John McClellan’s high school playoff picks for Friday: Rome, Cartersville, Calhoun advance; Pepperell, Cedartown, Rockmart fall.

John McClellan’s high school playoff picks for Friday: Rome, Cartersville, Calhoun advance; Pepperell, Cedartown, Rockmart fall.

 

By John McClellan
For Hometown Headlines

The Rome Wolves and Cartersville Purple Hurricanes kept their unbeaten streaks intact with convincing wins in Friday night’s first round state playoff games. Pepperell, Darlington, Calhoun, Cedartown and Rockmart all moved ahead in the playoffs with opening round wins.

The Trion Bulldogs became one of the few true upset victims of the opening around following a 56-35 home loss to Dooly County. Other teams whose seasons came to an end in the first round of the postseason were Coosa, who lost to Elbert County 41-7; Adairsville, who lost to Cedar Grove 48-13, and Chattooga, who lost to Rabun County 49-6.

Class 5A

Southwest DeKalb (8-3) at Rome (11-0)

Series History: Rome leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Rome defeated Southwest DeKalb 42-14 on November 17, 2006 in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Southwest DeKalb lost to Kell 31-22 in the first round of the 2016 Class AAAAA playoffs; Rome defeated Buford 16-7 in the 2016 Class AAAAA state championship game.

Southwest DeKalb finished second in Region 5-AAAAA. The Panthers opened the season with a win over Redan 41-2, followed by a loss to Cedar Grove 47-7, a win over Creekside 28-0, and a loss to Stephenson 31-18. Southwest DeKalb then defeated Rockdale County 42-25, Chamblee 55-8, Miller Grove 20-0, and Lithonia 14-7 before closing the regular season with a loss to Arabia Mountain 27-14 and a win over Columbia 26-12. The Panthers defeated Banneker 35-17 in the first round of the playoffs. Rome won the Region 7-AAAAA championship for the second straight year. The Wolves finished the regular season with a 10-0 record and wins over Harrison 33-21, Drew 56-0, Kell 54-33, Paulding County 62-0, Carrollton 45-24, Hiram 42-13, Cass 49-0, Villa Rica 45-7, East Paulding 49-14, and Woodland 62-0. Rome defeated Cedar Shoals 63-13 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Bainbridge and Starrs Mill in the quarterfinals. Rome wins by 31.  

Class 4A

Blessed Trinity (9-2) at Cartersville (11-0)

Series History: Cartersville leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Cartersville defeated Blessed Trinity 24-23 on November 23, 2012 in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Blessed Trinity lost to Mary Persons 28-27 in the 2016 Class AAAA quarterfinals; Cartersville defeated Thomson 58-7 in the 2016 Class AAAA state championship game.

Blessed Trinity finished second in Region 7-AAAA. The Titans defeated Westminster 28-0 and St. Pius X 35-21 before losing to Marietta 14-6. Blessed Trinity then had wins over Creekview 28-27, Hart County 31-7, McCallie (Tenn.) 45-19, White County 50-14, and Chestatee 41-14 before closing the regular season with a loss to Marist 25-24 and a win over White County 44-21. The Titans defeated Oconee County 35-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Cartersville won the Region 5-AAAA championship game. The Purple Hurricanes finished the regular season with a 10-0 record and wins over Allatoona 35-14, Bartram Trail (Fla.) 52-45, Calhoun 58-6, Westlake 38-5, Cedartown 41-7, Central of Carrollton 55-6, LaGrange 56-0, Sandy Creek 63-0, Chapel 62-0, and Troup County 52-13. Cartersville defeated Pickens 48-21 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Thomson and Americus-Sumter in the quarterfinals. Cartersville wins by 28.

Cedartown (10-1) at Marist (11-0)

Series History: Marist leads 5-4

Last Meeting: Cedartown defeated Marist 24-21 on November 17, 1995 in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Cedartown lost to Oconee County 38-7 in the first round of the 2015 Class AAA playoffs; Marist lost to Sandy Creek 23-20 in the first round of the 2016 Class AAAA playoffs.

Cedartown finished second in Region 5-AAAA. The Bulldogs defeated Rockmart 34-26, Cherokee County (Ala.) 41-14, Gilmer 63-0, and Pepperell 42-10 before losing to Cartersville 41-7. Cedartown then defeated Central of Carrollton 35-14, Troup County 21-18, Sandy Creek 23-21, and Chapel Hill 47-14. The Bulldogs defeated Northwest Whitfield 47-14 in the first round of the playoffs. Marist won the Region 7-AAAA championship. The War Eagles finished the regular season with a 10-0 record and wins over Lovett 31-14, Baylor (Tenn.) 31-6, St. Pius X 17-14, Woodward Academy 34-17, Chamblee 58-0, Gainesville 39-14, West Hall 41-6, Blessed Trinity 25-24, Chestatee 48-30, and White County 35-7. Marist defeated Madison County 38-14 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Cairo and Burke County in the quarterfinals. Marist wins by 3.

Class 3A

Monroe Area (10-1) at Calhoun (10-1)

Series History: Calhoun leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Calhoun defeated Monroe Area 42-0 on November 11, 2016 in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Monroe Area lost to Calhoun 42-0 in the first round of the 2016 Class AAA playoffs; Calhoun lost to Cedar Grove 47-21 in the 2016 Class AAA quarterfinals.

Monroe Area finished second in Region 8-AAA. The Purple Hurricanes defeated Loganville 24-14, Social Circle 49-24, Walnut Grove 38-7, Madison County 38-14, Apalachee 42-0, Jackson County 42-14, and East Jackson 55-0 before losing to Morgan County 22-21. Monroe Area closed the regular season with wins over Hart County 28-14 and Franklin County 43-7. The Purple Hurricanes defeated North Hall 42-7 in the first round of the playoffs. Calhoun won the Region 6-AAA championship. The Yellow Jackets defeated Douglass 17-14 and Dalton 24-0 before losing to Cartersville 58-6. Calhoun then defeated Coahulla Creek 62-6, North Murray 40-13, Haralson County 41-10, Adairsville 42-16, Sonoraville 41-3, Bremen 48-0, and Murray County 65-23. The Yellow Jackets defeated Pace Academy 27-3 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Westside of Macon and Liberty County in the quarterfinals. Calhoun wins by 7.  

Class 2A

Pepperell (8-3) at Heard County (10-1)

Series History: Heard County leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Heard County defeated Pepperell 27-14 on November 15, 2013 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Pepperell lost to Benedictine 51-13 in the 2016 Class AA quarterfinals; Heard County lost to Rockmart 42-0 in the first round of the 2016 Class AA playoffs.

Pepperell finished second in Region 7-AA. The Dragons opened with a loss to Ridgeland 35-7 followed by a win over Pickens 39-28 and a loss to Cedartown 42-10. Pepperell then defeated Gordon Central 43-0, Coosa 24-20, and Model 49-0 before losing to Rockmart 56-42 and defeating Dade County 36-14, Armuchee 43-0, and Chattooga 38-7. The Dragons defeated Banks County 57-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Heard County won the Region 5-AA championship. The Braves opened the season with a win over South Atlanta 42-16 and a loss to Saraland (Ala.) 17-14. Heard County then defeated New Manchester 26-14, Darlington 21-7, Central of Carrollton 42-21, Temple 35-14, Callaway 35-28, Jordan 49-15, Lamar County 48-21, and Spencer 34-20. The Braves defeated South Atlanta 42-3 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Dublin and Thomasville in the quarterfinals. Heard County wins by 1.

Callaway (10-1) at Rockmart (9-2)

Series History: Callaway leads 6-1

Last Meeting: Callaway defeated Rockmart 37-0 on October 16, 2015

Last State Playoff Appearances: Callaway lost to Benedictine 49-10 in the 2016 Class AA semifinals; Rockmart lost to Fitzgerald 48-21 in the second round of the 2016 Class AA playoffs.

Callaway finished second in Region 5-AA. The Cavaliers defeated LaGrange 26-0, Handley of Roanoke (Ala.) 35-0, Columbus 44-13, Upson-Lee 40-20, Harris County 28-27, and Lamar County 48-7 before losing to Heard County 38-25. Callaway then defeated Temple 48-21, Spencer 38-7, and Jordan 42-12. The Cavaliers defeated Douglass 28-8 in the first round of the playoffs. Rockmart won the Region 7-AA championship. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a loss to Cedartown 34-26 followed by a win over Piedmont (Ala.) 36-22 and a loss to Woodland 30-21. Rockmart then defeated Armuchee 56-21, Dade County 32-0, Chattooga 48-0, Pepperell 56-42, Coosa 43-20, Gordon Central 41-0, and Model 42-10. The Yellow Jackets defeated Monticello in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Brooks County and Dodge County in the quarterfinals. Callaway wins by 9.

Class A Private School

Darlington (7-4) at Aquinas (7-3)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Darlington lost to Landmark Christian 13-12 in the second round of the 2016 Class A Private School playoffs; Aquinas lost to First Presbyterian in the first round of the 2016 Class A Private School playoffs.

Darlington finished third in the A subregion of Region 6-A. The Tigers opened the season with a win over Gaston (Ala.) followed by losses to Ridgeland 38-0 and Heard County 21-7 and wins over Gordon Lee 50-17 and Bowdon 43-21. Darlington lost to Mt. Zion 30-21 and defeated North Cobb Christian 28-7, Trion 35-31, and Christian Heritage 42-14 before closing the regular season with a loss to Whitefield Academy 6-0. The Tigers defeated Mt. de Sales 26-3 in the first round of the playoffs. Aquinas was the Region 7-A champion. The Fighting Irish opened the season with a loss to Prince Avenue Christian 35-17 followed by a win over Laney 38-12 and a loss to Mt. de Sales 14-3. Aquinas then defeated Hancock Central 45-14, Warren County 58-0, Greene County 42-0, and Washington-Wilkes 24-8 before losing to Lincoln County 12-6 and defeating Stratford Academy 30-27. The Fighting Irish earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Whitefield Academy and Prince Avenue Christian in the quarterfinals. Aquinas wins by 10.

Other Playoff Games Involving Teams in Regions in Northwest Georgia

Class 5A

Carrollton (9-2) at Arabia Mountain (9-2)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Carrollton lost to Buford 34-27 in the 2016 Class AAAAA quarterfinals; Arabia Mountain lost to Griffin 27-20 in overtime in the second round of the 2016 Class AAAAA playoffs.

Carrollton finished second in Region 7-AAAAA. The Trojans defeated Clarke Central 35-16 in the first round of the playoffs. Arabia Mountain was the Region 5-AAAAA champion. The Rams defeated North Springs 35-21 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game plays the winner of the game between Eagles Landing and Warner Robins in the quarterfinals. Carrollton wins by 7.

Class 4A

Troup County (9-2) at St. Pius X (6-5)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Troup County lost to West Hall 24-21 in the first round of the 2016 Class AAAA playoffs; St. Pius X lost to Ridgeland 21-14 in the first round of the 2016 Class AAAA playoffs.

Troup County finished third in Region 5-AAAA. The Tigers defeated Heritage of Catoosa 31-7 in the first round of the playoffs. St. Pius X was the Region 8-AAAA champion. The Golden Lions defeated West Hall 44-31 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game plays the winner of the game between West Laurens and Woodward Academy in the quarterfinals. Troup County wins by 5.

Jefferson (9-2) at Ridgeland (11-0)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Jefferson lost to Thomson 27-6 in the 2016 Class AAAA quarterfinals; Ridgeland lost to Spalding 38-21 in the second round of the 2016 Class AAAA playoffs.

Jefferson finished second in Region 8-AAAA. The Dragons defeated White County 29-13 in the first round of the playoffs. Ridgeland won the Region 6-AAAA championship. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Baldwin and Mary Persons in the quarterfinals. Ridgeland wins by 10.

Class A Private School

Whitefield Academy (8-3) at Prince Avenue Christian (9-1)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Whitefield Academy lost to Wesleyan 45-13 in the first round of the 2009 Class A playoffs; Prince Avenue Christian lost to Fellowship Christian 31-28 in the 2016 Class A Private School semifinals.

Whitefield Academy finished third in the B subregion of Region 6-A. The Wolfpack defeated Walker 26-7 in the first round of the playoffs. Prince Avenue Christian was the Region 8-A champion. The Wolverines earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Darlington and Aquinas in the quarterfinals. Prince Avenue Christian wins by 16.

Fellowship Christian (7-4) at Stratford Academy (9-1)

Series History: Stratford Academy leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Stratford Academy defeated Fellowship Christian 56-6 on November 5, 2004 in the first round of the GISA Class AAA state playoffs.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Fellowship Christian lost to Landmark Christian in the 2016 Class A Private School state championship game; Stratford Academy lost to Tattnall Square 13-7 in the second round of the Class A Private School playoffs.

Fellowship Christian finished fifth in the B subregion of Region 6-A. The Paladins defeated George Walton Academy 41-35 in the first round of the playoffs. Stratford Academy was the Region 7-A champion. The Eagles earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Mt. Vernon Presbyterian and Mt. Paran Christian in the quarterfinals. Stratford Academy wins by 14.

Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (7-4) at Mt. Paran Christian (9-1)

Series History: First Meeting

Last State Playoff Appearances: Mt. Vernon Presbyterian lost to George Walton Academy 38-14 in the first round of the 2016 Class A Private School playoffs; Mt. Paran Christian lost to Fellowship Christian 45-13 in the second round of the 2016 Class A Private School playoffs.

Mt. Vernon Presbyterian finished third in Region 5-A. The Mustangs defeated Our Lady of Mercy 21-14 in the first round of the playoffs. Mt. Paran Christian won the Region 6-A championship. The Eagles earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Fellowship Christian and Stratford Academy in the quarterfinals. Mt. Paran Christian wins by 27.

Class A Public School

Marion County (8-2) at Mt. Zion (8-2)

Series History: Marion County leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Marion County defeated Mt. Zion 53-14 on November 28, 2014 in the Class A state quarterfinals.

Last State Playoff Appearances: Marion County lost to Twiggs County 46-7 in the first round of the 2016 Class A Public School state playoffs; Mt. Zion lost to Irwin County 34-17 in the second round of the 2016 Class A Public School state playoffs.

Marion County finished second in the A subregion of Region 4-A. The Eagles defeated Telfair County 28-27 in the first round of the playoffs. Mt. Zion finished second in Region 6-A. The Eagles earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Washington-Wilkes and Manchester in the quarterfinals. Mt. Zion wins by 2.

A prediction of every GHSA second round state playoff game:

Class 7A

Brookwood (9-2) over Milton (9-2)

Tift County (10-1) over Hillgrove (8-3)

Archer (11-0) over Mill Creek (8-3)

Colquitt County (8-3) over Walton (11-0)

Parkview (8-3) over Mountain View (9-2) by 1

Lowndes (11-0) over McEachern (8-3) by 13

Grayson (10-1) over North Gwinnett (10-1) by 9

Woodstock (7-4) over Marietta (7-4) by 12

Class 6A

Douglas County (10-1) over Alpharetta (10-1) by 9

Coffee (7-3) over Evans (9-2) by 13

Allatoona (8-3) over Dacula (7-4) by 3

Tucker (10-1) over Northside of Warner Robins (8-3) by 15

Mays (10-1) over Centennial (8-3) by 24

Lee County (10-1) over Grovetown (7-4) by 30

Harrison (8-3) over Winder-Barrow (9-2) by 17

Glynn Academy (7-3) over Heritage of Conyers (7-4) by 24

Class 5A

Rome (11-0) over Southwest DeKalb (8-3) by 31

Bainbridge (8-3) over Starrs Mill (10-1) by 4

Buford (9-1) over Maynard Jackson (9-2) by 40

Stockbridge (11-0) over Ware County (5-5) by 11

Carrollton (9-2) over Arabia Mountain (9-2) by 7

Warner Robins (11-0) over Eagles Landing (7-4) by 2

Carver of Atlanta (10-1) over Flowery Branch (9-2) by 13

Jones County (10-1) over Wayne County (9-1) by 7

Class 4A

Marist (11-0) over Cedartown (10-1) by 3

Burke County (11-0) over Cairo (8-3) by 11

Troup County (9-2) over St. Pius X (6-5) by 5

Woodward Academy (10-1) over West Laurens (6-5) by 10

Cartersville (11-0) over Blessed Trinity (9-2) by 28

Thomson (9-1) over Americus-Sumter (9-2) by 9

Ridgeland (11-0) over Jefferson (9-2) by 10

Mary Persons (9-2) over Baldwin (7-4) by 17

Class 3A

Greater Atlanta Christian (10-1) over Lovett (7-4) by 19

Cook (6-5) over Jenkins (11-0) by 3

Westminster (6-5) over East Hall (7-4) by 18

Peach County (10-1) over Pierce County (5-5) by 37

Cedar Grove (11-0) over Dawson County (8-3) by 22

Crisp County (9-1) over Pike County (8-3) by 23

Calhoun (10-1) over Monroe Area (10-1) by 7

Liberty County (8-3) over Westside of Macon (8-3) by 14

Class 2A

Callaway (10-1) over Rockmart (9-2) by 9

Brooks County (9-1) over Dodge County (10-0) by 13

Rabun County (11-0) over BEST Academy (6-5) by 35

Screven County (10-0) over Toombs County (10-1) by 13

Heard County (10-1) over Pepperell (8-3) by 1

Thomasville (11-0) over Dublin (7-4) by 11

Hapeville Charter (10-1) over Elbert County (9-2) by 16

Benedictine (11-0) over Jefferson County (10-1) by 15

Class A Private

Wesleyan (8-2) over Calvary Day (9-2) by 9

Eagles Landing Christian (10-0) over Savannah Christian (6-4) by 45

Prince Avenue Christian (9-1) over Whitefield Academy (8-3) by 16

Aquinas (7-3) over Darlington (7-4) by 10

Savannah Country Day (9-2) over Mt. Pisgah Christian (8-2) by 4

First Presbyterian (8-3) over Athens Academy (10-0) by 1

Stratford Academy (9-1) over Fellowship Christian (7-4) by 14

Mt. Paran Christian (9-1) over Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (7-4) by 27

Class A Public

Mt. Zion (8-2) over Marion County (9-2) by 2

Manchester (10-0) over Washington-Wilkes (7-4) by 12

Clinch County (8-2) over Dooly County (5-6) by 14

Mitchell County (9-1) over Schley County (8-3) by 9

Macon County (7-3) over Pelham (9-2) by 20

Irwin County (9-1) over Lincoln County (7-4) by 6

Charlton County (8-2) over Commerce (8-2) by 7

Emanuel County Institute (9-1) over Jenkins County (8-3) by 15

 

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