Updated: John McClellan high school playoff picks: Rome, Pepperell, Darlington, Cartersville, Calhoun, Cedartown, Rockmart should advance to round two.

Updated: John McClellan high school playoff picks: Rome, Pepperell, Darlington, Cartersville, Calhoun, Cedartown, Rockmart should advance to round two.

One section of the 2A state football playoff bracket featuring Banks County at Pepperell this Friday night. For the complete 2A bracket, click here. For all the high school brackets, please click 5A / 4A / 3A / 2A / A

By John McClellan
For Hometown Headlines

Rome, Cartersville, Cedartown, Calhoun, Adairsville, Rockmart, Pepperell, Coosa, Darlington and Trion all moved into the state playoffs as the 2017 regular season drew to a close in the state this past weekend. Unity Christian saw its season end with a first-round GICAA playoff loss to Central Christian. Cass, Woodland, Sonoraville, Armuchee, Model, Gordon Central and Georgia School for the Deaf all ended the season looking ahead to 2018.

Although most first-round playoff games were set for this weekend, several local teams had to wait until Monday to find out who they played.

Here’s the updated look at Friday’s games:

Class 5A

Cedar Shoals (6-4) at Number 1 Rome (10-0)

  • Series History: Rome leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Rome defeated Cedar Shoals 26-17 on November 17, 2000 in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Cedar Shoals 0-3 (lost to Clarke Central, Flowery Branch, and Buford); Rome 5-0 (defeated Harrison, Drew, Kell, Paulding County and Carrollton)
  • The Cedar Shoals Jaguars, under second year coach Leroy Ryals, broke open a close game in the second half to defeat Walnut Grove 21-3 and earn their first playoff berth since 2008. The Rome Wolves, under third year head coach John Reid, scored early and often in a Friday night 62-0 shutout of Woodland. The Wolves have won 22 games in a row and are seeking to repeat as Class 5A state champions. Rome wins by 43.

Class 4A

Northwest Whitfield (6-4) at Number 8 Cedartown (9-1)

  • Series History: Cedartown leads 4-2
  • Last Meeting: Northwest Whitfield defeated Cedartown 42-13 on September 4, 2015.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Northwest Whitfield 2-3 (defeated South Atlanta and Pickens; lost to Dalton, Ridgeland and Heritage of Catoosa); Cedartown 5-1 (defeated Rockmart, Cherokee County, Ala., Pepperell, Troup County, and Chapel Hill; lost to Cartersville)
  • The Northwest Whitfield Bruins, who lost an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth in the regular season after a 21-13 upset loss two weeks ago to Southwest Whitfield, won a Region 6-AAAA mini-playoff game Friday night over Pickens to move into the postseason. The Cedartown Bulldogs, whose only loss came in the fifth game of the year to Number 1 Cartersville, dominated Chapel Hill 47-14 Friday night to wrap up second place in Region 5-AAAA. Cedartown wins by 16.

Pickens (5-5) at Number 1 Cartersville (10-0)

  • Series History: Cartersville leads 20-0
  • Last Meeting: Cartersville defeated Pickens 35-0 on November 6, 2015
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Pickens 2-5 (defeated Chattahoochee and North Hall; lost to Pepperell, North Forsyth, Northwest Whitfield, Ridgeland, and Heritage); Cartersville 7-0 (defeated Allatoona, Bartram Trail, Fla., Calhoun, Westlake, Cedartown, Chapel Hill, and Troup County)
  • The Pickens Dragons, who went only 5-5 during the regular season and lost 49-21 to Heritage of Catoosa in their season finale, held off Southeast Whitfield during the final two minutes of a Monday night Region 6-AAAA mini-playoff to earn the final postseason berth from the region. The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes, who are shooting for their third straight Class AAAA state title, extended their winning streak to a state leading 40 games with a 52-13 defeat of Troup County. Cartersville wins by 59.

Class 3A

Pace Academy (5-4) at Number 4 Calhoun (9-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Pace Academy 1-4 (defeated Lovett; lost to West Forsyth, Hapeville Charter, Westminster, and Cedar Grove); Calhoun 5-1 (defeated Douglass, Dalton, North Murray, Adairsville, and Bremen; lost to Cartersville)
  • The Pace Academy Knights, who won the Class AA state championship two years ago, lost four of their first six games before defeating McNair 33-9, Lovett 17-14, and Towers 13-0 to finish fourth in the highly competitive Region 5-AAA. The Calhoun Yellow Jackets overcame an early season loss to Cartersville to win their 17th consecutive region championship by defeating Murray County 65-23. Calhoun wins by 5.

Adairsville (6-4) at Number 1 Cedar Grove (10-0)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Adairsville 0-3 (lost to Ridgeland, Calhoun and Bremen); Cedar Grove 6-0 (defeated Stephenson, Southwest DeKalb, Columbia, Lovett, Westminster, and Pace Academy)
  • The Adairsville Tigers, who entered the 2017 season after finishing 3-7 a year ago, defeated Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 34-21 to finish fourth in Region 6-AAA. The Cedar Grove Saints, the defending Class 3A state champions, capped an unbeaten season with their closest margin of victory at 21 points with a 73-0 shutout of Redan. Cedar Grove wins by 44.

Class 2A

Banks County (5-5) at Pepperell (7-3)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Banks County 1-3 (defeated all three teams competing for the fourth and final playoff spot from Region 8-AA; lost to Jackson County. Rabun County, and Elbert County); Pepperell 3-3 (defeated Pickens, Coosa, and Chattooga; lost to Ridgeland, Cedartown, and Rockmart)
  • The Banks County Leopards entered Friday night on a three game winning streak before losing to Elbert County 43-22 for a third place finish in Region 8-AA. The Pepperell Dragons, who opened the year with a 1-2 record against a tough non-region schedule, overwhelmed Chattooga 38-7 to cap a three game winning streak for a second place finish in Region 7-AA. Pepperell leads by 20.

Coosa (7-3) at Elbert County (8-2)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Coosa 2-3 (defeated North Murray and Chattooga; lost to Mt. Zion, Pepperell, and Rockmart); Elbert County 4-2 (defeated Hart County, Madison County, Banks County, and all three teams competing for the fourth and final playoff spot from Region 8-AA; lost to Washington-Wilkes and Rabun County)
  • The Coosa Eagles opened the season with a 3-1 record and closed the year with a 44-0 defeat of Gordon Central to finish third in Region 7-AA for their best regular season record since 2014. The Elbert County Blue Devils, under former Rome head coach Sid Fritts, are in the postseason for the fifth straight year following an 8-2 season that ended with a 43-22 win over Banks County. Elbert County wins by 21.

Chattooga (4-6) at Number 5 Rabun County (10-0)

  • Series History: Rabun County leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Rabun County defeated Chattooga 24-20 on November 14, 2014 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
  • Records Against State Playoff Teams: Chattooga 0-6 (lost to Fort Payne, Ala., Dawson County, Ridgeland, Coosa, Rockmart, and Pepperell); Rabun County 5-0 (defeated Mount Pisgah Christian, West Hall, Banks County, Elbert County, and all three teams competing for the final playoff spot from Region 8-AA)
  • The Chattooga Indians lost four straight games and five of their first six contests before winning three of their final four games to finish fourth in Region 7-AA. The Rabun County Wildcats finished with their second straight unbeaten regular season after a 52-7 win over Monticello. Rabun County wins by 39.

Monticello (2-8) at Rockmart (8-2)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Monticello 0-5 (lost to Athens Christian, Jackson, Banks County, Elbert County, and Rabun County); Rockmart 4-1 (defeated Piedmont, Ala., Chattooga, Pepperell, and Coosa; lost to Cedartown)
  • The Monticello Hurricanes finished 2-8 in the regular season after a season-ending 52-7 loss to Rabun County before upsetting Putnam County 3-0 in a Monday night Region 8-AA mini-playoff to reach the postseason for the first time since 1999. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets, who started the year 1-2, were undefeated in league play in Region 7-AA after a 42-10 season ending win over Model. Rockmart wins by 28.

Class A Private

Mt. de Sales (6-4) at Darlington (6-4)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Mt. de Sales 2-4 (defeated Social Circle and Aquinas; lost to Howard, Stratford Academy, Tattnall Square, and First Presbyterian); Darlington 1-4 (defeated Trion; lost to Ridgeland, Heard County, Mt. Zion, and Whitefield Academy)
  • The Mt. de Sales Cavaliers defeated Hancock Central 39-24 to finish 6-4 for the season and record their first winning season since 2011. The Darlington Tigers, who entered Friday night after three straight wins over North Cobb Christian, Trion, and Christian Heritage, were shutout for the second time this season in a 6-0 loss to Whitefield Academy. The winner of this game will travel to Augusta to play Aquinas in the second round of the playoffs. Darlington wins by 1. 

Class A Public 

Dooly County (4-6) at Trion (7-3)

  • Series History: Trion leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Trion defeated Dooly County 51-36 on December 5, 2003 in the Class A state quarterfinals.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Dooly County 1-6 (defeated Taylor County; lost to Crisp County, Macon County, Americus-Sumter, Dodge County, Schley County, and Marion County); Trion 1-3 (defeated Mt. Zion; lost to Bremen, Darlington, and Mt. Pisgah Christian)
  • The Dodge County Bobcats recovered from an 0-5 start against one of the most difficult schedules of any Class A team in the state to win four of their final five contests, including a 48-16 victory Friday night over Greenville. The Trion Bulldogs won five of their first six games before losses to Darlington 35-31 and Mt. Pisgah Christian 49-42 dropped their season record to 7-3. The winner will travel to Homerville next Friday to play Clinch County in the second round of the playoffs. Trion wins by 1.

Other first round matchups involving teams in regions in Northwest Georgia:

Class 7A

Woodstock (6-4) at North Paulding (8-2)

  • Series History: North Paulding leads 2-0
  • Last Meeting: North Paulding defeated Woodstock 34-0 on September 15, 2017.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Woodstock 4-3 (defeated Sequoyah, North Forsyth, Etowah, and Roswell; lost to West Forsyth, North Paulding, and Walton); North Paulding 3-2 (defeated Paulding County, Woodstock, and North Cobb; lost to Hillgrove and McEachern)
  • North Paulding wins by 3.

Class 6A

Dalton (7-3) at Number 6 Douglas County (9-1)

  • Series History: Douglas County leads 4-3
  • Last Meeting: Douglas County defeated Dalton 14-3 on October 19, 1973.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Dalton 1-3 (lost to Calhoun, Harrison, and Allatoona; defeated Sequoyah); Douglas County 3-1 (defeated Carver of Columbus, Langston Hughes, and Alexander; lost to Mays)
  • Douglas County wins by 6.

Class 5A

Paulding County (5-5) at Number 2 Buford (8-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Paulding County 0-4 (lost to North Paulding, Kell, Rome and Carrollton); Buford 5-1 (defeated Hillgrove, Melbourne Central Catholic, Fla., Clarke Central, Cedar Shoals, and Flowery Branch; lost to South Pointe, S.C.)
  • Buford wins by 40.

Clarke Central (7-3) at Number 10 Carrollton (8-2)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Clarke Central 2-2 (defeated Gainesville and Cedar Shoals; lost to Buford and Flowery Branch); Carrollton 3-1 (defeated Newnan, Kell, and Paulding County; lost to Rome)
  • Carrollton wins by 8.

Kell (5-5) at Flowery Branch (8-2)

  • Series History: Kell leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Kell defeated Flowery Branch 21-13 on November 19, 2010 in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Kell 1-3 (defeated Paulding County; lost to Tucker, Rome, and Carrollton); Flowery Branch 3-2 (defeated North Hall, Cedar Shoals, and Clarke Central; lost to Jefferson and Buford)
  • Flowery Branch wins by 4.

Class 4A

Number 10 Troup County (8-2) at Heritage of Catoosa (9-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Troup County 1-2 (defeated Chapel Hill; lost to Cedartown and Cartersville); Heritage 3-1 (defeated North Murray, Pickens, and all three of the teams competing for the two final playoff sports in Region 6-AAA)
  • Troup County wins by 4.

Chapel Hill (6-4) at Number 4 Ridgeland (10-0)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Chapel Hill 0-4 (lost to Starrs Mill, Troup County, Cartersville, and Cedartown); Ridgeland 7-0 (defeated Adairsville, Pepperell, Darlington, Chattooga, Heritage, Pickens, and all three teams competing for the two final playoff spots in Region 6-AAA)
  • Ridgeland wins by 30.

Class 3A

Number 8 Bremen (9-1) at Number 9 Lovett (6-4)

  • Series History: Lovett leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Lovett defeated Bremen 56-21 on November 14, 2014 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Bremen 3-1 (defeated Mount Paran Christian, Trion, and Adairsville; lost to Calhoun); Lovett 2-4 (defeated BEST Academy and Westminster; lost to Greater Atlanta Christian, Marist, Cedar Grove, and Pace Academy)
  • Lovett wins by 21.

Number 10 Westminster (5-5) at North Murray (7-3)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Westminster 1-5 (defeated Pace Academy; lost to Blessed Trinity, Greater Atlanta Christian, Woodward Academy, Cedar Grove, and Lovett); North Murray 0-3 (lost to Coosa, Heritage, and Calhoun)
  • Westminster wins by 21.

Class 2A

Temple (6-4) at BEST Academy (5-5)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Temple 1-3 (defeated Spencer; lost to Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Heard County, and Callaway); BEST Academy 1-4 (defeated Douglass; lost to Wesleyan, Lovett, Hapeville Charter, and South Atlanta)
  • Temple wins by 2.

Class A Private

Walker (5-5) at Whitefield Academy (7-3)

  • Series History: Walker leads 9-8
  • Last Meeting: Whitefield Academy defeated Walker 24-7 on October 27, 2017
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Walker 1-5 (defeated Fellowship Christian; lost to Athens Academy, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, Mt. Pisgah Christian, Mt. Paran Christian, and Whitefield Academy); Whitefield Academy 3-3 (defeated Fellowship Christian, Walker, and Darlington; lost to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, Mt. Pisgah Christian, and Mt. Paran Christian).
  • Whitefield Academy wins by 3. 

Fellowship Christian (6-4) at George Walton Academy (7-3)

  • Series History: GWA leads 3-1
  • Last Meeting: Fellowship defeated GWA 38-7 on November 18, 2016 in the second round of the Class A Private School state playoffs.
  • Records Against Playoff Teams: Fellowship Christian 1-4 (defeated Our Lady of Mercy; lost to Mt. Paran Christian, Walker, Whitefield Academy, and Mt. Pisgah Christian); George Walton 4-3 (defeated Social Circle, Towns County, Athens Christian, and Hebron Christian; lost to Prince Avenue Christian, Athens Academy, and Commerce)
  • Fellowship Christian wins by 11.

Class 7A

Milton (8-2) over Collins Hill (6-4) by 8

Number 7 Brookwood (8-2) over South Gwinnett (3-7) by 17

Number 6 Tift County (9-1) over Newnan (4-6) by 27

Roswell (3-7) over Hillgrove (7-3) by 1

Number 10 Mill Creek (7-3) over West Forsyth (7-3) by 16

Number 2 Archer (10-0) over Meadowcreek (7-3) by 45

Number 8 Colquitt County (7-3) over Pebblebrook (6-4) by 28

Number 3 Walton (10-0) over North Cobb (6-4) by 15

Newton (7-3) over Parkview (7-3)

Number 9 South Forsyth (9-1) over Mountain View (8-2) by 11

McEachern (7-3) over Etowah (5-5) by 15

Number 1 Lowndes (10-0) over Campbell (4-6) by 49

Number 4 Grayson (9-1) over Norcross (5-5) by 28

Number 5 North Gwinnett (9-1) over North Forsyth (5-5) by 35

North Paulding (8-2) over Woodstock (6-4) by 3

Westlake (7-3) over Marietta (6-4) by 14

Class 6A

Number 6 Douglas County (9-1) over Dalton (7-3)

Number 9 Alpharetta (9-1) over Gainesville (4-6) by 15

Number 4 Coffee (6-3) over Effingham County (5-5) by 18

Evans (8-2) over Drew (4-6) by 8

Allatoona (7-3) over Langston Hughes (7-3) by 1

Dacula (6-4) over Pope (4-6) by 32

Number 5 Northside of Warner Robins (7-3) over Number 8 Brunswick (7-2) by 6

Number 1 Tucker (9-1) over Lakeside of Evans (2-8) by 65

Centennial (7-3) over Lanier (6-4) by 6

Number 2 Mays (9-1) over Sequoyah (6-4) by 31

Lovejoy (6-4) over Grovetown (6-4) by 14

Number 3 Lee County (9-1) over Richmond Hill (7-2) by 30

Winder-Barrow (8-2) over Chattahoochee (7-3) by 6

Number 10 Harrison (7-3) over Alexander (6-4) by 1

Stephenson (7-3) over Heritage of Conyers (6-4) by 15

Valdosta (4-6) over Number 7 Glynn Academy (6-3) by 3

Class 5A

Southwest DeKalb (7-3) over Banneker (8-2) by 3

Number 1 Rome (10-0) over Cedar Shoals (6-4) by 45

Number 7 Bainbridge (7-3) over New Hampstead (6-4) by 27

Number 8 Starrs Mill (9-1) over Dutchtown (7-3) by 2

Maynard Jackson (8-2) over Miller Grove (5-5) by 3

Number 2 Buford (8-1) over Paulding County (5-5) by 40

Ware County (4-5) over Harris County (5-5) by 12

Number 3 Stockbridge (10-0) over McIntosh (6-4) by 27

Number 10 Carrollton (8-2) over Clarke Central (7-3) by 8

Arabia Mountain (8-2) over North Springs (6-4) by 14

Eagles Landing (6-4) over Whitewater (7-3) by 12

Number 4 Warner Robins (10-0) over South Effingham (1-9) by 33

Flowery Branch (8-2) over Kell (5-5) by 4

Carver of Atlanta (9-1) over Columbia (5-5) by 13

Number 5 Jones County (9-1) over Number 9 Griffin (9-1) by 8

Number 6 Wayne County (8-1) over Thomas County Central (3-7) by 16

Class 4A

Number 8 Cedartown (9-1) over Northwest Whitfield (6-4) by 16

Number 2 Marist (10-0) over Madison County (4-6) by 30

Cairo (7-3) over Spalding (4-5) by 5

Number 3 Burke County (10-0) over Salem (6-4) by 24

Number 10 Troup County (8-2) over Heritage of Catoosa (9-1) by 4

St. Pius X (5-5) over West Hall (5-5) by 18

West Laurens (5-5) over Northside of Columbus (8-2) by 6

Number 7 Woodward Academy (9-1) over Richmond Academy (5-5) by 37

Number 5 Blessed Trinity (8-2) over Oconee County (5-5) by 17

Number 1 Cartersville (10-0) over Pickens (5-5) by 59

Number 6 Thomson (8-1) over North Clayton (4-6) by 30

Americus-Sumter (8-2) over Howard (6-4) by 8

Jefferson (8-2) over White County (7-3) by 21

Number 4 Ridgeland (10-0) over Chapel Hill (6-4) by 30

Eastside (8-2) over Baldwin (6-4) by 15

Number 9 Mary Persons (8-2) over Carver of Columbus (3-7)

Class 3A

Number 9 Lovett (6-4) over Number 8 Bremen (9-1) by 21

Number 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (9-1) over Jackson County (5-5) by 52

Cook (5-5) over Tattnall County (4-5) by 6

Number 5 Jenkins (10-0) over Jackson (5-5) by 5

Number 10 Westminster (5-5) over North Murray (7-3) by 21

Number 7 Morgan County (9-1) over East Hall (6-4) by 15

Pierce County (4-5) over Monroe (3-6) by 1

Number 2 Peach County (9-1) over Savannah (6-4) by 45

Dawson County (7-3) over Hart County (7-3) by 8

Number 1 Cedar Grove (10-0) over Adairsville (6-4) by 44

Pike County (7-3) over Southeast Bulloch (6-4) by 4

Number 6 Crisp County (8-1) over Appling County (3-5) by 32

Monroe Area (9-1) over North Hall (4-6) by 13

Number 4 Calhoun (9-1) over Pace Academy (5-4) by 5

Westside of Macon (7-3) over Windsor Forest (7-3) by 32

Liberty County (7-3) over Dougherty (2-8) by 31

Class 2A

Number 9 Callaway (9-1) over Douglass (7-3) by 19

Rockmart (8-2) over Monticello (2-8) by 28

Number 6 Brooks County (8-1) over Vidalia (5-4) by 26

Number 7 Dodge County (9-0) over Butler (4-6) by 37

Temple (6-4) over BEST Academy (5-5) by 2

Number 5 Rabun County (10-0) over Chattooga (4-6) by 39

Fitzgerald (4-6) over Toombs County (9-1) by 5

Number 3 Screven County (9-0) over Washington County (5-5) by 18

Pepperell (7-3) over Banks County (5-5) by 20

Number 8 Heard County (9-1) over South Atlanta (5-5) by 15

Dublin (6-4) over Harlem (7-3) by 15

Number 4 Thomasville (10-0) over Jeff Davis (5-4) by 26

Elbert County (8-2) over Coosa (7-3) by 21

Number 2 Hapeville Charter (9-1) over Spencer (5-5) by 33

Number 10 Jefferson County (9-1) over Southwest Macon (5-4) by 13

Number 1 Benedictine (10-0) over Berrien (4-6) by 47

Class A Public

Marion County (8-2) over Telfair County (4-6) by 1

Number 10 Washington-Wilkes (6-4) over Chattahoochee County (7-3) by 9

Number 8 Trion (7-3) over Dooly County (4-6) by 1

Schley County (7-3) over Turner County (6-4) by 5

Pelham (8-2) over Towns County (5-5) by 24

Lincoln County (6-4) over Taylor County (8-2) by 3

Number 6 Charlton County (7-2) over Montgomery County (6-4) by 12

Miller County (7-3) over Jenkins County (7-3) by 5

Drawing 1st Round Byes—Number 9 Mt. Zion (8-2), Number 1 Manchester (10-0), Number 3 Clinch County (8-2), Mitchell County (9-1), Number 5 Macon County (7-3), Number 2 Irwin County (9-1), Number 7 Commerce (8-2), and Number 4 Emanuel County Institute (9-1)

Class A Private

Number 8 Calvary Day (8-2) over Strong Rock Christian (5-5) by 25

Savannah Christian (5-4) over Hebron Christian (6-4) by 10

Whitefield Academy (7-3) over Walker (5-5) by 3

Darlington (6-4) over Mt. de Sales (6-4) by 1

Savannah Country Day (8-2) over Brookstone (5-5) by 10

First Presbyterian (7-3) over Number 10 Tattnall Square (7-3) by 1

Fellowship Christian (6-4) over George Walton (7-3) by 11

Our Lady of Mercy (6-4) over Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (6-4) by 5

Drawing 1st Round Byes—Number 4 Wesleyan (8-2), Number 1 Eagles Landing Christian (10-0), Number 5 Prince Avenue Christian (9-1), Number 6 Aquinas (7-3), Number 9 Mt. Pisgah Christian (8-2), Number 2 Athens Academy (10-0), Number 7 Stratford Academy (9-1), and Number 3 Mt. Paran Christian (9-1)

 

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