High School Sports

Northside, Mary Persons, Stratford-Tattnall headline this week’s Middle Georgia high school football games

North Clayton defenders Marquel Parker (16) and Kyshaad Paige wrap up Mary Persons’ Quen Wilson after a 6-yard gain during the first quarter of their first-round game.
North Clayton defenders Marquel Parker (16) and Kyshaad Paige wrap up Mary Persons’ Quen Wilson after a 6-yard gain during the first quarter of their first-round game. photo@macon.com

GHSA Class 6A

Langston Hughes at Northside

On Hughes: 8-3, fourth in Region 5-6A; beat Johns Creek 34-10.

On Northside: 9-2, second in Region 1-6A; beat Grovetown 52-0.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Allatoona (6-5, third in Region 6-6A) or Glynn Academy (10-1, first in Region 2-6A)

Scouting report: Hughes had a 2-2 finish to the regular season, losing by four and two points to Alexander and Northgate. The Panthers are balanced on offense and aggressive on defense, with 36 1/2 sacks and 10 interceptions. Hughes’ past three season-ending playoff losses have been by 10, three and one, so it’s doubtful the Panthers will be overly awed.

Class 5A Jones County at Buford

On Jones County: 7-4 , third in Region 4-5A; beat Wayne County 39-15 .

On Buford: 10-1, first in Region 8-5A; beat North Springs 45-7.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Carrollton (10-1, second in Region 7-5A) or Thomas County Central (8-3, first in Region 1-5A).

Scouting report: Buford has played teams from four states, and the lone loss is to Class 7A Roswell in the season opener. Only one win was by fewer than 25 points (38-30 over Jeff Davis of Alabama). The equation for the upset is simple: Jones County has to play perfect and Buford has to make some timely mistakes that the Greyhounds capitalize on.

Class 4A

Heritage-Catoosa at Mary Persons

On Heritage: 8-3, third in Region 6-4A; beat Stephens County 37-30 .

On Mary Persons: 9-2, first in Region 2-4A; beat North Clayton 45-12.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Carver-Columbus (7-4, second in Region 1-4A) or Blessed Trinity (9-2, first in Region 7-4A).

Scouting report: Heritage is off its first playoff win in history and is led by quarterback Corbee Wilson (2,588 yards, 31 touchdowns) and receiver Ryan Carter (42-964, 16 touchdowns). Mary Persons has a stellar defense but hasn’t faced a quality passing team since mid-September.

West Laurens at Jefferson

On West Laurens: 7-4, third in Region 2-4A; beat Luella 35-14.

On Jefferson: 10-1, first in Region 8-4A; beat Pickens County 59-21.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Sandy Creek (8-3, third in Region 5-4A) or Cairo (10-1, first in Region 1-4A).

Scouting report: Darius Bradford leads the Raiders’ attack with 172 rushes for 1,129 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Isaiah Morman and Austin Ramsey both have more than 400 yards. Elijah Howard and Jathaniel Allen lead the Raiders’ defense. The Dragons have won eight straight games.

Class 3A North Murray at Peach County

On North Murray: 8-3, second in Region 6-3A; beat Jackson County 28-14.

On Peach County: 10-1, first in Region 4-3A; beat Tattnall County 42-13.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Savannah (9-2, second in Region 3-3A) or Westminster (9-2, first in Region 5-3A).

Scouting report: North Murray has won four straight after a back-and-forth start. The Mountaineers can score, having cracked the 50-point mark three times and scoring 49 points another time. Two of the losses are to teams still alive (Heritage-Catoosa and Calhoun). Peach County is more balanced on offense and might be able to load up on defense.

Class 2A

Chattooga at Washington County

On Chattooga: 7-4, third in Region 7-2A; beat Lamar County 44-10.

On Washington County: 7-4, first in Region 3-2A; beat Berrien 49-22.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Jefferson County (10-1, second in Region 4-2A) or Hapeville Charter (8-3, first in Region 6-2A).

Scouting report: Washington County is going for its sixth season of double-digit wins with Joel Ingram as its head coach. Ingram is looking for his 100th win as a head coach. Chattooga head coach Charles Hammon was a student assistant coach at Jacksonville State when Ingram was a player with that program. Both teams lost their regular-season finale before bouncing back in the first round. The Indians feature twin brothers Isaac Foster and Isaiah Foster at quarterback and running back, respectively.

Dodge County at Pepperell

On Dodge County: 6-5, third in Region 3-2A; beat Thomasville 17-7.

On Pepperell: 9-1, first in Region 7-2A; beat Spencer 46-14.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Banks County (7-4, second in Region 8-2A) or Benedictine (11-0, first in Region 2-2A).

Scouting report: Pepperell is having its best season since going 9-2 in 2009, losing in the first round in five of the six playoff trips since then. Dodge County went from a pair of 50-point games to winning a defensive battle last week. Both bring stout defenses to the second round. Pepperell has held seven teams to 10 points or fewer, Dodge County four.

Class 1A private

Stratford at Tattnall Square

On Stratford: 8-3, third in Region 7A-1A, No. 12 seed; beat Holy Innocents 35-7.

On Tattnall: 10-0, first in Region 7A-1A, Region 7-1A champion, No. 5 seed; first-round bye.

Series record: Tattnall leads 27-22.

Last meeting: Tattnall won 7-3 on Oct. 28.

Next round: Savannah Christian (7-3, third in Region 3A-1A, No. 13 seed) or Calvary Day (9-0, first in Region 3A-1A, Region 3-1A champion, No. 4 seed).

Scouting report: Stratford and Tattnall meet for the 10th time in the postseason, but it’s the first postseason meeting between Macon private schools in the GHSA. Tattnall won the most recent postseason meeting, a 35-12 victory in the 2011 GISA Class 3A championship. The first meeting was a defensive slugfest, with neither team able to break into the end zone until the game’s final minutes. Both teams like to grind things out on the ground: Stratford has a combined 717 rushing yards in the past two games, while Tattnall had 333 rushing yards in its region championship victory at Washington-Wilkes.

FPD at Eagle’s Landing Christian

On FPD: 7-4, fourth in Region 7A-1A, No. 17 seed; beat Aquinas 35-10.

On ELCA: 10-0, first in Region 5-1A, No. 1 seed; first-round bye.

Series record: ELCA leads 2-0.

Last meeting: ELCA won 53-14 in 2011.

Next round: Pinecrest Academy (8-3, third in Region 6B-1A, No. 9 seed) or Wesleyan (8-2, third in Region 5-1A, No. 8 seed).

Scouting report: ELCA has won 18 straight, including last year’s GHSA Class 1A private championship. The Chargers have held all but two opponents this season to fewer than 10 points while maintaining a high-caliber offense. FPD quarterback Dalton Cox has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, but this second-round matchup will be quite the test for the Vikings.

Class 1A public

Turner County at Macon County

On Turner County: 8-3, second in Region 2-1A, No. 17 seed; beat Terrell County 41-6.

On Macon County: 8-2, first in Region 4B-1A, Region 4-1A champion, No. 1 seed; first-round bye.

Series record: Turner County leads 11-5.

Last meeting: Turner County won 12-10 in 2007.

Next round: Twiggs County (8-3, second in Region 7A-1A, No. 9 seed) or Manchester (9-0, first in Region 4A-1A, Region 4-1A runner-up, No. 8 seed).

Scouting report: Expect a high-scoring game, with Turner County averaging 34.5 points and Macon County averaging 48.1. Macon County is well-prepared for the postseason, with the Bulldogs’ only losses coming to a pair of teams still in the playoffs in larger classes, Northside and Fitzgerald. Likewise, the teams Turner County lost to during the regular season — Worth County, Crisp County and Clinch County — are still playing.

Taylor County at Commerce

On Taylor County: 10-1, second in Region 4B-1A, No. 10 seed; beat Trion 34-31.

On Commerce: 8-2, second in Region 8-1A, No. 7 seed; first-round bye.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Mitchell County (9-2, second in Region 1-1A, No. 15 seed) or Clinch County (9-1, first in Region 2-1A, No. 2 seed).

Scouting report: Lyn-J Dixon’s fourth-quarter touchdown put Taylor County in the second round, setting up a road trip to face a Commerce team whose only losses came to Athens Christian and Prince Avenue Christian. Taylor County’s only blemish this season came against No. 1 seed Macon County, with Dixon recording 1,809 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns.

Twiggs County at Manchester

On Twiggs County: 8-3, second in Region 7A-1A, No 9 seed; beat Marion County 46-7.

On Manchster: 9-1, first in Region 4A-1A, No. 8 seed; first-round bye.

Series record: First meeting.

Next round: Turner County (8-3, second in Region 2-1A, No. 17 seed) or Macon County (10-1, first in Region 4B-1A, Region 4-1A champion, No. 1 seed).

Scouting report: Manchester hasn’t played since getting hammered 55-13 by Macon County for its only loss of the season. The Blue Devils had given up only 51 points all season before that. How will they respond? Twiggs County is the anti-Macon County, using Ja’mon Height and Javoris Smith, who have combined for 2,629 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.


Class 3A Championship

John Milledge vs. Gatewood

On John Milledge: 13-0, first in Region 4-3A; beat Tiftarea 42-0, Pinewood 42-14, Valwood 20-13.

On Gatewood: 11-2, second in Region 4-3A; beat Brookwood 22-19, Heritage 33-14, Deerfield-Windsor 17-13.

Series record: John Milledge leads 32-10-2.

Last meeting: John Milledge won 17-10 on Oct. 21.

Scouting report: The Trojans and Gators face off at 8 p.m. on Friday at Five Star Stadium for the title after big wins last week in the semifinals. John Milledge is playing for its first GISA title, while Gatewood is looking for its third.