Can Cedar Grove shock the world?

The last time Buford came close to losing a game – one not decided by an administrator – was on Sept. 7. That’s the night Gainesville rolled into Tom Riden Stadium and rode the hot hand of quarterback Deshaun Watson to a 19-15 upset win.

Buford actually handled Watson for most of the night, but failed to close the deal in the fourth quarter. Gainesville won the game, but Buford suffered many self-inflicted wounds that night. Since then it’s been lights out. Eight straight on-the-field wins, four of them by shutouts, and a head of steam going into the playoffs.

But the Wolves didn’t get their traditional cupcake first-round opponent. They’re up against a team with an outstanding quarterback, the best they’ve seen since that fateful night against Gainesville. Question is: Does Cedar Grove have enough juice to pull off a huge upset?

Saints fans feel good about their chances. No wonder. Quarterback Johnathan McCreary, a Vanderbilt commitment, has completed 74.4 percent of his passes (151 of 203), with only eight interceptions and 23 touchdowns. He’s only 305 yards shy of breaking the state record for career passing yards. He’s the best passer in DeKalb County and took the Saints to a win over Woodward Academy and nearly brought them back against No. 7 St. Pius. He’s also run for 225 yards and five touchdowns.

Cedar Grove has another weapon in junior running back Deion Sellers, who averages 9.6 yards per carry and has seven touchdowns. No wonder the Saints lead DeKalb with 408 yards of total offense per game.

But how will The Grovers fare against a Buford team that allows only 6.1 points per game? And speaking of defense, can Cedar Grove can stop Buford’s attack. The Saints have been average on defense (246.8 yards per game) and have yet to see an offense with as many weapons as Buford has to offer.

Prediction: Buford

Gordon Central at Morgan County: Morgan County has grown accustomed to making the playoffs under coach Bill Malone; this is the fourth trip the postseason in six tries with Malone at the helm. But the Bulldogs have yet to make it past the first round. Likewise, Chad Fisher has Gordon Central in the playoffs for the second straight year. Morgan must find a way to slow Gordon Central quarterback M.J. Reynolds, who accounted for 375 yards combined passing and running two weeks ago against Adairsville. Prediction: Morgan County

Ringgold at North Oconee: Ringgold had a four-game winning streak broken in the season-finale by Cartersville. The Tigers were tied at halftime of that game, but allowed four scores in the third quarter and never recovered. Ringgold is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. To have a chance, the Tigers must find a way to slow down North Oconee’s versatile Nick Colvin, who can play quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and kick returner. Colvin threw for two touchdowns and ran for another last week against Hart County. Colvin has thrown for 890 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 626 yards and seven touchdowns. Prediction: North Oconee

White County at Blessed Trinity: It’s not often you get a rematch in the first round of the state playoffs, but this is the exception. The two teams met in Cleveland on Sept. 21, with Blessed Trinity emerging with a 21-19 win. White County has run up some impressive numbers the last three weeks, scoring no fewer than 41 points. The problem is going to be the Blessed Trinity defense, which will be the best White has seen since its midseason games against Buford and North Hall. The Panthers totaled only 21 points in those two contests. Blessed Trinity allows only 16.5 points per game. BT’s problem is on offense; the Titans don’t score a whole lot of points against the upper echelon teams. Prediction: Blessed Trinity

Woodward Academy at North Hall: The question here is Woodward Academy’s offense and whether it will actually show up for the game. The key will be North Hall’s ability to slow Woodward quarterback Terry Googer, who almost single-handedly beat St. Pius three weeks ago. North Hall’s offense has been tough to stop; they even scored 16 points against mighty Buford a week ago. The Trojans, behind a powerful running game, have scored 42 or more in seven of their games. Prediction: North Hall

Other first-round predictions:

Pierce County over Central Carroll; Appling County over Rockmart; Chapel Hill over Johnson Savannah; Callaway over Tattnall County; Carver over Dodge County; Peach County over Jefferson County; Washington County over Pike County; Thomson over Jackson; Cartersville over Jackson County; Adairsville over Hart County; St. Pius over Dawson County.

27 comments Add your comment

BT

November 15th, 2012
8:57 am

Cedar Grove will be a tough opening act…Go Wolves!!

Seen a few

November 15th, 2012
11:24 am

I believe they can. Will they? Buford is a powerhouse. They will score almost each possession. The key for them will be to keep the ball out of CG’s QB’s hands. That is done most effectively by having long sustained clock eating drives. Will Buford have the patience to slow down their offense. This CG QB doesn’t get where he is without great receivers. These guys are fast and extremely athletic. They will score unless Buford is just a whole lot better on D than I can imagine. I look forward to hearing these score updates tomorrow night. This is fun!

fleur-de-lis

November 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

Should be the best of the week…Let’s hope the game is called fair..

Go Saints

Colquitt97

November 15th, 2012
1:18 pm

They have about 35 1st round playoff games streaming live here…
http://gahighschoolsports.net/viewforum.php?f=46

Tiger4Life

November 15th, 2012
1:50 pm

Lets go Cedar Grove !!!!

LakeDawg

November 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

Can CG shock Buford? In a word: NO! Buford D is legit. They will shut down CG and the Buford O will pound them into submission.

WOlves fan

November 15th, 2012
3:05 pm

Like most games it will be won or lost in the trenches. CG may have skill position athletes but I’m not sure they can match in talent and technique with young wolves on the OL and DL. Buford D is also Very fast. Buford offense likes to control ball although #1 is out with injury , That will hurt Buford.

Stinger63

November 15th, 2012
3:23 pm

Buford didn’t miss a beat when moving up from A to AA. I’m interested to see how they will handle this move from AA to AAA, but based on what I have seen of this team the last four years against Calhoun, I think they will handle it very well. No disrespect to other AAA teams, I know there are some very good one’s out there, but I would be very suprised if Buford does not show up in the Dome again this year.

Big Fan

November 15th, 2012
4:55 pm

LakeDawg…”They will shut down CG”. I’ll remember that. Buford O may pound on offense but you will more than likely not “shut down” the offense. I would recommend keeping the ball out of McCrary’s hands as much as possible. He can go 80 yards on you in one play. Buford has the more well rounded team obviously, but if there are turnovers and you get into a shooting match, watch out. I know your coach respects that and will try and keep the ball on offense as much as he can. I’m looking forward to it.

ST PIUS fan

November 15th, 2012
5:00 pm

Don’t count out St Pius.We played Thomson very tuff and lost to Woodward because of 5 fumbles. If we can hold on to the ball we can and should go far.

FOR REAL

November 15th, 2012
9:25 pm

Too much fire power in AAA for buford to go very far. Peach County,Carver Columbus,Washington county and mighty Thomson. Buford don,t stand a chance in AAA. BANK ON IT!!!!

a joke

November 15th, 2012
9:29 pm

St Pius you dont stand a chance,i will call you out and count you out. Your team wont even be a good warm up for most of the play off teams.

moto

November 16th, 2012
12:54 am

Cedar Grove’s Jonathan McCrary is the real deal, and Vanderbilt can’t wait to get him on campus, But I watched CG’s last game and just don’t think they have the overall team strength to beat Buford. But with a QB like McCrary, anything can happen. Can’t wait to see it.

High School announcer

November 16th, 2012
1:35 am

White County and Blessed Trinity should be a good one. It’s rare to get a rematch of a regular season game in the 1st rd. of the playoffs. And these two will square off again next September.

P.S. White County’s mascot would be the Warriors, not Panthers.

High 5

November 16th, 2012
2:59 am

The old saying goes “defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS!” If Cedar Grove can get a few stops on defense then they have a shot. Should be a nice shoot out.

wolfbait67

November 16th, 2012
7:11 am

Cedar Grove: Welcome to GLORYLAND…..hope you guys bring a crowd and enjoy one of the best hot dogs w/slaw you can get at a high school venue………should be Buford’s toughest first round game since the old single A days……..looking forward to get a glimpse of that talented Qtrback….and how has Buford done recently against Thomson……………..hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Seen a few

November 16th, 2012
9:23 am

I’ll have to get me one of those slaw dogs wolf bait. I’m genuinely curious how Buford has done against Thomson lately. Do tell…

sportsmommy74

November 16th, 2012
9:26 am

Well we’ve got a pretty good defense, in Bryson Allen-Williams DE, OLB, Tyson Dickson, OLB, Chandler Ector, OLB and a slew of others… These guys have worked their behinds off this season and again I say, we go in as underdogs and that’s fine, but these guys are gonna fight till the last whistle. Should be a good game tonihgt… Go Saints….

Big Fan

November 16th, 2012
9:35 am

You tell’em sports mommy!

sportsmommy74

November 16th, 2012
10:35 am

I’m just saying, we have nothing to lose and our defense is pretty good. We just have to all click at the same time… These guys have gotten NO respect! Makes me mad…

Seen a few

November 16th, 2012
1:04 pm

I’m a Pius fan. They earned my respect.

sportsmommy74

November 16th, 2012
2:34 pm

Thanks @seen a few….

Wolf who knows

November 16th, 2012
3:04 pm

Mccrary is overrated, (system QB) Buford wins big!

a joker

November 16th, 2012
10:11 pm

St. Pius just put up 72 pts. Far and away the most pts put up by anyone in any division, A to AAAAA. So, a joker, you were saying? Count St. Pius out at your own risk. Golden Lions have the easiest bracket and are Dome bound.

sportsmommy74

November 16th, 2012
11:41 pm

Good luck to SPX on the rest of the playoffs.

BW

November 16th, 2012
11:55 pm

CG was the best team BWolves have played all year. I was very impressed with their athleticism and their discipline.

Hamlton

November 17th, 2012
12:03 am

Thanks, sportsmommy74! I was cheering for your guys all night. CG definitely earned the respect of SPX. Let’s do it again next year! How did McCrary do tonight? Did he get his 305 yds for the state record? Hope so.