The Sweet Sixteen With Surprises
The GHSA Prep football playoffs have reached the round of sixteen teams in each classification, but not without a few first round surprises thrown in for good measure.
In Class AA, Early County topped Lamar County 28-0, Wesleyan topped Model 45-27, and Pace Academy rolled by Top Ten power Darlington 31-0. In Class AAA, Westminster beat Southeast Bulloch 31-7, Sonoraville topped East Hall 49-28, and Elbert County ambushed Central of Carrollton, 17-7.
Class AAAA had its share of lower seeded teams surprising higher seeded one’s as well. Spalding eliminated long-time power, Cairo 28-10. West Laurens beat Burke County 21-13, and Carrollton rolled past Stephens County 34-7.
In Class AAAAA Northgate beat Shaw 44-0, Kell beat Creekside 37-33, and three teams from Region 3-AAAAA advanced to the second round of play; Coffee ran past Warner Robins 37-10, Glynn Academy eliminated Jones County 28-22, and number three seeded Ware County shocked the former number one Top Ten team and defending 5-A champion Northside-Warner Robins 16-7, on Saturday night.
The biggest shock in Class AAAAA came when the Rome Wolves, the fourth seeded team from Region 7-AAAAA eliminated Stephenson, the state’s top-ranked Class AAAAA team 7-6, on the game’s final play.
Class AAAAAA saw three upsets as well in the opening round of play. Collins Hill beat Lambert 35-13, Central Gwinnett topped Walton 49-20, and third-seeded Valdosta scored late to beat North Cobb from Region 4-AAAAAA, 21-16.
For the winners who prevailed in the opening round, there is new life as they prepare to extend their season’s one more week. The losers on the other hand, pack up the equipment, think of what might have been, and look forward to next season.
This week’s action is promising great games in each classification although there will be many miles of travel involved in those key matchups. In Class AA, Lovett travels to Savannah to meet top-ranked Benedictine Military at T.A. Wright Stadium. Vidalia meets Greater Atlanta Christian and Early County gets the Class AA travel award when the Bobcats travel to Tiger to meet Rabun County.
Class AAA games of note, include Westminster at Callaway, Jefferson at Blessed Trinity, and Elbert County at undefeated Dodge County in Eastman. In Class AAAA, Marist is at Mary Persons in Forsyth, West Laurens is on the road at St. Pius X and Liberty County travels to Cartersville.
In Class AAAAA the top matchups include Mays at Houston County, Kell at Coffee and Glynn Academy at Dalton. Class AAAAAA has surprising Central Gwinnett at Colquitt County, Archer at McEachern and Camden County at Roswell in the GPB-TV game of the week.
Class A Public and Private divisions begin play this weekend as well after a week to solidify the power rankings in both divisions. In Class A Private, defending champion,Mt. Paran meets St.Anne-Pacelli of Columbus and Prince Avenue Christian hosts First Presbyterian of Macon.
In the Class A Public division, top ranked Marion County hosts Twiggs County and second-ranked Clinch County plays Dooly County in Homerville.