Class 2A blog: Round 2 recap

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Credit: Adam Krohn

Northeast, South Atlanta in quarterfinals for 1st time; Putnam County pulls off last-second win

Class 2A is down to eight teams and those that got this far can officially consider themselves state championship contenders.

Here is the updated bracket following Round 2:

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Credit: Courtesy of GHSA

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The Northeast Raiders went to top-seeded Haralson County and edged the Rebels 26-20 in a game they never trailed.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took charge with a 20-6 run in the second quarter, then added another touchdown in the fourth.

Travion Solomon was 17-for-24 passing for 254 yards and a touchdown while rushing 13 times for 72 yards and a score. D’icey Hopkins lone carry was for a 23-yard touchdown and he had five catches for 64 yards and another score. Tyler Terry led the Raiders with 96 yards on 16 carries, also scoring a touchdown.

The Raiders (9-3) are in the quarterfinals for the first time in a program that dates to 1970.

The Rebels finish 10-2 in a historic season for the program. They won their first region title and playoff game and tied their high for wins in a season, set in 1990. The program began in 1968.

The Swainsboro Tigers rolled to a 41-14 over Columbia at home, beating the Eagles and first-round opponent Laney a combined 89-22.

The Eagles had pulled to within 21-14 early in the second half before the Tigers closed on a 20-0 run. Ty Adams led the way, accounting for the team’s first four touchdowns, rushing for three and throwing for another.

The Tigers (10-2) are in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. They’ll host the Raiders next week.

The Eagles finished 8-4 and made huge strides under second-year coach Greg Barnett, winning their first playoff game since 1997 and coming within four points of the Region 6 title. The win total was their highest since 2005.

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For the second postseason in a row, the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane beat the Fannin County Rebels in Blue Ridge, this time coming away with a 28-14 win.

The game was tied at 14 until early in the fourth quarter, when Denorris Goodwin’s 9-yard rushing touchdown with 10 minutes to go put the Cane ahead for good. Two minutes later, after intercepting the Rebels, Goodwin gave the Cane breathing room by throwing an 18-yard touchdown to bring the score to its final margin.

The Cane (10-2) are in the quarterfinals for the second year in a row, third time in four seasons, and sixth in the last eight. In all, they’ve advanced this far 11 times since 2008.

The Rebels finish 10-2, and as two-time defending champions of Region 7. They reached the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year — a record for the program that began in 1976.

The Putnam County War Eagles rallied for a 28-24 win over the Lovett Lions, advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1996 — the only other season they won 12 games.

The War Eagles improved to 12-0.

The War Eagles trailed 21-6 at halftime but closed on a 22-3 run, including a 15-0 third quarter to tie it. Lovett took a 24-21 lead with eight minutes left, but the War Eagles won with 10 seconds left on Cedrion Brundage’s quarterback keeper. The War Eagles’ starting quarterback, Gerald Kilgore, sprained his ankle during the game and was not on the field for the go-ahead score.

Before the injury, Kilgore finished with 105 rushing yards on seven carries and was 11-for-19 passing for 176 yards and two touchdowns to two interceptions. War Eagles coach Shaun Pope said Kilgore will be fine for next round.

The Lions finished 8-4 and will move to Class 4A next season, joining Pace Academy in Region 5.

Putnam County will host Fitzgerald next week.

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The South Atlanta Hornets are continuing to build off last year’s historic season with more history this year. After winning their first region title and playoff game in 2020, the repeat 6-2A champs edged the Westside Patriots 22-17 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

Hornets running back Keyjuan Brown led the way with 199 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, per coach Michael Woolridge.

The Hornets (11-1) took the lead for good with 8:42 left in the third and that score held.

The Patriots (9-3), under second-year coach Lee Hutto, had their best season since 2002, when they also went 9-3 and reached the second round.

The defending champion Callaway Cavaliers dominated the Bleckley County Royals for a 35-14 road win. Daniel Evans of The LaGrange Daily News has details.

The Cavs (9-2) are in the quarterfinals for the sixth year in a row. They’ll play at South Atlanta next week.

For the Royals (11-1) it was the second week in a row they came out flat, and this time they dug themselves too deep of a hole, trailing 28-7 at halftime. The Cavs extended the lead to 35-7 before the Royals scored again.

The Royals turned in a historic campaign, winning their first region title and setting the program record for wins in a season. They started playing football in 1977. They also advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

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Against a Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets defense that came in leading 2A in fewest points allowed (six a game) the Rabun County Wildcats won 56-7. The Jackets hadn’t given up more than 15 points in a single game this year, but the Wildcats surpassed that by taking a 21-0 first-quarter lead and were up 42-0 at halftime.

Wildcats quarterback Gunner Stockton threw for 439 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 60 yards and another three scores. He’s now just 416 yards shy of Trevor Lawrence’s career record of 13,902 passing yards.

The Wildcats (11-1) are in the quarterfinals for the seventh year in a row.

The Jackets (10-2) matched their highest win total since 1997 and advanced in the playoffs for a second consecutive year, the first time they’ve done that since 1989-90.

The Thomasville Bulldogs (11-1) beat the Heard County Braves 42-16 to reach the quarterfinals a third straight year and fourth time in five seasons. The Bulldogs led 28-0 at the half and 42-0 heading into the fourth.

Pat Donahue covered the game for the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

The Braves finish 6-6 in Shane Lasseter’s first season, advancing in the playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Rabun County will now travel to Thomasville as dictated by the GHSA’s universal coin toss, which decides home-field advantage in the case where like seeds meet. Both are No. 1 seeds.

Check back Tuesday for more playoff coverage and a new episode of The Class 2A Blogcast.

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