Class 7A blog: Previews of 2 semifinals

Walton's Davis Callahan (28) celebrates an interception during a GHSA high school football playoff game between the Archer Tigers and the Walton Raiders at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, GA., on Friday, November 19, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)
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Walton's Davis Callahan (28) celebrates an interception during a GHSA high school football playoff game between the Archer Tigers and the Walton Raiders at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, GA., on Friday, November 19, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

Credit: Jenn Finch

Credit: Jenn Finch

It’s Walton-Milton and Grayson-Collins Hill in Friday night’s Class 7A semifinals.

Here are previews of each game.

Walton at Milton

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Eagles’ Nest, Milton

Records, rankings: Walton is 9-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 3-7A and No. 9; Milton is 12-1, the No 1 seed from 5-7A and No. 3.

Last meeting: Walton won 24-9 in 2015.

Things to know: Walton is in the semifinals for the first time since its Class 5A runner-up finish in 2011. Milton is in for the first time since winning the Class 7A title in 2018. Walton advanced in the second round with a 52-35 victory over No. 7 Brookwood, the fourth top-10 opponent the Raiders have beaten, the second in the playoffs, both on the road. Sophomore QB Jeremy Hecklinski was 14-of-24 passing for 268 yards. Rawson MacNeill had five receptions for 99 yards. Sutton Smith, a Memphis-committed running back, had 180 all-purpose yards on 16 touches. His 64-yard TD reception midway in the third quarter gave Walton a 42-14 lead. Milton had a tougher time with fourth-ranked Mill Creek, winning 36-27. It was a two-point game until Jordan McDonald’s 1-yard run with 3:25 left. Devin Farrell was held to 3-for-9 passing for 118 yards, but McDonald rushed for 201 yards on 21 carries. McDonald, who is committed to Central Florida, rushed for 248 yards the previous week against Marietta. Milton’s average score is 42-20. Walton’s is 37-26.

Maxwell Ratings’ projected score: Milton 30, Walton 24

Grayson at Collins Hill

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Fahring Field, Suwanee

Records, rankings: Grayson is 10-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 4-7A and unranked; Collins Hill is 13-0, the No 1 seed from 8-7A and No. 1.

Last meeting: Grayson won 38-14 in the 2020 Class 7A championship game.

Things to know: After losing to Grayson twice last season, Collins Hill is heavily favored this time. The Eagles’ average score is 42-6. Grayson’s is 24-17. Collins Hill has beaten every opponent by 15 points or more. Collins Hill’s 49-7 victory over Lowndes last week was the most lopsided defeat that Lowndes has suffered in 40 years. Sam Horn was 27-of-32 passing for 323 yards and four touchdowns. The Missouri-committed quarterback has thrown for 3,217 yards this season. Travis Hunter, who is committed to Florida State, and Cedric Nash each had 112 yards receiving, and Ryan Stephens rushed for 125 yards. Grayson beat 10th-ranked Roswell 24-14 in the second round. Grayson had eight sacks, and Joe Taylor rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He’s rushed for 966 yards this season. Grayson averages only 80.7 yards passing per game. Grayson has beaten three region champions (Archer, McEachern, Denmark), but Roswell represented Grayson’s first victory over a top-10 opponent. Grayson last beat a No. 1 team in 2019 (Marietta).

Maxwell Ratings’ projected score: Collins Hill 32, Grayson 0

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