Class 3A blog: Cedar Grove, Pierce, Appling, Carver-Atlanta set up impressive semifinals

2020 GHSA football championships at Centre Park Stadium.

Credit: Adam Krohn

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2020 GHSA football championships at Centre Park Stadium.

Credit: Adam Krohn

Credit: Adam Krohn

Two state championship contenders will emerge Friday from the 3A semifinals and will close the season at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium on Dec. 11 at noon.

Here is the 3A semifinal schedule with the quarterfinal recaps:

R1#2 Appling County at R5#1 Cedar Grove

R5#2 Carver-Atlanta at R1#1 Pierce County

Quarterfinals replay:

Pierce County 35, Peach County 30

Defending-state champion Pierce County got past a Peach County program that was one week removed from a takedown of No. 1 Monroe Area. In doing so, Pierce advanced to the semifinals for the third time in program history after 2020′s state championship season under Ryan Herring and 2018′s semifinal exit under Jason Strickland.

Pierce County led 14-0 entering the second quarter, but Peach County cut into the lead and trailed 21-17 at the half. Pierce retook control with two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to lead 35-17. Peach scored 13 points in the final quarter to cut the margin. Pierce will host Carver-Atlanta in the semis.

Cedar Grove 28, Crisp County 6

Crisp County defeated Cedar Grove 16-14 in last year’s quarterfinals, and that didn’t sit well with Cedar Grove’s Arkansas-commit Rashad Dubinion, who scored two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to provide a different result. With five minutes left in the game, Dubinion scored on a 5-yard run, then scored on an 80-yard run with one minute left to seal the victory. Dubinion had three touchdowns.

Appling County 21, Thomson 7

Appling County is in the semifinals for the first time since 2011 after handing Thomson its first loss of the season and ridding the classification of unbeatens. Appling’s final score came right after a 42-yard touchdown run by Taylen Crosby was negated by a holding penalty. On the next play, Crosby lined up in the wildcat formation and instead of running, he passed to an open Dawson Griffis, setting up Crosby’s 3-yard touchdown run on the next play. Darian Smith scored on a 38-yard run, and Dayson Smith scored on a 2-yard run. The game was tied 7-7 at the half before Appling’s two third-quarter touchdowns. Thomson’s only touchdown was a pass from Tay Martin to Ashton Perry with 5:04 left in the second quarter.

Carver-Atlanta 46, Burke County 14

Carver outscored Burke County 25-7 in the first quarter and led 46-7 at the half as it advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2017 in Class 5A. Quarterback Bryce Bowens passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two in the romp. Bowens scored on runs of 30 and 20 yards and passed to Tobias Robinson (70 yards), Quintavious Davis (50) and Deandre Buchannon (60) for touchdowns. Quintavious Lockett scored on runs of 50 and 5 yards. Carver will face defending-champion Pierce County in the semifinals.