Terrell Cason’s two touchdown runs propelled visiting Cairo to a 21-0 victory over St. Pius in the Class AAA quarterfinals. The Syrupmakers (11-2) will make their first semifinals appearance since winning the state title in 2008.
The Cairo defense held the prolific ground attack of St. Pius (12-1) in check, holding two-way star Geno Smith to 70 yards rushing. The Golden Lions missed field goals of 40 and 43 yards.
“Defense is the key to Cairo,” said Syrupmakers head coach Tom Fallaw. “It’s been that way since I’ve been there, and probably before that.”
Cairo’s Damian Edwards had a scoring run from 11 yards out in the third quarter, and Cason’s second touchdown came with 1:32 left to play. Cairo quarterback Steven Bench ended with 127 yards rushing.
The Syrupmakers lost the coin flip to determine home-field advantage for Friday’s game, as both teams were No. 1 seeds.
“This time of year, a lot of people make a big deal about the (coin) flip, but the good teams are going to find a way to win,” said Fallaw. “We haven’t ever fretted about going on the road.”
Cairo returns home next week to host Peach County in the semis.
Colquitt County 32, Camden County 31: Packers quarterback Cole Seagraves hit Bobby Hill with a 23-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal with 33 seconds left in the game. Visiting Colquitt County then converted a two-point conversion when Ty Smith caught a Seagraves pass to give the Packers their first lead of the game. Seagraves was 17-of-23 for 248 yards.
Grayson 33, West Forsyth 7: The Rams continued their undefeated season at home and led 26-7 at halftime. Robert Nkemdiche rushed nine times with four scores, with Terrius Watson adding a touchdown. Nick Schuessler finished 6-of-12 for 100 yards and a score.
Northside-Warner Robins 36, Tri-Cities 8: The Host Eagles held Tri-Cities to 99 total yards while rolling up 407 of their own. Miguel Williams scored three touchdowns and had 177 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jack Montgomery completed nine-of-12 passes for 160 yards.
Warner Robins 20, East Paulding 10: The visiting Demons led 13-3 at halftime behind a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ty Odom to Jalen Rountree and one of two Stephon Cross touchdowns. After Rountree’s final score, the Demons held a decisive 20-3 lead.
Burke County 32, Allatoona 28: Trailing by three late in the fourth quarter, Corey Mayton scored on fourth and goal from the one-yard line to put the Bears ahead for good. A defensive stand sealed the win and Burke County will face Gainesville in the next round.
Gainesville 35, Sandy Creek 21: In a huge upset, the host Red Elephants ended the state’s longest winning streak. Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 230 yards and scored five total touchdowns. Gainesville will face Burke County in the semifinal round.
Peach County 19, Carrollton 15: The visiting Trojans trailed 15-6 after one quarter, but dominated the rest of the game. Quarterback Kentel Kendrick threw two touchdown passes and also scored on a 1-yard sneak for Peach County. A 76-yard, fourth-quarter pass to Demarcus Robinson gave the Trojans the go-ahead score.
Appling County 35, Lamar County 33: The Pirates’ C.J. Nails scored the go-ahead touchdown and two-point conversion to put the visitors ahead in a wild, four overtime game. The Trojans responded with a score of their own, but the two-point attempt on a sweep was stopped.
Calhoun 45, Dublin 7: Calhoun led 28-0 halftime on the road, posting 14 points in each of the first two quarters. Alabama commitment Adam Griffith tallied a 43-yard field goal in the third quarter for the Yellow Jackets. Calhoun will take on Appling County next week.
Carver-Columbus 34, Fitzgerald 21: Carver’s Marquez Halloway ran 38 times for 248 yards and a score, while Torrance McGee had two rushing touchdowns. Dvuhnteyh Boggs and Deion Bonner each had an interception. The visiting Tigers led 13-6 at halftime.
ELCA 51, Seminole Co. 7: The Chargers led 35-0 at halftime. The Eagle’s Landing Christian defense forced six turnovers, and Andrew Williams returned a fumble for a score. Joe Walker had three total touchdowns and John Tatum tacked on two more.
Landmark Christian 28, Aquinas 21: Jeremiah Kirkland scored all four of the visiting War Eagles’ touchdowns. He had three rushing scores and the game-winning touchdown catch with 13 seconds left from quarterback Cantrell Frazier. Landmark Christian’s final scoring drive covered 80 yards in the final minute.
Prince Avenue Christian 20, Bremen 15: Kicker Adam Hayden nailed two second-half field goals to help the host Wolverines overcome a 15-14 deficit. Bremen quarterback Brent Copeland scored on two 1-yard sneaks. Prince Avenue Christian led 14-7 at the half.
Savannah Christian 22, Lincoln County 14: Despite Red Devils quarterback Denzel Gunby throwing two touchdown strikes to running back Craig Jones, the host Raiders moved on to the semifinals. Savannah Christian led 13-7 at the half after trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter.