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Today, we continue our preview of the state semifinals with a look at Class AAAA and AAAAA. 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 AA Preview
Class AAAAA Preview
Top Stories

How many touchdowns have Allatoona's Josh Bettistea and Richard Halimon combined for this season?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:
Washington County quarterback AJ Gray has five interceptions this season as a safety. 




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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Thursday, December 4, 2014


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By Craig Sager II
Mays aims to make more history vs. Stockbridge

Mays vs. Stockbridge


Mays joins Class AAA's Westminster as the only No. 3 seeds to advance to the semifinals and the Raiders have used impressive wins over South Paulding, Ware County and Jones County to get there. Mays has the ability to produce big plays at anytime and the Raiders

Photo by Terance Johnson

ended both halves in the quarterfinals with huge scoring plays. Asahnia Aderhold threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Julius Whitehead on the final play of the game to give Mays a 44-41 victory over Jones County. Aderhold finished with three scoring strikes and also threw a Hail Mary to Tayshawn Brown that resulted in a touchdown right before the half. In the same victory over Jones County, Deparis Carter hauled in a reception and added a kickoff return for a touchdown. 

Trying to avoid giving up the big play will be a focus of Stockbridge, which has been a fantastic defensive football team this season. In the playoffs, Stockbridge has averaged 35 points per game, while allowing just 11.7 points per game. Stockbridge has proved its dominance by eliminating Brunswick, Stephenson and Houston County in consecutive weeks and in convincing fashion. The Tigers finished 11-2 in both 2012 and 2013 and sit one win away from the school's first-ever state title appearance and 12-win season. Artemus Mitchell leads a Stockbridge backfield that averages more than 220 rushing yards per game and the Tigers will look to put the ball in the hands of their 5-foot-11, 292-pound ball carrier. In the quarterfinals, Stockbridge scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to stamp a 42-22 win over Houston County. A 73-yard touchdown run by Jajuan Jackson in the second quarter and Mitchell's 44-yard and 74-yard touchdown runs in the second half, showcased the Tigers' explosive run game.


Allatoona vs. Northside-Warner Robins


Class AAAAA has seen arguably the most dramatic postseason of any classification. Shocking upsets filled the first two rounds and out of the four remaining teams, only Northside-Warner Robins has ever reached the semifinals before. Northside has posted at least 10 wins in every season since 1998 and claimed back-to-back state

Photo by Ron Hughes

titles in 2006 and 2007 with perfect 15-0 seasons. The Eagles fell 45-37 to region-rival Jones County on Sept. 9, but have won nine straight games including a 31-7 win over Glynn Academy in the quarterfinals. Northside won a crucial coin toss to determine the site of its matchup with top-seeded Allatoona and will host the Bucs riding a 24-game home win streak. However, conditions to the field have moved the game to nearby Mercer University's stadium. The Eagles have averaged 37 points per game in the postseason and have shown balance within this year's offense. 

Quarterback Tobias Oliver feeds a receiving corps led by T.J. Anderson and this connection helped the Eagles build an early lead in the quarterfinals and ice the game with Willie Jordan's running ability. Jordan racked up 161 yards on 17 carries in the second half and Oliver attempted just one pass. Allatoona is the only undefeated team left in Class AAAAA and has been dominant this postseason with wins over Carver-Atlanta, Coffee and Gainesville. The Bucs will matchup with Northside running back Willie Jordan with the explosive tandem of Richard Halimon and Josh Bettistea. Halimon leads Allatoona with 338 carries for 2,215 yards and 24 touchdowns and Bettistea has chipped in 813 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. While Bettistea and Halimon attack the defense, wide receiver Zach Nichols produces big plays. Nichols has 10 receiving scores this season and can make teams pay when yhey decide to key in on stopping the run.



By Kyle Sandy
Semifinalists continue to impress in AAAA debut


Buford vs. Cartersville

Buford visits Cartersville for its first road playoff game since its last trip to Weinman Stadium in 2012. Buford, one of the four semifinalists making its Class AAAA debut, has run synonymous with the word dynasty, having won the last two Class AAA state titles and four of the last five Class AA championships. Cartersville has reemerged 

over the past three seasons going a combined 36-3. The Canes will look to avenge a 21-10 defeat in the semifinals against Buford back in 2012. Buford went on to defeat St. Pius 10-3 in the state championship following the road win over Cartersville. Buford is once again loaded with Division-I talent and quarterback Luke Humphrey runs the show. Junior Isaac Nauta is pegged as the fourth-ranked tight end in country for the Class of 2016. Martin Mangram, Xavier Gantt and Joshua Thomas are all difficult to stop on the ground and have plenty of colleges recruiting them. Senior defensive tackle Quay Picou and linebacker Austin Smith are headed to Tennessee. David Curry is headed to Virginia's secondary while junior Shug Frazier has multiple big schools knocking at his door. 

Buford has mauled its way to 13-0, outscoring opponents by 37 points per game. Cartersville has also shown dominance in its Class AAAA debut and have not lost since a 27-26 defeat to North Cobb on Sept. 5. The Canes average 41 points per game while allowing just nine points per game. Everything starts with freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The 6-foot-4 signal caller is one of the top ranked freshmen in the nation. He has thrown for 2,903 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. Lawrence supplanted

Miller Forristall as the team's starter. The 6-foot-5 Forristall has switched to wide receiver and has been a reliable target. A poised Lawrence led Cartersville to a thrilling victory over Sandy Creek in the quarterfinals when the Canes took their only lead of the game with 20 seconds remaining. Tiamon Pennymon gets the majority of carries for the Canes. Athlete Kalin Heath has committed to Kansas State.


Woodward Academy vs. St. Pius


A rematch of a Week 2 matchup that saw Woodward Academy take care of the visiting Golden Lions 42-21, St. Pius has caught its stride and has won 11 straight games to finish the season 11-2 and win the Region 6 crown. The War Eagles got the better of St. Pius that day using 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns from junior Elijah Holyfield.

Photo by Erin Sheppard

Woodward Academy quarterback Jes Sutherland threw for 116 yards and two scores in the victory over St. Pius. The War Eagles use a balanced attack of both run and pass that has helped them average 34 points per game. Holyfield has run for over 1,450 yards while totaling 30 touchdowns. Sutherland has passed for more than 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Sutherland found Joshua Johnson for an 18-yard score with 43 seconds remaining to knock off North Oconee in a back and forth quarterfinals game. 

Expect ground-and-pound St. Pius to look for success running the football against a Woodward Academy defense led by four-star safety and Stanford commit Arrington Farrar. Coming in averaging 290 yards per game on the ground, the Golden Lions only managed 170 yards on 40 carries in their loss to Woodward Academy. St. Pius will need to get its leading rusher Dalton Wilson involved in the game early. The senior has 789 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. Wilson was limited to just one carry for two yards in their previous meeting. Joey Connors is the team's second leading rusher with 669 yards on the ground. Connors also has taken snaps under center and Ransom Klinger, Grant Holloman, and Reed Egan all have chipped in more than 300 yards rushing this season. The Golden Lions seldom throw the ball, but if they do it is usually Cameron Fannon who is making the play. Fannon leads the team with 10 catches for 247 yards and three touchdowns.



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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