Credit: Predictions by Adam Krohn
Credit: Predictions by Adam Krohn
As you can see, I got some stuff wrong! Let’s start with my most blatant misfire — picking the Vidalia Indians to reach the semifinals.
Heading into the playoffs, the Indians were riding a seven-game win streak that earned them the Region 2 championship, and they have a first-year coach in Jason Cameron, who led Jenkins to the 3A semifinals last year and the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018. They appeared to have all the momentum needed to make a deep playoff run, so I was willing to overlook the fact that their first-round opponent, the Bleckley County Royals, had already beaten them at their place, 21-14 on Sept. 25.
Whoops. That was a big oversight.
This time around, the matchup wasn’t even close. The Royals won convincingly, nearly matching their season-high for points in a 56-15 route. In doing so, the Royals became the only No. 4 seed to advance in 2A, and only one of two No. 4 seeds to advance in any classification, with Upson-Lee in 3A being the other.
Not bad for a Royals team that closed the season with back-to-back losses to Northeast and Washington County, which booted them from the polls and caused them to go from being ranked No. 4 in the state to becoming the No. 4 seed in their region.
So now what to make of the Royals? Up next they play the No. 6 Early County Bobcats, a No. 3 seed from Region 1. There’s no recent history between those two, who last played each other in 2012. For the purposes of my predictions, the Royals can take Vidalia’s spot for now, so I pick them to beat Early County. Taking a longview, at this point Rabun County is now my favorite to come out of that quadrant.
Pace Academy was also another team I picked to win more than one game that didn’t escape the first round. The Knights had a 21-7 lead over Fannin County in the second half, but the Rebels rallied in front of the home crowd to escape with a 28-21 win.
The Rebels will now host Heard County. I don’t know what to make of that game, especially with the Braves struggling to eke out a 31-28 win over a Union County team that Maxwell’s projections favored them to beat by 17. The Braves have been streaky all season, though, winning their first four, losing their next three, winning their next two and then losing to Callaway in the regular season finale when a win would have given them the Region 5 title.
If the best version of the Braves shows up, I believe they’ll win. Anything less and the Rebels advance to the quarterfinals.
The other two picks I got wrong were both Bulldogs: I had Toombs County beating Northeast and Washington beating Model. However, I didn’t have either Bulldogs team advancing past the second round, and I don’t see Model beating Rabun County or Northeast beating Fitzgerald.
In total, I picked 12 of 16 first round games correctly when counting Banks County’s forfeit to Callaway. That’s good for a 75-percent average. My two finalists — Thomasville and Fitzgerald — looked strong in Round 1.
- Cedric Seabrough, following his final game as a Swainsboro Tiger, was named the team’s co-player of the week along with freshman Daron Coleman. Seabrough, a 3-star receiver-tight end, is committed to N.C. State along with his twin brother, 3-star receiver-tight Fredrick Seabrough.
- Northeast Raiders quarterback Travion Solomon has passed for more than 2,000 yards this season, becoming the first in program history to do so according to Raiders coach Jeremy Wiggins. He was also named Macon Touchdown Club’s co-back of the week.
- The GHSA held an executive committee meeting on Monday, most notably closing a loophole in the by-laws that several high-profile transfers exploited. Read the new by-law in the meetings summary here, and listen to how the transfers gained eligibility in Episode 8 of The Class 2A Blogcast.
- Fannin County quarterback Luke Holloway was named The Friday Night Press Box’s player of the week for his performance in a Round 1 win over Pace Academy.
- The Early County Bobcats got their playoff win since 2015 by beating Putnam County 48-7 on Saturday, but coach Joel Harvin paid the price for doing so.
- In light of Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller’s historic debut for the Commodores, AllOnGeorgia’s Casie Bryant profiles Chattooga kicker Caroline Hodges.
- Anfernee Patterson covered South Atlanta’s historic 26-14 win over Chattooga for The Atlanta Voice, along with a highlight reel.
- Here are final recap pictures of the Toombs County Bulldogs, who saw their season end at 7-4 with a Round 1 loss to Northeast.
- Here’s footage of the Model community celebrating the Blue Devils’ win at Washington upon the team bus’ return.
- Here’s former Callaway standout Braylon Sanders making a big play in the Egg Bowl for Ole Miss last Saturday.
- This picture by WMAZ’s Avery Braxton of the Toombs County-Northeast game, played at Henderson Stadium in Macon, shows a not-ideal scenario when it comes to a state playoff game: it’s being played mid-Saturday instead of under the Friday night lights and the crowd is sparse. But still, football is being played and for that, Georgia high school football fans can be thankful.
- Though the Westside Patriots lost to Thomasville in Round 1 on Saturday to end their season, they can celebrate their first winning season since 2006 and first playoff appearance since 2013. Second-year coach Jon Wiley is turning the program around, as the Patriots endured three consecutive 1-9 seasons before his arrival in 2019, when they went 3-7.
- Bleckley County’s players of the week for the Royals’ big win over Vidalia includes Dom Sasser (overall), Willie Harris (defense), Conner Brady (offense) and Shon Jenkins (special teams).
- Fannin County’s Chad Cheatham has been nominated for NWGAFootball’s coach of the year. The Rebels are 9-0 and just won their first playoff game in a quarter-century.
- Pepperell’s DJ Rogers has been selected to play in the Georgia Elite Classic.
- AJC contributor and Score Atlanta managing editor Craig Sager II recently interviewed GHSA executive director Robin Hines on a number of topics.
- A number of 2A schools made this list compiled by GHSF Daily and are glad they did.
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