Class 2A blog: Saturday night recap — Round 1

With the exception of Region 8′s No. 4 seed Banks County forfeiting to the Region 5 champions, No. 8 Callaway, all Class 2A playoff teams took to the field on Saturday — a day later than originally scheduled, as the GHSA postponed the start of the 2A and 4A tournamets due to lack of available game officials.

There were a lot of marquee first-round matchups in Round 1, so let’s take a look at how the teams fared.

For an updated 2A bracket, visit GHSA.net.

Also, check back on Tuesday when we compare my predictions to what actually happened. Spoiler alert: I got some picks wrong.

Upper-left quadrant

  • The No. 3 ranked Thomasville Bulldogs beat the Westside Patriots 42-13 to improve to 7-4. Pat Donahue has a game story for the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. It’s the fourth year in a row the Bulldogs, who are a No. 2 seed from Region 1, have advanced in the playoffs. The Patriots, a No. 3 seed from Region 4, end their season at 6-5 under second-year coach Jon Wiley — their first winning season since 2006.
  • The No. 9 Dodge County Indians beat the Swainsboro Tigers 35-0, advancing to the second round for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. The Region 3-champion Indians are 6-3. The Tigers (4-7), a No. 4 seed from Region 2, endured their first losing season since 2016.
  • The No. 4 Lovett Lions — in the playoffs as a No. 3 seed from Region 6 — went on the road to defeat the Pepperell Dragons 38-17. You can watch the game in its entirety on the Lovett Network and Jeremy Stewart has a game story for the Rome News-Tribune. The Lions improved to 6-2 and advance for the eight time since 2012. The Dragons, a No. 2 seed from Region 7, end their season at 5-5 for their first non-winning season since 2013.

Lower-left quadrant

  • The Model Blue Devils beat the Washington Bulldogs 28-14 for their first playoff win since 2014. The Blue Devils, a No. 3 seed from Region 7, improve to 7-4. The Bulldogs, a No. 2 seed from Region 6, finish 7-3.
  • The No. 2 Rabun County Wildcats beat the Haralson County Rebels 35-7 to advance for the seventh year in a row. Blitz has full coverage. The seven-time Region 8 defending champions are 10-1. The Rebels, a No. 4 seed from Region 5, finish 7-3.
  • The Early County Bobcats, a No. 3 seed from Region 1, defeated Region 4′s No. 2 seed, the Putnam County War Eagles, by a score of 48-7. The Dothan Eagle has details. It was the first playoff win since 2015 for the Bobcats (7-2). The War Eagles (9-2), under third-year coach Shaun Pope, won their most games since 2010 and had their lowest loss total since 2001.
  • The No. 10 Vidalia Indians, Region 2′s champion, were pummeled at home by the Bleckley County Royals, who beat them for a second time this season — this time by a score of 56-15. Dave Whitaker has a writeup for The Bleckley Progress. The Indians finished 7-3 under first-year coach Jason Cameron. The Royals, a No. 4 seed from Region 3, are 7-3. They also beat the Indians 21-14 on Sept. 25 in Vidalia.

Upper-right quadrant

  • The Heard County Braves beat the Union County Panthers 31-28 to improve to 7-4. Todd Forrest has a Twitter thread on the game. The 2018 2A champion Braves are Region 5′s No. 2 seed. The Panthers, a No. 3 seed from Region 8, finish 4-6 for their first losing since 2011.
  • The No. 7-ranked Fannin County Rebels, the Region 7 champions, beat Region 6′s No. 4 seed, the Pace Academy Knights 28-21. You can watch the game in its entirety on YouTube. The Rebels (9-0) have won their first playoff game since 1995 under third-year coach Chad Cheatham. The Knights finish 6-4.
  • The Northeast Raiders beat the Toombs County Bulldogs 27-14 for their first playoff win since 2002. The Raiders, a No. 2 seed from Region 3, are 8-2. The Bulldogs, Region 2′s No. 3 seed, finish 7-4.
  • The top-ranked Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane handily defeated Region 4′s No. 4 seed Oglethorpe County Patriots 58-12 to advance for a third consecutive season. The Purple Hurricane (10-0) are the Region 1 champions. The Patriots (3-8) initially failed to qualify for the playoffs but were gifted an extra game after Laney was forced to forfeit their position as the No. 4 seed. Shortly after the regular season, it was announced that a GHSA investigation found Laney guilty of undue influence.

Lower-right quadrant

  • The Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets beat the Washington County Golden Hawks 28-25 for their first playoff win since 1997. For Jackets fourth-year coach Lance Helton, it was a win over his alma mater. The Jackets, a No. 2 seed from Region 2, are 9-1. The Golden Hawks, a No. 3 seed from Region 3, finish 6-5.
  • The No. 5 Jefferson County Warriors beat the Cook Hornets 36-22 to advance for an eighth consecutive year. The Warriors (8-2) are three-time Region 4 champions. The Hornets, Region 1′s No. 4 seed, finish 5-5.
  • The Bremen Blue Devils defeated the Elbert County Blue Devils 28-21 to advance for the third year in a row. The Blue Devils (7-4), are Region 5′s No. 3 seed. The Blue Devils, the No. 2 seed from Region 8, finish 3-6 for their first losing season since 2008.
  • The South Atlanta Hornets beat the Chattooga Indians 26-14 for their first playoff win in a program that dates back to 1994. The Hornets of Region 6, who are also region champions for the first time in school history, are 7-3. The Indians, the No. 4 seed from Region 7, finish 3-8.

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