Class A Blog: A quick preview of Division 1, Division II semifinals

There’s some really good football left to be played from the eight teams remaining in Divisions I and II of Class A.

Each of the teams entered the season ranked, and top-ranked Prince Avenue Christian (Division I) and No. 1 Bowdon (Division II) continue to play to form.

It’s the cream of the crop.

Class A Division I semifinals: Swainsboro at Irwin County; St. Francis at Prince Avenue Christian

Prince Avenue Christain won its first state title in 2020 and acts like it wants another. The Wolverines will be at home against St. Francis, which is playing for its first title. Prince Avenue success hinges on junior quarterback Aaron Philo, who is 239-of-340 passing for 3,911 yards and 47 touchdowns. Bailey Stockton leads receivers with 66 catches for 1,280 yards and 20 touchdowns. Josh Britt has 41 catches for 976 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Ethan Christian has 67 catches for 945 yards and 11 touchdowns. Eight different players have scored rushing touchdowns -- Philo with eight and Keon Rogers and Mac Bradley with six each.

St. Francis has had its best season, culminating in its first semifinal appearance. The program began in 2010 and has been to the playoffs three times, never past the second round.

Swainsboro’s run-heavy offense will travel to Irwin County and face a balanced scoring attack. Swainsboro averages 329 rushing yards per game. Irwin County averages 193 rushing and 172 passing yards per game. Swainsboro’s big three are Damello Jones (17 rushing touchdowns), Qindarius Brown (12), Ty Adams (11). Bryson Tarver, Jordan Williams, Jakari Nobles and Zacehaeus combine for 12 rushing touchdowns.

Irwin quarterback Cody Soliday is 101-of-165 passing for 2,012 yards and 26 touchdowns. Shane Marshall (13 touchdown runs) and Damarkus Lundy (9) lead the run game. Bo Payne leads Irwin receivers with 23 receptions for 518 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Class A Division II: Lincoln County at Bowdon; Schley County at Johnson County

Bowdon is looking for the program’s first title appearance since 2001 and is two victories away from the team’s second title and first since 1992. Lincoln County is trying to return to the glory of the 2005-06 seasons, when it won back-to-back titles. The program has been a playoff stalwart, but has one semifinal appearance since 2008.

On the other side of the bracket, Schley County is a victory away from the program’s first-ever title appearance after punching through to the semifinals for the first time. It’s a long climb from Schley’s 0-10 regular season in 2015.

Johnson County has not advanced past the semifinals since a championship appearance in 1993. The program won its only state title in 1979.

Class A Division I

Swainsboro at Irwin County

St. Francis at Prince Avenue Christian

Class A Division II

Lincoln County at Bowdon

Schley County at Johnson County