Middle Georgia teams set for chase for state titles

Telegraph StaffNovember 11, 2012 

Peach County was the only Middle Georgia GHSA football team to play for a state championship in 2011, and the Trojans hope another run to the Georgia Dome begins with a win over Jefferson County on Friday.

Peach County is one of more than 20 Middle Georgia teams that will play in either the GHSA or GISA playoffs beginning Friday. The GISA Class AA playoffs are already underway, but the other two GISA classes start Friday.

Peach County (9-1) was the lone local representative at the Georgia Dome last year. The Trojans lost to Burke County in the championship game. The Trojans will try to be the one holding the trophy this time around. Ranked No. 1 for most of the season, Peach County lost to Carver-Columbus on Nov. 2 and earned the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AAA. Three of the top-five ranked teams in Class AAA are opposite the Trojans on the other side of the bracket.

Northside and Warner Robins both came within one win of joining the Trojans at the Georgia Dome in December.

The Eagles and the Demons appear on opposite sides of the Class AAAAA playoff bracket again this year as the top two seeds from their region.

Northside (10-0) opens with Effingham County (6-4) on Friday, while the Demons (8-2) play Richmond Hill (8-2) on Saturday. Both games will be played at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

Jones County (6-4) will make its first playoff appearance since 2004 when it travels to Glynn Academy in the opening round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

Westside (9-1) hosts South Effingham (6-4) in the first GHSA playoff game in Bibb County since 2009, when both Northeast and Westside hosted games in the county. The Seminoles will be joined in the Class AAAA playoffs by Mary Persons (8-2), Baldwin (6-4) and Perry (6-4). The Bulldogs host Statesboro, while the Braves travel to Wayne County and the Panthers head to Burke County.

Northeast (8-2) is the other Bibb County team to make the playoffs. The Raiders travel to Fitzgerald (8-2) to take on the fourth-ranked Purple Hurricane in Class AA.

In Class AAA, Washington County hosts Pike County and Dodge County travels to Carver-Columbus.

In Class AA, Bleckley County will play its first ever home playoff game when Early County travels to Cochran. Lamar County hosts Cook, while Macon County travels to Brooks County, and East Laurens makes the drive to McIntosh County Academy.

The Class A teams will have to wait a few extra days to discover their playoff destinations. The GHSA will meet this week to finalize the power rating system to determine playoff pairings. The Class A playoffs begin Nov. 23.

Stratford and Westfield host games in the opening round of GISA Class AAA playoffs. The Eagles play Bulloch Academy, while the Hornets take on Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg. Tattnall Square hits the road in the first round, playing rival Deerfield-Windsor.

In the Class AA quarterfinals, Brentwood travels to Gatewood and Trinity Christian heads to Valwood. John Milledge will host Memorial Day.

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