*Clarke Central (7-4) at No. 2 Stockbridge (11-0): Clarke Central got its first playoff win in five years in a 35-32 upset of Carver (Atlanta). Clarke returned two turnovers for touchdowns, one a 100-yard interception return by Zay Brown. QB Jack Mangel has thrown for 1,887 yards. Jonathan Sewell has rushed for 1,041. Clarke’s first-year coach is alumnus David Perno, the former Georgia baseball coach. Stockbridge, which beat South Effingham 33-0 last week, averages 260.2 yards rushing. RB Jalen Houston has run for 1,233. QB Kenderick Duncan, a Georgia Southern commit, has missed the past three games with a hip injury but might be ready. Gabriel McKenzie (20-of-28 for 330 yards) has been similarly effective passing, but Duncan is the better runner.
*No. 10 Griffin (10-1) at Arabia Mountain (9-2): Griffin QB Tylan Morton threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-49 victory over Warner Robins last week. He has 3,996 yards passing on the season, 564 short of Hutson Mason’s state record (4,560). Griffin RB Santo Dunn has rushed for 943 yards. Arabia Mountain, in its eighth season, won its first region title this season, then its first playoff game, a 34-14 win over Villa Rica. RB Brandon Snowball rushed for 164 yards, giving him 826 on the season. Arabia Mountain allows just 98.5 yards rushing and 86.4 passing a game. LB Terray Bryant leads DeKalb County in tackles (165).
*No. 9 Loganville (9-2) at No. 6 Ware County (7-3): Loganville won its first playoff game since 1991 last week. Cameron Perkins was 14-of-21 passing for 216 yards in the 24-10 victory over Riverwood. Rhett Mixon had seven catches for 143 yards. Darryl Giles had 81 rushing yards, giving him 1,112 on the season. Ware County built a 35-7 lead and held on for a 35-28 first-round win over Ola, which put up 406 yards in total offense. Ware is largely a running team led by dual-threat QB Jemar Lincoln (921 rushing, 710 passing). Ware, a semifinalist in 2015, has reached the quarterfinals five of the past seven seasons.
*Bainbridge (5-5) at No. 4 Rome (9-2): Bainbridge RB Dameon Pierce scored six touchdowns in a 50-12 victory over Whitewater last week. The Alabama commit rushed for 152 yards, giving him 1,667 on the season, and caught a 77-yard TD pass. Bainbridge, a semifinalist last season, was ranked No. 3 in preseason but has stammered against a tough schedule. Rome got eight touchdowns from eight players in a 56-0 victory over Miller Grove. Rome gets almost three-fourths of its offense rushing, relying on Jalynn Sykes (1,092 yards) and Jamious Griffin (1,006). Rome is bidding for its first quarterfinal since 2008.
*Jones County (7-4) at No. 1 Buford (10-1): Brad Hunnicutt was 21-of-25 passing for 369 yards and two touchdowns in Jones County’s 39-15 victory over Wayne County in the first round. Hunnicutt has thrown for 2,502 yards on the season and 7,628 in his career. Nick Singleton has 1,099 receiving yards, although Drae Butts had 171 receiving and two touchdowns against Wayne. Buford’s 45-7 victory win over North Springs gave the Wolves a state-record 18th consecutive 10-win season. Buford has won 30 straight home playoff games. Buford RB/LB Anthony Grant has 1,065 yards rushing, 169 yards receiving, 21 touchdowns and 29 tackles. Buford has not allowed 20 points to a team in its classification since 2012 (Cedar Grove).
*No. 3 Carrollton (10-1) at Thomas County Central (8-3): Carrollton led 31-7 at halftime and beat Lithonia 45-14 last week. Lithonia had negative rushing yards, and LB Reid Dedman had 3.5 tackles for losses. QB Mark Wright has thrown for 1,587 yards and rushed for 513. Thomas Central QB Kelias Williams (934 rushing yards, 1,124 passing) is lost for the season to injury. Thomas Central rushed for 394 yards – 122 by sophomore Jaylen Dunbar – in a 38-26 victory over Riverdale last week. New QB Dre Sullivan ran for 60 yards but was 1-for-5 passing for 5 yards. Thomas Central is bidding for its first quarterfinal since 2009.
*No. 7 Woodland, Stockbridge (9-2) at No. 8 Grady (10-1): Woodland QB Reid Larsen has thrown for 2,434 yards, but Woodland uncharacteristically rushed for 318 yards on 34 carries in a 39-6 victory over New Hampstead last week. Kareem Rogers ran for 127 of that. That was Woodland’s first playoff game. The school opened in 2007. Grady QB Caylin Newton (3,096 yards passing, 904 rushing) is a player-of-the-year candidate. He’s had a hand in 44 touchdowns. Jacquez Sloan (60 catches, 1,181 yards, 12 TD) and TE Kemari Averett (54-717-11) are major accomplices. Grady is seeking its fourth quarterfinal or better and first since 2010.
*No. 5 Kell (9-2) at Starr’s Mill (7-4): Josiah Futral had 225 of Kell’s 395 rushing yards in a 31-22 win over Southwest DeKalb last week. Futral has rushed for 845 yards and has 21 receptions for 375 yards. LB Solon Page III, who had 17 tackles against Southwest, is committed to Tennessee. Kell is 7-0 in first-round games and 3-3 in second-round games since 2010. Starr’s Mill averages 335.7 yards rushing and 44.0 passing. Cole Gilley has rushed for 1,555 yards and topped 100 in 10 of 11 games, including 174 in th 38-17 win over Veterans last week. Starr’s Mill is seeking its first quarterfinal since its 2010 Class AAAA runner-up team.
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