Region 8 No. 2 Flowery Branch ended Region 5 No. 3 Luella’s season with an emphatic 40-7 round-one victory. All of the Falcons’ scoring came in the first half, including 12 points in the first 4:10 of the game on a safety on the opening snap, a 27-yard field goal and a 6-yard rushing score by Jaizen Ellingham. Ellingham (15 yards) and quarterback David Renard (10 yards) each added touchdown runs in the second, and Renard also contributed a pair of scoring strikes to Sal Sengson and Camo Campbell for 16 and 37 yards, respectively. The win sets up a second-round showdown with an undefeated Marist team that has sat atop the 4A rankings all season long.
Region 1 No. 2 Cairo came away with a decisive 37-0 victory over visiting West Laurens behind veteran performances by the Syrupmakers’ upperclassmen. UGA-commit Noah Jones was 4-4 on PATs and made field goals of 47, 27 and 30 yards, senior running back Tay Soloman had a pair of first-half touchdown runs that included a 43-yarder on Cairo’s opening drive, John Carter scored from 27 yards out, and junior quarterback Kevin Speed connected with senior Kilijah Thomas for a 75-yard touchdown. The lockdown defensive outing included junior Gary Davis’ sack to force a turnover on downs in the third quarter.
Region 5 No. 2 Fayette County knotted the score of its back-and-forth affair with visiting North Oconee early in the final frame, but the Titans got the game-winner with 3:23 remaining when Ashton Trenton Hefner recovered his team’s fumble at the goal line and walked it into the end zone for the 41-35 North Oconee victory. The Region 8 No. 3 Titans will travel to Cedartown for a second-round showdown next week.
Hardaway led 18-0 before host Islands rallied past the Hawks with 22 unanswered points for a 22-18 win. Josh Dickerson made it a two-point game (18-16) with 6:44 left after returning an interception for a touchdown and hauling in the successful two-point conversion. Islands went up 22-18 with 2:09 left to play on a Jadon Adams touchdown pass to Langston Lewis. Following the go-ahead touchdown, Dickerson iced the game with this third interception.
Senior running back Antavious Bradley scored on a 7-yard run at the 10:11 mark of the second quarter and Region 6 No. 2 Hapeville Charter held off Region 7 No. 3 Heritage-Catoosa at Banneker High School 6-0. Nicholas Price had two interceptions for the Hornets.
Quarterback Derrick Lewis for host Region 4 No. 2 Baldwin hit Kirtavious Hightower with 2:18 remaining for the game-winning touchdown (36-30) over Region 1 No. 3 Thomas County Central. The Braves got four touchdown passes from Lewis, who hit Shatavious Hogan for a score shortly before the break and found Javon Bullard twice in the second half. Jeramiyah Scott and Micah Welch also rushed for touchdowns for Baldwin.