Football Fridays in Georgia: 2022 GHSA Playoffs — Round 2
A handful of teams across the state made school history with their playoff wins last week. On this week's podcast, Hannah and Jon are joined by two coaches enjoying long-awaited success: Lanier County's Kurt Williams and Telfair County's Matt Burleson. Plus, we'll get a breakdown of the playoff brackets so far.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: I was going to wave a magic wand and turn Lanier County into a powerhouse, and it just doesn't work like that.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: People want to feed us now, which I know the O-Line is excited about that.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: All those guys have done a tremendous job leading this team this year.
Jon Nelson: You can't skip a holiday!
Hannah Goodin: Every single Christmas decoration I own is out.
Jon Nelson: No!
Hannah Goodin: Christmas music is playing.
Jon Nelson: No.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us, large device or small. Jon here. Hannah there. It is — season three.
Hannah Goodin: Thank goodness you are back. I am so happy you're back in the studio. Never let me do that again. Ever.
Jon Nelson: Wow. Someone. You know.
Hannah Goodin: I think we lost a lot of listeners last week.
Jon Nelson: Commander Sandy, she actually wants me here.
Sandy Malcolm: I know. It's nice to be wanted.
Hannah Goodin: This is refreshing. I know everybody.
Jon Nelson: She likes me. She really, really likes me.
Sandy Malcolm: She really, really likes you.
Jon Nelson: Oh, man. But it is season three. It is the playoffs.
Hannah Goodin: It is.
Jon Nelson: It is round one, where we've gone from 255 to 128.
Hannah Goodin: 128.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And so it is round two coming up and we've got some really cool stories this week when it comes to our guests. We'll get to the guests in just a little bit. But before we go forward, we got to go backward and let everybody know what happened here on GPB.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, so here's what's coming up on the show. We're going to recap our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week. That was Blessed Trinity / North Forsyth. Preview our second-round playoff game. We're going to break down the key matchup with a little bracketology teaser, and we're going to hear from two head coaches who are making history this season. So, you'll want to stick around for that. We also have a shout-out to Harlem High School. They won on Friday night, 35 to nothing — for the school's first-ever playoff win, Jon?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, they won a postseason game in 1981, but this is their first-ever state playoff game win. So, yeah, there's — there is some semantics involved, but yes, Harlem and their head coach there, Mark Boiter, a hometown guy.
Hannah Goodin: Cool, and our two coaches there along those same lines. One of them is a first. One of them is the first time ever.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, let's take a look back, though, B.T. versus North Forsyth at Raider Valley in Cumming. Their Raiders trailed 14 to 10 at halftime.
Jon Nelson: The Raiders.
Hannah Goodin: Got two second-half touchdowns for a 24 to 14 lead and held on North Forsyth won at 24-21, collecting its eighth win of the season, which is the first time they've reached that mark since 2005. Senior quarterback West Robert passed for 197 yards and two TDs, and running back Carson McBrayer had 82 yards rushing. Here is our Cotton Commission player of the game.
Autumn Johnson, Sideline Reporter: The Georgia Cotton Commissioner, Player of the Game, West Roberts. An incredible showing from this team. The fight, the resiliency, what does that mean to you to win at home?
West Roberts, North Forsyth Quarterback: It means so much. You got our student section. I mean, so they mean so much to us. They are so loud. They help us. They keep us in the game. I mean, we were down 14, ten or whatever. They got the momentum up for us. We had a lot of big plays. It means so much winning at home in front of our home crowd.
Hannah Goodin: North Forsyth advances to face top ranked Hughes. And Jon, this is going to be a tough task. The Panthers are 11 and 0 for the first time in school history after romping River Ridge 49 to 6.
Jon Nelson: A lot of alliteration from anxious anchors placed in powerful post.
Hannah Goodin: Hughes, it's all I have to say.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's going to be it's going to be a tall order for them.
Hannah Goodin: And get your brackets out.
Jon Nelson: I'm getting my brackets out right now. That's why I ducked below the table for those who are watching on the video version of this.
Hannah Goodin: Air Noland passed for three TDs. Jack Middlebrook ran for two. I mean, their team is clicking on all cylinders.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And, you know, ranked top 25 nationally in a bunch of different polls. And I know a lot of folks were looking at 6A, and you're kind of looking down the line possibly with the winner of Lee County and Woodward Academy, upper right, as you're filling things out in pan. And then on the right hand side of their bracket and 6A, you've got Rome, Alpharetta, you've got Marist, Northside, Warner Robins. So, you've got teams with pedigrees on the right hand side of your brackets as you're filling about in pen.
Hannah Goodin: A pen.
Jon Nelson: In 6A.
Hannah Goodin: Note from the GHSF Daily, Hughes has outscored its opponents, 582 to 102 this season. They've won eight of its games by 40 points or more.
Jon Nelson: One of them was on GPB.
Hannah Goodin: None closer than 26 points.
Jon Nelson: 11 divided by, lets see. 102 divided by 11 is not even ten.
Hannah Goodin: Oh boy.
Jon Nelson: So that's 99, 3, 9.2.
Hannah Goodin: Oh No. Jon's got-.
Jon Nelson: So basically nine and a third points per game.
Hannah Goodin: Somebody check his math.
Jon Nelson: 11, 11 games, 11 games, 102 points. So that's your math for when it comes to Hughes defensively giving up only six to River Ridge.
Hannah Goodin: So, you gave a quick look at the upper left, quadrant?
Jon Nelson: Upper right.
Hannah Goodin: Upper right quadrant of the bracket.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: What else stands out to you from the 6A bracket?
Jon Nelson: On the left hand side, you've got Roswell and Allatoona, Saint Pius X and Thomas County, Central Saint Pius, a tall order having to go to the jackets nest and going up against Justin Rogers, South Paulding, our buddy Sumo. Sumo Robinson, going to Bobby Greenfield and City Park, taking on Gainesville red elephants. Josh Neblett doing a great job there in his first year north Atlanta, Houston County, a three and a four making their way in. So you had lower seeds winning those games. Jeremy Edwards in Houston County. They've got to go on the road again and this time they're going up against North Atlanta. So that's another interesting one. A lot of folks were looking at Houston County as a possible sleeper, as an atypical four seed. As we say right now, they're living up to that.
Hannah Goodin: So, on Countdown to Kickoff Thursday at noon GPB Sports Facebook Live, we're going to break all of this down. But for the sake of the podcast and timing, what is are some of the biggest surprises in and what would you say maybe is the toughest bracket?
Jon Nelson: Upper right Class A Division 1: Dublin, Metter, Elbert County, Prince Avenue Christian. Those are the four upper right. Those are four bluebloods and heavyweights that are going to be going at it in Class A Division One. Probably a surprise, if you want one, outside of Houston County as a 4: The Bleckley-Brooks game, also in Class A Division 1. So, Bleckley is a three seed, goes to Quitman, gets the win against Morris Freeman and Brooks County. So, Bleckley continues on. They're going to go to Barnesville to take on Lamar County next week. So, a lot of them in the lower classifications, no question. How about that? For an answer. You got Clinch and M.C.A. that's another one. It's going to be heavyweights. I'm trying to see what other lower seeds made their way through.
Hannah Goodin: Give the listeners what they want.
Jon Nelson: Well, but the thing is, if I do that, then we kind of go into the time that we were looking for our second guest. And so I can't quite do all of that. But you had all you had all you had at your fair number of three seeds worked their way through and you had a couple of fours. And there were some, you know, history attached to a couple of those winners as well. And it was it was fun to to see the opening round of the playoffs because there's always that. It's a new season, it's one and done those kinds of things. But to see, the, the threes and fours make their way through and see what the the field of 128 looks like. That's the fun part in all of this.
Hannah Goodin: Well, let's go ahead and get to our guests.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: Who we have on today are two head coaches that played each other early in the season. That's Telfair County and Lanier County. Let's start with head coach Kurt Williams of Lanier County Bulldogs.
Jon Nelson: What you said, so since Hannah has already talked to that first interview, here's our conversation with Kurt Williams with some history in Lakeland. Some fun stuff we found out.
Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach Williams, thank you so much for joining us. You guys made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 before we get into Friday's game. What was this season like for you? How does it feel to be back in the playoffs?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: The season was was a bit of how the game went Friday night. A lot of ups and downs. We win a game, lose game and a lot of emotional highs and lows this year loss. We've won a lot of close games, and we've lost a lot of close games and was able to finish five, five and get into the playoffs out of what we call our region of doom, which is just, you know, just getting in the playoffs is tough. So, you know, it was fortunate we got played Miller County and we'd never won a playoff game in school history with our football programs, only 25 years old. But at the same time, we was able to get a one point victory over it, over a good Miller County football team and get that monkey of our back.
Jon Nelson: What's it been like for you to build this program to where you're coming into a playoff? You know, obviously you're in a region with Charlton and Clinch, which, you know, you mentioned region of doom, and that's understandable as to why that would be. But what's it been like for you to build this program now to get into the playoffs and now take this next step?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Oh, it's been a it's been a journey for sure. You know, I think in time you say, you know, maybe in the young coach that I was when I took the job, I thought we'd be here a year or two. You know, I mean, so I just thought I was going to wave a magic wand and turn Lanier County into to a powerhouse. And it just doesn't work like that. And, you know, I've had coaches that were on staff with me that first year texting me on the way of the game, "I know how much it means to you because our first year we didn't win a game at the varsity level or the middle school level." And really had to evaluate, you know, the are you still believe in what you want your program to be? And we did. And me and my staff just rolled sleeves up, went and worked. And we're still doing the same stuff we did in year one. You know, it's just just that process of developing your kids and developing your feeder program and and just find ways to win games.
Hannah Goodin: More work to come. So, you face two seed Miller County you beat them 14-13. Now you advance to the second round for the first time ever facing Wilcox County. What has the weekend been like preparing for this game? What have you seen on film? What are you guys doing?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Well, Wilcox used to be in our region, and me and Coach Stover are really good friends. We talk all the time.
Jon Nelson: Except this week, right?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Yeah. Well, I mean, we've already spoke a couple times. You know, Rob's a great a great friend of mine, a great coach, really like a lot about Coach Stover. We worked together in the summer. We do OTAs, seven on seven, so it's, you know, we've seen them a lot. So, this is not a not a uncommon opponent. But it's got to be fun Friday Night. He's got a really good football team. Our sophomore quarterback does a great job. I'm not sure if they're the number one scoring offense, but they are one of the top offenses is going to be a tall task force.
Jon Nelson: The town of Lakeland and for Lanier County. You mentioned what this has been like this year for the staff and the players to get into the playoffs. You know, you mentioned no wins the first season. It was three, three and three. And then you go in five and five and now you've got win number six. What has this run meant to the community this year, to everybody there at the school, everybody there in the county? What is this run meant to everyone outside of the football program?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: They were just tickled to death. I mean, it was. It was a great moment prior to that. After the game, it was a great moment during the season when we clinched the playoff seed or a playoff berth. And, you know, it's just like every time we win it's like, "we got us another one. Got us another one, coach. I just can't believe it." And it's just because they struggled for so long. They're just waiting on the moment. Kind of like us Braves fans and Georgia fans for so long. You know, 2021 was a great year for the state. Oh, for the Braves and the dogs. But, uh, it's kind of been like that this year. Um, you know, I walk into school this morning, I got teachers like "Coach, congratulations." And, I'm like we have been doing this all year, like.
Hannah Goodin: It's a big deal.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Like, you know, like, yeah, it is a big deal and you know, so we're just hoping it drives the support of the town that the community really supports us already. We have people feeding us almost daily. And you know, this week it's poured on even more. I think we're going to take a big crowd up to Rochelle. Uh, you know, they're playing in the send off, and all this stuff is really exciting for our kids. I got coaches that were on staff the last time we made the playoffs. I got coaches on staff that was part of the 0 and 10 season our first year, so we're really just enjoying the moment.
Hannah Goodin: This is your fifth season with Lanier County. What makes this team and these these groups of this group of guys special?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Well, I think this group has just learned how to play hard. Um, this group in middle school, our current seniors was on the middle school team that didn't win a game. Uh, they were eighth grade my first year, and we have, we got a good young group. We got a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing. That were part of that middle school team. They were like sixth graders at that point. So, we just got a good nucleus of kids that really believe in each other and play hard and really bought into what we're preaching this year.
Jon Nelson: I like to kind of break the season up into sections and I refer to it as season one, season two, and season three. Now that you're in season three, season one, your non-region schedule, you had Bacon County, Telfair and Matt Burleson is going to be the other guest on the show this week and he's going to come up after you. And I want to ask about Telfair before you go. Santa Fe out of Florida, Berrien, who's the playoff team, M.C.A., who's a playoff team, Pelham, who made it into the playoffs as well, and then you have your region foes. What did you learn about yourself in your non-region schedule that got you ready for the region of doom, you think?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Well, it's like every game if you go back and look, it was like a one score game. We lost to M.C.A. and Berrien, who were both in the second round of playoffs teams, really good football teams by one score games. And then we were also able to win an overtime game, uh, I believe were beat Pelham and Bacon who are our playoff teams as well by one score. And we wasn't playing a great brand of football, but we were learning how to win close games. And I literally kept telling them at some point, at some point, these what these close games are going to pay off because you just can't really simulate being under pressure with 2 minutes left in the game until you're actually in it, and you got to do it. And I can't tell you how many games we've won with our defense on the field, defensive Hail Marys and and having to stop the offense in a two minute drive or whatever at the end of the game and, you know, got us ready for it. We did it in reason had to be tighter, kind of the same way they made a big comeback on us in the fourth quarter was able to find a way to win that the last minute of the game. Friday night, we had to intercept the ball in the red zone with, like, 50 seconds left to steal the game. So, um, you know, all that started in non-regional, so. And then. So, it's kind of it's got us ready for these games and the playoffs where you know as well as I know this is kind of the longest and shortest game you will play all year because every play the game is on the line. So, I was kind of I don't know if that makes sense or not.
Jon Nelson: No, it does because everything's amplified.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Yes. Yes. So, I've been in those moments all year. I think it really got us ready for it, for being in the playoffs.
Hannah Goodin: Our listeners might not know Lanier County as well as you do. Obviously, Coach, give some of your players a shout out here and let's bring some light to them. Who are the leaders on your team?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Well, we got five seniors. Jaylon Calhoun is our starting running back, who's currently committed to Northern Illinois, and he went over a thousand yards Friday night. Jamir Glenn is our leading tackler and also the Defensive Player of the Year of the Region and Jaylen of the Offensive, Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Region. And both those guys have done a tremendous job. Leading Logan Johnson is another kid who's played wide receiver and safety and done a great job for us and done a good job lead. Daniel Cruz is a our punter and kicker. He was Special Teams Player of the Year in the Region and has been a really a big weapon for us punting and Hank Handley is our starting right guard. He's our other senior. All those guys did a tremendous job leading this team this year.
Hannah Goodin: Well, my last question for you, Coach, and I'm just so excited for the second round of the playoffs, what are your keys to the game, your keys to victory against Willcox?
Jon Nelson: So, basically she wants your game plan. So Rob Stover-.
Hannah Goodin: No, no. I just I just want to know.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Rob is going to listen to this. It's the ultimate test match inbetween me and Rob, this week. But no, I mean, we got to obviously slow them down on offense somehow. And basically, like I told our guys at halftime, I wasn't trying to be prophetic or anything, but we just got to find a way to be one point better than the team you're playing that week. So, and we're going to stick with that.
Hannah Goodin: You stuck. You stuck with that, Coach.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: It was ugly. You know, we have like seven combined turnovers between both of us last week.
Jon Nelson: But.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: But we got it done and that's all that matters in season three is our last call.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: So and that's all that matters at this point in the year.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. I mean it's a one, it was a one score game with Bacon County. Santa Fe was a one score game. Berrien was a one score game. MCA was a one score game. Pelham was a one score game. Turner was the one score game. Miller was a one point game. So now with Matt coming on behind you, if you were to give something of a scouting report or an observation about Telfair since you played them in game number two this year for you, what are some of your takeaways of Telfair County and what they've been able to do this year?
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Matt has done a tremendous job this year he's got arguably, I haven't seen another offensive line that is bigger than what he has, and they're not only big, but they can move. So, they're really big up front. Got some skill, guys; go with it. They're young, I believe, just like we are. The fact that he has many seniors has a very athletic quarterback, and I don't think we're slow on that. We've played solid defense all year, but they're definitely one of the best offenses we've seen all year. And they put it on us, when we went up to McRae earlier in the year.
Jon Nelson: 35- 20, the final. Kurt, congratulations on everything that you've been able to accomplish this season there, Lanier, and fantastic work by everybody down there in Lakeland and Lanier County. Thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. We'll be keeping an eye on what's going on in round two of the playoffs for Lanier County. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Kurt Williams, Lanier County Head Coach: Appreciate it, guys. You can just tell Matt that I went first because I'm better look'n at both.
Hannah Goodin: Oh.
Jon Nelson: Okay, All right.
Hannah Goodin: I will say that
Jon Nelson: There we go. One coach down, one to go. And that means that we go to McCray and catch up with the head coach of Telfair County. It's time to catch up with Matty B.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, Coach, so you're our second guest on today. Before you, we had Lanier County head coach Kurt Williams on, and he said he went first because he was better looking than you. So, what is your reaction to that?
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Well, you know, he meant the face, but I got better hair.
Jon Nelson: That is true.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: We have I definitely have a significant amount more hair than he does on my head.
Jon Nelson: That is that is that is true. I think we can all say that.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Oh, yeah, we've I've got that working for me. Well you know, that's probably good. We're doing a podcast. You know, I have face for radio. I don't know.
Jon Nelson: You're stealing in my lines now, Matt.
Hannah Goodin: That's what Jon says. No, he told us not right before he hung up. And we told him you were coming on. So, seriously, though, you're nine and 2, which is the most wins in almost 30 years. What has this season been like for you?
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Oh, it's been outstanding. Well, first off, you know, we know we kind of had a disappointing year. We had some several injuries, and then we were playing a bunch of puppies last year. But, you know, we have a really small group, but we have a great group of seniors, only six of them. And they really dedicated themselves to be better leaders in the off season. And a good group of what, we have juniors now really fell right in line with those guys, and we had a great all season we did a little GACA weightligting competition and finished second to Boulton and that, you know, who's another outstanding football team that kind of set the tone and you know, we had a a great a great spring and an excellent summer and and led into fall camp and said, you know, we're a lot older and a lot more mature. And a lot of these guys, especially the juniors, have been playing since their freshman year. We kind of took the lumps. But, you know, it's been an amazing year. It's been fun. You know, the community and the school have been so supportive and I know the kids have enjoyed it. You know, that's one thing we referenced all year is, you know, we want to be like the '93 team, which, you know, happens to be the last time we hosted and won a playoff game. And then we have a plaque from the '93 team in our weight room. And we look at that, we look at it and we talk about it every day and reference it as part of our goals. So, that's what that's what we're aiming for. And like I said, the kids and just they've just done an amazing job. They're a fun group to be around. So, it makes the job a lot easier when, you know, you got a great group of kids.
Jon Nelson: One of the things that Kurt also mentioned was your line play, and it and that's on both sides of the ball offensive and defensive and he mentioned just the sheer size that you have there. And obviously if you're winning the battle at the line of scrimmage, you're going to put up the numbers that you have. One of the guys has one of the best. He's on the all nickname team, Hannah, Pancake.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, that's the best.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Yeah., Big Charlie. You know, he's about 6'5", probably 365 pounds, 370 pounds. He's a he's just a big mass of humanity. Well, I tell you what, though, you know, he moves very well for being such a big young man. He bends well, moves well, got good footwork, you know. He didn't play basketball last year because of an ankle injury, but as a sophomore, he made all-region in basketball.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, wow. Now I'm impressed.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Yeah, he would probably like me to point out, you know, we had a pool party during the summer, and he would like to point out that he has a five star receiver in the pool.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, so.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Yeah, we would do a little one-on-ones in the pool. And I mean, he really does. He really has nice, soft hands. That's why he's probably good in the post and basketball. But, you know, he's done an excellent job for us. Oh, just looked at it. Got an O-line coach. He has over 60 pancakes this season.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: So far. So, you know, he's, he's a big part of what we do. And and I said, you know, he's a people mover.
Jon Nelson: Yeah
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: We love him, and we love running behind him. I know. I know our our back. Qua Powell, who's had a outstanding year himself. If he rushes for over 100 yards in a game, he brings a lineman breakfast on Monday. So, um, he's been, uh, I guess he's had to come. He's probably had to get a second job to pay for all of the player, for all of their food or whatever. But it is, it's a, it's a great group of kids and O-line the has done an outstanding job this year. Jacob McMillian you know pound for pound you know he's he looks really small standing next to Charlie at left tackle, but you know he's a big strong kid as well not huge in stature. He gets after. And then we have Wes Pope, center and then Christon Zanders as a freshman but he's about 6'2" to 280 pounds in there. And then Devin McRae, a right tackle, he's committed to Wake Forest University and you know, he's 6' 4" about 280 pounds. So, he's an excellent athlete. You know, he can dunk a basketball. So, it's a good line. It's a you know, they're very strong and powerful. They are very knowledgeable. They do a good job of, uh. You know, I don't want talk about too much now because then we might we might not get the job done over there too early. But I am proud of and I know our O-line our coach, Tyler Pitts, very, very proud of the job they've done thus far. But, you know, we got a we got a very tough task on Friday versus a very stout Early County defense.
Hannah Goodin: We'll keep the pancake tally coming. So, you mentioned that '93 team and a plaque. That's when you made it to the quarterfinals. The team made it to the quarterfinal. So, now this is the farthest you've gotten since then. And here's your path. First round playoffs, you beat ECI 62-37, outstanding game coach. Now you're advancing to play one seed, Early County. So, we hope that you're already getting a plaque for making it to the second round and putting that on the wall next to the '93 one. What is the scouting report on Early County?
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Well, they're a huge team, both in size and in numbers. I think they probably dressed about 85 kids. You know, they're a huge, huge team. And coach does an excellent job with them. They're they're big, they're physical. They move very well. They play a lot of guys on both sides like we do. So, they probably the most physical front we've seen all year. Um, their box, they do a great job of running to the ball. Like I said, they're very physical, they're athletic offensively. You know, they're, they're kind of wing-T by nature, but, you know, they're not afraid to throw it around a little bit either. But they got some I don't know their names, but number one, number two, they- number one, ran wild on Turner County last week. So, we got to do a good job of trying to slow them down a little bit. And it would help, you know, if our offensive line can control the line of scrimmage, that would that would play huge dividends and trying to slow them down. But they're an excellent football team. I know they spent some time as I think maybe the number one team in the state in our classification. You know, they're a very, very good football team. And, you know, we're definitely going to have to bring our A-game over there to see if we can keep this thing rock and roll.
Hannah Goodin: It's your 11th season with Telfair County. What did you say to the players after that first round win against E.C.I.? What was your message to the team?
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Well, the first one was I got to go inside and change clothes because it was cold with that ice water that they had. Someone had snuck up on me and got that one. But, you know, I just told them how proud I was. Of them. You know, we talked about, you know, you know, E.C.I. Is a very storied program and, you know, they're not going to lay down for you if you want it. You just got to go take it. And they came out with the energy and the emotion. And we were looking forward and know one of our our motto since we got here is B.E.E.P, which stands for best effort every play just preaching, just extreme effort all the time. And I really felt like as a team, we went out and gave great effort and and that was kind of the difference in the game is the kids just they just wanted it more. They really wanted that first playoff victory. They really wanted it at home. And they went out and took it. So, I couldn't be prouder, you know, for our kids and all of our kids and for our community and school, you know, it was it was a proud moment. You know, you could really tell that the fans and the community were so excited as well.
Jon Nelson: So last question for you, and thanks for hanging out with us here on the show. Since Kurt was on before, I asked him, since you guys played in week two, what he saw in your team as a bit of a scouting report, since he is now playing also in the second round and they're going to Wilcox County. For someone who has never seen Lanier County play, how would you break down what they do on a game by game basis?
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: First of all, Kurt's done an excellent job over there with that. He's a great guy. I always enjoyed talking to him. And, you know, we've played against each other all year in the region together, you know, and I know we worked together during the summer, but he's done an amazing job over there. Turn that program around, getting their first playoff win in school history. But, you know, they're going, they're going to be physical. You know, they got a couple of great running backs. They got a young quarterback, but he's going to be talented. I thought their offensive line and the defensive line were very physical up front. That's the one, the ones we always compare them to. Um, you know, and Wilcox has got a great team, but I know Coach Williams is going to have his team prepared, and they're going to go out there and get after it. And I think they're going to, you know, give Wilcox everything they want.
Jon Nelson: Well, Matt, thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Congratulations on the win against E.C.I there in McRae, and good luck this weekend as you pack a lunch and dinner and head to Blakely for a game against the number one seed there in Early County. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Matt Burleson, Telfair County Head Coach: Hey, thank you all so much for having us.
Hannah Goodin: So great to catch up with both of those coaches in a single A. And I'm going to jump to the largest classification. So, whiplash, right? To preview our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week. Round two, GHSA Playoffs, Mill Creek versus North Cobb. They're in the top right quadrant, Jon. This one is going to be good.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it is. And I know a lot of folks are looking at these two teams and sitting here saying that, you know, man, we wish this one could have been a lot later the in the schedule. But once again, you lose in region play. This is what happens. You know Mill Creek loses to Buford on Football Friday's North Cobb wins the region. So, we're going to go to North Cobb next week. It's going to be a great game, too. Mill Creek getting some national recognition as a top-25 team on its own. North Cobb has to do it this season. Hannah, you know, without Malachi Singleton, and they've really rebounded well to be a region champ.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I'm impressed.
Jon Nelson: And North Cobb beats Denmark 42-10, and round number one, their Mill Creek beats Meadowcreek one word 59-15. So, that is going to be our game Recruiting 2022 starts everything off at 7:00 on GPB dot org in the GPB Sports app at 7:30 and beyond. It's that game and the postgame show because when the game's over, it ain't over.
Hannah Goodin: And looking ahead, the coin flip. Yes, for the end of the quarterfinal, bottom teams will host.
Jon Nelson: Bottom teams will host if they're the same seeds. And so. We'll keep an eye on that heading into the next round. Speaking of whiplash, we have our results from those who've made the postseason season.
Jon Nelson: Now, Hannah and I, you know, we're kind of watching everybody else.
Hannah Goodin: We are out. Lassiter by losing. Lakeside, by not having a region schedule.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, yeah, we did. We play a non-region schedule.
Hannah Goodin: I was. My Trojans were the first team to be out, right? Correct. I don't. Well, besides you, you don't count. You guys had a great season.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, I lose.
Jon Nelson: Yes. So, there you go.
Hannah Goodin: So, it's official.
Jon Nelson: Yes. And so, it’s officially official. But here's the rundown of everybody here, Jake the Snake and Parkview beat North Paulding 34-28. They go to Westlake in round number two in 7A. That one is upper right. Uh, Commander Sandy, Decatur, 6 and 4. They beat Harris County, and now they. Wow, I'm going to turn to my-. Wow.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Sandy Malcolm: Yikes.
Jon Nelson: You've got Coffee. You got Coffee in the second round.
Sandy Malcolm: That doesn't seem fair.
Jon Nelson: Well but once again, you know it's you Ware County beats Coffee in the winner take all and that means that Coffee travels, and I will say this if you plan on going to the game on Friday night, you will see a lot of folks make the trek from Douglas to be a part of that, be a part of that audience in downtown Decatur. That's going to be-.
Sandy Malcolm: I'll bet they'll travel.
Jon Nelson: They will travel well. Ambassador Jeremy still is unbeaten. 10 and 0 Darlington is now 11 and 0 Darlington. They beat Athens Christian to advance to the second round of the class a D1 playoffs at home. They get Mount Pisgah and that is going to be upper left. And then King James had the tallest order of the bunch, 3 and 7. It was 3 and 7.
Hannah Goodin: Sorry, James. Now you know how it feels.
Jon Nelson: Central Macon went into the playoffs as a four seed. That meant that they had to travel down to Fitzgerald, and they traveled to Fitzgerald lost. They were shut out. But hey at hey.
Hannah Goodin: 41 to nothing.
Jon Nelson: But King James made the playoffs.
Hannah Goodin: He did. I know. I can't laugh. He made the playoffs.
Jon Nelson: And first time ever state playoff game winners, North Atlanta, Walnut Grove, Lanier County. We caught up with Coach Williams and then Cass ended their 40 year playoff drought with a big upset over Jefferson. That's another one of the shockers in round one, Cass knocking off Jefferson in downtown Sammy Brown in 5A. But a lot of good stories here as we head toward round number two.
Hannah Goodin: There is so many good storylines. We have a flag football update for you as well. Triple header in Sharpsburg Thursday, November 17th, Trinity Christian versus East Coweta at 5:45. Trinity versus Northside, Columbus 6:45 East Coweta versus Northside, Columbus 7:45. These stream on GPB.org/Sports should be sports app and all of our social media platforms. Flag football has been a huge hit this year.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's been fun.
Hannah Goodin: All right, Jon, are we ready to get the second round kicked off here?
Jon Nelson: I think officially so. So, that's going to be a show. So, for everyone behind the glass, traditionally, we couldn't do the show without them. So, let me see if I can get this right. It's Jake the Snake. It's Ambassador Jeremy. It's Commander Sandy. It is King James. For everybody behind the glass, it makes it go all season.
Hannah Goodin: And for everyone who loves to put up their Christmas decorations in November.
Jon Nelson: Oh that. That. Sorry. This is a false out. I'm going to turn again. I'm going to turn again this way. All right.
Hannah Goodin: No. No. No. No. I was just sneaking that in there. Just sneaking that in there.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. No, no, you can't. No, no, you can't sneak that. No.
Sandy Malcolm: She brought it up.
Jon Nelson: All right. We're taking we are taking a straw poll in the show. When do you put your holiday decorations up? Do you wait for Christmas until after Thanksgiving? Apparently, obviously, Hannah does not.
Sandy Malcolm: I'm an after Thanksgiving, for sure.
Hannah Goodin: What?!
Jon Nelson: Holiday at a time, people. It's a holiday at a time.
Sandy Malcolm: After? James, after. Jeremy, after.
Hannah Goodin: Looks like I'm the only right one here.
Jon Nelson: Wha —
Hannah Goodin: And I'm the only correct one here.
Jon Nelson: And the only modest one as well.
Hannah Goodin: You. Pumpkins are out. Pumpkins come down.
Jon Nelson: But that means the turkeys are in! You can't skip a holiday!
Hannah Goodin: Christmas decorations in my family.
Jon Nelson: You can't skip a holiday!
Hannah Goodin: You know, the only thing we won't do is put the lights on the outside because we don't want to.
Jon Nelson: You may as well go ahead and do that.
Hannah Goodin: Every single Christmas decoration I own is out.
Jon Nelson: Except for the lights, apparently.
Hannah Goodin: Pumpkins are in the compost.
Jon Nelson: As they should be.
Hannah Goodin: Christmas time.
Jon Nelson: No!
Hannah Goodin: Christmas music is playing.
Jon Nelson: No!
Hannah Goodin: We have the balsam candles lit. It's time.
Jon Nelson: No, it's not. And we're going to continue to argue this. All right. For everybody here at GPB. Thanks for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. We're going to continue to argue this point about when you put your holiday decorations up. If you're Hannah, she may as well just go ahead and pull up her St. Patrick's Day decorations because obviously it is time to do that. So, for everybody here. Thanks for hanging out with us. It's round two, folks. Enjoy. We'll see you next time. Play it safe. No, you cannot. No, no, no, no, no.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Jon Nelson: No. No. You can't do that. That is a holiday violation.