Class 3A blog: Breaking down 8 unpredictable Round 2 matchups

The opening round of the playoffs featured some levels of predictability. But in the second round, there are eight quality matchups, some toss-ups, some possible blowouts and games that could provide solid upsets.

So let’s take a glance at each quadrant of the bracket to see what we can see:

Class 3A

Top-left quadrant

R8 #4 Monroe Area at R5 #3 Carver-Atlanta

Carver quarterback Bryce Bowens is 130-of-222 passing for 1,827 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has seven touchdown runs on 36 carries. Senior Shoun Bilal has 91 carries for 537 yards and four touchdowns. Z’yeek Mender and Deandre Buchannon have combined for 14 touchdown receptions. … Monroe Area quarterback Jeremiah Anderson is 97-of-140 passing for 1,484 yards and nine touchdowns and has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Junior Darrion Manuel has 103 carries for 705 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Alan Jones Jr. has 79 carries for 640 yards and nine touchdowns.

R3 #3 Liberty County at R1 #1 Thomasville

Thomasville has talent all over the field. Freshman quarterback Camren Hill is 89-of-159 passing for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns. Freshman Lavonte Cole leads rushers with 87 carries for 424 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Jay Randall has 130 carries for 769 yards and seven touchdowns. Cole Shaw and D.J. Thurman have combined for 12 touchdown receptions. Randall has four touchdown receptions. … Liberty County quarterback Carlos Keverene Singleton is 123-of-200 passing for 1,832 yards and 14 touchdowns. James Summerset is the leading receiver with 33 catches for 670 yards and seven touchdowns. Paul Brown has 104 carries for 694 yards and eight touchdowns.

Bottom-left quadrant

R5 #2 Sandy Creek at R8 #1 Stephens County

Sandy Creek quarterback Geimere Latimere is 121-of-210 passing for 1,943 yards and 27 touchdowns. Latimere also has 89 carries for 483 yards and eight touchdowns. Amari Latimere has 103 carries for 607 yards and seven touchdowns. Five other Sandy Creek players have combined for 10 touchdown runs. Senior Cameron Watts has 27 receptions for 562 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead Patriots receivers. … Stephens County quarterback Ben Stowe is 107-of-193 passing for 1,757 yards and 17 touchdowns. Cam’Ron Lacy has 40 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns. Sophomore Javin Gordon leads the run game with 174 carries for 969 yards and 13 touchdowns.

R3 #2 Savannah Christian at R2 #1 Peach County

Savannah Christian wants to prove its worth. Its only loss this season came in a 6-point game against No. 2-ranked Calvary Day. … Peach is looking for answers after it lost two key players against Crisp County in the first round: linebacker/tight end Skielar Mann and wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Mitchell. Mann has an apparent ACL injury and Mitchell will miss at least a week on concussion protocol. Michell had a 62-yard touchdown reception against Crisp, and Mann has been an anchor for the Peach defense. “It’s like losing four players,” Campbell told the Leader-Tribune, because both are two-way players. “We’re looking for someone to step up.”

Top-right quadrant

R1 #3 Dougherty at R3 #1 Calvary Day

Eyes will be on quarterback Jake Merklinger to lead Calvary Day into the quarterfinals against, possibly, Cedar Grove in what would be one of the best matchups of the season. Merklinger is 83-of-122 passing for 1,828 yards and 32 touchdowns, 12 of those passes to Michael Smith, nine to Caden Arnold and eight to Edward Coleman. Antonio Butts Jr. has 65 carries for 581 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead rushers.

R8 #2 Hebron Christian at R5 #1 Cedar Grove

Defending-champion Cedar Grove is the team to beat and has been all season. The Saints are coming off a 48-7 victory against Bremen in the first round. Hebron beat Pickens 63-14. Cedar Grove junior quarterback Gavin Hall has 17 touchdown passes and 30 touchdown runs. He has rushed 238 times for 2,333 yards and is 92-of-177 passing for 1,680 yards.

Bottom-right quadrant

R1 #2 Carver-Columbus at R4 #1 Harlem

Carver-Columbus quarterback Navelle Dean is 69-of-140 passing for 913 yards and nine touchdowns. Senior back Jamari Riley has 169 carries for 1,297 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior De’Ante Childs has 70 carries for 524 yards and eight touchdowns, and Dean has three touchdown runs. … Harlem quarterback Ryan Newman is 71-of-132 passing for 1,145 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jason Williams leads rushers with 188 carries for 1,341 yards and 21 touchdowns. Jon Jon Howard has 34 receptions for 688 yards and nine touchdown receptions.

R8 #3 Oconee Co. at R6 #1 Adairsville

Adairsville runs a lot; Oconee County is going to have to stop it. Adairsville junior running backs Ethan Blome and senior Chris Roper have combined for 36 touchdown runs, with 21 coming from Roper and 15 from Blome. Quarterback Jonathan Gough is 59-of-120 passing for 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns. Grayson Belcher leads with 16 catches for 337 yards and five touchdowns …. Oconee County is coming off a 49-21 victory against Lumpkin County in the first round.