Five AAAA teams riding momentum into playoffs
Sandy Creek: Any discussion of the AAAA playoffs has to begin with the top-ranked Patriots, who completed their third straight undefeated regular season with a 65-0 win over Columbus Friday night. The only unbeaten team left in AAAA, Sandy Creek has allowed 20 points just once, has held six opponents to a touchdown or less and is averaging 45 points per game.
Marist: The War Eagles (9-1) enter the playoffs having won eight straight, and the last two weeks they’ve thumped previously unbeaten teams, winning 24-0 over Chamblee last week and 42-14 over Carver-Altanta Friday night. Quarterback Myles Willis, who accounted for 221 yards and three touchdowns against Carver, leads a talented group of skilled players on offense and like Sandy Creek, the Marist defense has allowed more than 20 points just once, that coming against Class AAAAA Thomas County Central.
Burke County: Last year’s Class AAA champions are one of three teams in AAAA this year to have lost their season opener then reeled off nine straight wins. To get past Burke in the playoffs will mean figuring out a way to slow down quarterback Donquell Green, who has rushed for 1,461 yards and passed for 929. Burke has surpassed 40 point six times.
Ridgeland: The 10th-ranked Panthers (9-1) got three touchdowns from Darrell Bridges Friday in a 48-14 win over River Ridge in the 7-AAAA championship. They’ve scored at least 35 points in every game and are averaging 43.5 points, and they’ve won nine straight since falling to Class AA power Calhoun in the season opener.
Stockbridge: After back-to-back nailbiters in September, the Tigers (9-1) blew through their sub-region schedule with five straight blowout wins, including a 29-0 win Friday against North Clayton. The Tigers, who also have none nine straight since a season-opening loss, are making their third straight playoff appearance.