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STATE FINALS PREVIEW

Today, we continue our state championship previews with a look at Class AAAA and AAAAA. Check out the left panel for updated brackets and the championship schedule.

 


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Trivia
Football Playoff Brackets
Class AAAA Preview
Class AAAAA Preview
Top Stories

Trivia
Question: 
How many opponents has Buford beat by more than 50 points this season?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:
Washington County quarterback AJ Gray scored eight touchdowns in the quarterfinal win against Pierce County.
FOOTBALL STATE PLAYOFF BRACKETS

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

 

 

(All games at Georgia Dome)

 

Class AAAAAA

Saturday, Dec. 13 (8 PM)

Archer vs. Colquitt County

 

Class AAAAA

Friday, Dec. 12 (8 PM)

Mays vs. Northside-WR

 

Class AAAA

Saturday, Dec. 13 (4:30 PM)

St. Pius vs. Buford

 

Class AAA

Friday, Dec. 12 (4:30 PM)

Calhoun vs. Washington County

 

Class AA

Saturday, Dec. 13 (1 PM)

Benedictine vs. Greater Atlanta Christian

 

Class A-Public

Friday, Dec. 12 (1 PM)

Hawkinsville vs. Irwin County

 

Class A-Private

Saturday, Dec. 13 (10 AM)

ELCA vs. Mt. Paran

 




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Thursday, December 11, 2014


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CLASS AAAA PREVIEW
By Ricky Dimon
Buford looks to continue gridiron dominance

 

 

BUFORD 14-0, REGION 8 NO. 1 SEED


The more things change, the more they stay the same; at least thatis one win away from continuing to be the case for Buford. Unquestionably the most well-established football dynasty going in Georgia, Buford captured four state championships in its last five years in Class AA, with its only blemish coming via an overtime loss to Calhoun in the 2011 final. The Wolves moved up to Class AAA and promptly won it all in both 2012 and 2013. Now making their debut in Class AAAA, they have remained dominant.

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

Buford boasts a 27-20 victory over McEachern, a semifinalist in the state's highest classification, and no other in-state opponent has come closer than a three-touchdown margin. The string of overwhelming performances includes playoff defeats of Southeast Whitfield (63-0), Mary Persons (35-14), Marist (30-6) and Cartersville (27-3).  Buford is crushing its 2014 adversaries by an average of 36 points per game and has five wins by more than 50 points.The team has posted six shutouts, has limited 10 opponents to single digits and nobody other than McEachern has managed to put up morethan 14 points. Cartersville mustered only a field goal and was held to a mere 66 yards in the first half (193 in the game) after previouslyaveraging more than 41 points per game. A dominant, opportunistic defense helped the Wolves own the field-position battle and start allfour of their touchdown drives at no worse than the Purple Hurricanes'41-yard line. Joshua Johnson had a trio of one-yard scoring runs, Jordan Perlotte tacked on the exclamation point from two yards out and Evyn Cooper was Buford's leading rusher with 99 yards. Complimenting a deep backfield, Luke Humphrey can also pull the trigger throughthe air. During the win over Marist he threw for 172 yards and tosseda 22-yard touchdown to heralded tight end Isaac Nauta.  Head Coach has a career record of 137-18 and that includes a 0-10 mark his firstyear and only year as the head man at East Paulding.


 

ST. PIUS X: 12-2, REGION 6 NO. 1 SEED
 

St. Pius knows a thing or two about turning the tide on familiar foesand this will be another revenge game of sorts for the team. The Golden Lions' most recent state championship appearance came in 2012against none other than Buford, which triumphed 10-3 in that ClassAAA showdown. They will hope to inflict some payback on Buford,just like they did on Woodward Academy in the semifinals. This 2014 campaign got off to an extremely slow start for St. Pius, which lost its first two games by more than 20 points apiece (42-20 to Blessed Trinity and 42-21 to Woodward).

Photo by Erin Sheppard

The War Eagles, however, ran into a much different opponent last Friday, even though for much of the contest a similar outcome to that of the regular-season clash seemed to be in the cards. With the benefit of home-field advantage thanks to a victorious coin toss, St. Pius erased all of a 21-7 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. The Golden Lions scored 21 unanswered points to prevail 28-21. Joey Connors, now a running back after beginning the year as the team's quarterback, delivered the game-winner with 47 seconds remaining via a 30-yard scamper. He finished with 10 carries for 124 yards. Surviving close encounters is nothing new for St.Pius, which may be an advantageous factor in advance of a date with Buford given that the Wolves are not exactly candidates to ever get blown out. In addition to the quarterfinal thriller, the Golden Lions' 12-game winning streak includes a 31-28 victory over Grady and a 10-9defensive struggle with Marist. At the same time, their playoff run has also featured more routine wins over Fayette County (24-0), East-side (52-20) and West Laurens (31-13). Run-heavy St. Pius has beenled by Connors, Dalton Wilson, Ransom Klinger, Grant Holloman and quarterback Reed Egan. The Golden Lions are one of the oldest private schools in the metro Atlanta area (1958) and have had only eight head coaches in their history.


 
THE SKINNY...


 

Buford is making an eighth consecutive appearance in the state final. St. Pius is looking for its second championship and first since 1968. While that maynot be an extensive history of titles, the Golden Lions have been consistently solid of late. They have not been bounced out of the playoffs prior to the quar-terfinals since 2010. With neither team afraid to pound the ball on the ground, the outcome of this one could be decided in the trenches. Buford's defense, led in part by defensive tackle Quay Picou and linebacker Austin Smith, held Marist's ballyhooed rushing attack to just 81 yards. St. Pius must shore thingsup against the run after watching Woodward's Elijah Holyfield go for 186 yards on 22 carries. Running back Joey Connors will likely have to make big playsboth on offense and from his safety position if the Golden Lions want to pull off an upset. The teams have only played three times with Buford winning thelast matchup in the Class AAA finals in 2012.
 


CLASS AAAAA PREVIEW
By Craig Sager II
Mays eyes history during storied run to the title

 

 

MAYS 12-2, REGION 6 NO. 3 SEED


Georgia is considered one of the most competitive states in thecountry when it comes to high school football, and Mays' inspiring runto this year's state championship is testament to everything that makes Georgia high school football so well-respected. The Raiders have wona school-record 12 games this season and became the only No. 3 seedto advance to the state championship. The Raiders won their first three playoff games by a combined 13 points but scored a more comfortable 

Photo by Jon Barash

30-15 victory over Stockbridge in the semifinals last Friday. Quarterback Asania Aderhold hit Deparis Carter for a 43-yard touchdown inthe second quarter to give Mays a 7-0 lead and Kesselly Tyler iced thegame with two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. The postseasonrun started with a 26-19 win over South Paulding that saw Charlie Patrick carry the ball 16 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. The secondround stacked Mays against undefeated and top-ranked Ware County. Aderhold finished 11-of-14 passing with touchdown passes to TyshawnBrown and Randrecous Davis in a 21-18 victory. With the win, Maysbecame the first Atlanta city school to beat a No. 1-ranked team sinceDouglass defeated Southwest DeKalb in 1995. In the quarterfinals,Mays hosted Jones County in a rare showdown between No. 3 seeds.Mays stunned the Greyhounds on the final play of the game when Aderhold threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Julius Whitehead. Aderholdfinished with three scoring strikes, including a Hail Mary to Brown thatended the first half. The victorious Raiders also got scores via receptionand kickoff return by Carter. Head coach Corey Jarvis has a talenteddefensive line that includes defensive end Natrez Patrick (committed to Georgia) and tackle Dallas Warmack (Alabama). These four-star athletes highlight a cast with several other Division I prospects. The Raiders may be the best story this postseason as in their 34-year historythey have reached double-digit wins only three times. 


NORTHSIDE-WARNER ROBINS 13-1, REGION 5 NO. 1 SEED


 

Northside is back in the state championship for the first time since 2009 and comes off a 30-21 victory over previously unbeaten Allatoona in the semifinals. The Eagles took a 20-7 lead at the half over Allatoona, outrushing the Buccaneers 193-to-8. Northside running back Willie Jordan scored two touchdowns in the first half and scored againin the third quarter to highlight his monster game with 41 carries for 234 yards. Northside uses its prolific running game and stout defense and has followed this formula to record at least 10 wins every season since 1998.

Photo by Northside Eagles

The Eagles' last state titles came in 2006-07 with back-to-back perfect 15-0 seasons and playoff experience is present within the Eagles program. Northside fell 45-37 to region-rival Jones County on Sept. 9, but this current 10-game win streak since the loss has seen the team improve on both sides of the football with each new week. In the quarterfinals, Northside edged Glynn Academy 31-7 and used its over-powering running game to grab the win. All four touchdowns came on the ground; two from T.J. Anderson and one each for Jordan and Tobias Oliver. Justin Alonso nailed a 31-yard field goal for the Eagles atthe end of the first half. During the first round, Northside routed Northside-Columbus 48-0 and set up a 30-21 win over a dangerous Dalton squad in the second round. Jordan rushed for four touchdowns and 132 yards on 14 carries in the win over Northside and Oliver led the way inthe victory over Dalton with 18 carries for 148 yards and three scores.Defensively, Kam Burnett, Rakwon Young, Chris Wright and Jayleen Kendrick have all recorded interceptions in the postseason and play aggressive with the Eagles' reliable defensive front disrupting oppos-ing offenses. Northside has won 14 region titles and is 436-161-6 since the school started in 1963. The Eagles didn't get their first double-digit win season until 1975. 
 

THE SKINNY...


 
Mays will be looking to give the city of Atlanta its first state champion since Southwest Atlanta won the Class AA title in 1973. It just so happens that Southwest Atlanta became Mays High School in 1981. Also, this will be the first time in school history either team has met on the gridiron and the matchup features several underlying themes. Mays is led by an offensive line that averages more than 300 pounds and Northside also uses its bulk upfront to powerone of the most productive rushing attacks in the state. To no surprise, the stars to watch in this matchup will come in the trenches. Mays' defensive ends Natrez Patrick (UGA) and Aaron Cochran (Louisville) will look to funnel Northside's running game inside. On the offensive side, Mays' running game willdepend on guard Dallas Warmack (Alabama) to lead the way and Northside will need to take advantage of Willie Jordan and Tobias Oliver's ability to sharecarries as guard Brandon Sandifer (Florida-commit) opens holes against an athletic and massive Mays defensive line.

 


A WORD FROM CHOA
 

Protect your family from the flu


At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we see many sick children and teens with the flu virus each year. Your biggest defense against the flu is the flu vaccine, so it's important that everyone in your family gets vaccinated every year. Here are the top five tips to help you prevent the flu.

  • Get vaccinated every season. The best way to make sure that you and your family are protected is for everyone older than 6 months to get a flu vaccine. Since it can take up to two weeks to be protected by the flu vaccine, it is best to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.
    • Some children may need two doses of a flu vaccine given four weeks apart to be fully protected.
  • Talk to your child's healthcare provider about which vaccine is right for your child and your family. There are two ways to get a seasonal flu vaccine:
    • A shot through the skin-This flu vaccine contains dead flu viruses. You cannot get the flu from the shot form of the vaccine. Side effects from the shot include mild redness and irritation at the injection site.
    • A spray mist into the nose-This type of flu vaccine contains a weakened, live flu virus. Possible side effects of the nasal spray form of the vaccine include runny nose and headache similar to mild flu symptoms, although not as severe. A healthy person cannot get the flu from the nasal spray flu vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine is the preferred vaccine for healthy children 2 to 8 years old.
  • Stay home if you get the flu. This reduces the spread of the flu. However, it is important for parents to recognize the symptoms and know when to see a healthcare provider. If your child has difficulty breathing, experiences a change in behavior or has difficulty keeping fluids down, contact your pediatrician.
  • Antibiotics will not work. The flu is a virus, not a bacterial infection, so antibiotics will not help.
  • Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and cough into your sleeve. These tips help prevent the spread of flu viruses.

 

Visit choa.org/flu to learn more.

 

This is general information and is not specific medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about the health of a child.

 


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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