Unprecedented first-round success for higher-seeded teams

The most uneventful first round in Georgia high school football playoff history is in the books.

The higher-seeded teams last week won 99 of 112 games – 88.4 percent. That’s up from 87-25 (77.7 percent) last season, the first since the GHSA expanded to seven classifications, causing what many believed was a watering down of the first round.

The 2016 numbers didn’t support that theory, though. Higher-seeded teams won 76.6 percent of first-round games between 2000 and 2015, and there was no real change when the GHSA went up to six classifications in 2012.

But this year, the favorites blew through the field. That doesn’t mean there weren’t several interesting outcomes. Three region champions – Westlake, South Forsyth and Morgan County – went down. Marietta beat Westlake, and Mountain View beat South Forsyth, both in Class AAAAAAA. In AAA, East Hall beat Morgan County.

Seven teams won their first-ever playoff games. Those were B.E.S.T. Academy, Eagle’s Landing, Grovetown, Jackson of Atlanta, Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Mountain View and Pike County. Jenkins County won its first in 57 years.

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