Class 6A blog: A little bit of chaos in first round of playoffs

during a GHSA high school football game between Cambridge High School and Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

Credit: Jenn Finch

caption arrowCaption
during a GHSA high school football game between Cambridge High School and Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

Credit: Jenn Finch

Credit: Jenn Finch

Class 6A experienced more than its share of upheaval, by almost any measure, in what was an otherwise relatively drama-free first round of the high school football playoffs last week.

Only four No. 4 seeds in the state are left standing, and two of them are in Class 6A after Johns Creek and Douglas County pulled off the unusual feat of knocking off the No. 1 seeds from each other’s region.

Johns Creek, the No. 4 seed from Region 7, eliminated Region 5 champion Rome 31-27. Johns Creek got the winning points in a back-and-forth game on an 82-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Durham to Joshua Thompson with 9:09 remaining. It was the second playoff victory in school history for Johns Creek, which had been 1-6 in the postseason.

Douglas County, the No. 4 seed from Region 5, knocked out Region 7 champion Riverwood 24-17. Sire Hardaway passed for 175 yards and a touchdown, and Jirah Douglas ran for 136 yards and a score. The Tigers are in the second round for the first time since 2017.

The only other region champions to lose in the first round were Region 6-3A’s Rockmart (lost to Stephens County 27-13) and Region 7-A Public’s Georgia Military (lost to Manchester 20-8).

No. 6 Rome and No. 8 Riverwood were two of the three top-10 Class 6A teams to fall. The other was No. 10 Creekview, which lost to No. 7 Carrollton 47-28 in the only matchup of top-10 teams in the 6A first round. No other classification had more than two of its ranked teams knocked out.

Class 6A also had five upsets in the first round, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings. There were 17 upsets overall last weekend, but no other classification had more than two.

Douglas County was a 19-point underdog against Riverwood, and Johns Creek was an eight-point underdog against Rome. It should be noted that neither result was shocking, however, because Douglas County and Johns Creek both spent time in the top 10 during the regular season.

Other Class 6A upsets were Evans over Houston County, Lovejoy over Richmond Hill and Shiloh over Allatoona. Coincidentally, all of them scored 19 points.

Evans was a 15-point underdog and won 19-10. Lovejoy was a two-point underdog and won 19-14. Shiloh was a nine-point underdog and won 19-14, handing Allatoona its first home playoff loss since 2010.

Two other teams made history by advancing to the second round.

Region 6 champion Kennesaw Mountain, which opened in 2000, collected the first playoff victory in school history when it defeated Lanier 49-21.

Region 3 champion Alcovy, opened in 2006, is in the second round for the first time after getting a first-round bye. The Tigers are making their sixth appearance in the playoffs and still seeking their first victory. It won’t be easy, as they host fifth-ranked Westlake this week.

Lovejoy and Shiloh also ended long second-round droughts. Lovejoy advanced past the first round for the first round for the first time since 2016. Shiloh picked up its first playoff victory since David Pollack led the Generals to the quarterfinals in 2000.

First-round scores

Evans 19, Houston County 10

Johns Creek 31, Rome 27

Dacula 36, Pope 12

Brunswick 60, Tucker 26

Northside-Warner Robins 35, Lakeside-Evans 3

Douglas County 24, Riverwood 17

Shiloh 19, Allatoona 14

Hughes 42, Glynn Academy 14

Westlake 45, Effingham County 3

Kennesaw Mountain 49, Lanier 21

Carrollton 47, Creekview 28

Alcovy bye

Lovejoy 19, Richmond Hill 14

Buford 38, Kell 14

Cambridge 50, South Paulding 29

Lee County 57, Grovetown 12

Second-round games (all games Friday)

(R7 #4) Johns Creek at (R3 #2) Evans

(R8 #2) Dacula at (R2 #1) Brunswick

(R5 #4) Douglas County at (R1 #2) Northside-Warner Robins

(R8 #3) Shiloh at (R4 #1) Hughes

(R4 #2) Westlake at (R6 #1) Kennesaw Mountain

(R5 #2) Carrollton at (R3 #1) Alcovy

(R4 #3) Lovejoy at (R8 #1) Buford

(R7 #2) Cambridge at (R1 #1) Lee County

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