Monroe Area at Sandy Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone
Records, rankings: Monroe Area is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAA and unranked; Sandy Creek is 13-0, the No. 1 seed from 5-AAAA and ranked No. 1.
Last meeting: Sandy Creek won 41-0 in the 2010 Class AAA quarterfinals.
Three things to know: 1. Monroe Area RB Kwan Brooks rushed for 135 yards in a 47-8 victory over South Effingham in the quarterfinals to increase his rushing total to 1,894 on the season. QB Stanton Truitt has rushed for 1,388 yards despite missing four games with injuries. 2. Sandy Creek’s three biggest yardage-gainers on offense are underclassmen. Junior QB Cole Garvin has thrown for 2,288 yards. Sophomore RB Eric Swinney has rushed for 1,318 yards. Junior WR Demarre Kitt has 60 receptions for 1,034 yards. 3. Sandy Creek won a coin toss to host this game, as both teams are No. 1 seeds and region champions. Sandy Creek has won 32 consecutive home games, 11 in the playoffs.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Sandy Creek by 28
Marist at Ridgeland
When, where:7:30 p.m. Friday, Bowers and Painter Field, Rossville
Records, rankings: Marist is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AAAA and ranked No. 2; Ridgeland is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from 7-AAAA and ranked No. 9.
Last meeting: Marist won 30-0 in the first round of the 2006 Class AAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. Ridgeland has a 2,000-yard rusher in Darrell Bridges (2,127, 37 TDs) and a 1,000-yard rusher in Vonn Bell (1,008, 20 TDs, plus 131 tackles on defense). The best lineman is OL/DL Gannon Hampton. 2. Three players to watch for Marist are QB Myles Willis, DL Greg Taboada and ATH Gray King. Willis has rushed for 1,097 yards. King is more explosive. A two-way starter, he has rushed for only 611 yards but with 11 touchdowns and an 8.7 per-carry average and is dangerous in the return game. Taboada has five sacks in three playoff games and 20 tackles for losses on the season. 3. Ridgeland won a coin toss to host this game, as both teams are No. 1 seeds and region champions. That was good news for Ridgeland, which has never won a playoff game on the road while Marist is 48-3 in home playoff games under coach Alan Chadwick.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Ridgeland by 1
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