There were misses on three first-round matchups.
- Hart vs. Ringgold was a statistical draw (both teams predicted to score 21 points), according to the Maxwell Projections. I selected Hart County to prevail, but Ringgold won 30-21. At least the computer predicted Hart County’s point total correctly.
- A more-forgivable miss came from a No. 4 seed, Region 8′s Stephens County, providing a bracket-busting upset of Region 6 No. 1-seed Rockmart (27-13). Stephens County was considered a favorite by the Maxwell Projections, which predicted a 21-14 victory for the Yellow Jackets. Now, Stephens advances to the second round for the first time since 2014.
- The other miss overlooked a Dawson County program that just wanted a second-round game more than Sandy Creek. Dawson, the No. 2 seed from Region 7, was a 32-17 underdog, according to the Maxwell Projections, but the Tigers overcame – and nearly reversed the odds -- for a 36-17 victory. Dawson County has advanced to the second round in each of the past four seasons, but has not been past the that round since a quarterfinal appearance in 2015, when the Tigers won their first and only region title in program history.
[Coming Thursday: Second-round predictions.]
3A second-round schedule
R3#2 Southeast Bulloch at R5#1 Cedar Grove
R8#2 Oconee County at R2#1 Crisp County
R1#2 Appling County at R7#1 Cherokee Bluff
R6#2 Ringgold at R4#1 Thomson
R8#4 Stephens County at R4#2 Burke County
R5#2 Carver-Atlanta at R3#1 Liberty County
R2#2 Peach County at R8#1 Monroe Area
R7#2 Dawson County at R1#1 Pierce County