Class 6A blog: 3 more region champions out; Buford-Lee County looms

Lee County offensive lineman Anthony Mcgrady (2) and defensive back Quavin Carter (11) force running back Cj Clinkscales (5) out of bounds in the first half of their Class 6A state high school football final Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)
Caption
Lee County offensive lineman Anthony Mcgrady (2) and defensive back Quavin Carter (11) force running back Cj Clinkscales (5) out of bounds in the first half of their Class 6A state high school football final Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Three more region champions, including the only undefeated team in the classification, were eliminated Friday night in the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs.

What’s left for next weekend’s quarterfinals will be the three remaining region champs, three unranked teams and two of the state’s perennial powers.

Region champions Brunswick, Alcovy and Kennesaw Mountain were knocked out Friday.

Fourth-ranked Brunswick, of Region 2, was the only 6A team to make it through the regular season without a loss, but the Pirates’ season is over a 29-21 loss to Dacula. Brunswick trailed 14-0 early, rallied to tie it before halftime, but saw Dacula regain control in the second half. The Pirates finished 11-1, their best season since the 1999 team lost in the Class 4A final and finished 14-1. Dacula, the runner-up in Region 8, is unranked.

The losses by Alcovy of Region 3 and Kennesaw Mountain of Region 6 ended the best seasons in those schools’ history.

Alcovy opened in 2006 but was making its first appearance in the second round after receiving a first-round bye. The Tigers won their first region championship this season. Seventh-ranked Carrollton, the No. 2 seed from Region 5, led just 9-7 at halftime but broke the game open with a 21-point third quarter. The Trojans are in the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive season.

Kennesaw Mountain earned its first region title and won a playoff game for the first time, but the Mustangs fell to fifth-ranked Westlake 45-10 and finished 10-2. Kennesaw Mountain led 10-0 in the second quarter, but Westlake recovered to lead 14-10 at halftime and took control from there. Westlake was a semifinalist last season and is in the quarterfinals the fourth time in seven seasons.

Region champions Rome (Region 5) and Riverwood (Region 7) lost in the first round.

Perhaps the biggest story to come out of the weekend is what comes next. That would be the quarterfinal matchup Friday in Leesburg between No. 1-ranked Buford and No. 2 Lee County in a rematch of the 2020 championship game, which Buford won in overtime.

Buford, the Region 8 champion, had an easy time Friday in a 44-7 victory over Lovejoy. Things were a little tougher for Region 1 champ Lee County, which led Cambridge 42-31 with 7:29 remaining and held on for a 42-39 victory.

Buford will be making its 22nd consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals, and Lee County will be making its fifth.

The other remaining region champion is Region 4′s Hughes, which knocked out Shiloh 28-8. The third-ranked Panthers tied a school record with their 11th victory and reached the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.

Joining Dacula as unranked teams in the quarterfinals are Northside-Warner Robins and Johns Creek, both of which had an easy time in the second round. Northside is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 after a 42-13 victory over Douglas County. Johns Creek is the only remaining No. 4 seed in Class 6A and one of only two in the state (Class A Public Manchester is the other). The Gladiators defeated Evans 45-14 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

Second round

Johns Creek 45, Evans 14

Dacula 29, Brunswick 21

Northside-Warner Robins 42, Douglas County 13

Hughes 28, Shiloh 8

Westlake 45, Kennesaw Mountain 10

Carrollton 43, Alcovy 21

Buford 44, Lovejoy 7

Lee County 42, Cambridge 39

Quarterfinals

(R7 #4) Johns Creek at (R8 #2) Dacula

(R1 #2) Northside-Warner Robins at (R4 #1) Hughes

(R4 #2) Westlake at (R5 #2) Carrollton

(R8 #1) Buford at (R1 #1) Lee County

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