Class A blog: Schley County, St. Francis scale new heights

Schley County and St. Francis are in uncharted waters after victories in the Class A high school football quarterfinals, which seemed to highlight the efficacy of new-look classifications that helped pave paths for programs to extend playoff runs.

Eighth-ranked St. Francis will face Division I’s top-ranked team, Prince Avenue, in the semifinals. The Knights defeated No. 10 Bleckley County 37-21 to earn its semifinal berth. Before this season, St. Francis had only been to the playoffs three times, losing in the first round twice and second round once.

Schley County, the fifth-ranked team in Division II, defeated No. 10 Wilcox County 55-23 to advance to the semis. The Wildcats made a quarterfinal appearance in 2018, its best finish for a team that has played football since 2000.

Of the eight teams remaining across both classes, all are region champions.

In Class A Division I, Prince Avenue Christian defeated Metter 23-7 to set up the game against St. Francis. No. 2-ranked Swainsboro defeated Rabun County 35-10 and will travel to Region 1 No. 1 Irwin County, which defeated Mt. Pisgah 42-14.

In Class A Division II, No. 1 Bowdon will be at home against No. 8 Lincoln County, and No. 5 Schley will travel to No. 2 Johnson County. Bowdon earned its semifinal berth with a 36-26 victory against Early County, and Lincoln County outlasted Dooly County 24-21. Johnson County moved into the semis after beating Clinch County 36-21.

Class A Division I semifinals schedule

R2 #1 Swainsboro at R1 #1 Irwin Co.

R6 #1 St. Francis at R5 #1 Prince Avenue Christian

Class A Division II semifinals schedule

R8 #1 Lincoln Co. at R7 #1 Bowdon

R6 #1 Schley Co. at R5 #1 Johnson Co.