Class 4A Blog: First Round takeaways

August 20, 2021 Atlanta - Westminster's QB John Collier (9) gets tackled by Lovett's Garrett Kelly (88) in the second half of their season opener game at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta on Friday, August 20, 2021. Westminster won 17-7 over Lovett. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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August 20, 2021 Atlanta - Westminster's QB John Collier (9) gets tackled by Lovett's Garrett Kelly (88) in the second half of their season opener game at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta on Friday, August 20, 2021. Westminster won 17-7 over Lovett. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Home teams were 14-2 in the first round of the state playoffs with No. 3 seed Troup (14-10 win over Cairo) and No. 3 seed Lovett (31-24 win over Madison County) being the only road teams to advance. In the case of Troup, two first-half touchdowns proved enough for the Tigers to upend Region 1 No. 2 Cairo and advance to the second round. Noah Dixon scored on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter to put Troup up 7-0. The Tigers extended the lead on a 54-yard touchdown pass with two minutes before halftime. Cairo scored on a 38-yard pass from Juderek Gee-Simmons to KJ Spence with eight minutes left in the third quarter and a 32-yard field goal from Andrid Rojas with four minutes left in the third quarter capped scoring. Lovett got a first-round road win over Region 8 two-seed Madison County to move on to the second round for the 17th time in 19 seasons under head coach Mike Muschamp. Lovett held a 24-17 advantage at the break after two rushing scores by Kalil Townes, another from Preston Lusink, and a forced fumble and onside kick recovery by Ford Diffley and Colin Carroll, respectively. The Red Raiders knotted the game in the third quarter, but the Lions recovered a Madison County fumble midway through the fourth before adding the game-winning rushing touchdown to secure the win.

No. 1 ranked Benedictine notched its second-straight shutout in a 41-0 win over Baldwin and No. 2 ranked North Oconee improved to 11-0 with a 52-13 win over Pace Academy. Quarterback Max Wilson threw touchdown passes to Damoni Taylor and Luke Waterworth and added a rushing score as well. Additionally, Justin Curtis found the end zone twice, and Landon Roldan and Tate Titshaw contributed one touchdown run apiece. Titshaw also came up with a fumble recovery near the goal line in the third quarter, and JJ Poole’s field goal provided the remainder of the Titans’ points.

Spalding was tied at 12-12 heading into the fourth quarter and trailed 21-14 before clinching its 34-21 win over Wayne County. Cur’Tavian Clark passed to Cedric Evans on a 35-yard touchdown to tie the game. With 6:24, Spalding added another score to take a 28-21 lead and with 3:44 left, Clark found Evans again on a 20-yard touchdown to extend the lead. Dwight Terrell scored on a 45-yard run to open scoring. Spalding took a 14-7 lead after a blocked kick by Ronald Moore was returned 65-yards for a touchdown by Dylon Henderson.

No. 10-ranked LaGrange will make its third second-round appearance in four seasons under head coach Matt Napier after defeating Region 1 three-seed Westover. The 45-6 victory was the seventh in a row for the Grangers, who have outscored their opponents 292-46 during that span and will travel to top-ranked Benedictine next week. … The Region 3 Champion Cadets handed Region 2 four-seed Baldwin a 41-0 loss in the opening round — their second-straight shutout. … No. 8-ranked Starr’s Mill will host Region 3 two-seed New Hampstead next week after a 48-0 shutout of visiting Shaw. The Panthers have won eight of their last nine and will look to advance past the second round for the first time since 2019. … No. 9-ranked Stephenson put up a season-high 62 points (62-15) against visiting four-seed Northwest Whitfield to secure back-to-back second-round appearances for the first time since 2014. … Third-ranked Bainbridge took a quick 14-0 lead with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns, both of which came off interceptions, en route to a 49-14 win over visiting Trinity Christian. The Bearcats will host No. 7-ranked Perry in the second round. … No. 5-ranked Central-Carroll remains undefeated after a 41-33 narrow first-round win over Region 6 four-seed Hapeville Charter. First-year head coach Umbrah Brown’s Lions will host Region 5 three-seed Lovett next week.

FIRST ROUND RESULTS

R4#3 Troup 14, R1#2 Cairo 10

R2#1 Spalding 34, R3#4 Wayne County 21

R6#2 Westminster 27, R7#3 Heritage-Catoosa 17

R5#1 Stockbridge 48, R8#4 North Hall 0

R4#2 LaGrange 45, R1#3 Westover 6

R3#1 Benedictine 41, R2#4 Baldwin 0

R7#2 Cedartown 21, R6#3 Holy Innocents’ 7

R8#1 North Oconee 52, R5#4 Pace Academy 13

R5#3 Lovett 31, R8#2 Madison County 24

R7#1 Central-Carroll 41, R6#4 Hapeville Charter 33

R3#2 New Hampstead 40, R2# Westside-Macon 12

R4#1 Starr’s Mill 48, R1#4 Shaw 0

R5#2 Luella 26, R8#3 East Forsyth 21

R6#1 Stephenson 62, R7#4 Northwest Whitfield 15

R2#2 Perry 35, R3#3 Burke County 14

R1#1 Bainbridge 48, Trinity Christian 14