Defending champions Warner Robins and Fitzgerald won quarterfinals playoff games in overtime Friday night while Dutchtown, St. Francis and Schley County made in the semifinals for the first time, and Fellowship Christian was the only unranked team to advance.
Warner Robins, the two-time reigning Class 5A champion, beat No. 2 Creekside 31-28. Warner Robins is ranked No. 8, an uncommonly low position brought on by the Demons’ 1-4 start, but now, the team has won eight consecutive games to go with its 13-game win streak in the playoffs. Warner Robins is the first 5A team this season to beat Creekside, which finished 10-3 after an 0-2 start.
Fitzgerald, the 2021 Class 2A champion, beat No. 7 Rockmart 21-14 in one extra period. Fitzgerald (13-0) has the GHSA’s longest win streak, at 19 games.
Defending champions Benedictine in 4A and Cedar Grove in 3A also won. Benedictine, ranked No. 4, beat unranked Stockbridge 34-14 while Cedar Grove, ranked No. 1, beat No. 2 Calvary Day 30-0.
Dutchtown, St. Francis and Schley County will be the only ones of 32 semifinals teams making their first appearances.
Dutchtown, an 18-year-old Henry County school, beat Mays 40-34 in overtime in 5A. Dutchtown (12-1) is ranked No. 7.
St. Francis, ranked eighth in Class A Division I, beat No. 10 Bleckley County 37-21. St. Francis (10-3) is a Milton private school that began football in 2010.
Schley County, ranked No. 5 in A Division II, beat No. 10 Wilcox County 55-23. Schley (11-2) opened in 2000.
In Class 2A, Fellowship Christian got through as an unranked team by beating No. 6 Pierce County 40-22. Fellowship Christian was ranked No. 5 in preseason but had not returned to the rankings since a 2-3 start. The Paladins are now 9-3.
The higher-ranked teams won 27 of 32 games Friday.
Games in the highest classification particularly were one-sided. No. 2 Colquitt County beat unranked North Gwinnett 52-17. No. 3 Mill Creek defeated No. 10 Westlake 38-13. No. 4 Carrollton beat Walton 52-27. And No. 7 Milton beat unranked Grayson 35-12.
In addition to Warner Robins and Fellowship Christian, those who won as rankings underdogs were No. 3 Roswell over No. 2 Thomas County Central 42-34 in 6A, No. 9 Oconee County over No. 8 Carver-Columbus 14-6 in 3A and No. 4 Thomson over No. 2 South Atlanta in 2A.
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