Dooly County at Lincoln County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Bufford Field, Lincolnton
Records, rankings: Dooly County is 10-2, the No. 5 seed and unranked; Lincoln County is 11-1, the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 4.
Last meeting: Lincoln County won 34-8 in the 1998 Class A quarterfinals.
Three things to know: 1. Lincoln County RB Mike McIntire is the focus of his team’s offense with 1,315 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, the most for a Red Devil since 2008, but QB Ben Jones had a big game in the quarterfinal victory over Wilkinson County, passing for 232 yards. He has thrown for 1,348 yards on the season. WR Jalen Franklin caught eight passes for 128 yards against Wilkinson. 2. Dooly County QB A.J. Smith threw for a season-high 291 yards and four touchdowns in the 34-27 victory over Seminole County last week. Smith has thrown for 1,920 yards on the season. Other players to watch are sophomore RB Chanin Hamilton (1,288 yards rushing), junior WR Cortney Clark (38 catches, 783 yards, 11 touchdowns) and DL Montravius Adams (team-leading 78 solo tackles, 5.5 sacks). 3. This will be Lincoln County’s 26th semifinal game under coach Larry Campbell, first since 2008. Lincoln County is 18-7 in those games. This is Dooly County’s third semifinal and first since 2002. Dooly is the last school to beat Lincoln County on the road in a semifinal (1983). Lincoln County won its next seven home semifinals until the semis were moved to the Georgia Dome for more than a decade.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Lincoln County by 15
Emanuel County Institute at Wilcox County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Donnie Clack Stadium, Rochelle
Records, rankings: Emanuel County Institute is 11-1, the No. 3 seed and ranked No. 2; Wilcox County is 10-2, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 5.
Last meeting: Emanuel County Institute won 41-21 in the 2007 Class A final.
Three things to know: 1. ECI’s leading rushers are Gregory Purcell (910 yards) and James Brown (880). Each has 11 touchdowns. They also are ECI’s leading receivers. Purcell has 13 catches – seven for touchdowns – and 343 yards. Brown has 16 receptions for 271 yards and four touchdowns. 2. The monster seasons from Wilcox County’s Makail Grace and Jonathan Howard continue. QB Grace threw for 352 yards and rushed for 125 in the quarterfinals against Marion County. He has thrown for 3,054 yards and 29 touchdowns and rushed or 861 yards and 13 touchdowns in only 11 games. WR Howard tied a season high with 13 receptions last week and has 99 catches for 1,421 yards and 17 touchdowns. 3. Both schools became state contenders again in 2006 and have averaged 11 wins since. ECI’s last playoff victory had been in 1998. Wilcox County’s last playoff win had been in 1993. Beginning in 2006, ECI is 79-10 with one state championship (2007). Wilcox is 78-13 with one state championship (2009). Only Lincoln County (84-12) and Savannah Christian (78-14) in Class A have comparable records in that time.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Emanuel County Institute by 5
Landmark Christian at Prince Avenue
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Brad Akins Field, Bogart
Records, rankings: Landmark Christian is 9-3, the No. 12 seed and unranked; Prince Avenue Christian is 10-2, the No. 9 seed and unranked.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Landmark Christian, the lowest remaining seed in either of the Class A brackets, rushes for 264.1 yards per game, and the majority of it comes from junior Jeremiah Kirkland, who has 1,980 yards on 248 carries. Kirkland rushed for 226 yards in a 38-24 victory against First Presbyterian last week and had a season-high 284 against Holy Innocents’ on Nov. 2 in the regular season. 2. Prince Avenue has two 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in its seven-year history of varsity football. They are WB Carl Mattox (1,294 yards, 17 TDs) and WB/FB Bryce Huff (1,092, nine TDs). Key players on defense are all-state DE Tyler Parrish (eight sacks), LB Sam Kennon (103 tackles) and TE/LB Christian Payne (108 tackles). 3. Landmark and Prince Avenue are both playing in the semifinals for the second consecutive season and second time in school history. Prince Avenue lost to Savannah Christian 27-0 in the semifinals last year. Landmark beat Eagle’s Landing Christian 14-7 in the 2011 semifinals before losing to Savannah Christian 20-3 in the championship game.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Prince Avenue Christian by 6
George Walton Academy at ELCA
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Commitment Field, McDonough
Records, rankings: George Walton Academy is 9-3, the No. 11 seed and unranked; Eagle’s Landing Christian is 11-1, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 1.
Last meeting: Eagle’s Landing Christian won 35-21 in the second round of the 2010 Class A playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. George Walton Academy averages 263 yards per game rushing, led by Stanley Williams, a junior who has committed to Georgia. Williams has rushed for 1,796 yards and 22 touchdowns and has 448 yards and six touchdowns in two playoff games. 2. Eagle’s Landing Christian QB Dalton Etheridge missed the regular-season finale with a sprained ankle, but he has accounted for more than 550 yards of offense, including 252 rushing, in two playoff games. ELCA has averaged 46.5 points per game this season, tied with Calhoun (AA) for the most among the remaining playoff teams. 3. George Walton won four Georgia Independent School Association championships, most recently in 2009. It is making its first semifinal appearance since joining the GHSA in 2010. Eagle’s Landing Christian won a GISA title in 1996 and reached the final in 1997, but it has not played in a championship game since joining the GHSA in 2004. This will be ELCA’s second consecutive semifinal appearance.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Eagle’s Landing Christian by 17
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