Class A Quarterfinal Previews
(Courtesy Georgia High School Football Daily)
Wesleyan at Eagle’s Landing Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Commitment Field, McDonough
Records, rankings: Wesleyan is 9-2, the No. 8 seed and No. 7; Eagle’s Landing Christian is 11-0, the No. 1 seed and No. 1.
Last meeting: Eagle’s Landing Christian won 34-31 on Sept. 30.
Things to know: Wesleyan QB Banks Ramsey was 18-of-23 passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a career-high 126 yards in a 45-8 victory over Pinecrest Academy in the second round. He has 2,522 yards passing on the season. Ramsey threw for 349 yards in the Sept. 30 loss to ELCA, but was sacked five times while ELCA also shut off Wesleyan’s run game. ELCA averages 289 yards rushing and 82 passing per game and put up 353 rushing yards in a 59-7 win over First Presbyterian last week. Trevor Gear ran for 137 yards on 13 carries and stands at 1,102 on the year. But QB Brayden Rush burned Wesleyan for a season-high 186 passing yards.
Winner plays: Tattnall Square/Calvary Day winner
Tattnall Square at Calvary Day
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, M.C. Anderson Field, Savannah
Records, rankings: Tattnall Square is 11-0, the No. 5 seed and No. 5; Calvary Day is 10-0, the No. 4 seed and No. 4.
Last meeting: Calvary Day won 20-19 in 1987.
Things to know: Both teams won epic defensive struggles against cross-town rivals in the second round. In Macon, Tattnall Square beat ninth-ranked Stratford Academy 13-7 as Ahmad Barron rushed for 109 yards on 19 carries. In Savannah, Calvary Day beat Savannah Christian 10-7 as Alan Gibbs kicked a career-long 37-yard field goal to break a 7-7 tie in the fourth quarter. Nolan Smith rushed for 90 yards, and Calvary allowed only 120 yards of total offense. Both teams have new head coaches. Tattnall’s Chance Jones had been Prince Avenue’s offensive coordinator. Calvary’s Rick Tomberlin, who has 246 career wins, came out of three-year retirement. The schools have met three other times, all in the 1980s when both were members of the Georgia Independent School Association.
Winner plays: Wesleyan/Eagle’s Landing Christian winner
Landmark Christian at Prince Ave. Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Brad Akins Field, Bogart
Records, rankings: Landmark Christian is 10-1, the No. 7 seed and No. 6; Prince Avenue Christian is 11-0, the No. 2 seed and No. 2.
Last meeting: Prince Avenue Christian won 32-22 in the 2012 Class A private-school semifinals.
Things to know: Prince Avenue RB Thomas Huff rushed for 200 yards (giving him 906 on the year) in a 55-13 victory over Mount Pisgah Christian last week. Grant Roland passed for 165 yards (now 1,715 for the season) and three touchdowns, two to Christian Parrish. But the defense took the cake with eight sacks, two each from Jared Pringle and Nick Brown. Landmark Christian edged Darlington 13-7. Lofton Tidwell rushed for 156 yards (giving him 1,341 on the season) and had another 52 yards receiving. LB Tidwell and FS Joey Blount, a four-year starter who is committed to Virginia, lead the defense, which allowed just 213 yards last week and turned back several Darlington possessions in Landmark territory.
Winner plays: Mount Paran Christian/Fellowship Christian winner
Mount Paran Christian at Fellowship Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bob Lord Field, Roswell
Records, rankings: Mount Paran Christian is 10-1, the No. 6 seed and No. 8; Fellowship Christian is 11-0, the No. 3 seed and No. 3.
Last meeting: Fellowship Christian won 14-7 on Aug. 26.
Things to know: Fellowship’s victory over Mount Paran on Aug. 26 was a big upset at the time. Fellowship hadn’t had a winning season since 2007, and Mount Paran was ranked No. 6. Neither has lost since. Ryan Reid had five catches for a season-high 165 yards in the win. Reid has 951 of Fellowship’s 1,283 yards and 17 touchdowns, two last week in a 38-7 win over George Walton Academy. Mount Paran is more purely a running team, although QB Kyle Terry’s 34-yard TD pass to Jack Allen was a turning point last week, when Mount Paran rallied from a 10-0 deficit in the third quarter to beat Athens Academy 17-10. T/DE Brady Scott is committed to Florida State. G/DT Carter Smith is a four-year starter.
Winner plays: Landmark Christian/Prince Avenue Christian winner
Manchester at Macon County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Adams-Maffett Field, Montezuma
Records, rankings: Manchester is 10-1, the No. 8 seed and No. 4; Macon County is 9-2, the No. 1 seed and No. 2.
Last meeting: Macon County won 54-13 on Nov. 4 in the Region 4-A championship game.
Things to know: Both teams were in Class AA last season. Macon County reached the semifinals, and Manchester reached the quarterfinals. Manchester runs a Wing-T offense, passing only about five times per game, and put up 341 rushing yards in a 39-18 victory over Twiggs County last week. Tre Gamble ran for 119 of those. Macon County trailed 24-6 at halftime last week against Turner County but prevailed 47-37. Macon County had 457 yards of total offense in only 40 plays. K’hari Lane threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns and his first interception of the season. He has thrown 47 TD passes, five in the victory over Manchester three weeks ago.
Winner plays: Irwin County/Emanuel County Institute winner
Irwin County at Emanuel County Institute
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rountree Stadium, Twin City
Records, rankings: Irwin County is 8-4, the No. 21 seed and unranked; Emanuel County Institute is 10-0, the No. 4 seed and No. 3.
Last meeting: Irwin County won 19-15 in the 2015 Class A public-school semifinals.
Things to know: ECI has not had a game closer than its 38-21 win in the opener against Metter. ECI QB Rhett Gay, in parts of only 10 games, is 101-of-139 passing (73 percent) for 2,141 yards, 29 touchdowns and one interception. Irwin County is the only unranked team in the Class A quarterfinals, public or private, which is ironic given Irwin’s state runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015. Irwin upset No. 5 Mount Zion 34-17 last week. Jeremiah Ashley rushed for 187 yards (giving him 1,349 on the season) and three touchdowns. Freshman D.J. Lundy rushed for 117 yards between the tackles. Kyle Jones returned a kickoff for a touchdown and had seven tackles.
Winner plays: Manchester/Macon County winner
Commerce at Clinch County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Donald Tison Field at Panther Stadium, Homerville
Records, rankings: Commerce is 9-2, the No. 7 seed and No. 8; Clinch County is 10-1, the No. 2 seed and No. 1.
Last meeting: Clinch County won 26-19 in the 2015 Class A public-school semifinals.
Things to know: These two have met the past two seasons, with Commerce winning 37-7 in the 2014 first round and Clinch County winning in the 2015 semifinals. Last week, Commerce rushed for 402 yards (and was 0-for-3 passing) in a 35-20 win over Taylor County. Cole Chancey rushed for 212 yards, giving him 1,407 on the season. Lane Sorrow ran for 134, giving him 751. Clinch County led 34-6 at halftime of its 54-12 victory over Mitchell County. QB/RB/LB Trezman Marshall rushed for 86 yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns, one a 44-yard fake punt. He was 3-of-6 passing for 57 yards and a TD. He had eight tackles and put two kickoffs in the end zone.
Winner plays: Greene County/McIntosh County Academy winner
Greene County at McIntosh County Academy
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Ship, Darien
Records, rankings: Greene County is 9-3, the No. 14 seed and No. 9; McIntosh County is 8-2, the No. 6 seed and No. 6.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Things to know: Greene County and McIntosh County Academy were in Class AA last season, each losing in the first round and finishing with losing records, but both have had been reborn in Class A. Greene RB Devin Wynn rushed for 306 yards and six touchdowns on 37 carries in a 55-40 victory over Pelham last week. Wynn has rushed for 2,244 yards in leading the Tigers to their first quarterfinal since 2005. McIntosh County Academy is in its first quarterfinal since 2004. Major Robinson was 11-of-19 for 195 yards and two first-quarter TD passes in a 14-7 victory over Lincoln County last week. MCA held Lincoln to less than 200 yards of total offense.
Winner plays: Commerce/Clinch County winner