Second-round playoff preview: Class AA

Fitzgerald at Vidalia

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buck Cravey Stadium/The Reservation, Vidalia

Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AA and ranked No. 4; Vidalia is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 2-AA and ranked No. 3.

Last meeting: Vidalia won 14-7 in the 1999 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Vidalia RB Juan Foster rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in a 57-0 victory over Westside of Augusta last week. The score was 36-0 at halftime. Vidalia is within a victory of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004. 2. Fitzgerald FB Ron Swain rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 35-19 victory over Northeast in the first round. He rushed for 119 the week before against Thomasville, breaking 100 for the first time. The playoff win moved Fitzgerald within a game of reaching the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season. 3. Fitzgerald coach Jason Strickland is one of three coaches in his first year at a Class AA school that is in the round of 16. Another is Franklin Stephens, who took Strickland’s place at Lamar County. The third is Rob Duncan at Screven County.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Vidalia by 4

Winner plays: Westminster/Jefferson winner

Westminster at Jefferson

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Jefferson

Records, rankings: Westminster is 5-6, the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AA and unranked; Jefferson is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 8-AA and ranked No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Jefferson is trying to make the quarterfinals for the first time since 1977. If successful, Jefferson would be the seventh school that coach T. McFerrin has led to the quarterfinals in a head-coaching career that began in 1968. Westminster is trying to break a six-game losing streak in the second round and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. 2. Jefferson held Kendrick to 128 yards rushing, 0 passing, in a 42-8 victory in the first round. It was Jefferson’s 10th consecutive victory, one short of the school record. 3. Westminster’s Harrison Woodward and Joe Bridges returned interceptions for touchdowns and Nelson Douglas and Ross Johnston each had two of Westminster’s 12 tackles for losses in a 34-0 victory over Pepperell in the first round.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Jefferson by 15

Winner plays: Fitzgerald/Vidalia winner

Early County at Screven County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Kelly Memorial Stadium, Sylvania

Records, rankings: Early County is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AA and unranked; Screven County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 3-AA and ranked No. 10.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Screven County RB Jeremy Johnson rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in a 41-7 victory over Bacon County in the first round. Johnson has 231 points on the season, which breaks the school record of 228 held by Michael Cooper. 2. Early County’s Trey Woolf is one of three AA playoff coaches at his alma mater. The others are Greg Oglesby at Manchester and Maurice Freeman at Brooks County. 3. Early County won its first playoff game since 2006 last week. Screven won its first since 2003.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Early County by 4

Winner plays: Greater Atlanta Christian/Heard County winner

Greater Atlanta Christian at Heard County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Staples Stadium, Franklin

Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 8-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AA and ranked No. 9; Heard County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 5-AA and ranked No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. RB Ta Freeland (183 yards) and Duranta Dunson (172) were part of Heard’s more than 600 yards in total offense in a 56-29 victory over Rabun County in the first round. It was Heard County’s first playoff win since 2006. 2. GAC RB Mike Abernathy rushed for 129 yards and scored a touchdown in the Spartans’ 35-6 victory over Model in the first round. GAC’s 1,000-yard rusher, Kyle Scales, was injured from the final game of the regular season. 3. Heard County is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1990. GAC last made the quarterfinals in 2007.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Heard County by 1

Winner plays: Early County/Screven County winner

McIntosh Co. Academy at Brooks County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman

Records, rankings: McIntosh County Academy is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AA and unranked; Brooks County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 1-AA and ranked No. 2.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Brooks County QB Malcolm Parrish, a leading contender for Class AA offensive player of the year, was limited to 176 yards passing and minus-2 rushing in a 22-18 victory over Macon County in the first round. He played the second half with an injured ankle. Brooks led 22-6 and held on. 2. McIntosh County Academy lead 7-6 at halftime but scored touchdowns on its first three drives of the second half in a 27-6 victory over East Laurens. Four backs had between 50 and 75 yards rushing out of the pistol-based offense. 3. McIntosh Academy is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the third time in school history and first since 2004. Brooks’ last trip also was in 2004.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Brooks County by 18

Winner plays: Washington-Wilkes/Calhoun winner

Washington-Wilkes at Calhoun

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Phil Reeve Stadium, Calhoun

Records, rankings: Washington-Wilkes is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AA and unranked; Calhoun is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 7-AA and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. These teams have two of the top-rated quarterbacks in Class AA. Washington-Wilkes QB Buck Robinson threw for 407 yards and five touchdowns in a 66-28 victory over Bowdon in the first round. Robinson has thrown for 2,385 yards on the season. Calhoun QB Hal Lamb was 15-of-17 passing for 224 yards (six completed to Josh Barnes for 156 yards) in a 42-10 victory over Wesleyan in the first round. Lamb has thrown for 2,588 yards on the season. 2. Calhoun has won 15 consecutive home playoff games. That’s one of the 10 longest streaks of its kind in state history. The last loss came in 2007 to Greater Atlanta Christian. Washington-Wilkes has lost 10 straight road playoff games, last winning in 2001. Washington-Wilkes is 7-23 on the road in the playoffs since the 1960s, when the school won four state titles. 3. These teams rank 1-2 in average margin of victory in AA. Calhoun is first in scoring offense (47.4) and ninth in scoring defense (14.7) among the 16 teams remaining. Washington-Wilkes is third in scoring (41.5) and third in scoring defense (8.9).

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Calhoun by 23

Winner plays: McIntosh County Academy/Brooks County winner

Benedictine at Lamar County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Barnesville

Records, rankings: Benedictine is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AA and unranked; Lamar County is 10-0-1, the No. 1 seed from 4-AA and ranked No. 5.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Benedictine won its first playoff game since 1996 last week with a 24-20 victory over Laney. It broke a seven-game losing streak in the postseason. RB Chance Jackson rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. 2. Lamar County rushed for 356 yards and attempted only three passes in a 51-13 victory over Cook. Antwan Wallace (five rushes, 90 yards, two touchdowns) led four players with between 60 and 90 yards on the ground out of the wing-T offense. The victory put Lamar County within a game of reaching the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. 3. Lamar County coach Franklin Stephens and Benedictine coach Danny Britt are graduates of Georgia Southern.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Lamar County by 13

Winner plays: Lovett/Manchester winner

Manchester at Lovett

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium/Conley-Oakley Field, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Manchester is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA and unranked; Lovett is 7-4, the No. 1 seed from 6-AA and ranked No. 8.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Manchester cashed two Greene County turnovers into touchdowns early in a 41-23 victory in the first round. The score was 41-10 in the third quarter. QB Quinn Prather scored two touchdowns and threw a 33-yard TD pass. It was Manchester’s first playoff victory since 2006. 2. Lovett had nine tackles for losses, two each by Brant Wells and John Coletti, in a 27-0 victory over Coosa in the first round. It improved Lovett’s home playoff record to 27-5 since 1987. 3. Manchester is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001. Lovett had made five consecutive quarterfinals before losing in the first round last season to Carver of Columbus.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Lovett by 22

Winner plays: Benedictine/Lamar County winner

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10 comments Add your comment

Chuck70

November 21st, 2012
11:17 am

umm…………Wes Holcombe dosen’t play for Heard. He is Rabun Countys QB who threw for 200 yards against Heard County.

Jefferson

November 21st, 2012
12:40 pm

Hal hasn’t been a QB in a while, Bobby was a pretty good one too, not to mention Trey and the current Jacket QC – Taylor.

Jefferson

November 21st, 2012
12:40 pm

Colquitt97

November 21st, 2012
1:55 pm

FYI, (32) different 2nd round games streaming this Friday night..
http://gahighschoolsports.net/viewforum.php?f=46

Todd Holcomb

November 21st, 2012
2:05 pm

Thanks, Chuck. Fixed the error.

Columbia Blue

November 21st, 2012
6:50 pm

Go Heard County Braves. I am a Camden Wildcat Fan but I spent 4 years in Heard County. I would love to see the BRAVES win it all.

YELLERJACKETZ1

November 21st, 2012
9:33 pm

HEY TODD TAYLOR NOT HAL IS QB AT CALHOUN

YELLERJACKETZ1

November 22nd, 2012
10:37 am

Coach

November 23rd, 2012
12:33 pm

I think Brooks made it to the quarters in 2010 as well. Good program!

Charlie Womack

November 23rd, 2012
6:11 pm

Brooks and Early are for REAL !!!!!!!!