Credit: Grayson High School Facebook Page
Capsule Previews: Friday's GHSA Football Semifinal Games
Here’s a look at each of the four semifinalists in each of the state’s eight classifications. The winners advance to the championship game next week at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium.
#10 Grayson at #1 Collins Hill
Grayson Rams (10-3) -- How they got there: d. East Coweta 48-14, d. Denmark 35-21, d. Roswell 24-14. Best players: LB Jalen Smith, RB Joe Taylor Jr., OL Griffin Scroggs.
Collins Hill Eagles (13-0) -- How they got there: d. Lambert 56-13, d. Pebblebrook 48-6, d. Lowndes 49-7. Best players: DB/WR Travis Hunter, QB Sam Horn, DL Asani Redwood. Series: Grayson leads the series 6-2 and defeated Collins Hill twice in 2020, including 28-14 in the state championship game.
NR Walton at #3 Milton
Walton Raiders (9-3) -- How they got there: d. Colquitt County 41-17, d. Archer 34-7, d. Brookwood 52-35. Best players: RB Sutton Smith, QB Jake Hecklinski, DB Marcus Allen. Milton Eagles (12-1) - How they got there: d. Duluth 45-14, d. Marietta 38-21, d. Mill Creek 36-27. Best players: QB Devin Farrell, RB Jordan McDonald, DL L.T. Overton. Series: Walton leads series 14-5. Walton won the last meeting 42-7 in 2015.
#7 Carrollton at #1 Buford
Carrollton Trojans (12-1) -- How they got there: d. Creekview 47-28, d. Alcovy 43-21, d. Westlake 37-32. Best players: QB M.J. Morris, WR Terrell Carmichael, DB Amare Hall.
Buford Wolves (12-1) -- How they got there: d. Kell 38-14, d. Lovejoy 44-7, Lee County 27-0. Best players: RB Victor Venn, S Jake Pope, DB K.J. Bolden. Series: Buford leads series 2-0, both in the state quarterfinals, including 24-21 in 2019.
NR Dacula at #3 Hughes
Dacula Falcons (9-4) -- How they got there: d. Pope 36-12, d. Brunswick 29-21, d. Johns Creek 35-0. Best players: RB/LB Kyle Efford, QB Austin Adcock, DB Nicholous Nelson.
Hughes Panthers (12-1) - How they got there: d. Glynn Academy 42-14, d. Shiloh 28-8, d. Northside Warner Robins 48-7. Best players: QB Prentiss Noland, RB Antonio Martin, OL Bo Hughley. Series: First meeting.
NR Blessed Trinity at #4 Calhoun
Blessed Trinity Titans (9-4) -- How they got there: d. Southwest DeKalb 41-20, d. Woodward Academy 28-13, d. Villa Rica 49-7. Best players: RB Justice Haynes, QB J.C. French, LB Maverick Torrico.
Calhoun Yellow Jackets (11-2) - How they got there: d. Decatur 35-21, d. Ware County 49-42, d. Clarke Central 31-7. Best players: WR Cole Speer, QB Christian Lewis, RB Caden Williams. Series: Blessed Trinity leads series 2-1. Calhoun won the regular season meeting 32-27 on Oct. 8.
#3 Warner Robins at #6 Creekside
Warner Robins Demons (12-1) -- How they got there: d. Jonesboro 64-20, d. Cartersville 24-17, d. Jones County 49-21. Best players: QB Christon Lane, WR Daveon Walker, DL Vic Burley.
Creekside Seminoles (11-2) -- How they got there: d. Coffee 28-18, d. St. Pius 41-34, d. Whitewater 20-13. Best players: QB Nyqua Lett, WR Derrick White, LB Javeon Miller. Series: Warner Robins won the only previous meeting 34-21 in 2004.
#5 Cedartown at #2 Carver Columbus
Cedartown Bulldogs (11-1) -- How they got there: d. Hampton 55-14, d. Cairo 48-14, d. Perry 39-25. Best players: RB Harlem Diamond, LB Demarieo Sims, DL RB/LB Cedric Washington.
Carver Tigers (12-1) -- How they got there: d. West Laurens 22-7, d. Hapeville Charter 52-12, d. Dougherty 16-14. Best players: RB Jaiden Credle, QB Devin Riles, DL Cameron Crowell. Series: First meeting.
#7 North Oconee at #3 Benedictine
North Oconee Titans (10-3) -- How they got there: d. Miller Grove 56-21, d. Spalding 37-0, d. Bainbridge 29-24. Best players: DB Khalil Barnes, OL Boaz Stanley, RB Dom Elder.
Benedictine Cadets (11-2) – How they got there: d. Thomas County Central 59-0, d. Luella 63-7, d. Marist 24-21. Best players: QB Holden Geriner, RB/WR Justin Thomas, LB Holden Sapp. Series: Benedictine leads the series 2-0 and beat North Oconee 48-17 during the regular season.
#8 Appling County at #6 Cedar Grove (Godfrey Stadium)
Appling County Pirates (12-1) -- How they got there: d. Johnson Savannah 42-8, d. Cherokee Bluff 34-20, d. Thomson 21-7. Best players: RB/DB Dennis Mims, DL Darris Smith, QB Patrick Crosby.
Cedar Grove Saints (10-3) -- How they got there: d. White County 79-0, d. Southeast Bulloch 48-10, d. Crisp County 28-6. Best players: RB Rashod Dubinion, LB Quinterio Lawson, DL Adonijah Green. Series: First meeting.
NR Carver Atlanta at #4 Pierce County
Carver Panthers (10-2) -- How they got there: d. North Hall 56-17, d. Liberty County 53-6, d. Burke County 46-14. Best players: RB Quintavious Lockett, QB Bryce Bowens, RB Jarveous Brown.
Pierce County Bears (11-2) -- How they got there: d. Windsor Forest 42-0, d. Dawson County 49-0, d. Peach County 35-30. Best players: QB D.J. Bell, DB Donelius Johnson, LB Alan Boatright. Series: Pierce County won the only previous meeting 51-18 in the 2020 quarterfinals.
#4 Fitzgerald at #8 Swainsboro
Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes (11-2) -- How they got there: d. Dodge County 15-6, d. Fannin County 28-14, d. Putnam County 21-7. Best players: ATH Christian Solomon, RB/SS DeNorris Goodwin, LB E.J. Lightsey.
Swainsboro Tigers (11-2) -- How they got there: d. Laney 48-6, d. Columbia 41-14, d. Northeast 12-9 OT. Best players: RB Ty Adams, Demello Jones, Jerrod Steward. Series: Fitzgerald leads the series 4-1. Fitzgerald won the last meeting 27-12 in the second round of the 2018 playoffs.
#7 Callaway at #2 Thomasville
Callaway Cavaliers (10-2) -- How they got there: d. Pepperell 29-22, d. Bleckley County 35-14, d. South Atlanta 39-22. Best players: RB Amarion Truitt, QB Deshun Coleman, WR Carlos Billingslea.
Thomasville Bulldogs (12-1) -- How they got there: d. Washington County 42-7, d. Heard County 42-16, d. Rabun County 49-24. Best players: QB Shannen White, RB Malik Harper, LB Ty Anderson. Series: Callaway won the only meeting between the two schools 34-21 in the 2020 quarterfinals.
Class A Private
#1 Trinity Christian at #5 Eagle’s Landing Christian
Trinity Christian Lions (12-0) -- How they got there: first-round bye, d. Athens Christian 48-14, d. Darlington 56-7. Best players: QB David Dallas, RB Dominick Cosper, WR Joshua Dallas.
Eagle’s Landing Christian Chargers (7-6) - How they got there: d. Heritage (Newnan) by forfeit, d. Athens Academy 56-7, d. Holy Innocents’ 35-28. Best players: QB Charlie Gilliam, RB Brandon Hood, WR R.J. Johnson. Series: ELCA leads the series 4-1, but Trinity Christian won 34-3 during the regular season.
#3 Prince Avenue at #4 Fellowship Christian
Prince Avenue Wolverines -- How they got there: d. King’s Ridge Christian by forfeit, d. Brookstone 52-0, d. First Presbyterian 41-22. Best players: QB Aaron Philo, WR Bailey Stockton, WR Elijah Dewitt.
Fellowship Christian Paladins (12-1) -- How they got there: d. George Walton 42-7, d. St. Anne-Pacelli 30-7, d. Calvary Day 24-14. Best players: QB Caleb McMickle, OLB Nick Persiano, WR Josh Milholin. Series: Fellowship Christian leads the series 3-2. Fellowship won the last meeting 28-21 in 2016.
Class A Public
#9 Wilcox County at #1 Irwin County
Wilcox County Patriots (10-3) -- How they got there: d. Charlton County 36-26, d. Trion 23-22, d. Manchester 20-14. Best players: RB Day Day Lawson, QB Abe Stowe, OL/DL Kassidy Dean,
Irwin County Indians (11-2) -- How they got there: d. Johnson County 35-7, d. Lincoln County 51-27, d. Macon County 28-15. Best players: QB Casey Soliday, RB Damarkus Lundy, RB Matthew Payne. Series: Irwin County won 14-0 in the second round of the playoffs in 2020.
#2 Brooks County at #4 Metter
Brooks County Trojans (10-2) -- How they got there: d. Montgomery County 49-13, d. Washington-Wilkes 61-28, d. Warren County 51-30. Best players: RB Omari Arnold, QB Jamal Sanders, DB Saveon Cason.
Metter Tigers (13-0) -- How they got there: d. Seminole County 42-14, d. Schley County 33-6, d. Turner County 60-21. Best players: RB Danny Cheley, LB Kaliq Jordan, RB Josh Kelly. Series: Brooks County won the only previous meeting 35-6 in the 2019 quarte