Each day this week, we’ll look at the playoff draw for one of the five classifications, resuming today with Class AA. Here are five interesting facts about each of the 16 games, with an emphasis on playoff history.
Which coach just won a region title with his eighth different school? Find out below.
Best draw: Charlton County
Worst draw: Jefferson
Sleeper: Charlton County
Best first-round matchup: Chattooga (9-1) at Lovett (9-1)
Greene County (4-6) at Fitzgerald (10-0)
- Greene County coach Charlie Winslette has won state championships at two schools in Georgia (Greene-Taliaferro and West Rome).
- Fitzgerald coach Robby Pruitt has won state championships at two schools in Florida (University Christian and Union County).
- Greene County is one of three playoff teams with a losing record. Social Circle and Warren County are the others.
- This is the third time in Pruitt’s six years that Fitzgerald has entered the state playoffs 10-0. Neither of the others made it past the second round.
- Fitzgerald is 6-0 against playoff teams; Greene County is 0-5 against playoff teams.
McIntosh Co. Academy (7-3) at Swainsboro (9-1)
- Swainsboro ranks third in AA in scoring defense at 8.2 points per game.
- McIntosh County Academy ranks 10th in scoring offense at 33.0 points per game.
- McIntosh County Academy lost in the first round each of the past four seasons.
- McIntosh County Academy coach Robby Robinson has been in the playoffs each season this decade and advanced a round with three schools – McIntosh, Fitzgerald and Metter.
- Both teams are looking to get out of the first round for the first time since 2004.
Riverside Military (5-5) at Callaway (8-2)
- Riverside Military rejoined the GHSA after playing in the GISA from 2002 to 2007 and winning a state title in 2005.
- Both teams were beaten by Pepperell in the playoffs last season: Riverside (38-10) in the first round and Callaway (40-20) in the second.
- Callaway is one of two unranked region champions. The other is Northeast of Macon.
- Callaway is third in scoring offense in AA at 42.8 points per game.
- Callaway is 1-7 all-time in the first round. Its victory came last season against Greater Atlanta Christian.
Westminster (7-3) at Armuchee (7-3)
- Westminster is seeded No. 3 in its region despite beating No. 1 seed Lovett 21-6.
- Armuchee is seeded No. 2 in its region despite losing to No. 4 seed Chattooga 36-10.
- Armuchee is making its first playoff appearance since 1999 and seeking its first win since 1995.
- Westminster’s losses have come to AAA opponents Carrollton and Woodward Academy and to Buford.
- Westminster has won nine of its last 10 first-round playoff games.
Cook (5-5) at Northeast (7-3)
- Cook is one of three schools that made the Class AA playoffs each season this decade. The others are Charlton County and Calhoun.
- Cook is 6-3 in the first round this decade and achieved a best finish of the semifinals in 2001.
- Cook is dedicating its season to Roy White, a rising senior football player who died after collapsing at practice in May.
- Northeast, which opened in 1970, won its first region championship this year.
- Northeast is 2-5 all-time in the first round and has never advanced past the second.
Vidalia (7-3) at Appling County (9-1)
- This is Vidalia’s first playoff appearance since reaching the second round in 2005.
- Vidalia is 37-28 all-time in the postseason. Vidalia’s best finish is the 1969 Class B championship.
- Appling County lost its past five playoff games.
- Only four first-round matchups are between teams that have played each other, and only this one pits teams that have played more than twice. Appling County leads the series 13-9, but Vidalia has won the only two games this decade (2004, 2005).
- Appling County is ranked No. 10 in scoring defense (12.2 points per game).
Heard County (6-4) at Jefferson (10-0)
- In his first year at Jefferson, T. McFerrin won a region title at his seventh Georgia school. The others are Peachtree (four), Elbert County (two), Forest Park, Lithonia, South Gwinnett and Tucker. He also won one at Sullivan Central in Tennessee.
- Jefferson’s only 10-0 regular seasons in history are 2008 and 2009.
- Jefferson is 3-0 at home and 0-7 on the road in first-round playoff games since the GHSA expanded the state playoffs beyond eight teams in 1990.
- Heard County is 5-17 all-time in the postseason. Its best finish was the quarterfinals in 1990.
- Jefferson defeated Heard County 21-13 at Jefferson in the 2003 first round in the only prior meeting between the schools.
Pepperell (9-1) at Buford (9-1)
- Buford and Pepperell have played each other twice – in the 1950s. Buford won 25-7 in 1954, and Pepperell won 33-7 in 1955.
- Buford leads AA in scoring defense, allowing 5.6 points. Pepperell is sixth at 11.6.
- Pepperell has made the quarterfinals each of the past two seasons.
- Buford is 37-4 this decade in the playoffs. Three of the losses are to Charlton County, the other to Commerce.
- Buford is not a No. 1 seed for the first time since 2000.
Avondale (6-4) at Calhoun (10-0)
- Avondale played and lost a region playoff game in 1995, but this is the school’s first state playoff game since 1989.
- Calhoun went from 1953 to 1985 without a playoff game.
- Avondale is 23-15-1 all-time in the playoffs and won state titles in 1958, 1963 and 1976.
- Calhoun has made the state finals four times (1951, 1952, 2005, 2008)
- Calhoun is 108-18 this decade; Avondale was 101-10-1 in the 1960s.
North Oconee (7-3) at Lamar County (7-3)
- Lamar County was 1-9 in 2007 and 2008.
- Lamar County last made the playoffs in 2002, two years before North Oconee opened.
- North Oconee ranks seventh in AA in scoring defense, allowing 11.7 points per game.
- North Oconee made the playoffs for the first time last season and won a round.
- North Oconee is 7-3, its fourth straight winning season. County rival Oconee County finished 3-7, its fifth straight losing season.
Tattnall County (7-3) at Jefferson County (10-0)
- Jefferson County is one of four AA teams that rank in the top 10 in scoring and defense. The others are No. 1 Calhoun, No. 2 Fitzgerald and No. 3 Buford.
- Tattnall County is 1-4 all-time in the postseason, its win coming in 1996 against West Laurens.
- Jefferson County is 2-10 all-time in the postseason, its wins coming in 2007 and 2008 in first-round home games.
- Jefferson County had three high schools 30 years ago. They were the Louisville Eagles, Wadley Wildcats and Wrens Colts.
- Jefferson County, which opened with a merger of Louisville and Wrens, had one other 10-0 regular season in 2004 but has never advanced past the second round.
Henry County (7-3) at Thomasville (7-3)
- Both teams were predicted by GHSF Daily to win their regions. Thomasville was second to Fitzgerald in Region 1, while Henry was tied with Northeast and Putnam County in Region 4 and wound up the No. 3 seed on tiebreakers.
- Henry County won its only state playoff games in history in 2007 and 2008.
- Henry County will be traveling to a playoff game for the first time since a region final against Model in 1954.
- Henry County will be playing in South Georgia for the first time in history.
- Thomasville is 45-35-1 in the postseason since 1948, when the GHSA began running the state playoffs.
Chattooga (9-1) at Lovett (9-1)
- Lovett is the school that ended Buford’s 32-game winning streak this season.
- Lovett won its 15th region title this season but first since 2000.
- Lovett is 17-6 at home in the state playoffs, 3-11 on the road.
- Chattooga is 0-8 all-time in the state playoffs, including six first-round losses this decade.
- Chattooga’s 9-1 finish matches the school’s best in history. Chattooga also was 9-1 in 2000, 1980 and 1968 and won region playoffs in 1968 and 1980 to hit 10 victories.
Manchester (7-3) at East Jackson (9-1)
- East Jackson, which played its first varsity game in 2007, will be playing in its first playoff game.
- East Jackson lost to Jefferson 35-21 in a game last week between 9-0 teams from Jackson County to determine the No. 1 seed.
- Manchester is 38-27 all-time in the postseason and won a state title in 1997 under current coach Greg Oglesby.
- Oglesby has been with his school for 14 seasons over two tenures, more than any other AA coach except Charlton County’s Rich McWhorter (20 seasons) and Westminster’s Gerry Romberg (18).
- Manchester is playing its seventh straight playoff game on the road. Its last home playoff game came in 2001.
Dublin (7-3) at Charlton County (9-0-1)
- Dublin and Charlton County tied 13-13 in the 2006 Class AA championship game in the only meeting between these schools. Partly because of that game, ties are no longer allowed in the finals.
- Charlton County is second in scoring offense (43.1 points per game) and 29th in scoring defense (20.1) in AA.
- Charlton County had won 13 straight first-round playoff games at home until beaten 39-7 by Fitzgerald last season.
- Dublin is 40-26-1 all-time in the postseason, 17-5-1 under coach Roger Holmes.
- Charlton County is 50-23-1 all-time in the postseason, 46-16-1 under coach Rich McWhorter.
Brooks County (8-2) at Putnam County (8-2)
- Brooks County made the semifinals in 2008.
- Putnam County was 2-8 in 2008.
- Brooks County won a state title in 1994 under coach Maurice Freeman, who left the school for 11 years and returned last season.
- Putnam County won a state title in 1967 under coach Al Reaves, who still lives in Eatonton but is not related to current coach Ben Reaves.
- Putnam County is playing in its first playoff game since 2004 and seeking its first win since 2002.
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