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CLASS A-PUBLIC SEMIFINAL PREVIEW

Today, we begin our previews of the state semifinals with a look at Class A-Public. Check out the left panel for the updated playoff brackets and the pairings for the state semifinals this upcoming Friday.


 


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In This Issue
Trivia
Football Playoff Brackets
Class A-Public Preview
Top Stories

Trivia
Question: 
How many state championships has Hawkinsville won?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Saturday's Answer:
Archer's Dylan Singleton returned a punt for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and rushed for a score in the Tigers' win over Hillgrove.
FOOTBALL STATE PLAYOFF BRACKETS

SEMIFINAL
PAIRINGS

 

 

Friday, Dec. 5

 

Class AAAAAA

 

R5 T2 Etowah at R8 T1 Archer

R4 T2 McEachern at R1 T1 Colquitt County

 

Class AAAAA

 

R6 T3 Mays at R4 T1 Stockbridge

R5 T1 Allatoona at R2 T1 Northside-Warner Robins

 

Class AAAA

 

R8 T1 Buford at R7 T1 Cartersville

R5 T1 Woodward Academy at R6 T1 St. Pius

 

Class AAA

 

R4 T1 Blessed Trinity at R3 T1 Washington County

R4 T3 Westminster at R6 T1 Calhoun

 

Class AA

 

R2 T2 Benedictine at R1 T2 Brooks County

R6 T1 GAC at R1 T1 Fitzgerald

 

Class A-Private

 

#5 Eagle's Landing Christian at #1 Calvary Day

#3 Mount Paran at #2 Aquinas

 

Class A-Public

 

#4 Hawkinsville at #1 Marion County

#6 Commerce at #2 Irwin County

 




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Monday, December 1, 2014



SEMIFINAL: CLASS A-PUBLIC
By Ricky Dimon
Hawkinsville, Marion County clash once again
  


Hawkinsville vs. Marion County


There will be no secrets between Region 4-A rivals Hawkinsville and Marion County, who are set to face each other for the fourth time since Nov. 1, 2013. Last year, Marion County lost to Hawkinsville 14-10 during the regular season only to hammer the Red Devils 40-7 in a semifinal showdown en route to its first-ever state championship. Hawkinsville hopes the roles are reversed in 2014, as it succumbed to Marion County 13-6 back on Oct. 17.

                  

The Red Devils are really the only team to have slowed down Marion County's offense, which was especially dominant in putting up its two highest point totals of the season in playoff victories

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

over Greenville (52-6) and Mt. Zion-Carroll (53-14). Junior all-purpose star Lorenzo Smothers leads the attack for Marion County. He scored via punt return, rush and reception in his team's quarterfinal win over Mt. Zion-Carroll and he took an interception to the endzone in last year's semifinal defeat of Hawkinsville. Smothers is complemented nicely by senior leaders Dustin Eckert, the quarterback, and Johnny Royal, a running back who rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns last Friday.
 

As usual, this should be a ground-heavy contest that features an intriguing battle between Marion County's offense and Hawkinsville's defense. The Red Devils have not given up more than 14 points in a game this season. They were shutting out 2013 runner-up Charlton County in the quarterfinals until the final minute, eventually surviving 12-6 in overtime. Offensively, the charge is led in part by a pair of seniors-quarterback Dakota Sloan and running back Warren Singletary.


Hawkinsville is two wins away from its sixth state championship and first since going back-to-back in 2003 and 2004. Marion County has been flying high ever since Mike Swaney took over as head coach in 2010, with a 55-7 overall record and four region titles in five years.

 

 

Commerce vs. Irwin County 


Three of last year's four Class A-Public semifinalists are back, with Commerce being the only newcomer. The Tigers had to play Charlton County in the first round of the 2013 tournament and succumbed 35-21. Their defense made sure this time around that there

Irwin County Football

would be no early exit from the playoffs. The unit endured a minor hiccup a 55-28 win over Lakeview Academy to wrap up the regular season, but that was preceded by two straight shutouts and followed by dominance of Clinch County (seven points allowed) and Calhoun County (another shutout).
 

Sophomore Cole Chancey, who also contributes on offense as a running back, recovered three fumbles against Calhoun County from his safety position. Fellow two-way starter Will Thomas, another sophomore, stars at fullback and outside linebacker. He had 20 carries for 162 yards and four touchdowns against Clinch County. Commerce can almost make game-changing plays on special teams, an area highlighted by kicker Andres Salgado and return man Grant Mayberry.
                  

Irwin County is hoping to go at least one step further than last year, when its first semifinal appearance since 1997 ended with a 34-33 heartbreaker against Charlton County. The Indians have taken the suspense out just about every game against Class A competition this season. That includes a 41-14 revenge rout of Charlton County and a 40-29 win over Dooly County last Friday in a contest that was not as close as the final score suggests (Irwin County led 33-7 in the fourth quarter).
                  

Like Commerce's Caleb Brooks, Zach Tolar of Irwin County is a quarterback who does most of his damage on the ground. At the helm of one of the state's most unbalanced offenses in terms of run-to-pass ratio, Tolar has capitalized on rare throwing opportunities to toss five touchdown passes so far this season. A vaunted rushing attack also features Ty Hogan, Robert Moore and Jakyron Young.

.



FROM THE ATLANTA FALCONS



TO: All GHSA-affiliated High School Football Head Coaches
You and one guest are cordially invited to attend the
2014 Salute to Georgia High School Football Reception
Presented by Ford

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Georgia Dome-Atlanta Falcons Owners Club
One Georgia Dome Drive
Atlanta, Georgia, 30313
**Lower Level in between section 115-116
R.S.V.P. by Monday, December 1 to (404) 367-2243 or
David Quiroga at dquiroga@falcons.nfl.com

With the start time of 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 13th for the first State Championship game, this reception invite allows you and a guest to enjoy a meal, mingle with fellow coaches as well as the 2014 Classification Coaches of the Year, Warrick Dunn Captain in the Community of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement winner. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to win a number of prizes for your outstanding commitment to the sport of football.

As in previous years, the Atlanta Falcons would like to extend the opportunity to the first 50 coaches that R.S.V.P. for the reception to receive two tickets to the Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers game on Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. If interested, please make sure to mention when you R.S.V.P. and David Quiroga will follow-up with a confirmation of attendance and tickets.

Should you decide to stay in Atlanta, we recommend the following hotels within six blocks of the Georgia Dome: Omni at CNN Center (404) 659-0000, Embassy Suites (404) 223-2300, Residence Inn by Marriott (404) 522-0950, and Quality Hotel (404) 524-7991.


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