The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Playoffs Second Round

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

The road was particularly harsh for the lower-seeded teams in the first round of the playoffs last weekend. Fourth-seeded teams won only three of 40 games, down from eight in 2008 and the average of six over the previous five seasons. No. 3 seeds fared slightly better, winning 10 of 40, giving home teams a 67-13 record for the week.

Now we look to Round 2, where the competition gets tougher, and the picks get more difficult. Here are some of the stories worth watching in tonight’s games:

Region 1-AA is 4-0: Fitzgerald, Thomasville, Brooks County and Cook swept their Region 4-AA opponents last week, making 1-AA the only region in the state to go 4-0 in the first round. Things aren’t likely to go as well tonight. Fitzgerald should take care of Swainsboro to advance to the quarterfinals, but Thomasville (vs. Jefferson County), Brooks County (vs. Charlton County) and Cook (vs. Appling County) all have their work cut out for them. I expect all three to lose, but Thomasville and Brooks County could make things interesting.

Intriguing matchup for Round 3: Victories by Lassiter and Colquitt County would set up a third-round Class AAAAA game between Lassiter coach Chip Lindsey and his former boss, Colquitt County’s Rush Propst. Before coming to Lassiter, Lindsey was the offensive coordinator at Alabama’s Hoover High School, where Propst was the head coach. Lassiter should survive South Gwinnett in a game that could be reminiscent of their last playoff meeting in 1999, when David Greene led South Gwinnett to a 45-42 victory in the first round. But I don’t expect Colquitt to get past Stephenson, which is aiming for its sixth appearance in the quarterfinals this decade.

Toughest pick of the week: I’ve gone back and forth all week on the Commerce-Darlington game. Both teams enter the game 7-4. Both teams have won six of their past seven after 1-3 starts. Both have gone 3-4 against playoff teams, including lopsided losses to Wesleyan. Darlington has struggled a bit in its past couple of games after wrapping up the Region 6-A championship, losing to Trion in the regular-season finale and then beating Warren County 16-14 in the first round. So I’ll go with No. 2-seed Commerce, which is the hotter team at the moment.

Easiest pick of the week: Most times, the closest thing to a lock you can find is Buford. Not this week. The Wolves are playing an 11-0 Jefferson team coached by T. McFerrin, who has a lot of experience beating teams from Gwinnett County from his days as the South Gwinnett coach. I do think Buford will win, but there are safer picks out there. The one I keep coming back to is Dunwoody at Gainesville. Dunwoody acquitted itself well in the Region 5-AAA championship game against St. Pius and had a surprisingly easy victory against Elbert County in the first round. But I don’t see how the Wildcats can slow Gainesville, which has the state’s second-highest scoring average (46.8 points) as well as the top defense (6.3 points) in Class AAA.

No. 4 seeds:
Can the three No. 4 seeds that won last weekend make it two upsets in a row? Yes, no and maybe. Yes for Flowery Branch, the runner-up in Class AAA last year. The Falcons are better than your typical No. 4 seed, and they should move into the quarterfinals by beating Grady. The no is Cook, whose road should end tonight at Appling County. That leaves Brookwood as the maybe. The Broncos upset McEachern in the first round, which I didn’t think would happen, and now travel to Peachtree Ridge, the Class AAAAA runner-up in 2008. I’m picking Peachtree Ridge, but I won’t be shocked if Brookwood wins again.

No. 3 seeds: Ten No. 3 seeds escaped the first round, but I see only two making it to the quarterfinals — Liberty County and Westminster. But don’t count out Rockdale County against Hiram (another difficult pick) or defending Class AAAA champion Tucker, which plays at Sandy Creek.

And don’t forget: I can’t fail to mention the biggest battle of heavyweights on tonight’s schedule, Lowndes at Camden County. Last year, Camden County used its second-round victory against the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAAA (Northside-Warner Robins) as its springboard to the state championship. The Wildcats are facing the same situation this year, but this time it’s Lowndes advancing to the quarterfinals, and perhaps a lot further.

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Playoff predictions
Last week: 71-9 (.888); Season: 1,569-385 (.803)

Winner–Loser
Class AAAAA

Grayson–Roswell
Lassiter–South Gwinnett
Lowndes–Camden Co.
Newnan–M.L. King
North Gwinnett–Woodstock
Northside-W.R.–Union Grove
Peachtree Ridge–Brookwood
Stephenson–Colquitt Co.

Class AAAA
Brunswick–North Clayton
Griffin–Ware Co.
Hiram–Rockdale Co.
Marist–Apalachee
Sandy Creek–Tucker
SW DeKalb–Clarke Central
Thomas Co. Cent.–Richmond Acad.
Westside-Macon–Lakeside-Evans

Class AAA
Baldwin–Cairo
Carrollton–Eastside
Carver-Col.–Woodward Acad.
Flowery Branch–Grady
Gainesville–Dunwoody
Liberty Co.–Jackson
Peach Co.–Washington Co.
St. Pius–North Hall

Class AA
Appling Co.–Cook
Buford–Jefferson
Calhoun–North Oconee
Charlton Co.–Brooks Co.
Fitzgerald–Swainsboro
Jefferson Co.–Thomasville
Lovett–East Jackson
Westminster—Callaway

Class A
Commerce–Darlington
ECI–Clinch Co.
Greenville–Wilcox Co.
Holy Innocents’–Bremen
Lincoln Co.–ELCA
Sav. Christian–Miller Co.
Twiggs Co.–Chattahoochee Co.
Wesleyan–Bowdon

203 comments Add your comment

plowboy

November 19th, 2009
12:22 pm

Grayson Student

November 19th, 2009
12:33 pm

glad to see ajc wise up and pick grayson

Doc

November 19th, 2009
12:38 pm

Your winning percentage (Last week: 71-9 .888) will be much lower.

LHS

November 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

Glad to see you are sticking with Lassiter! It is much appreciated…

Brenda

November 19th, 2009
1:11 pm

Please…Please…Please don’t sleep on Callaway High School!!!!!!

RedDevilsALLTHEWAY

November 19th, 2009
1:18 pm

I cannot wait for the AJC and the rest of Georgia Football see that Jackson is going to send Liberty County home with teary eyes and their tails between their legs! Just wait! ;-)

wilcoxfan4life

November 19th, 2009
1:19 pm

never never never underestimate WILCOX!

Not so fast, my friend...

November 19th, 2009
2:58 pm

I wouldn’t count Jackson out this weekend. Sure Liberty County had a signature win last weekend, but I am not convinced that they can pull out two in a row. Jackson is a team with a load of talent, and an experienced coaching staff. Don’t be surprised if they keep pulling out those close wins.

JerryL

November 19th, 2009
3:01 pm

Union Grove should be a good preparation game for Northside for the quarterfinals. They have a good team. Welcome to Eagle Country!! Go Blue!

SportsFan31313

November 19th, 2009
3:19 pm

Not so fast, my friend & RedDevilsALLTHEWAY,

Glad you all on the blog. So you all believe that Jackson will beat Liberty County tomorrow? Tell me, what does Jackson have that Liberty county doesn’t have? How bad are you all going to beat Liberty County that they will being going back to liberty County all teary eyed? had it been LaGrange that you all would be playing, how bad you all would have beaten them?

Gregory

November 19th, 2009
3:21 pm

Every year u dumb sports writers doubt my camden county wildcats and every year we make u look stupid when you pick against us. Coach Herrond has a score to settle with Lowndes and u can bet that he is preparing his guys to do battle on friday. Give those boys so credit

godevils

November 19th, 2009
3:31 pm

Jackson will beat Liberty County 24-10.
Jackson and Lagrange would have been a better and closer game. It could have went either way in that situation although I think it would have been Jackson-14 Lagrange-10

randy prosen

November 19th, 2009
3:35 pm

Go Camden. Thats one pick you got wrong.

Fear the Veer

November 19th, 2009
3:35 pm

Nothing on TCC in your playoff review, huh? Nothing unusual here….the AJC has been ignoring TCC all season long….Until we beat Westside-Macon, that is. Oh, well….all we can continue to do is win games.

MLK Band Mom

November 19th, 2009
3:42 pm

MLK I know you are able to win this contest on Friday…we will be there cheering from start to finish…keep those holding penalities to a minimum! Go LION!

MLK Band Mom

November 19th, 2009
3:43 pm

I concur with Doc

VIKING DAD

November 19th, 2009
4:00 pm

Hey Gregory……… Learn how to spell before you go writing. It’s ( Coach Herron ) and give those boys (some) credit. Do they teach English at Camden.

Not so fast, my friend...

November 19th, 2009
4:10 pm

Sportsfan, I am simply urging some of the prognosticators to give that team down in Jackson another look. They have a team that has been in this situation before. They have a ton of playmakers, many of whom are seniors who have been playing together since middle school, and a talented and experienced coaching staff. They will be prepared for the game, and they seem to match up well against Liberty. A lot of people tend to scoff at last week’s close victory, but in that game, Jackson proved that they could outlast against a team with a very stout defense and a team that was large enough to control the line of scrimmage. It seems to me that Jackson came out of that game with a new found confidence that will carry over through this week.

VIKING DAD

November 19th, 2009
4:11 pm

Viking Dad predicts Grayson, Lassiter, Lowndes, Newnan, Northside, Peachtree Ridge, Woodstock (upset #1), and Colquitt (upset #2)>

Woodpecker

November 19th, 2009
4:18 pm

I predicting Greenville to win it all in class A for the coach.

GO UG!

November 19th, 2009
4:25 pm

Hey Jerry L, I really hope we can give NSWR SOME competition to get them ready for the next round. We will do everything we can to help.

studentofthegame

November 19th, 2009
4:35 pm

Ok Im a Griffin Backer. We need 4 more victories to capture the title. After we take care of Ware Co. We will be waiting on you Marist. Since they supposedly manhandled us during a preseason that ended in a tie. LOL! So region 6AAAA first we beat Marist then we beat SWD like we did last year************Consider yourselves warned**********

SportsFan31313

November 19th, 2009
4:39 pm

Not so fast, my friend,

I agree with you, and I am taking anything away from Jackson. Remember they are No 6 in the state. they didn’t get there by lolly gagging. They have a Division 1 prospect who has already committed to the Florida Gators, and it will be very foolish to take this lightly. However; Liberty County too have proven themselves to be a great team. they come out of region 3-AAA which is the toughest Region in the State in Class AAA. They have beaten some great football teams on the road in which two of them were ranked in the State including LaGrange who is a Perennial Power by themself. Liberty County too have a great Coaching Staff, who knows how to relate and get these group of great young men to respond to them and out their calls into action without fail. Liberty County not only have confidence, but they have a lot of heart. To win games against great teams on the road speaks volumes about Liberty County. This will be a good close game between the two.

Topper

November 19th, 2009
4:46 pm

Gregory – As a fellow Camden fan do us all a favor and don’t post on here anymore without checkin what you say first!

SportsFan31313

November 19th, 2009
5:07 pm

Greetings Topper,

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

BulldawgGirl

November 19th, 2009
5:16 pm

Viking Dad-no love for the Bulldogs?! We’ll find out who’s the contender and who’s the pretender Friday night.

Go North!!

ImaTitleTownBaby

November 19th, 2009
5:29 pm

Im with VIKINGDAD…Woodstock and Colquitt will have to play thier hearts out…but there will be some upsets…shout out to them Vikings!!

GDF

November 19th, 2009
5:30 pm

Just to clarify, Lagrange was ranked 10 a few weeks back but then fell out of the rankings. The fact is, is that Lagrange simply wasn’t the Lagrange everyone is used to this year.

ImaTitleTownBaby

November 19th, 2009
5:31 pm

I agree with VikingDad…Woodstaock and Colquitt will have to play hard for 4 quarters…but I feel some upsets in the making…shout out to them Vikings!!

ImaTitleTownBaby

November 19th, 2009
5:31 pm

Topper

November 19th, 2009
5:52 pm

Greetings SportsFan31313 – Ready for some football Friday!!!! Really look forward to seeing this Lowndes team …. I really hope for A Camden win but no predictions from me! How can you predict a game against a team you have not seen play? I have said it before and will say it again hoping for a well played close battle with no injurys! God bless to the boys on both teams…. And to the Lowndes fans traveling look forward to seeing you here and have a safe trip!

VIKING DAD

November 19th, 2009
5:52 pm

Hey BullDawgGirl……My mind says Bulldogs will win, but I have to pull for Coach O’Brien after the way Valdosta did him. Goooooooooooooo Woodstock

Puddin

November 19th, 2009
5:53 pm

Go Greenville! Wesleyn is tough. Win one for the coach. Vikingdad…what BulldawgGirl said.

Marist

November 19th, 2009
6:15 pm

We’re shaking in our knees studentofthegame!!!

leechampion

November 19th, 2009
6:18 pm

Carver Tigers keep on rolling Friday night at MoMo stadium down here in Columbus.

EAGLE1

November 19th, 2009
6:21 pm

Good Luck to the Northside Eagles! This is when the high school games get to be really fun! May the best team win! Congratualations to the Union Grove team for making the playoffs! Hope to have a good clean game. 1975 Northside Graduate!

dogdownsouth

November 19th, 2009
7:15 pm

Lowndes – 38 Camden – 17 lowndes just has to much team this year even with one of it’s stars ( Tyler Hunter) not being able to play. Also the defense is just to fast & too strong , & plays with a grudge

NG18

November 19th, 2009
7:31 pm

Bob Spire’s Pups send Woodstock crying back to Snoopy and take them to the woodshed. North Gwinnett wins 21-7.

Highschool Football Fan

November 19th, 2009
8:16 pm

Camden County has a chance with the talent they have to be in and win any game they play. However, after watching Coach Herron coach for the past 4 years, the biggest hurdle our boys will have to overcome is tomorrow night is for Coach Herron is to play to win and not be afraid to lose.. I can give you a thousand example’s especially when they played Lowndes 2 years ago in the dome. When your own coach gives an interview 3 weeks prior to the playoffs that he is intimidated by another team in 5A sends the wrong message to his team, period. Good Luck Boys .. Take it to them!

Region 6A

November 19th, 2009
8:29 pm

Well since no one will talk about the game at all on AJC I will just predict that Wesleyan-Bowdon will be a close game and Wesleyan will win 42-21

BulldawgGirl

November 19th, 2009
8:35 pm

TitleTown- you say Woodstock will have to “play their hearts out”…are you insinuating North Gwinnett won’t??
Bulldogs walk away with the win this Friday and prepare for Lowndes/Camden winner.

reality

November 19th, 2009
8:36 pm

Keep picking against BROOKWOOD…. and keep coming up losers..

inthatrenches

November 19th, 2009
8:46 pm

Lowndes has won on the road (not at a neutral site) in the playoffs one time this decade….Does this matter? Camden and Lowndes have excellent teams this however does not decide the state Championship…….this is the second round not the Finals>>>

bksmitty14

November 19th, 2009
8:53 pm

after seeing what happened last year at grayson after lowndes was so dominant during regular season i am not going to say lowndes rolls over camden. this will be a low scoring hard fought game that good special teams play and turnovers are going to play an important part in determining who wins. i say lowndes 20-17. Go VIKINGS!!!!

bksmitty14

November 19th, 2009
8:55 pm

Enter your comments here

bksmitty14

November 19th, 2009
8:57 pm

inthatrenches, the winner of this game will win the state title. you can mark that down. i expect to see a rematch of lowndes vs northside for it all. if so, northside will not be so lucky and hopefully our field goal kicker want miss 4 field goals again

bksmitty14

November 19th, 2009
8:59 pm

grayson is not going to get past roswell

HomeFieldAdvantage

November 19th, 2009
9:00 pm

Highschool Football Fan – we (Lowndes) tend to play defense too in big games, worry sometimes too much about playing field position, etc. Take for instance the last time we played Camden we only won 10-0. We should have won by 35 but were too tight and too concerned with just playing field position. That sounds like the way you are describing Coach Herron. But I guarantee he and Randy McPherson knows more about football than any of us on this blog. But I do think both of’em should loosen up some in the really big games, let the kids be not so uptight, and take some offensive chances. But hey , with the records those two coaches have, who are we to question them? Right?

GURU

November 19th, 2009
9:04 pm

When was the last time Stephenson didn’t have great athletes, speed, and D-1 talent on their roster? I can’t remember any time in the near past that they didn’t possess these traits as a team. The burning question that I have is this……Can Gartrell (DeKalb Co. 2009 Coach of the Year) and company out coach Propst and company?

I’m tired of hearing all this stuff about Stephenson has this and that, seems to me they keep this and that, but can the coaching staff implement a sound/efficient game plan, make the necessary adjustments, and keep their team mentally focus throughout what should be a tight ball game?

I’ll be @ the game if Gods willing and hopefully I’ll get my questions answered. Good luck to both teams. I’m pulling for Stephenson but history is telling me to pick Colquitt Co.

bksmitty14

November 19th, 2009
9:05 pm

i will say this. i am from lowndes county and a big viking fan. i dont miss a game. i graduated in o4 from lowndes. i am a lil concerned about having to play camden county at camden. the were beating hoover by two touchdowns. we all know the powerhouse that hoover is in alabama. they had players suspended when they lost 10-7 to grayson. they lost 2 games yeah, but to two great teams by a combined 6 points. if lowndes does not bring there “A” game, then lowndes fans will drive home sad again. Lowndes has to go out and make statement and play like they are capable of. if our vikings show up and play like the vikings we all know then they beat camden