Courtesy of Shine Rankin/SGSN

In Peach County’s 16-7 win over visiting Cairo, quarterback Kentel Kendrick ran for a two-yard touchdown on fourth down with 3:52 left in the game to seal the Class AAA semifinals win over the visiting Syrupmakers. In the first half, the Trojans opened the scoring in the first quarter when linebacker Ryan Bowman returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was missed and Peach County led 6-0. Later in the half, kicker Alfredo Cervantes nailed a 47-yard field goal to give the Trojans a 9-0 lead they would carry into the halftime. The Trojans advance to the finals to face Burke County.

Burke County traveled to Gainesville and burst the Red Elephants’ bubble with a 63-28 win in a Class AAA semifinal Friday night. Fresh of an upset of defending champion Sandy Creek, Gainesville was not ready for the Bears’ rushing attack. Donquell Green had four touchdowns while Montres Kitchens scored three times for Burke County, which rushed for a whopping 527 yards on 55 carries. Green finished with 189 rushing yards while quarterback Corey Mayton totaled 121. The Bears carried a commanding 41-21 lead into the half-time locker room. In defeat, Gainesville’s Deshaun Watson was brilliant. The sophomore quarterback was 30-for-52 with 312 passing yards, while also accounting for two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. With the win, Burke County advanced to the state finals for the second time in school history and the first since 1997. It was the Bears’ first road playoff win since 1997.

In Class AA, there were no surprises as Calhoun romped past Appling County 51-14. Yellow Jackets quarterback Taylor Lamb completed 21 of 39 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns to lead Calhoun to the Class AA title game for the fourth year in a row. Lamb completed touchdown passes to Chase Rierson, Clay Johnson, Ben Lamb and Reed Allen. Hunter Knight opened up the scoring with a 15-yard fumble recovery, and Calhoun jumped out to a 37-7 halftime lead. Tydus Curtis and Darius Washington each added rushing touchdowns, and Adam Griffith hit a 33-yard field goal for the Yellow Jackets. 

Savannah Christian held Prince Avenue Christian to 27 total yards, zero through the air, in a 27-0 Class A semifinal win. The host Raiders started the game with an onside kick, and quarterback Johnathan Chamblee rushed three yards for a touchdown to end the drive. Nardo Govan put Savannah Christian ahead 21-0 with two rushing scores, and Chamblee finished the scoring with a quarterback sneak in the third quarter.

There will be no all-Warner Robins final in Class AAAA as both the Demons and Northside fell in the semifinals. … Colquitt County fell in dramatic fashion at Grayson as the Rams scored with 28 seconds left to win 35-31. The win avenged Colquitt County’s 31-24 semifinal win last season. The Packers rushed for 101 yards while yielding 481 yards to Grayson.

Carver-Columbus fought Buford hard, but fell 28-13 in the Class AA semifinals. Buford held the host Tigers to just 21 yards of offense in the second half. Carver actually led 13-7 at the half, a score that sent shockwaves through the state.