Playoff preview: Class AAA quarterfinals

Buford at Carver (Columbus)

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

Records, rankings: Buford is 9-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAA and ranked No. 3; Carver is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAA and ranked No. 2.

Last meeting: Buford won 28-13 in the 2011 Class AA semifinals.

Three things to know: 1. Carver QB Torrance McGee (not related to head coach Dell McGee) has passed for 17 touchdowns and scored 10 while passing for 1,183 yards (74 of 115, only three interceptions). But Carver is primarily a running team with four backs between 500 and 650 yards rushing, none averaging more than seven attempts per game. They are Danny Ryles (627), Brandon Thomas (607), Mario Moore (588) and McGee (518). 2. Matthew Bonadies made field goals of 47 and 42 yards in Buford’s 13-0 victory in the second round against North Oconee. It was Buford’s fifth shutout of the season. That is the most among teams in Class AAA. 3. Each of these schools has made the quarterfinals or better each season since 2006. Both are 5-1 in the quarterfinals during that time. Buford’s streak of making the quarters goes back to 2000. Buford is 10-2 in those games.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Buford by 1

Winner plays: Thomson/Cartersville winner

Thomson at Cartersville

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Weinman Stadium, Cartersville

Records, rankings: Thomson is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 3-AAA and ranked No 1; Cartersville is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from 5-AAA and ranked No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Thomson RB Chris Jordan is closing in on 2,000 yards rushing (1,970). He has committed to Georgia Southern, as has RB/DB William Bussey, who has intercepted four passes and forced four fumbles. Thomson’s other top offensive threat is ATH Torrie Battle, a two-way starter who has rushed for 865 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. 2. Cartersville QB Brooks Barden has thrown for 36 touchdowns without an interception this season. He is 160-of-280 passing for 2,552 yards. Barden distributes the ball pretty evenly, as Cartersville doesn’t have a player with more than 600 yards rushing or receiving. 3. From 1984 to 2002, these schools won five state titles – Thomson in 1984, 1985 and 2002, and Cartersville in 1991 and 1999. But they have never faced each other, mainly because Thomson historically has been a larger school. The winner may call it a return to glory. Cartersville hasn’t made the semifinals since 2004, Thomson since 2002.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Thomson by 9

Winner plays: Buford/Carver winner

Peach County at North Hall

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Brickyard, Gainesville

Records, rankings: Peach County is 11-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AAA and ranked No. 5; North Hall is 10-2, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAA and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Peach County QB Greg Williams is 116-of-182 passing for 2,012 yards and 22 touchdowns with only four interceptions. WR Demarcus Robinson has 41 receptions for 810 yards and 12 touchdowns. Keyshawn Lowe has rushed for 1,081 yards and 11 touchdowns. 2. North Hall averages fewer than five passes per game but has five players with at least 500 yards rushing and six touchdowns. All average 6.8 yards per carry or better. They are RB T.J. Tate (877 yards), RB Kevin Christmas (866), QB Brad Brown (691), QB Andrew Smith (553) and RB Zac Little (524). 3. This is Peach County’s eighth quarterfinal in 10 seasons. Peach is 6-1 in those quarterfinal games. North Hall is playing in its fourth quarterfinal. North Hall won one in 2007. It is highly likely that the Trojans will win this game. That is the nickname of both schools. Other Trojans in the quarterfinals are Brooks County and Lamar County.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Peach County by 3

Winner plays: Washington County/St. Pius winner

Washington County at St. Pius

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, George B. Maloof Stadium, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Washington County is 11-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAA and ranked No. 4; St. Pius is 10-2, the No. 1 seed from 6-AAA and ranked No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Washington County is known for its quarterback, William Walker, who threw six TD passes in the first half alone in the first round, but the Golden Hawks’ defense has allowed 95 yards rushing in its two playoff games, 6 against Pike County and 89 against Callaway, and only 219 yards total. Washington County’s next opponent averages 326.8 yards rushing per game. 2. St. Pius FB Ryan Braswell has rushed for 1,359 yards and 25 touchdowns and been stopped for losses totaling only 3 yards all season. But the need to contain him benefits other backs. While Braswell averages 6.0 yards per carry, St. Pius goes for 7.8 yards per run when someone else ends up with the ball in the option offense. 3. These teams have some common opponents. St. Pius lost to Thomson 21-14 and beat Lovett 24-0. Washington County lost to Thomson 28-14 and beat Lovett 48-35.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Washington County by 6

Winner plays: Peach County/North Hall winner

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34 comments Add your comment

Son of Waco

November 29th, 2012
12:30 pm

That Waco defense is peaking at the right time and the offense never stop getting better…Just added our new TE to the many weapons we have on offense….Might be our year!!!!!!!!!

North Hall Trojans

November 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

I can’t wait for the Peach Co @ North Hall game tomorrow night. It should be a great game. Nail biters are always the best… after they’re over of course. Haha.

WarEagle

November 29th, 2012
4:48 pm

Good luck to SPX!

crackertroy

November 29th, 2012
5:38 pm

Thomson will give Brooks Barden his first interception of the season. GO DOGS! Wykey Lane will score a trash-time touchdown! GO DOGS!

SPXGUY

November 29th, 2012
6:54 pm

I don’t understand why Pius is seen as the underdog, they beat lovett by more than WACO, and lost to Thomson by less… It is going to be a very tight game, and i predict that the winner will go on to represent this side of the bracket in the state championship

Big Fan

November 29th, 2012
8:08 pm

I’m looking forward to the Washington County SPX game. Waco is loaded with talent. Ginormous fast players who just really need to show up. Throw their helmets out there and wait till the clock runs out. Can’t wait to see this one.

Son of Waco

November 29th, 2012
8:25 pm

SPXGUY….It is going unsaid that y’all struggled with lovett scoring just 10 points in the first half and non from drives y’all started but from turnovers..We scored every time we had the ball against lovett (With ease i might add)…They had to go for it many times on 4th down just not to get blown out but on the real y’all offense isn’t like lovett…So come out passing and shock Waco to get the upper edge is my scouting report for SPX……Like i said before we lost against Thomson and beat lovett and y’all did too but our defense has got better along the way…From what i saw from last week game SPX defense, when streached out can be taken advantage of with big plays…

kidsballcoach

November 29th, 2012
8:29 pm

WHACKO- 24-0 IS A SHUTOUT. EVIDENTLY THEY MADE THOSE 4th down conversions against your vaunted D. And truthfully, not only did we not struggle in that game: we held back on scoring,
But we are just happy to be in the game with WACO

Big Fan

November 29th, 2012
8:30 pm

That is just outstanding SOW. Nice retort…It really does go without saying..48-35! You better hurry with your Internet time before the Library closes…

Hamilton

November 29th, 2012
9:44 pm

SOW – how far did you have to drive to tape off your seat at SPX? Never seen anyone anyone stake out a seat on the visitor side that early in the week.

Son of Waco

November 29th, 2012
10:43 pm

So SPX held back scoring against lovett huh…..Ok while SPX fans still dwelling on regular season games this paper and every other paper got Waco winning the game, so explain to me why is that the case…….

Observer

November 30th, 2012
12:03 am

Here it is:

Carver 21 Buford 14
Thomson 28 Cartersville 17
North Hall 24 Peach Co. 21
WaCo 42 St. Pius 21

PCHS 85

November 30th, 2012
2:01 am

Observer, I see you are calling the North Hall/Peach Co game close. But I am going to have to disagree with you on that one. I really don’t see this game being close. Peach Co wins 27-13.

Observer

November 30th, 2012
3:05 am

PCHS, no disrespect to Peach County. I think this is a field of top notch teams which really means there are no real “upsets” whatever the outcome. However, given PC’s history and N. Hall’s lack thereof, that would be the closest thing to it. I think that Carver/Buford will be won by the team who has the ball last in the 4th quarter. I will be watching Thomson/Cartersville on YouTube to see if the ground and pound beats the air raid as I expect (full disclosure–I have ties to T-Town); SoW is out there sometimes, but I know that WaCo takes football seriously and I think they feel disrespected by SPX (whether justifiable or not) and will make a statement; Likewise, I think N. Hall wants to make a name for themselves and that Peach may be a bit road weary. That is why I made that pick and if the game is tied at the half or N.Hall leads, NH will win.

Big Fan

November 30th, 2012
6:41 am

Heed this advice SOW. Your vitriolic rants all year work in locker rooms.
Example from prior to Thomson game in which you incorrectly said below…oh final score Thomson 28 Waco 14..

Son of waco
October 25th, 2012
12:50 pm

I do expect us to blow out Thomson….1st reason they struggled with swainsboro, we blew them out from the start of the game and they had their D-1 prospect back….2nd Jefferson co beat dodge 21-0 and Thomson struggled with dodge and we blew the doors off Jefferson co from the start of the game…Last they star RB has a ankle problem (with 160 carries i see why) and we are fully healthy so we will beat that dude up because they run they offense through him..Even if they win being from waco ive seen this story so many times, the team success being baseded on 1 work horse back and before the playoffs he is banged up, it will not end well……

Seen a Few

November 30th, 2012
6:43 am

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15.)

T Town

November 30th, 2012
9:34 am

Does anyone on here knows if Chris Tutt, Thomson’s starting qb, is playing this week? Last time I read, he said he was questionable! If he’s not playing, our boys may be in trouble against, in my opinion, a very talented, high-powered, and underrated Cartersville team! The reason I say this is because, without Tutt, Cartersville will stack the box and focus on the run and not respect the pass! I don’t believe our backup qb throws the ball as well as Tutt!

PCHS85

November 30th, 2012
10:31 am

Observer….and that’s why they play the game. I’m hoping for a safe and competitive game with PCHS coming out on top. Hopefully the internet links are working out here in Hawaii so I can monitor the game LIVE. Good luck everybody.

Observer

November 30th, 2012
10:41 am

PCHS85, I hope for the same thing. I am in California…that link better work! Good luck.

Observer

November 30th, 2012
10:41 am

PCHS85, I hope for the same thing. I am in California…that link better work! Good luck.

Son of Waco

November 30th, 2012
11:08 am

T-Town….A fan from Thomson told my brother the other day, Tutt had a high ankle sprain,,,If that is true he is done for the playoffs in my opinion……

Big Fan if you read the broken english i wrote correctly you would have notice that i never said we will blow them out….I said we should blow them out and i listed reason to back up my opinion…The question i want answer is do you think SPX have the same type of players on defense that Thomson have or better yet is SPX Fb braswell on the same level as Thomson Rb because he was the only player we couldn’t keep contain….

Passionate

November 30th, 2012
11:41 am

Waco,
I’ve been going to high school games since early 70’s. I grew up in the country and only saw two sided stands. I can tell you that Atlanta has many really older stadiums with one sides. Avondale and Adams Stadium to name just a couple. Many state championships came through Avondale. It is a fact and I’m sure all fans will be accommodated nicely at SPX just like they have for years. Kindness begets kindness. Calm down.

PiusDad

November 30th, 2012
11:50 am

Domini Sumus!

T Town

November 30th, 2012
12:11 pm

SOW… Thanks, but I hope its not true! Thomson really needs him! If it is true, them boys are going to have to ball out!! No excuses!!

kidsballcoach

November 30th, 2012
1:12 pm

SOW your reserved seat is in front of the concession stand, 3 tiers down and on the WACO side it is taped with your name on it,
SEE YOU AT THE GAME!

real state

November 30th, 2012
2:34 pm

Son of Waco….you have really been trying to trash SPX form the start. Please have some class and quit living your life thru Washington County High School.You will see from the second to step on our campus you will be treated with respect, shaking hands and great sportsmanship on the field and in the stands. We have great concession people as well. We are just a small little school with values and integrity in North Atlanta. We pride ourselves on legacy as well. Enjoy your stay and have fun!

Mr Lee

November 30th, 2012
9:52 pm

Cartersville stuffed Thomson 21-13. Cartersvilles defense was on the field a long time. Canes defense contained the backs extremely well. Cartersvilles defense took the fight out of Thomson. Tho sons lines were lifeless. Cartersville took a knee on the 1 yard line at the end. Easily would of been 28-13.

FoghornLeghorn

November 30th, 2012
10:04 pm

Son of Waco, how bout that defense you’ve been talking up all week? Jumped and handed the game to Pius.

Hamlton

November 30th, 2012
11:18 pm

So, Foghorn, do you think we actually would have snapped the ball on the 4th and 1? I’m not sure – big balz call either way. Wow, what a nail biter! Really sorry for the WACO boys that they jumped like that, but I will take it. If we did snap it, what was the play call? Braswell? I’m guessing Spear. Either way I might have had a cardiac. What a game.

PiusDad

December 1st, 2012
12:00 am

He would have punted it. Had to. Great game by Waco who should hold their heads high, best club we’ve seen all year. Heads or tails?

Observer

December 1st, 2012
12:01 am

Mr. Lee, I have to give it to the Cartersville defense for making big plays. Thomson needed to score on those two possessions inside the 20, especially w/o our starting QB. I wish we could have that pick back as well–throwing on 1st and Goal from the 5??? I’m glad that Thomson’s D picked off your QB since no one else has. Good game.

Oh, I thought that Peach would go down, but wow…is North Hall that stacked?

Mike

December 1st, 2012
12:06 am

Outstanding game between WACO and St. Pius. High school football at its best! A lot of heart on both squads. ! Only negative is the poor showing by the officiating both ways.

ST PIUS fan

December 1st, 2012
1:05 am

WOW I told Son of WACO the we run where no man has run before. Oh and we can pass.. WHAT a great game I think I need to go to my doctor to get some heart meds……. GO LIONS

ST PIUS fan

December 1st, 2012
1:09 am

WACo is the best team we have played .. WOW what a game……. GO LIONS ……………