Friday rewind: Marist takes out Griffin, takes aim at Buford

Coach Alan Chadwick did it again.

In his 30th season, the legendary Marist coach took an outmanned team on the road and defeated a more-talented squad in the playoffs. This time defending champion Griffin was Chadwick's victim.

Griffin had won 26 straight games, with its last loss at home coming in 2012. Loaded with next-level talent at wide receiver, the Bears were averaging 45.2 points per game and had barely been tested this season. The Bears were the faster team by “1,000 percent,” according to Chadwick, but were missing starting quarterback Anforne Stroud. Marist took advantage, picking off Griffin backup Tylan Morton twice in a 31-21 upset.

Now, the War Eagles face an even more daunting task in the form of juggernaut Buford, winner of 37 straight games. Marist will again be on the road and again will be the lesser talented team. But is anymore ready to complete rule out another Chadwick-led upset?

Notes

--Cartersville knocked off Baldwin 34-3 Friday, continuing the Purple Hurricanes’ impressive stretch of defense. Cartersville has not allowed a team to score more than six points in its last eight games. The Purple Hurricanes will host Sandy Creek in the Class AAAA quarterfinals.

--St. Pius X scored 28 points in the third quarter, including three long touchdown runs, to pull away from Eastside, Covington and advance to the quarterfinals of the Class AAAA playoffs. Dalton Wilson opened the second half with a 64-yard touchdown run just 20 seconds into the third quarter. Joey Connors and Reed Egan tacked on touchdown runs of 58 and 46 yards respectively, and Egan threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Connor Hild to cap the Golden Lions’ scoring in the third quarter. This is the fourth straight season St. Pius has reached the quarterfinals of the playoffs. The Golden Lions will face West Laurens, with the site to be determined by a coin flip. West Laurens, making its first playoff appearance since 2005, knocked off Stephens County to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994.

--No. 1 Buford, the lone undefeated team in Class AAAA, defeated Mary Persons 35-14 for its 37th consecutive win. The Wolves are shooting for their third straight state championship, after winning the Class AAA title the previous two seasons. Buford has reached at least the quarterfinals of the state playoffs in 16 consecutive seasons.

--Woodward Academy running back Elijah Holyfield, the son of boxing great Evander Holyfield, rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead the War Eagles to a 28-6 win over Burke County. Darien Wiggins had a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown for the War Eagles. Woodward Academy, in its first season in Class AAAA, will host North Oconee in the quarterfinals. North Oconee advanced with a 14-7 win over Cairo.