#2 North Gwinnett at #1 Lovejoy
#3 Mill Creek at #2 North Cobb
#1 Norcross vs. #1 Camden County (Saturday coin toss to decide home field)
#4 Colquitt County at #3 Parkview
Five noteworthy happenings from the second round:
- North Gwinnett upsets Grayson: North Gwinnett scored on its first five possessions – four times on field goals by Michael D’Angola – and knocked off 2011 state champion and preseason favorite Grayson 28-10. Grayson committed four turnovers and was charged with a safety after a bad snap to its punter. Grayson’s season, which ends at 10-2, can only be termed a major disappointment. The Rams returned virtually every starter on defense from a 15-0 team, and most of those were major college prospects.
- Parkview wins in overtime, again: Parkview is the first team ever to win overtime games in the first two rounds of the state playoffs, according to Georgia High School Football Historians Association records. Parkview defeated West Forsyth 26-23 to keep the roller-coaster season going. Parkview is the team that stunned Grayson in the first month of the season, then blew its chance to win a region title with losses to Central Gwinnett and South Gwinnett. Now, Parkview is the only Region 8 team left after winning its first two playoff games since 2005.
- North Cobb makes first quarterfinal since 1979: All eight teams that made the quarters have been there before, but North Cobb broke the longest drought – 33 years – in the 42-14 victory over Langston Hughes. It’s vindication for the Warriors and coach Shane Queen, who had a 10-0 season and No. 1 ranking ruined five years ago with a first-round loss. Parkview made the quarters for the first time since 2005. Norcross hadn’t been in the quarters since 2006. Lovejoy (2011) and Mill Creek (2010) are making their second-ever trip to the quarters. North Gwinnett has made the final eight in five of the past seven seasons. Camden County and Colquitt County made it in 2011 and will be making their 12th appearances in the elite eight.
- Only three No. 1 seeds remain: Lovejoy, Norcross and Camden County made the quarterfinals as No. 1 seeds and region champions. This is the fourth time since 2000 that fewer than half of the eight No. 1 seeds have failed to make the quarters in the highest classification. It also happened in 2010 (Brookwood, Lowndes), 2006 (Norcross, Stephenson, Tift County) and 2000 (Parkview, Harrison, East Coweta).
- Colquitt County thrives as No. 4 seed: Colquitt County improved to 10-2 in road playoff games under fifth-year head coach Rush Propst in a 26-23 victory over Newnan. No Georgia team has won that many times on the road in so short a span. Colquitt hopes to become the second No. 4 seed in history, and first since Peachtree Ridge in 2006, to win a state title.