Three of the top four teams in Class AAAAA have advanced to the Final Four, with Carver producing the only upset of the night.
Defending champion Rome will host Buford in a rematch of last year’s title game played at the Georgia Dome. Carver will hit the road to play Warner Robins in a game that could require an extra digit on the scoreboard.
Here’s how they got there:
Rome rolls over Starr’s Mill: The Wolves (13-0) broke the game open with two scores in the final four minutes of the first half, part of a 42-point barrage that led to the 59-10 win. Rome led 17-10 in the second period, but quarterback Knox Kadum led a pair of scoring drives and the Wolves had a 31-10 lead at the half.
Kadum accounted for 291 yards and three touchdowns, two passing and one on a 24-yard run. Receiver Xavier Roberts-Donaldson had 105 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, catching a 63-yard pass and returning a punt 46 yards. Running back Jaimous Griffin rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 5, 9 and 17 yards. Rome rolled up 344 yards on the ground.
Rome is averaging 59.3 points in the playoffs and have won 25 straight games.
Buford’s comeback nets win: The Wolves beat No. 3 Stockbridge 17-14 in the night’s best matchup. Buford trailed 7-0 when Stockbridge’s Demaje Carter scored on a pick-six on Buford’s first offensive play. Buford trailed 14-3 before mounting a comeback. The game was tied when Hayden Olsen kicked a 25-yard field goal with 6:08 left in the game. Olsen had earlier kicked a 24-yarder. Stockbridge got the ball back with 2:51 left at its own 49, but turned the ball over on downs.
Buford got 1-yard touchdown runs from Christian Turner and Anthony Grant. Stockbridge (12-1) scored on B.J. Riley’s 2-yard run and a field goal by from Rico Sanders.
Carver upsets Jones County: The Panthers are in the Final Four for the first time since 1986 after a 26-21 win over No. 5 Jones County.
Carver quarterback Octavious Battle threw two first-half touchdown passes to Auburn commit Quindarious Monday, the second of which came on fourth-and-15, despite being sacked five times by the Greyhounds defense. Tony Jones scored on a 37-yard run in the third and Jo’Quavious Marks on a 4-yard run in the fourth, and the 26-14 Panthers lead stood through the following four Greyhounds possessions (one interception, three turnovers on downs) until the last-minute comeback attempt by Jones County.
A delay-of-game call as the Carver-Atlanta Panthers were lining up in the victory formation ultimately put the ball back in visiting Jones County quarterback Hunter Costlow’s hands for a Greyhounds touchdown with 12 seconds to play, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by DeAnthony Ball to secure a 26-21 Panthers victory.
Warner Robins turns back Carrollton: The No. 4-raned Demons are making their first trip to the semifinals since 2011 after a 63-24 win over No. 10 Carrollton.
It was the Dylan Fromm show for Warner Robins. The quarterback threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns.
Warner Robins quickly answered an opening Carrollton touchdown with a 19-yard touchdown pass by Jarius Burnett. He scored three touchdowns, all in the first half and finished with 60 yards and three TDs. Fromm accounted for three of his own for the Demons as his first touchdown, an 11-yard run, gave Warner Robins a lead of 14-10. The Demons closed out the half with back-to-back Burnett touchdowns, one on fourth down with five minutes remaining and a 24-yard run as the clock expired, giving Warner Robins a 28-17 lead. Fromm hit Jaeven West for a 56-yard touchdown to push the lead 56-17 late in the third quarter.