Class 2A blog: Quarterfinals recap

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Thomasville tops Rabun County; Fitzgerald hands Putnam County its only loss; Swainsboro needs 2 overtimes; defending champs Callaway advance

With Friday’s quarterfinals played, we have quadrant winners and a final four. Let’s take a look:

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Credit: Courtesy of GHSA

Credit: Courtesy of GHSA

We’ll start in the lower-right quadrant, where the most-watched game in the state took place in South Georgia. The No. 2 Thomasville Bulldogs hosted the top-ranked Rabun County Wildcats and won 49-24, ending the record-breaking career of Georgia commit Gunner Stockton.

All eyes were on 2A for this matchup, televised on PeachtreeTV. Color commentator Rusty Mansell said it was the most-watched game for their network this season.

The Bulldogs (12-1) were too much for the Wildcats (11-2), outscoring them every quarter save the fourth, where each team had a touchdown. The Bulldogs led 14-7 after one quarter, 28-14 at the half and 42-17 after three.

A number of media outlets covered the game, including Blitz, the Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Moultrie Observer and accessWDUN.

According to Blitz, Stockton had 158 passing yards, 82 rushing yards and three touchdowns — two passing, one rushing. He fell 258 yards short of Trevor Lawrence’s career passing yards record, though at earlier points in the season he broke Lawrence’s career record for touchdown passes and Deshaun Watson’s career combined passing-rushing yardage and touchdown records.

According to the Times-Enterprise, the Bulldogs rushed for 307 yards and quarterback Shannen White threw for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

The Wildcats were seeking a second straight trip the semifinals and third trip since 2017 after having never been that far before. They reached at least the quarterfinals for a seventh year in a row.

The Bulldogs are in the semis for the second time in three years.

In the upper-right quadrant, the defending champion Callaway Cavaliers beat the South Atlanta Hornets 39-22.

The Hornets (11-2), who were in the quarterfinals for the first time under first-year coach Michael Woolridge, took charge in the first half, staking a 16-7 lead that became 22-14 at the half.

However, the Cavs would outscore the Hornets 25-0 in the second half.

Hornets junior running back Keyjaun Brown rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries. In the Hornets’ only two losses this season — the other was their season-opener against Heard County — Brown didn’t rush for a touchdown — though he had a receiving touchdown.* He finished the season as the state’s leading rusher with 2,757 yards, adding 38 touchdowns.

Woolridge is hoping Brown’s 2021 campaign bolsters his recruiting. He holds Power 5 offers from Arkansas and Virginia, with Ohio State and South Carolina showing interest.

The Cavs (10-2) were led by Amarion Truitt’s 137 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Kier Jackson had two rushing scores and 25 yards on five carries. Deshun Coleman was 16-for-22 passing for 286 yards and a touchdown to Treyonn Tucker (34 yards on two catches). Andrew Locke (90-2) and Carlos Billingslea (82-7) were Coleman’s top targets.

The Cavs are in the semis for the fourth year in a row, fifth time in six years and sixth time since 2013 and will travel to Thomasville next week. They hosted and beat the Bulldogs 34-21 in last year’s quarterfinals.

In the upper-left quadrant, the Swainsboro Tigers hosted and beat the Northeast Raiders 12-9 in two overtimes.

The game started with a safety from each team and the score tied at 2 after one quarter. Ty Adams’ 1-yard rushing touchdown with five minutes left in the half gave the Tigers a 9-2 lead they’d hold until four minutes left in the game, when the Raiders’ Travion Solomon rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to tie the game.

After a scoreless first overtime, the Tigers (11-2) kicked a field goal to win and advance to the semis for the first time since winning 3A in 2000. They deny the Raiders (9-4), who before this season had never reached the quarterfinals, their first trip to the final four.

WMAZ has highlights.

In the lower-left quadrant, the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane topped the Putnam County War Eagles 21-7. Media coverage and info on MaxPreps was non-existent as of Sunday morning, so I’ll have more on this game Tuesday.

The Cane (11-2) are in the semifinals for the second year in a row, third time in four years and sixth time in eight years. The War Eagles (12-1) reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 1996, when they reached the 1A championship.

The Cane now travel to Swainsboro to play a Tigers team they beat 27-12 in the second round of the 2018 playoffs, when the current seniors were freshman.

Check back Tuesday for more analysis and another episode of The Class 2A Blogcast.

*An earlier version of this story stated that Hornets running back Keyjaun Brown was held out of the end zone.

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