Eagle’s Landing used a couple of big defensive plays and became the only lower seeded team to hit the road and come back with a win over a higher seed in the first round of the playoffs.
The Golden Eagles, the third seed from Region 4, blew out Region 3 runner-up Whitewater, 45-3, on Friday. It was the first state playoff win in the school’s history.
Bryce Dewberry and Ismael Gilliam both came away with interceptions for touchdowns to spark the Eagle’s Landing defense. Whitewater managed only 100 yards in total offense.
Quarterback Cam Lewis led the Eagle’s Landing offense, completing 14 of 25 passes for 215 yards, and rushing for 91 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Robertson rushed 16 times for 94 yards and one touchdown.
There were only a few competitive games played during the first round.
No. 8 Starr’s Mill scored on a 34-yard touchdown with 49 seconds remaining to survive a 31-28 scare from Dutchtown. Joey DeLuca threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Rew to help the Panthers hold off the upset. Dutchtown had taken a lead minutes earlier on Chris Joyce’s 61-yard run.
No. 10 Carrollton was tied 16-16 with Clarke Central with five minutes left in the third quarter but finished strong for a 35-16 win.
Flowery Branch stopped quarterback Evan Conley on a fourth-and-8 scramble at the goal line that would have tied the game with just 23 seconds left. The Falcons, who led the game 21-0, hung on for a 21-14 victory.
Otherwise, it was a bunch of bad games.
No. 1 Rome rolled to a 63-13 win over Cedar Shoals as Jamious Griffin scored four rushing touchdowns and quarterback Knox Kadum ran for two scores and passed for another.
No. 2 Buford scored four touchdowns in the third quarter and rolled to a 54-23 win over Paulding County. Quarterback Aaron McLaughlin threw for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Grant rushed for 82 yards and one touchdown and Christian Turner rushed for 70 yards.
No. 3 Stockbridge spotted McIntosh a touchdown and went on to a 40-7 win. Marquez Ezzard and quarterback Gabe McKenzie combined for three touchdowns passes, a 75-yarder, a 30-yarder and an 81-yarder.
No. 4 Warner Robins rode Jarius Burnette to a 30-17 win over South Effingham. Burnette rushed for 211 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Dylan Fromm finished with 204 yards and one touchdown.
No. 5 Jones County eliminated No. 9 Griffin 32-8 as Drake Bolus rushed for 108 yards and one touchdown and Teldrick Ross rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with a right ankle injury. Read Mike Lough’s complete game story here.
Banneker-SW DeKalb winner at Rome
Bainbridge at Starr’s Mill
Miller Grove-Jackson at Buford
Ware County at Stockbridge
Carrollton at Arabia Mountain
Eagle’s Landing at Warner Robins
Flowery Branch at Carver, Atlanta
Jones County at Wayne County