robins (8-5) at Dacula (11-2) and Lanier (10-3) at unbeaten and defending champion Lee County (13-0) in Leesburg. The Class 5A pairings have Bainbridge (8-5) at Stockbridge (12-1), and Warner Robins (11-2) at two-time champion and winner of 40 straight games, the Rome Wolves (13-0) in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
In Class 4A, defending champion Blessed Trinity (13-0) welcomes Troup (12-1). On the other side of the bracket, it’s Marist (11-2) traveling to unbeaten Cartersville (13-0).
In Class 3A, Pierce County (13-0) will travel to play at Cedar Grove (12-1), while Peach County (11-2) plays at defending champion Calhoun (13-0) in a rematch of the 2017 title game in Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Class 2A has four remaining teams with their eyes on the vacated title since defending champion Hapeville Charter was bounced from the 2018 chase two weeks ago. Fitzgerald (10-3) will meet Heard County (11-2) on the road in one side of the bracket while, Rockmart (13-0) will host Callaway (11-2) in the other game.
Class A Public finds unbeaten Irwin County (12-0) hosting high-powered Pelham (12-0) in one semifinal game, while Marion County (12-0) will play host to Clinch County (11-1) in the other.
Class A Private showcases unbeaten Athens Academy (12-0) and last year’s runner up playing Prince Avenue Christian (11-1). Savannah Christian Prep (11-1) hosts defending champion Eagle’s Landing Christian (11-1).
The Final Fours are set. All teams that have played their way to this semifinal round would be worthy champions, but only two can advance.
There are favorites and underdogs in each of the games, but at this point any team can win. Good luck to all!
The GPB Football Fridays in Georgia game this week is Lowndes at Milton. The All-Access Pass airs at 7 p.m. and the kickoff follows at 730 p.m.
Enjoy the games.