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Today, we continue our preview of the state semifinals with a look at Class AAA. 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
Football Playoff Brackets
Semifinal Pairings
Class AAA Preview
Class AA Preview
Top Stories

How many interceptions has Washington County starting quarterback AJ Gray returned for touchdowns while stepping in at safety this season?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Tuesday's Answer:
The last year a Cobb County school won a football state championship is 1967.




Friday, Dec. 5




R5 T2 Etowah at R8 T1 Archer

R4 T2 McEachern at R1 T1 Colquitt County




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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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

By Ricky Dimon
Titans, Westminster face difficult road tests

Blessed Trinity vs. Washington County


Blessed Trinity and Washington County will be squaring off in a rematch of a 2013 quarterfinal showdown, won by Washington County 46-17. A.J. Gray threw for 133 yards, rushed for 84 yards andaccounted for two touchdowns in that game to lead the visiting Golden Hawks past

Photo by Perry McIntyre

Blessed Trinity and ultimately into the championship (lost to Buford). Current junior Milton Shelton paced Blessed Trinity with 146 yards on 19 carries, but the underdogs will have to find more success through the airif they want to avenge their 2013 loss. Conor Davis completed just six of 23 passes and was picked off three times by Washington County, which has home-field advantage this time around after winning a coin toss last weekend. As impressive as Gray was last year, he has taken his talents to new heights in 2014. 

The Georgia Tech commit rushed for 1,161 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season while throwing for 1,278 yards and 17 scores. He made up for five interceptions by picking off five passes from his safety position, returning four to the endzone. Gray ran 17 times for an incredible 442 yards and eight touchdowns in the Golden Hawks' 62-35 quarterfinal victory over Pierce County. Four of his eight scores came from more than 50 yards away. Washington County is averaging 53 points per game this year and has scored more than 70 three times. Blessed Trinity's defense, however, is a force in its own right. The Titans boast three shutouts this year, have limited opponents to single-digits six times, held fellow semifinalist Westminster to 11 and kept Jefferson to a season-low 21 in the quarterfinals. They are led by linebackers Pat Jasinski and Logan Craighead and defensive end Joe Camacho. Also a standout tight end, Jasinski will be crucial in the Titans' effort to find success against a Washington County secondary that befuddled them last year.


Westminster vs. Calhoun

Calhoun churns out state semifinal appearances like clockwork; Westminster is making itsfirst trip to the final four since 1996. One reason for the Wildcats' drought was none other than Calhoun, as the Yellow Jackets ousted Westminster in the second round in both 2008 (38-20) and 2010 (36-19). This has been a season of script-flipping for

Photo by Craig Sager II

the Wildcats, however, so they could be poised for revenge. They scored their first win since 2011 over arch-rival and 2013 Class AA state champion Lovett and their 27-10 defeat of previously-undefeated Central-Carroll put them in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. New single-season rushing record-holder Zay Malcome, a sophomore, has been the focal point of the offense all year. That was especially the case last week against Hart County with quarterbacks Rankin Woley and Keller Harper both sidelined due to injuries. Malcome ran in a 34-yard score and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to account for all of his team's points. 


In the last 10 years, Calhoun has two quarterfinal finishes, five runner-ups, one state championship (2011) and now another semifinal showing. This season's run almost ended in the quarters, but the Jackets held off visiting Elbert County 19-17 last Friday.They won a sloppy game in which they turned the ball over four times, clinching victory in fitting fashion with a safety in the final minutes. Calhoun's defense has not allowed more than 18 pointsin a game this season, has two shutouts and six times has limited opponents to single-digits. Unlike Westminster, the Yellow Jackets will frequently take to the air on offense.  Dual-threat quarterback Kaelen Riley attempted 19 passes against Elbert County while throwing for 160 yards andrushing for 85 more. Riley and running back Cole Jackson will be facing a Westminster defense that has been dominant in the playoffs and is led by linemen Charlie Trense and Russell Ude.

Nelson makes impact in DeKalb community
The Falcons are pleased to announce Dennis Nelson as the Community Quarterback Award winner for December for his volunteer work at I CARE, Inc.

Nelson has been a volunteer driver with I CARE, Inc. for over seven years. He uses his own vehicle and pays for his own gas to provide free transportation to medical appointments for senior citizens in DeKalb County at least once a week, but will frequently take on a second or third ride if needed. Not only does Nelson provide transportation, but companionship as he also volunteers to sit in the waiting room. He has had a strong impact on the seniors in his community, helping to improve their overall health, safety, well-being and allowing them to maintain their independence.

I CARE, Inc. is a DeKalb County based nonprofit that provides free transportation to medical appointments to low income or no income senior citizens living in DeKalb county using volunteer drivers. I CARE, Inc. has been providing this free service to seniors citizens for over 13 years. The purpose of I CARE (Interfaith Companion And Ride Express) is to provide free transportation and companionship for low income senior citizens of all faiths living in DeKalb County, especially in underserved areas to their medical appointments. 


For more information on I CARE CLICK HERE


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

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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