Warner Robins (11-2) at Lovejoy (13-0)
Game time/location: 7:30 p.m./Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Series history: First meeting.
Warner Robins in the playoffs: Beat Lakeside-Evans 42-31; beat Chattahoochee 20-6; beat East Paulding 20-10.
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Lovejoy in the playoffs: Beat Upson-Lee 42-3; beat Kell 15-10; beat Ware County 14-0.
Key Demons: RB Brian Sutton, Sr.; LB Moses Allen, Sr.; DB Jalen Rountree, Sr.
Key Wildcats: DL Nathaniel Norwood; RB Travis Custis.
Scouting report: The Demons mowed through the third-ranked scoring defense in the state last week when they beat East Paulding. Now, they’ll need to do the same to Class AAAA’s top-ranked defense to advance to their first championship game since 2004. The Wildcats run an old-school 50 defense, and the line does a great job both inside and out. The Wildcats run out of the I-formation on offense, with Custis getting most of the work. They also have good size on the outside, and the Demons’ secondary struggled some against a physical receiver last week. Warner Robins is a little banged up on offense, with Sutton and running back Stephon Cross nursing some injuries suffered last week. The Demons need one, if not both, to put pressure on the Wildcats’ defense.
Tucker (13-0) at Northside (13-0)
Game time: 7:30 p.m.
Series history: Northside leads 1-0.
Last meeting: 2007, Northside won 31-28 in the state semifinals.
Tucker in the playoffs: Beat Sprayberry 44-14; beat Griffin 46-0; beat Flowery Branch 42-34.
Northside in the playoffs: Beat Glynn Academy 42-16; beat Clarke Central 48-14; beat Tri-Cities 36-8.
Key Tigers: LB Jacob Sealand; QB Juwaan Williams; DL Josh Dawson.
Key Eagles: QB Jack Montgomery, Sr.; WR Keshun Hill, Jr.; DB Taz Thomas, Sr.
Scouting report: This is a rematch of the thrilling 2007 Class AAAA semifinals. Northside rallied from a 28-7 halftime deficit to win 31-28 and earn a trip to the championship game. Both these teams rank among the top offenses and defenses in the state. The Tucker offense is ranked first in Class AAAA at 47.1 points per game. The Tigers’ defense is ranked sixth. Northside is third in scoring offense and fourth in scoring defense. Tucker runs a hybrid wing-T that eats up huge chunks of yardage. The Tigers have rushed for 308 yards per game this season led by Jordan Landry and Yusuf minor. The Eagles haven’t played many full games this season, but they should receive their stiffest test thus far. One Northside assistant coach called Tucker, “The best team we’ve seen by far.”
Cairo (11-2) at Peach County (12-1)
Game time: 8 p.m.
Series history: Cairo leads 3-1.
Last meeting: 2009, Peach County won 24-13.
Cairo in the playoffs: Beat Perry 24-9; beat Stephens County 40-14; beat St. Pius X 21-0.
Peach County in the playoffs: Beat Worth County 36-7; beat Ridgeland 35-15; beat Carrollton 19-15.
Key Syrupmakers: QB Steven Bench, Sr.; RB/LB Terrell Cason, Sr.; OL Arthur Robinson, Sr.
Key Trojans: WR Demarcus Robinson, Jr.; OL Brandon Wiggins, Sr.; DB Brandon Jones, Sr.
Scouting report: The past two meetings between these schools produced the eventual state champion. Cairo won in 2008 on the way to an undefeated season and a state title. Peach County replicated the feat in 2009. The teams are fairly similar on offense, although Bench tends to run the ball often, while Peach County quarterback Kentel Kendrick rarely runs. The Trojans have managed to win many games with a stifling defense and an offense that scores just enough to win. That was the case again last week as the Trojans’ clamped down on Carrollton’s wing-T offense after some early mistakes and then later found some big offensive plays to upset the third-ranked team on the road.