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Home teams dominate to set up a star-studded Sweet 16

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The top seeds went 8-0 and home teams won 14 of the 16 first round games to open Class AAAA’s playoffs. The results will be a star-studded lineup of Sweet 16 of matchups this upcoming Friday, but before we get into the next round matchups, here is what stood out in Round 1. Troup’s lopsided 31-7 win at Heritage-Catoosa and Baldwin’s physical 21-16 win at Eastside produced the only No. 3 seeds that advanced second round.

Cedartown is now 10-1 after demolishing Northwest Whitfield 47-14 and its only loss this season came to No. 1 Cartersville. Now the Bulldogs will take on the Classification’s No. 2 ranked team, Marist, which moved to 11-0 with a 38-14 win over Madison County.

Cairo defeated Spalding in the first round for the second time in three years and will battle undefeated Burke County, which cruised past Salem 35-7 for its eleventh straight win.

Troup’s offense is going to be a challenge in the next round for St. Pius, which survived a 44-31 shootout win over West Hall. West Laurens held off Northside-Columbus 14-7 in the lowest scoring game in the classification this weekend. Woodward Academy awaits West Laurens after needing a 48-35 win to get past fourth seed Richmond Academy.

To no surprise, Blessed Trinity came out red-hot in its 35-0 win over Oconee County in the first round. This Blessed Trinity team will be returning a lot of talent next season and is the early favorite to open the 2018 season ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA. For now, however the No. 1 still belongs with Cartersville, which took a 42-0 halftime lead before closing out Pickens 48-21 for its 41st straight win. Cartersville and Blessed Trinity will faceoff in the second round on Friday.

Thomson dominated North Clayton 48-8 and will take on Region 1 winner Americus-Sumter, which moved to 9-2 for the first time in school history with a 27-14 win over Howard. Ridgeland continues to see lopsided victories and moved to 11-0 with a 63-7 win over Chapel Hill. Ridegland has now outscored its opponents 534-84 this season.

Upset-minded Baldwin will face Mary Persons next week, which joined Blessed Trinity as the only team to produce a shutout with its 27-0 win over Carver-Columbus

SECOND ROUND PAIRINGS
Cedartown at Marist
Cairo at Burke County
Troup at St. Pius
West Laurens at Woodward Academy
Blessed Trinity at Cartersville
Thomson at Americus-Sumter
Jefferson at Ridgeland
Baldwin at Mary Persons

FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Cedartown 47, Northwest Whitfield 14
Marist 38, Madison County 14
Cairo 26, Spalding 20
Burke County 35, Salem 7
Troup 31, Heritage-Catoosa 7
St. Pius 44, West Hall 31
West Laurens 14, Northside-Columbus 7
Woodward Academy 48, Richmond Academy 35
Blessed Trinity 35, Oconee County 0
Cartersville 48, Pickens 21
Thomson 48, North Clayton 8
Americus-Sumter 27, Howard 14
Jefferson 29, White County 13
Ridgeland 63, Chapel Hill 7
Baldwin 21, Eastside 16
Mary Persons 27, Carver-Columbus 0


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