Darion Anderson, Houston County: The junior caught three passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 55-34 win over LaGrange.
Logan Byrd, Veterans: The junior quarterback completed 17-of-32 passes for 164 yards in the Warhawks’ 24-7 loss to Cairo.
Wade Carr, Jones County: The senior accounted for more than half of the Greyhounds’ points in the win over Carver-Columbus, with field goals of 42 and 25 as well as the crucial PAT in the 13-12 win.
Jake Fromm, Houston County: The sophomore completed 19-of-30 for 359 yards and two touchdowns in the win over LaGrange.
Kenny Gant: The senior had four touchdowns, 122 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving in the win over LaGrange.
Josh Jenkins, Westfield: Jenkins carried 18 times for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the GISA Class AAA quarterfinal win over Brookwood.
Willie Jordan, Northside: The senior tailback ran 14 times for 132 yards and four touchdowns in the 48-0 win over Northside-Columbus.
Hunter Knox, Piedmont: Knox scored twice and had 219 yards on 29 rushes in the Cougars’ 28-14 win over Robert Toombs.
Cody Miller, John Milledge: The senior was busy, with 48 carries for 300 yards and a touchdown in the 35-34 win over Valwood.
Jaylen Searcy, Houston County: Searcy caught 7 passes for 112 yards in the win over LaGrange.
Willie Toulson, Brentwood: Toulson rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in the loss to Georgia Christian.
Roscoe Wilcox, Dodge County: Wilcox caught a 53-yard touchdown pass and had an interception in the second half of the Indians’ 14-3 Class AAA playoff win over Westside.
WHAT WE LEARNED
And for your troubles: The Region 2-AAAA championship was big for more than just the title; it was for the honor of not facing Buford early. Mary Persons, you’re up, with a trip to face a team that hasn’t missed making a semifinal since 2006 and is on a 36-game winning streak.
Good start: Middle Georgia went 10-7 in the first round, getting upsets – by seeds, anyway – from Baldwin and Dodge County. That record doesn’t count Dodge County’s win over Westside and Macon County over Dublin.
Hmmm: There are more teams from Houston County still alive after a round than from Lowndes County. Valdosta lost 27-14 to Newton on Friday, and Lowndes failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Holding serve: Only six top seeds fell in the first round of the five classes that started Friday, Peach County joined in Class AAA by West Hall (42-38 to Oconee County). Class A’s private and public school playoffs start this week.
Hornets are hot: At least a few Westfield folks were no doubt started thinking back two months before Friday night’s thumping of Brookwood was over. That was when Deerfield-Windsor beat Westfield 35-25. The Hornets have scored an astounding 426 points since then, an average of 53.3 points per game. And the rematch is Friday in Perry.
Macon County will battle: Macon County started slow, really slow, against Dublin, gaining all of 58 yards on its first six possessions, turning the ball over twice. But the Bulldogs won by two touchdowns despite only 57 passing yards from K’Hari Lane and 182 rushing yards.
Representing: Region 2-AAAAA and 2-AAAA went 3-1 in the first round, and Region 1-AAA went 4-0 at the expense of Region 2-AAA.
Skunked: Region 2-AAA had two ranked teams to end the regular season. But it didn’t make it through the first round, going 0-4 by an average score of 30-11 to the aforementioned Region 1-AAA.
Westside’s playoff struggles continue: Friday’s loss to Dodge County marked the third straight year, despite a 25-8 record during that stretch, that Westside exited the playoffs in the first round. Westside hasn’t won a playoff game since 2009, Spoon Risper’s first year as head coach.
Sequoyah at Houston County, Saturday: Remember Northside and Houston County and the battle of contrasts? Sequoyah is a run-oriented team that’s on a roll, having won four straight and five of six, including the upset at Lanier on Friday. The Chiefs’ five losses came to teams with a record of 46-9, and four are still alive. Two of those opponents are undefeated.
Stephens County at West Laurens: This is the third 12th game in West Laurens history, and there have been only two 13th games (1994 and 1990). Stephens County responded to a 56-0 home loss to Buford with a 42-14 road win over Pickens in the first round.
Lovett at Macon County, Friday: The Bulldogs handled the heat of the first home playoff game since 2007 against a perennial state contender, and now welcome in the second round the team that ended Macon County’s season that year in Montezuma by a 22-0 score in the second round.
Dodge County at Jefferson, Friday: Dodge County had just five first downs against Westside, but the Indians’ defense kept Westside out of the end zone. The job for Dodge County’s defense becomes more difficult this week, as unbeaten Jefferson, the Region 8-AAA champion, beat Franklin County 38-7 in its playoff opener.
Lamar County at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday: Last year’s state runner-ups take on the No. 1 team in the state, which is 26-5 at home since 2010. Of course, the Trojans have played 11 of their past 13 playoff games -- excluding the state championship game -- at home.
Pinecrest at Tattnall Square, Friday: Tattnall’s first GHSA playoff appearance comes against another former GISA program. Pinecrest, which joined the GHSA along with FPD in 2010, posted its first winning record as a GHSA member this season. The winner likely travels to No. 2 seed Aquinas, which beat Tattnall 49-21 in the Region 7-A title game.
FPD at Prince Avenue Christian, Friday: Prince Avenue, formerly coached by Stratford head coach Mark Farriba, has recorded its fifth straight winning season. Its only losses are to Aquinas and Athens Christian, and since the loss to Athens Christian (a potential quarterfinal opponent), Prince Avenue has won six straight.
Stratford at Mount Paran Christian, Friday: Mount Paran, located in Kennesaw, posted its first undefeated regular season, and its closest game was a 14-point win Nov. 7 over Mount Pisgah Christian.
Note to coaches and statisticians: Teams are reminded to send season stats by 4 p.m. on Wednesday to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations for game balls can be made by 2 p.m. on Saturdays to email@example.com.