Quarterfinals have a fresh new look

11:56 pm Nov. 21, 2014

Here’s what we’ve got for the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals…

Newton (7-3) at Etowah (10-2)

Hillgrove (9-3) at Archer (9-3)

McEachern (9-3) at Tucker (10-2)

Milton (11-1) at Colquitt County (12-0)

The quarters are populated with six teams that have never won state titles, five that entered the post-season unranked, four that have not been this far in the playoffs in over 25 years , if ever, and two that had never won state-playoff games until

Second-round preview: Class AAAAAA

6:45 am Nov. 17, 2014

Etowah at Westlake

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Westlake Stadium, College Park

Records, rankings: Etowah is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAAAAA and unranked; Westlake is 9-1, the No. 1 seed from 3-AAAAAA and No. 10.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Both teams won their first playoff games since 2006 last week. Etowah, which opened in 1977, has never made the quarterfinals. Westlake, opened

Bracket busters: Newton, Central Gwinnett pull shockers

11:04 pm Nov. 14, 2014

So let me get this straight — Etowah, Westlake, Newton or Central Gwinnett is going to the semifinals in Class AAAAAA?

Whew, what a Friday night.

Newton won its first state-playoff game in history Friday with a 27-14 victory over third-ranked Valdosta. Put another way, a school with no state-playoff victories just beat the school with the most state-playoff victories.

Yes, Newton did win two region playoff games in 1987 and finished 10-3

Colquitt most formidible #1 team since 2008 Lowndes

8:23 am Nov. 13, 2014

Predictions for the Class AAAAAA playoffs below.

First, let’s talk about five pre-playoff hunches that I’ve got.

1. Colquitt County is the most formidable No. 1 team entering the state playoffs in the highest class since Lowndes in 2008. That is, Colquitt has separated itself from the field to the point that a failure to win the title would be viewed as a gigantic upset. Of course, that ’08 Lowndes team

Got your playoff draw here … Archer wins the coin toss in R8 … Norcross in; Lowndes out … Hillgrove pulls stunner … Mill Creek finishes strong

11:24 pm Nov. 7, 2014

Two Georgia state powers that were ranked in preseason went to overtime on Friday in must-win situations.

Norcross survived. Lowndes did not.

Norcross, the reigning Class AAAAAA champion, got the fourth and final playoff berth in Region 7 with a 20-17 victory over Collins Hill. Norcross blocked a field goal in overtime but also saved itself in regulation after Collins Hill had a first down at the Norcross 11-yard line in the

AAAAAA blog: Region-by-region look at playoff scenarios; six playoff berths at stake

2:30 pm Nov. 5, 2014

Twenty-six teams have clinched playoff berths in Class AAAAAA.

That leaves six open spots, and 10 teams contending to fill them.

Here is a breakdown of that:

- Lowndes, Tift County (1 spot open)

- Norcross, Collins Hill (1)

- Centennial, Northview, South Forsyth, West Forsyth (2)

- Douglas County, East Coweta, South Cobb (2)

Here is a region-by-region look at how the seeding might play out:

Region 1 – The Lee County-Valdosta winner will decide second and

AAAAAA blog: Milton, North Gwinnett get help from friends … Camden is out; is Lowndes next? … Colquitt, Tucker, Alpharetta clinch titles … Archer is back

10:48 pm Oct. 31, 2014

Milton and North Gwinnett became the presumptive champions of their regions after their arch-enemies were beaten by someone else on Friday.

In Region 5, Milton (8-1, 6-1) beat Pope 35-7, then thanked Etowah (7-2, 5-2), which knocked off Roswell (6-3, 5-2) 28-18 and put Milton back in control of its destiny. Milton will win its first region title since 1952 with a victory next week over Wheeler (4-5, 3-4).

In Region 7,

AAAAAA blog: Region by region look at top games, playoff possibilities

2:47 am Oct. 30, 2014

For those who haven’t do so, I recommend looking at Loren Maxwell’s computerized projections for the state-playoff brackets. Regardless of whether you agree with them, the predictions make it clear what’s at stake in terms of position on the draw.

Below is a region-by-region look at the top games in Class AAAAAA this week and some of the playoff possibilities. Colquitt County, Lovejoy, Tucker, Westlake, Alpharetta and Archer are hoping to

AAAAAA blog: Don’t be shocked; Dacula is 13-1 since about this time last year

10:30 pm Oct. 24, 2014

Dacula was 1-9 just two seasons ago, but it wouldn’t be right to say the team has come from nowhere with its 8-0 start to the 2014 season and 27-17 victory over second-ranked Grayson on Friday.

Dacula was 3-4 about this time a year ago, coming off a dreadful 1-9 finish, but got hot and made the state quarterfinals. Dacula is on a 13-1 run, its only loss to Colquitt County.

AAAAAA blog: Inconspicuous Dacula gets its shot vs. Grayson

9:40 am Oct. 23, 2014

Dacula is probably the state’s most inconspicuous No. 3 team in the state. That’s despite a run to the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals last season and an unbeaten record this season. The Falcons (7-0, 5-0) don’t have a major-college prospect. Their opponent Friday, second-ranked Grayson (8-0, 6-0), has five just on defense, including Georgia-committed defensive lineman Justin Young, who has 13 sacks.

Dacula has run (287.1 rushing yards per game) and stopped