“The defense worked our butts off all week,” Harmon added. “We knew they have a great offense and we were going to have to stay on them the whole game and not let them get any momentum.”
In addition to Harmon’s pick on the first play of the second half, the Wolves got interceptions from Tinerious “Toot” Stallings, Rae Sykes Jr and DK Daniel.
Daniel also left his mark on offense, hauling in a dime of a pass from Region 6 Player of the Year Reece Fountain for a 56-yard touchdown just moments after the start of the game. Fountain, Javarius McDearmont and Chance Arthur each found the end zone on the ground in the opening frame as well, with Fountain’s and Arthur’s touchdowns following miscues by Hughes on special teams.
Noland finally got the Panthers on the board in the second with a pass to Jabari Jones to cap off a 14-play, 80-yard drive, and Hughes nearly closed the gap further with a touchdown before the break, but Jones stepped out just before touching the pylon. The Panthers answered another rushing score from McDearmont in the third quarter with a touchdown drive, but it took them another 15 plays and 6:16 to do so. Daniel’s interception came on the following Hughes drive, and Arthur put the game away with one last touchdown to bring the score to its final tally.
“We had a great game plan going in,” asserted Fountain, “just trusting our o-line and receivers, and they played great tonight. Our OC Coach [Steve] Humphrey just had a great game plan coming into this week. We were ready. We’ve been locked in all week.”
The Wolves will look to take that same level of focus into their home matchup with No. 2-ranked Thomas County Central in next week’s quarterfinals.
The AJC has writers at Camden County at McEachern, North Paulding at Grayson, Lanier at Roswell and Peachtree Ridge at Mill Creek. Follow the link to the brackets, the scoreboard or Todd Holcomb’s Friday night wrap.
See the recaps from the second round below.
*this file will be updated throughout the evening.
Carrollton 45, Valdosta 28
No. 5-ranked Carrollton will host Walton in the state quarterfinals following a 45-28 victory over Region 1 two-seed Valdosta. The Trojans pulled away in the third quarter with four touchdowns over an eight-minute stretch, led by quarterback Juju Lewis, who now has 45 touchdown passes on the season after adding four Friday night. Additionally, sophomore running back Kimauri Farmer contributed 160 rushing yards on 29 carries with two scores. Carrollton has now won 11-straight games, while Valdosta finishes the year 8-4, with its other three losses coming against McEachern, Colquitt County and nationally-ranked Massillon (OH).
Milton 42, Collins Hill 21
Tenth-ranked Milton held a narrow 13-7 edge at the break, then found itself trailing Region 8 three-seed Collins Hill early in the third before seizing control with a 29-0 run to secure a quarterfinals showdown at home against Colquitt County next week. Quarterback Luke Nickel threw four touchdown passes, three of which went to CJ Wiley and the other to Marc Essley, and AJ Benton added a rushing score on a fake punt. Alex Nover also contributed a pair of first-half field goals for the Eagles.
Walton 48, North Gwinnett 19
Region 7 three-seed North Gwinnett put together a 16-0 run to cut No. 2-ranked Walton’s lead to two points in the second half, but the Raiders closed the game with 27 unanswered points to secure a trip to Carrollton next week. Quarterback Jeremy Hecklinski finished with four touchdown passes, including a 55-yarder to Cameron Loyd early in the third quarter that made him Walton’s all-time passing yards leader. He threw another to Loyd later in the frame and one apiece to Wyatt Sonderman and Hunter Teal. Additionally, Makari Bodiford contributed two rushing scores, and Austin Williams took a 56-yard trip to the endzone as well. For North Gwinnett, quarterback Ryan Hall connected with Erik Ronning for touchdowns of 68 and 86 yards, and Constantine Dallis had a pair of field goals.
Colquitt County 38, Westlake 19
No. 8-ranked Westlake got a pair of touchdown passes from Sean Smith to Travis Smith to cut Colquitt County’s lead to 24-19, but the Lions would fail to score again. Ramsey Dennis found the end zone for the second time of the night, and quarterback Neko Fann connected with Zay Williams for the duo’s second touchdown moments later to put the game away. Also for the Packers, Day’Shawn Brown scored on the ground in the second quarter following Ka’Marion Williams’ interception, and Fann’s second scoring strike to Zay Williams was set up by a recovery of a blocked Westlake punt. Additionally, kicker Brett Fitzgerald added a first-quarter field goal and became the Packers’ all-time leader in career extra points after Dennis’ first score, passing his brother Ryan with 172 total. Colquitt County will travel to Milton in next week’s quarterfinal round.
Buford 28, Norcross 25
Region 7 champion Norcross cut Buford’s lead to three late in the fourth quarter with a pick-six, two-point conversion and a touchdown, but Wolves quarterback Dylan Raiola threw for the first down on 3rd-and-10 to secure the win. Raiola finished the night with four touchdown passes, including three to KJ Bolden, and his throw that was tipped, recovered and returned by the Norcross defense was his first interception of the season. Buford will travel to No. 6-ranked Grayson for the state quarters.
Gainesville 35, Blessed Trinity 12
Host Gainesville (12-0) ran away from Blessed Trinity (9-3) in the second half after leading just 14-5 at halftime. The Red Elephants, the No. 1 seed from Region 8, led 14-0 after quarterback Baxter Wright found Gavin Hall for a touchdown pass in the first quarter and rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter. Blessed Trinity, the No. 2 seed from Region 7, got a field goal and a safety late in the second quarter. Hall rushed for three touchdowns in the third quarter to put Gainesville ahead 35-5 before Blessed Trinity scored on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Thomas County Central 56, Jonesboro 6
Trey Brenton rushed for three touchdowns for host Thomas County Central (12-0), the top seed from Region 1, in its win over Jonesboro (8-4), the third seed from Region 3. Brenton scored on runs of 24, 6 and 3 yards for the Yellow Jackets. Thomas County Central quarterback Jaylen Johnson rushed for two touchdowns, each from 2 yards, and threw a 19-yard touchdown to Cam Brooks, who also had a 14-yard interception return on defense. Backup quarterback Kris Wilhelm scored on a 6-yard rush for the Yellow Jackets late in the fourth quarter. Thomas County Central will travel to Region 6 No. 1 Rome, 11-1, in the quarterfinals next Friday.
Lee County 50, Lovejoy 6
Region 1 No. 2 Lee County defeated Region 3 No. 4 Lovejoy at home, leading 36-6 at halftime. Star junior running back Ousmane Kromah scored both of his touchdowns in the first half for the Trojans (10-2), rushing for scores of 40 yards in the first quarter and 9 yards in the second. Lee County quarterback Weston Bryan threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Houston in the first quarter and rushed for a 3-yard score in the second. Jeffery Anderson rushed for second-half touchdowns of 94 and 8 yards, and Devin Collier had a 28-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Lovejoy (7-5) scored its touchdown on a 95-yard kickoff return by Troy Washington in the second quarter. Lee County will travel to Region 5 No. 1 Douglas County next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Woodward Academy 27, Houston County 7
Woodward Academy took a 17-0 lead with three scores in the second quarter and advanced to the quarterfinals with a home win over Houston County. The War Eagles (10-2), the No. 1 seed out of Region 3, scored their first points on a 36-yard field goal from Hudson Hanges and led 17-0 after a 16-yard touchdown run from Griffin Marshall and a 22-yard touchdown run from Lucas Farrington. Houston County (9-3), the No. 3 seed from Region 1, got a touchdown pass from Antwann Hill Jr. late in the second quarter to make it a 17-7 Woodward Academy lead at halftime. Landon Walker scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter for the War Eagles, and Hanges added a 43-yard field goal in the fourth to cap the scoring. Farrington rushed for a game-high 146 yards on 23 carries, and Ben Grice had 83 yards receiving for Woodward Academy on seven receptions. Woodward Academy will host Region 8 No. 1 Gainesville next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Marist 41, Brunswick 14
Region 4 No. 1 Marist (11-1) led Region 2 No. 3 Brunswick (7-4) 41-0 in the third quarter before the Pirates scored a touchdown each in the third and fourth quarters. The War Eagles led 7-0 after the first quarter on a 41-yard Walker Richens touchdown rush. In the second quarter, Marist got a 5-yard touchdown run from Joseph Pizzo, a 3-yard touchdown run from Jackson Hughes and a 43-yard field goal from Drew Linnihan to lead 24-0 at halftime. Hughes added a 2-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter, and Whit Blackburn had a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown. Linnihan made a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter for the War Eagles’ final points. Marist will travel to Region 7 No. 1 Roswell, 11-1, next Friday in the quarterfinals.
In other 6A games -- Region 5 No. 1 Douglas County remained undefeated at 12-0 with a 48-14 home win over Region 6 No. 2 Sequoyah (8-4), leading 35-6 at halftime after Sequoyah scored the game’s first points on a first-quarter field goal.
Cartersville 28, Eastside 9
Cartersville, the No.1 seed from Region 7 advanced to the quarterfinals after trailing 6-0 early in the game. Eastside running back Jayden Barr scored a five-yard rushing touchdown to take the early lead. The Hurricanes scored 14 unanswered points from running back Khristian Lando. It would be a big night for the senior running back as he scored three touchdowns from 15, two and one yard out. Eastside finished the season 8-4 and made the second round of the playoffs for the second time in three years. Cartersville will host Jenkins in the quarterfinals.
Warner Robins 23, Ware County 21
A 42-yard field goal from Alberto Medina propelled Warner Robins into the quarterfinals. Warner Robins held an early 13-0 lead, but Ware County QB Luke Hooks connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Orange to cut the lead to 13-6. The Gators would answer a few possessions later after Najay Smith intercepted a pass. RJ Boyd ran it in for a touchdown giving them their first lead of the game. Warner Robins would score before the half to take a 20-14 lead at halftime. The second half would remain scoreless until a one-yard touchdown run from Charles Johnson with 1:02 left in the game to give Ware County a 21-20 lead. Warner Robins got into range and nailed the field goal to advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive year. It’s the third time in the past three years these teams have met in the playoffs. Warner Robins has now won two of the last three matchups.
Cass 17, Mays 7
Cass continued their playoff run after pulling off back-to-back upsets and 17-7 victory on the road against Mays to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1983. The Colonels held an early 14-0 lead after a two yard touchdown run from two-way star Devin Henderson, and a 30 yard touchdown pass from Brodie McWhorter to freshman standout Izak Koep. Mays would cut the deficit to seven points late in the third quarter after a touchdown score. Cass would get an important field goal late in the game by Austin McArthur, and Henderson would seal the game with an interception to propel them to the next round.
Coffee 45, Jones County 14
The top-ranked team in 5A will host Cass after their emphatic victory over Jones County. Coffee led 7-0 after the first quarter and 17-7 at the half. Leading 24-14 entering the fourth quarter, Coffee scored 21 unanswered points to take control of the game, marking the sixth time this season that the Trojans scored more than 45 points this season.
Creekside 49, Dalton 24
Creekside will face Warner Robins for the second consecutive year in the Elite Eight after a 49-24 victory. Dalton led 24-14 in the 1st half after Bubba Turner had three touchdown catches. Creekside cut the lead to three after a Roderick McCrary one yard touchdown before half. The Seminoles used the rushing score as momentum in the 2nd half scoring 28 points unanswered. Vinson Berry had two touchdowns one on the ground and another through the air to Shane Kelly. Senior running back Travis Terrell had three rushing touchdowns on the night. Creekside has made the quarterfinals for three consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.
Jenkins 28, Dutchtown 27
After head coach Anthony Welch reached his 50th career victory last week, Jenkins took another big step forward in a victory against Dutchtown. It was a close game throughout, and the game was in question late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Demetrius Holloway extended the lead after scoring on a sneak on the goal line in the fourth quarter. Dutchtown scored on the next possession but missed the point-after try. Jenkins iced the game on a critical 4th down conversion late in the game to seal the victory. The Warriors led the entire game and joined Cass as the only other four seed left in the playoffs in Class 5A.
Jefferson 42, Hiram 21
Jefferson will face Harris County in the second round after defeating Hiram in their first-ever matchup. 5 star Sammy Brown stole the show, and opened the game with an 80 yard touchdown run. The AJC Super 11 ran for three touchdowns on the night and also had a passing touchdown to Zay Minish in the corner of the endzone. Hiram scored 14 points after Brown’s touchdown to take a seven point lead into the half. Jefferson matched Hiram scoring two touchdowns and took full control of the game in the third quarter. Brown’s 69 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach and helped the Dragons advance to the third round for the first time since 2020.
Stockbridge 28, Westminster 24
Jayden Scott scored on a three-yard run with 55 seconds remaining to give Stockbridge a come-from-behind win over visiting Westminster. The Wildcats took a 24-21 lead on a 30-yard halfback pass from Fain Barton to Armstrong Jones midway through the fourth quarter and got the ball back on an interception by Wade Penn, but they could not run out the clock. Stockbridge turned Westminster over on downs with less than two minutes remaining and then engineered a game-winning drive. Scott also scored on a 75-yard scamper in the second quarter, while Cobey Thompkins threw touchdown passes to Ryan Johnson and Jayden Howard for the Tigers.
Starr’s Mill 45, New Hampstead 27
Starr’s Mill erased early deficits of 7-0, 14-7 and 20-14 before pulling away from visiting New Hampstead. The Panthers led 24-20 at halftime and 45-20 going into the fourth quarter after reeling off 31 points in a row. Logan Inagawa ran for two touchdowns and tossed a 65-yard scoring strike to Andersen Cardoza. Starr’s Mill also got a pair of TDs on the ground by Dorsey Benefield, one from 59 yards out and the last score of the night from 15 yards away. Two of the Panthers’ scores were set up by Taylor Ratinaud interceptions. The Panthers also got a 44-yard field goal by Hunter Meeks as time expired in the first half.
North Oconee 35, Cedartown 9
In a rematch of last year’s semifinal showdown, North Oconee got revenge over visiting Cedartown. The Titans jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter behind touchdown runs from Max Wilson and Tate Titshaw, and they never looked back. Cedartown pulled to within 14-9 on a 55-yard scoring strike from Drew Ledbetter to Demarcus Gardner, but North Oconee padded its lead when Brooks Thompson returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Titshaw and Trey Lenhardt put the game away in the fourth with touchdown runs.
Spalding 20, Troup County 0
Following a scoreless first quarter, host Spalding needed a jolt and got it in the form of a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown by Ronald Moore Jr. en route to a shutout victory over Troup County. The Jaguars led 14-0 at halftime following a 15-yard touchdown run by Robert Henderson before Henderson hauled in a 58-yard scoring strike from Cur’Tavian Clark in the third quarter. Spalding’s dominant defensive effort featured a fumble recovery by Cedric Evans.
Stephenson 35, Luella 7
Stephenson surged to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on the way to a convincing home win over Luella. Quarterback Marte Barton and running back Tyler Bercy connected on each of the Jaguars’ first two touchdowns, one from 30 yards out and the other from 25 yards away. Colin Seals quickly added a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown. Midway through the second quarter Stephenson answered Luella’s lone touchdown when Trent Fields Jr. returned the ensuing kickoff for a score. Andrew Perry eventually iced the game all by himself in the fourth quarter, intercepting a Lions pass and then scoring a rushing touchdown of his own.
Central-Carroll 38, Lovett 10
Jonaz Walton rushed for three touchdowns as Central-Carroll pulled away from visiting Lovett. It was 0-0 after one quarter before the Lions got rolling, powering their way to leads of 14-3 at halftime and 28-3 going into the fourth quarter. They also got a touchdown run by Ty Brewer, a scoring strike from Will Morris to Jayelen White and a field goal from Jose Ortega. Lovett’s lone touchdown came in the form of a nine-yard scamper by Preston Lusink.
Perry 7, Bainbridge 3
Ahmad Gordon’s 47-yard scamper with three minutes left in the second quarter gave visiting Perry a 7-3 lead over Bainbridge. It proved to be the game’s only touchdown and also ended up being the final points in what was a defensive struggle from start to finish. Bainbridge opened the scoring with a 25-yard field goal by Nicholas Tyre in the first quarter but the offense failed to produce anything else the rest of the night. A clutch pass from Colter Ginn to Kory Pettigrew for a first down allowed the Panthers to run out the clock at the end of the game.
Benedictine 31, LaGrange 7
Benedictine scored the last 31 points of the game to swiftly erase a brief 7-0 deficit and overwhelm visiting LaGrange. The Cadets built a 24-7 advantage by halftime and led by the final 31-7 margin with more than eight minutes still remaining in the third quarter. They got two touchdowns by Bryce Baker, one on a 65-yard pass from Luke Kromenhoek. Na’Seir Samuel added a 42-yard touchdown run, Connor Ferguson tacked on a 40-yard field goal and Bubba Frazier returned an interception 75 yards to the endzone.
Lumpkin County 45, Oconee County 42 2 OT
Lumpkin County continues its historic run and is in the midst of the greatest season in school history and a field goal from kicker Will Staples in the second overtime period lifted the Indians past Oconee and into the quarterfinals for the first time. Lumpkin led 7-0 after the first quarter and trailed 14-13 at the half. Oconee County took a 28-21 lead entering the fourth quarter but Lumpkin tied the game at 35 on a pass with less than a minute left to send the game to overtime.
Monroe Area 42, Gilmer 24
The Purple Hurricanes made 28 rushed for 240 yards led by Jitt Carr, who had nine carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns to lead Monroe Area into the quarterfinals. Darrion Manuel had 13 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Dylan Hamby passed to Slade Summers (45 yards), Blake Raffield (80) and Manuel (40) for touchdowns. Carr scored on runs of 45, 40 and 35 yards to lead Monroe Area.
Savannah Christian 33, Morgan County 10
Savannah Christian led 7-3 after the first quarter and 17-10 at the half before holding the hosting Bulldogs scoreless in the second half to advance. Zo Smalls scored on a 1-yard run to open scoring. After a Morgan County field goal, Smalls scored on a 5-yard run to give the Raiders a 14-3 lead. Jaydon Dorsey scored on a 14-yard run to leave Morgan County trailing 14-10 but a 33-yard field goal from Ethan Byrd extended the Savannah Christian lead to 17-10 before halftime. A safety from the Raiders’ defense pushed the lead to 19-10. Kenry Wall returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown with 11 minutes left in the game and Smalls scored on a 33-yard run to cap scoring for Savannah Christian.
Wesleyan 33, Stephens County 26
With the game tied at 26 with nine minutes left in the game, Wesleyan scored on a 20-yard pass from Ben Brown to Baer Cole to put the Wolves up for good. Stephens County led 3-0 after a 38-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the first quarter and 6-0 after a field goal with five minutes left in the first quarter. Wesleyan took the lead on a 66-yard touchdown pass by Emory Cavin. Stephens County forced a safety to lead 8-7 late in the first quarter and took the lead on an interception returned 90 yards for a touchdown from Davon Swinton early in the second quarter. Wesleyan scored on a pass with seven minutes left before halftime but a field goal from Stephens County put the Indians up 18-13 at halftime. A rushing touchdown early in the second half put Wesleyan up 19-18 after a failed 2-point conversion. Stephens retook the 25-19 lead on a pass with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Calvary Day 49, Thomasville 0
Jake Merklinger passed to Edward Coleman (24 yards), Michael Smith (17) and Caden Arnold (62) for touchdowns. Trevor Strowbridge scored on a 5-yard run, Merklinger scored on a 5-yard run, James Mobley scored on a 43-yard run and Coleman added a 1-yard touchdown run.
Mary Persons 42, Crisp County 20
Mary Persons led 14-7 after the first quarter and 35-20 at the half before the Bulldogs held Crisp scoreless in the second half to protect the lead. Mary Persons took the lead on an interception returned for a touchdown from Christian Stewart with seven minutes left in the first quarter. Mac Nelson passed to Seth Davis for a 23-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7. Crisp County scored two unanswered touchdowns to cut into the lead 21-20 after a missed point-after try with three minutes left in the first half. Louisville-commit Duke Watson scored on a 70-yard run to expand the lead. Nelson scored on a 1-yard run just before halftime to extend the margin. A 49-yard touchdown run from Stewart capped scoring.
Carver-Columbus 8, Upson-Lee 7
Carver trailed 7-0 at the half after a 28-yard fumble returned for a touchdown gave Upson-Lee the lead. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, Carver scored on a pass and the ensuing 2-point conversion proved the difference. Carver, the Region 1 No. 1 seed, will host Monroe Area, the Region 8 No. 3 seed, in the quarterfinals.
In other 3A games – Cedar Grove had little trouble with Bremen in the 49-13 victory and will play at Mary Persons in the quarterfinals. …
Rockmart 56, Union County 14
Calliyon Thompson threw four touchdown passes to lead Rockmart over Union County. His first TD pass came late in the second quarter to give the host Yellowjackets the 21-7 lead, which would be the halftime score. He threw three more touchdowns in the third quarter to give Rockmart the 42-7 lead. The Yellowjackets advance to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
Toombs County 41, Thomson 31
Thomson enjoyed a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, but Toombs County scored 27 unanswered points to earn win No. 11 of the season. T.J. Stanley rushed for two touchdowns and threw one TD pass in the first half for Toombs County while the defense blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. Stanley threw another TD pass in the third quarter and the visiting Bulldogs added another touchdown run to give them a 41-22 lead. Toombs County will face Rockmart in the quarterfinals.
Columbia 18, North Cobb Christian 13
Columbia and North Cobb Christian were tied at six in the first quarter. The visiting Eagles jumped to a 12-6 lead in the second quarter, and that would be the score at halftime. North Cobb Christian led 13-12 at the end of the third, but Durante Speer threw a touchdown pass to Jaleel Baugh in the fourth quarter to give Columbia the victory. The Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1997.
Cook 24, Appling County 14
Cook led Appling County 7-0 at halftime, and the score came on a blocked field goal that was returned 70 yards. After three quarters, Cook led 10-0 but got things going early in the fourth quarter, getting a touchdown pass to increase the lead to 17. Appling County responded with a TD of its own and then followed it up with another score after recovering an onside kick. But Cook would put the game away after scoring on a 60-yard punt return with four minutes remaining in the game. Cook advances to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 and will face Columbia next week.
Fitzgerald 37, Spencer 20
Fitzgerald recorded 401 yards of offense to earn a victory over Spencer in the second round of the playoffs. The visiting Purple Hurricanes scored two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and led 15-6 at halftime. Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter, but Fitzgerald scored on a touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to jump to a 30-14 lead. Spencer tallied 231 yards of offense in the loss.
Callaway 42, Model 19
Deshun Coleman threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Koryon Hoard in the first quarter and a 91-yard touchdown pass to Treyonn Tucker in the second quarter to lead Callaway over Model. Coleman threw two more touchdown passes in the second quarter to give the host Cavaliers the 35-6 lead at halftime. Jake Sanders of Model threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter and another in the fourth quarter. Callaway advances to the quarterfinal round for the ninth consecutive year and will host Fitzgerald next week.
Pierce County 35, Laney 14
Pierce County led Laney 14-8 at halftime and went on to win its 11th game of the year. The host Bears will play in the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season and will face Fellowship Christian.
Fellowship Christian 63, North Murray 14
Fellowship Christian jumped to a 35-0 lead at halftime to earn a trip to the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive year. The host Pirates scored their first-half points via two rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns and an interception that was returned for a score. The second half was nearly similar as Fellowship Christian notched a rushing touchdown and three more passing touchdowns in the victory over North Murray.
Class A Division I
Swainsboro 18, Lamar County 6
Swainsboro went ahead on a 39-yard pass to La’Marqus Webb for a touchdown with four minutes left in the first quarter. A 14-yard touchdown run from Bryson Tarver with less than a minute left in the first half extended the lead. Swainsboro’s defense forced a safety with eight minutes left in the game to put it out of reach. Lamar scored on a 4-yard run from Ty Head but time ran out.
Rabun County 42, Whitefield Academy 7
Leading 7-0, Rabun scored on a 15-yard run from Noah English to expand the margin. Ty Truelove passed to Willie Goodwyn on an 80-yarder to extend the lead to 21-7. Reid Giles pushed the margin to 28-7 on a 60-yard run. Truelove passed to Giles with less than a minute left in the third quarter to put Rabun up 35-7. Giles capped scoring on a 15-yard run with six minutes left in the game.
Commerce 34, Dade County 14
Jaiden Daniels had 21 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns to lead Commerce into the quarterfinals. John Paul Allen had four carries for 31 yards and two touchdowns and Jacari Huff had four carries for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Brooks County 22, Dublin 7
Brooks County trailed 7-6 at the end of the first quarter but held Dublin scoreless through the final three quarters to secure the victory. Brooks took the lead 6-0 on a 61-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes left in the first quarter. Dublin scored on a 40-yard run from Kameron Hampton to take the lead. The Trojans regained the lead on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter. With one minute left in the third quarter, Brooks County expanded the lead on a 28-yard field goal and put the game away with an 11-yard run with three minutes remaining in the contest.
Elbert County 42, Trion 41
DJ Fortson and Miguel Rodriguez thwarted the 2-point conversion attempt from Trion in overtime to secure the victory and advance Elbert into the quarterfinals.
Irwin County 31, Bleckley County 0
Jason Jackson put Irwin County up 6-0 on a 3-yard run with six minutes left in the first quarter. Luke Snyder passed to Nicholas Merritt on a 17-yarder to expand the margin to 12-0 entering halftime. Two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter brough the score to its final tally. Irwin will travel to top-ranked Prince Avenue Christian in the quarterfinals.
In other Division I games – Bryan County advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history after beating Pelham 34-8. The Redskins led 8-0 after the first quarter and 14-8 at the half. … Top-ranked Prince Avenue Christian moved past Mount Vernon 72-41 and will play host to Irwin County in the quarterfinals. …
Class A Division II
Schley County 49, Lincoln County 23
Junior Zayden Walker rushed for three touchdowns and senior quarterback Jay Kanazawa passed for two to lead the top-ranked Wildcats past Lincoln County. Kanazawa – who was 30-of-33 passing for 335 yards -- passed to junior Kendall Sims and senior Carson Westbrook for touchdowns. Westbrook had five catches for 118 yards in the victory. Walker finished with 11 carries for 77 yards. Jeremiah Rogers and Kabreon Aldridge each had one rushing touchdown. In the quarterfinals, Schley County will host Region 1 No. 1 Early County (8-4), a 43-34 home winner over Region 3 No. 3 Emanuel County Institute (6-6).
Manchester 35, Johnson County 0
Visiting Manchester (9-2), the second seed from Region 6, shut out Johnson County (8-4), the Region 5 champion. Manchester quarterback Daryus Bryant rushed for two short touchdowns and completed a pass to Jayden Terry on a two-point conversion, all in the first half, to help give the Blue Devils a 21-0 halftime lead. Qua Cooper had a 12-yard rushing touchdown as well in the second quarter. Darius Favors (50 yards) and Caron Long (3 yards) added rushing touchdowns for Manchester in the third quarter.
Clinch County 35, Seminole County 6
Clinch County quarterback Jeremy Bell rushed for two touchdowns to help the host Panthers (11-1) defeat Seminole County (7-5). Clinch County, the top seed from Region 2, led 14-0 in the second quarter after first-quarter rushing touchdowns by Aaron Bryant (5 yards) and Kyiis Mingo (3 yards). Bell added rushing scores of 4 yards and 1 yard in the second quarter to put the Panthers ahead 28-0 at halftime. Clinch County capped its scoring with a 34-yard touchdown run by Jaiden Reed in the third quarter before Seminole County, the No. 2 seed from Region 1, scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Clinch County will host Manchester next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Telfair County 14, Portal 12
Telfair County’s Bradyn Cook rushed for a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Trojans ahead 14-12 and had the game-clinching interception with 1:01 remaining in the game. The visiting Trojans (9-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 4, took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Jabari Zanders threw a 9-yard touchdown to Jackie Wilcox. Portal (8-4), the Region 3 champion, answered later in the quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Elijah Coleman to Amir Jackson, but the two-point conversion failed. Portal took a 12-7 halftime lead on a 1-yard Coleman run with 10 seconds remaining in the half, but the ensuing two-point conversion failed as well. Portal advanced the ball past midfield on its final possession of the game, but Coleman was hit as he threw, leading to Cook’s interception. Telfair County will host Macon County next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Macon County 38, Aquinas 35 (OT)
Macon County (10-2), the third seed from Region 6, won an overtime thriller on the road at Aquinas (9-3), the Region 8 champion, when a 30-yard Josh Gutierrez field goal ended the game in the first overtime after Aquinas missed a field goal on its possession. Neither team held more than a seven-point lead in the game, which featured five ties. Macon County tied the game at 35-35 when quarterback Brian Harris Jr. threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Felder, who rushed for a 2-yard score in the third quarter. Harris also threw a 10-yard touchdown to Hikeem Perkins in the second quarter, and Macon County’s Tyler Stephens rushed for a 14-yard score early in the second. Macon County’s first touchdown came on a return of a blocked Aquinas punt. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime. Quarterback Jim Franklin of Aquinas rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two.
In other Class A Division II games -- Region 4 No. 1 Dooly County (8-4) trailed 24-14 at halftime to Region 3 No. 2 Jenkins County (10-2) at home but came back to score the go-ahead touchdown to lead 28-24 with five minutes remaining. Jenkins County drove the ball inside the Dooly County 20-yard line on its final possession but turned it over on downs with under a minute left to give Dooly County the four-point win. ...