The drive for a state title remains alive for a trio of middle Georgia teams, while a pair of others fell just short of advancing during Friday’s quarterfinal round. Both Mary Persons and Warner Robins will host semifinal games next week with Peach County taking to the road. Jones County and Stratford both suffered tough loss on the road on Friday.
Stratford Falls In Defensive Struggle
The Eagles fought tooth and nail at Mt. Paran, falling short of the upset in a 14-7 loss. Mt. Paran rallied to score twice in the fourth quarter, taking the lead with 3:34 to play in the contest. Stratford started fast offensively, needing just five plays to score on a 25-yard pass from Christian Palmer to Jaden Harris to lead 7-0.
Stratford ends its season with a record of 10-2, the best record in the Eagles four seasons since moving over to the GHSA. The Eagles have also advanced to at least the quarterfinals in two of those four seasons.
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Jones County’s run comes up short
The Greyhounds were stopped short of a comeback win, losing 26-21 to Carver of Atlanta. Carver will face Warner Robins in next week’s 5A semifinals.
Jones County rallied after trailing 20-7, closing to being down 20-14 as the game went toward the fourth quarter. Carver, however, pulled back further ahead 26-14 early in the fourth. The Greyhounds, as they have all year long, didn’t roll over, getting into the end zone by way of a Hunter Costlow pass from the three-yard line to trail 26-21, but got no closer to the lead.
Despite the loss, Jones County’s season, which ends with an 11-2 record, the best in school history, marks further establishment of the program among the upper echelon of middle Georgia programs. The Greyhounds have now advanced to the quarterfinals in two of the past four seasons. Jones County had advanced that far just one time in school history prior to Justin Rogers taking over as head coach in 2014.
Peach County Gets A Road Rematch
If the Trojans get revenge, it’ll have to come on the road.
Peach County (12-1) on Friday did what it’s done to most of the teams on its schedule when it hosted Westminster. It simply rolled over the competition, this time in a 45-14 victory. Next up for Peach County is Greater Atlanta Christian, who beat the Trojans in the semifinals last year. Like Peach County, GAC is 12-1 and also coming off a big win, knocking off Jenkins 51-14.
GAC beat Peach County in last year’s semifinals, 13-7.
Steamrolling Sets Demons Up For Semis
Warner Robins needed no such drama this week. A round after needing overtime to knock off Eagle’s Landing, the Demons disposed of Carrollton with ease on Friday, winning 63-24. The scoring output gave Warner Robins at least 50 points for the third time this season.
Warner Robins blew the game wide open after halftime, outscoring the visiting Trojans 28-0 in the third quarter. Warner Robins will host Carver of Atlanta. The contest will mark the first home semifinal for the Demons since, which occurred prior to the GHSA moving all semifinal games to the Georgia Dome in the mid 1990s until 2008.
Bulldogs Moving On
Some pundits around the state may have questioned the chances of Mary Persons returning to the semifinal round after losing a bevy of seniors off last year’s team, but here the Bulldogs are.
Jefferson simply had no answer for the Bulldogs speed as they won 51-32. Mary Persons now preps to host Blessed Trinity, and it’ll be a rematch. The Bulldogs won in last year’s quarterfinals by a score of 28-17 as a field goal missed in the closing seconds.
Mary Persons will host a semifinal round game for the first time since 1993.