Metter played its first record game in 1925 but is 0-5 in state semifinals. The unbeaten Tigers are at home against No. 2 Brooks County in Class A Public.
Here’s more scoop on the semifinals.
Favorites: The teams to beat, and their percent chances of winning it all according to the computer Maxwell Ratings, are Collins Hill in 7A (87%), Buford in 6A (83%), Warner Robins in 5A (51%), Benedictine in 4A (66%), Cedar Grove in 3A (31%), Thomasville in 2A (67%), Trinity Christian in 1A Private (84%) and Metter (44%). Collins Hill, Trinity Christian and Metter have never football state titles. Thomasville last won in 1988.
Defending champs: Seven of eight are still playing. They are Grayson (Class 7A), Buford (6A), Warner Robins (5A), Pierce County (3A), Callaway (2A), Prince Avenue Christian (1A Private) and Irwin County (1A Public). Only Marist (4A) is out.
Surprises: Dacula and Grayson are the only unranked teams among the 32 semifinalists, though both were ranked in preseason. North Oconee and Swainsboro are the only ones not ranked in preseason, though both are ranked now. Swainsboro, which finished 4-7 in 2020, is in the semifinals for the first time since 2001. Cedartown is in the semis for the first time in 20 years. Blessed Trinity and Walton, third-place finishers in their regions, have won three consecutive playoff games on the road, and they’re road-bound again – Walton to Milton in Class 7A and Blessed Trinity to Calhoun in 5A.
Winnersvilles: Three cities have two teams in the semifinals. They are Bogart (North Oconee, Prince Avenue Christian), Fairburn (Creekside, Hughes) and Roswell (Blessed Trinity, Fellowship Christian).
History maker: Fellowship coach Tim McFarlin is the ninth coach in GHSA history to lead three schools to the semifinals. In his first season at Fellowship Christian, a Class A Private school, McFarlin previously led Roswell and Blessed Trinity.
Notable players: Only two of AJC’s preseason Super 11 are still playing. They are quarterback Sam Horn and wide receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter of Collins Hill. Horn committed to Missouri, Hunter to Florida State. There are lots of other major Division I prospects, though. Among them are Appling County defensive end Darris Smith (committed to Georgia), Cedar Grove wide receiver Janiran Bonner (Georgia Tech), Benedictine quarterback Holden Geriner (Auburn), Walton cornerback Marcus Allen (North Carolina), Buford wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Bond (recently decommitted from Florida), Cedartown running back/linebacker C.J. Washington (Georgia), Cedar Grove running back Rashod Dubinion (Arkansas) and Hughes running back Antonio Martin (Georgia Tech).
Best matchup: Defending Class 5A champion Warner Robins is on the road at No. 5 Creekside. Neither won its region, but Warner Robins eliminated No. 1 Cartersville in the second round, and Creekside has beaten three ranked teams in the playoffs.
Next: The 16 winners will advance to the finals Dec. 9-11 at Center Parc Stadium.
Walton at Milton
Grayson at Collins Hill
Dacula at Hughes
Carrollton at Buford
Warner Robins at Creekside (B)
Blessed Trinity at Calhoun
Cedartown at Carver, Columbus
North Oconee at Benedictine
Appling Co. at Cedar Grove (GO)
Carver, Atlanta at Pierce Co.
Fitzgerald at Swainsboro
Callaway at Thomasville
Class A Private
Trinity Christian at ELCA
Prince Avenue at Fellowship Christian
Class A Public
Wilcox Co. at Irwin Co.
Brooks Co. at Metter
Stadium abbreviations: (B) Banneker High School; (CM) Columbus Memorial; (GO) Godfrey; (SM) Savannah Memorial