First round playoff wrap up

Four of the eight higher private seeds fall

The upset bug was out and biting in the private playoff bracket, as half of the higher seeds went down. On the public side, all but one of the higher seeds will move into the second round. Here’s a recap:


Upper Left Bracket

No. 24 Holy Innocents (6-5) 44, No. 9 Mount de Sales (9-2) 21

The Bears went down to Macon and pulled off the biggest upset of Round 1. Holy Innocents' triple option attack was paced by sophomore speedster Tyquann Alexander and junior battering ram Michael Cox, who scored two touchdowns apiece. Next Up: at No. 8 Calvary Day (9-1)

No. 16 Mount Vernon Presbyterian (8-3) 41, No. 17 Savannah Country Day (7-4) 28 

Mt. Vernon has won a first round playoff game for the second consecutive season as the Mustangs outscored the Hornets who lost three of their last four games after starting the season 6-1. Mount Vernon hosted Savannah Country Day and made sure to put on a show. Mount Vernon scored 28 unanswered for a demanding lead. After a Savannah Country touchdown, Mount Vernon added another touchdown for a 34-7 lead. Savannah Country would cut the deficit just before half, making it 34-14 at half. Up by 20 and late in the third quarter, Mount Vernon extended the lead to 41-14. Looking to make a late comeback, Savannah County cut the lead to 41-28 in the fourth, but that ended up being all they could do. Mount Vernon advances with the 41-28 lead at home. Next Up: at No. 1 Athens Academy (10-0)

Lower Left Bracket

No. 21 Brookstone (7-4) 28, vs. No. 12 Christian Heritage (7-4) 7

Brookstone won its first playoff game since 2008 and its first road playoff game since 1993. The Cougars played like this wasn't an upset. Senior running back Jeremiah Burgess had 21 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns, junior Clark Smith had 13 carries for 71 yards and one touchdown, sophomore Rylan Cowart had 18 carries for 86 yards, and senior Chris Edmonds had four catches for 104 yards and one touchdown. "Our defense played great," Brookstone head coach Blair Harrison told the Columbus Enquirer. "(Christian Heritage) had one explosive play the entire game. Our offense protected the ball. We did not have a turnover. I am so happy for our program. Chris Edmonds was unstoppable when we threw it to him. (Quarterback) Ben Sloan managed the game very well, and our three running backs all had big nights. But our defense were the stars tonight. They were challenged, and they responded." Next Up: at No. 5 North Cobb Christian.

No. 13 Wesleyan (7-4) 10, No. 20 Tattnall Square (6-5) 8No offensive points for either team in the second half allowed Wesleyan to hang on for a hard-fought victory over visiting Tattnall Square. Donald Conley got the scoring started for Wesleyan with a 35-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter. The Trojans answered with a six-yard score by Jamal Marshall before the Wolves tacked on a 48-yard field goal from Harrison Larner as time expired in the first half. Wesleyan appeared to seal the deal when it made a defensive stand at its own nine-yard line, turning over Tattnall Square on downs with 1:42 remaining. After a three-and-out near their own end zone, however, the Wolves took a safety on purpose rather than punting. An ensuing free kick prevented the Trojans from gaining favorable field position and they failed to engineer a potential game-winning drive. Next Up: at No. 4 Prince Avenue Christian (9-1)

Upper Right Bracket

No. 23 Riverside Military (6-5) 24, No. 10 George Walton Academy (8-3) 14

Jordan Battle ran for 191 yards and a touchdown, senior quarterback Isaac Teasley had two total scores as the Eagles stunned the Bulldogs. "Our kids did a phenomenal job of sticking to their guns, executing the game plan we emphasized all week and just trusting the process," Riverside Military coach Nick Garrett told the Gainesville Times. "The kids stepped up and made phenomenal plays on both sides of the ball, and the George Walton coach said it best: We just completely outschemed them, outplayed them and out-physicaled them. And when you do that, you win games." George Walton broke the scoreless tie minutes into the game, though Riverside Military was quick to answer back, and then some. Teasley put the Eagles on the board on a 1-yard quarterback run, and a missed extra point cut it to 7-6 with 4:31 left in the first. Minutes later, a Battle 61-yard scoring scamper put the Eagles ahead, 13-7. A 10-yard rushing score put George Walton Academy ahead a second time, 14-13 at the half. But in the second half, a Teasley 54-yard touchdown strike to Jashod Dabney and successful two-point conversion gave Riverside Military the lead for good. Khalid Duke also converted a fourth-and 7 into a 26-yard run to help milk the clock with under five minutes left to play. A Michael Madichie 36-yard field goal stretched Riverside Military's lead to 10 with 2:03 left. Also for the Eagles, Harry Kim led the defense with 15 tackles. Next Up: at No. 7 Fellowship Christian (9-1)

No. 18 Hebron Christian (6-5) 28, No. 15 Mount Paran Christian (7-4) 10

Hebron Christian rallied with 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points to upend Mount Paran Christian 20-10 in the first round of the Class A-private playoffs on Friday night at Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium. A 48-yard touchdown pass from the Lions' Colten Gauthier to Jeffrey Saturday tied the game 10-10 with 8:40 to play. An interception by Logan Johnson set up Gauthier's 8-yard touchdown run and gave Hebron Christian its first lead, 17-10, with 5:34 to go. On the next snap, the Eagles lost a fumble with the Lions' Trey Staley recovering at Mount Paran's 14-yard line. Meek kicked a 21-yard field goal to increase Hebron Christian's lead to 20-10 with 3:25 remaining. Another turnover, an interception by the Lions' Jack Ihm, sealed the victory. "I was proud of the guys for just keeping it close," Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan told the Marietta Daily Journal. "Finally, we ran out of gas a bit and they made some plays. That's what happens in the playoffs. We had some turnovers and they made some big plays, and that was the difference." Next Up: at No. 2 Savannah Christian (9-1)

Lower Right Bracket

No. 11 Aquinas (9-2) 30, No. 22. Stratford Academy (5-6) 14

Aquinas is moving on after defeating the Eagles in a rematch of the regular season finale, which Stratford won 17-14. The Irish battled back to beat the Eagles 30-14 on Friday night in the first round. It marks a revenge win after falling to Stratford Academy 17-14 the previous week in a Region 7-A crossover game. Comebacks have become the norm for Aquinas this season, even in the crossover loss when a late rally fell just short. The visitors jumped out to a 14-0 lead Friday night thanks to a trick play and long touchdown run, but Aquinas rallied to take a 17-14 lead at the half. J.P. Lambert had a 66-yard touchdown run, Patrick Lovering kicked a 41-yard field goal and Lambert connected with Kam Brinson on a 52-yard touchdown pass. Lovering added field goals of 36 and 34 yards in the second half, and Lambert added an 8-yard run late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Lambert totaled 188 passing yards and 97 rushing yards, while A.J. Williams rushed for 107 yards. Aquinas will travel to Darlington in the second round. Darlington knocked the Irish out of the playoffs in the first round last year, 33-14. Next Up: at No. 8 Darlington (8-2)

No. 14 Trinity Christian (8-3) 52, No. 19 Whitefield Academy (6-5) 7Trinity Christian scored 30 points off seven Whitfield Academy turnovers and rolled to a 52-7 victory in the opening round of the Class A-Private school playoffs on Friday. Zach Seymour ran for 15 yards to cap off an eight play 60-yard drive for the first of his two touchdowns to give the Lions a 7-0 on its first possession. Kaleb Brooks fumbled on the ensuing Wolfpack drive which would be a harbinger of things to come. "We can't win when we're making those type of mistakes," Wolfpack coach Coleman Joiner said to the Marietta Daily Journal. "We have to make sure we close out moments and we didn't do that tonight." Lions kicker Ethan Aldridge made field goals of 45 and 49-yards on the next two drives and then Seymour added a 45-yard run to make the score 19-0. The Wolfpack had a snap on a punt go through the end zone with 45 seconds left in the half and went into the locker room trailing 22-0. "I just told them to keep fighting," Joiner said. "I wanted to them to know that we still had a chance if we kept on battling." With 8 minutes left in the third quarter, the Wolfpack finally got on the scoreboard. Backup quarterback Davis Eaton threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Carson Sanders. The score was 22-7. Eaton replaced Cole Peterson who left the game with an apparent concussion. Next Up: at No. 3 ELCA (9-1)


Upper Left Bracket

No. 9 Commerce (9-2) 42, No. 24 Seminole County (5-6) 6 
For the fifth-straight season, the Tigers are still standing after the first round of the Class A Public state playoffs. Quarterback Nate Ray led the Tigers' attack with 47 yards on the ground and one score. He also threw two passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Sam Roach and Caleb Mason were on the receiving end of Ray's 54-and 65-yard touchdown strikes, respectively. Dajuan Wood had one carry for a 37-yard touchdown. In total, the Tigers' offense totaled 294 yards and gained nine first downs. The Tigers' defense did its job to help out the offense. T.J. Trudnak returned an Indians' fumble 36 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers held the Indians to only 116 total yards and five first downs. Next Up: at No. 8 Mitchell County (9-1)

No. 16 Miller County (7-3) 13, No. 17 Turner County (6-5) 6

Next Up: at No. 1 Irwin County (10-0)

Lower Left Bracket

No. 12 Chattahoochee County (8-3) 22, No. 21 Macon County (5-6) 14
Next Up: at No. 5 Greene County

No. 13 Emanuel County Institute 42, No. 20 Manchester 20

Next Up: at No. 4 Pelham

Upper Right Bracket

No. 10 Trion 20, No. 23 Wilcox County 19

Next Up: at No. 7 Schley County

No. 18 Montgomery County 37, No. 15 Claxton 12

Next Up: at No. 2 Marion County 

Lower Right Bracket

No. 11 Charlton County 38, No. 22 Taylor County 0

Next Up: at No. 6 Clinch County 

No. 14 Dooly County 28, No. 19 Hancock Central 14

Next Up: at No. 3 Mt. Zion-Carroll