Marietta at Lovejoy
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Twelve Oaks Stadium, Hampton
Records, rankings: Marietta is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAAAAA and unranked; Lovejoy is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAAAA and ranked No. 7.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Marietta QB Anthony Jennings, who has committed to LSU, threw three TD passes and scored on an 88-yard run that gave Marietta a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of the Blue Devils’ 30-27 upset of sixth-ranked Lowndes last week. Lowndes had been 17-1 in home playoff games under coach Randy McPherson. 2. Lovejoy RB Travis Custis, who has committed to Georgia Tech, scored four touchdowns in a 51-13 victory over Tri-Cities in the first round. 3. Marietta has not made the third round of the playoffs since 1994, Dexter Wood’s last season as Marietta’s coach. Lovejoy had never made the third round until 2011, when the Wildcats reached the Class AAAA final. Lovejoy could become the first Clayton County school to make the quarterfinals in the highest class since Mount Zion in 2000.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Lovejoy by 9
Winner plays: North Gwinnett/Grayson winner
North Gwinnett at Grayson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson
Records, rankings: North Gwinnett is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAAAAA and ranked No. 4; Grayson is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 8-AAAAAA and ranked No. 3.
Last meeting: Grayson won 23-19 in the second round of the 2010 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. North Gwinnett threw six TD passes – four by Michael Haynes (17-of-19 passing, 248 yards) and two by Hayden Sphire (4-6, 35) – in a 49-19 victory over Johns Creek last week. 2. Grayson RB Wayne Gallman scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, after which Grayson led 28-6, in last week’s 49-9 victory over Wheeler. Grayson has won eight consecutive games, with three wins over playoff teams, by an average score of 48-7 since a Sept. 14 loss to Parkview. 3. Grayson is bidding to become only the fourth school to reach six straight quarterfinals in the highest classification. Parkview (1996-2005) was the most recent. During that time (2007-12), Grayson leads Gwinnett County in victories with a 70-10 record. North Gwinnett leads Gwinnett in victories going back to 2006, coach Bob Sphire’s first season, at 77-12.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Grayson by 8
Winner plays: Marietta/Lovejoy winner
North Cobb at Hughes
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Langston Hughes Stadium, Fairburn
Records, rankings: North Cobb is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AAAAAA and unranked; Hughes is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 3-AAAAAA and unranked.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. North Cobb won its first playoff game since 1979 (and first state playoff game since 1959) in the 42-14 rout of Valdosta last week. QB Tyler Queen rushed for 157 yards, and North Cobb intercepted five passes. 2. Hughes led only 9-3 at halftime against Rockdale County (3-8) last week but won 37-3 as QB Kinan Humphrey came off the bench and threw two TD passes. Hughes, in its fourth season, has won its first playoff game and first region title this season. 3. North Cobb has not scored fewer than 26 points in a game and is one of five playoff teams averaging more than 40 points (40.7) . Hughes has not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game and is one of four that is allowing fewer than 12 points (8.6).
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: North Cobb by 11
Winner plays: Brookwood/Mill Creek winner
Brookwood at Mill Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mill Creek Community Stadium, Hochston
Records, rankings: Brookwood is 7-4, the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA and unranked; Mill Creek is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from 7-AAAAAA and unranked.
Last meeting: Brookwood won 31-21 on Sept. 7 in the regular season.
Three things to know: 1. Mill Creek PK Bryson King made a 25-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the 41-39 victory over Alpharetta last week. RB Jacorey Lewis rushed for 335 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries. 2. Brookwood beat No. 1-ranked Lassiter 24-21 in overtime last week after trailing 21-0. Zach Moon threw a 5-yard TD pass to Ky Priester with eight seconds left in regulation. Colin Cotter intercepted a pass on Lassiter’s overtime possession. Brandon Morrow kicked a 32-yard field goal to win it. 3. Brookwood has won 43 playoff games and two state titles in its history. The other three teams in Brookwood’s quarter of the draw (including North Cobb and Hughes) have won seven playoff games among them and no state titles.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Mill Creek by 2
Winner plays: North Cobb/Hughes winner
East Coweta at Camden County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Chris Gilman Stadium, Kingsland
Records, rankings: East Coweta is 5-6, the No. 3 seed from Region 3-AAAAAA and unranked; Camden County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 1-AAAAAA and ranked No. 5.
Last meeting: Camden County won 21-3 in the second round of the 2007 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. These schools have been the most reliable playoff qualifiers in the highest classification for more than a decade. East Coweta most recently missed the playoffs in 1996. Camden’s last miss came in 1988, although Camden didn’t join the highest class until 1992. 2. Sophomore RB Antonio Wimbush scored three touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards in Camden’s 52-17 victory over Hillgrove last week. Georgia-committed seniors J.J. Green (90 yards rushing) and Brice Ramsey (109 yards passing, 54 rushing) also contributed. 3. East Coweta broke a five-game losing streak in the playoffs with its 25-20 victory over Newton. East Coweta led 25-12 until the final seconds and recovered an on-side kick to preserve it. Junior QB Bryce Gemmell passed for 146 yards and rushed for 68.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Camden County by 34
Winner plays: South Gwinnett/Norcross winner
South Gwinnett at Norcross
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Norcross Stadium, Norcross
Records, rankings: South Gwinnett is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA and ranked No. 10; Norcross is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAAAA and ranked No. 2.
Last meeting: Norcross won 35-20 on Aug. 31 in the regular season.
Three things to know: 1. Norcross RB Alvin Kamara, rated the No. 1 running back prospect in Georgia by some, rushed for 179 yards and scored three touchdowns in the 34-7 victory over Chattahoochee last week. With the upset to No. 1 Lassiter, Norcross enters the second round as the highest-ranked and only unbeaten team in the AAAAAA draw. 2. South Gwinnett led 27-10 at halftime in its 27-20 victory over Milton last week. South Gwinnet had only 29 yards rushing and 18:39 in possession time, but QB Jordan Ramey was 13-of-18 passing for 243 yards with an 80-yard TD pass to Coray Keel. 3. These Gwinnett schools first played each other in 1957, when Norcross was known as West Gwinnett High and South Gwinnett had just opened as the merger of Snellville and Grayson high schools. Norcross leads the series 11-6. They’ve never played in the playoffs.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Norcross by 15
Winner plays: East Coweta/Camden County winner
Colquitt County at Newnan
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Drake Stadium, Newnan
Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 8-3, the No. 4 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA and ranked No. 9; Newnan is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from 3-AAAAAA and unranked.
Last meeting: Newnan won 21-14 in the first round of the 2003 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. QB Cole Segraves, who status as the starter was questioned after a loss to Valdosta, threw for a school-record-tying 354 yards on 22-of-27 passing in a 30-28 victory over McEachern last week. That’s after rushing for 164 yards in the upset of then-No. 1 Camden County the week before. 2. Newnan QB Bailey Bryant was 9-of-10 passing for 117 yards in the 38-0 victory over Alcovy but did not return after a suffering a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Only Newnan, Grayson, North Gwinnett and Camden County have made the round of 16 five consecutive times in the highest classification. 3. Colquitt County is 9-2 on the road (not counting neutral sites) in the playoffs in five seasons under Rush Propst. In that time, Colquitt has won at Stephenson, M.L. King, Lassiter, Camden County, Grayson and North Gwinnett. Flowery Branch is second in road wins in that time at 8-2.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Colquitt County by 17
Winner plays: Parkview/West Forsyth winner
Parkview at West Forsyth
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Wolverine Den, Cumming
Records, rankings: Parkview is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA and unranked; West Forsyth is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 6-AAAAAA and ranked No. 8.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Parkview was missing 1,000-yard rusher Chris Carson in its double-overtime 20-17 victory over Walton last week but got good efforts from Shaq Vereen (17 carries, 98 yards, one touchdown) and Justis Rosser (17-91-2). It was Parkview’s first playoff victory since 2005. 2. The 107 points scored in West Forsyth’s 66-41 victory over Collins Hill are the second-most points scored by two teams in a non-overtime playoff game in the highest classification. Lassiter’s 70-49 win over South Gwinnett in 2009 ranks first. West Forsyth RB Jake Wiezcorek rushed for 291 yards and caught a 52-yard pass. 3. West Forsyth ranks second in scoring offense (41.9) and Parkview ranks last (13.6) among remaining AAAAAA playoff teams. Parkview allows only 13.6 points. West Forsyth allows 20.5.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: West Forsyth by 2
Winner plays: Colquitt County/Newnan winner
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