The best of the best in Georgia high school football clash in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta starting Friday afternoon. Several of the teams playing in the weekend’s championships are considered among the best in the nation, and one national site put Georgia at the top of its list of best states for high school football.
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.
High school coaches in Georgia have a major dilemma this time every year – provided their teams are still playing. Do we practice on Thanksgiving or not? Besides the obstacle of facing premier opponents in the quarterfinals, coaches also have to decide if or how much to work on Turkey Day. Some teams go about the week like any other while others tweak it to accommodate the week.
West Forsyth upended Hillgrove 40-28 after scoring 26 unanswered points in the third quarter. Hillgrove star running back Kenyan Drake was held to 19 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. Drake also had five receptions for 44 yards and two scores as well as a kickoff return for a touchdown..
Kell ended Marist's 28-game home playoff winning streak with a dominant 30-7 win in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs. The Longhorns raced to a 23-0 second-quarter lead, as three different players players scored. Early in the second quarter, quarterback Clay Dodson threw a backward pass to receiver Brendan Langley, who then tossed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Devon Williams. The double-pass score gave Kell a commanding 16-0 lead. The Kell defense held Marist to just one first-half first down.
It was the final night of regular season football for many programs in metro Atlanta as region titles and playoff spots were fought over. St. Pius clinched a region title against cross-town rival Woodward Academy while Walton clinched an undefeated regular season.
Much of the high school football playoff picture will be decided in this week’s final regular-season matchups. In nearly half of the state’s regions, the champion will emerge after Friday’s games, and for several other regions, teams’ seeding in the playoffs will be decided.
The playoffs are taking shape around the state, and several metro Atlanta school earned their way in tonight. Alpharetta and Grayson each clinched their respective divisions, while Westminster won its way into a region play-in game by defeating rival Lovett.
The Centennial Knights will make a visit to Alpharetta to face a Raiders' offense that thrives on the pass. Junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs and junior wide receiver Carlos Burse have hooked up enough to help Alpharetta to a 7-1 start.