In a second round of the Class AA football playoffs that went somewhat according to script Friday, two games didn’t.
Greater Atlanta Christian’s 52-21 victory over previously undefeated Heard County and Fitzgerald’s 52-20 upset of unbeaten Vidalia reinforced football’s biggest cliche: anybody can win on a given night.
Kyle Scales’ four touchdowns rushing and Peter Whiteneck’s three receiving made the difference for GAC, while the Purple Hurricanes scored 39 consecutive points and doubled up the Indians, 344-170 yards, according to the Tifton Gazette.
Other things we learned Friday:
– Watch out for Early County: The less heralded Bobcats’ 28-7 halting of Screven County’s eight-game win streak, combined with a first-round win over Bleckley County, marks the second time Region 1-AA’s third seed has beaten a higher seed on the road. Early will try for three in the quarterfinals at GAC, second seeded from 6-AA.
Key against Screven was Jacori Taylor, who passed for 147 yards and two TDs and ran for 134 and another score, according to the Albany Herald. Ladonis Bryant had two catches for TDs and ran for another.
– Malkom Parrish-Deric Herring combo remains key: Parrish’s 271 yards passing and five scores, including 150 yards and three TDs to Herring, helped unbeaten Brooks County defeat McIntosh County Academy, 49-21, and reach a quarterfinal showdown against undefeated Calhoun, according to the Valdosta Times.
Brooks forced eight turnovers and intercepted McIntosh quarterback Darry Herrington five times.
– Calhoun approaches repeat: The Rome News-Tribune reported that defending champion Calhoun shut out Washington-Wilkes for three quarters en route to winning 34-7 and reaching a fifth consecutive quarterfinal. The Yellow Jackets orchestrated consecutive touchdown drives of 98 and 92 yards, and Taylor Lamb passed for 198 and three scores.
– Willie Candler has Lovett defying odds: The quarterback’s 179 yards, including two TDs on the ground, propelled the Lions past visiting Manchester 23-0 and into the quarterfinals against unbeaten Lamar County.
– Bryant Shirreffs can run, too: Jefferson’s quarterback, known as a prolific passer, rushed for 248 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown, in the Dragons’ 35-7 win over Westminster.