Semifinal previews: Class AAAAA

Northside (Warner Robins) at Ware County

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

Records, rankings: Northside is 13-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 2-AAAAA and ranked No. 1; Ware County is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from 3-AAAAA and ranked No. 6.

Last meeting: Northside won 20-14 in the 2007 Class AAAA championship game.

Three things to know: 1. Northside is averaging 262 yards per game rushing in the playoffs. Curtis Martin ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries in a 23-20 victory over Tucker last week and has 299 yards in three playoff games. Keshun Hill ran for 111 and QB Glenn Smith had 110 the previous week against Thomas County Central. 2. Ware County’s defense is among the state’s best. The Gators have allowed 7.9 points per game this season. Of the remaining playoff teams, only AAAAAA Lovejoy (7.2) and AA Buford (7.3) have allowed less. Ware County forced six three-and-outs and allowed only 63 yards of total offense in a 14-0 victory over Stephenson last week. It was Ware’s fifth shutout, tied for most in the state. Team leaders are TB/LB Xavier Tolbert (1,496 yards rushing, 104 tackles) and DL/TE Jimal McBride (126 tackles, 24 for losses). 3. In the teams’ only previous meeting, Ware County led 14-10 with less than six minutes to play until Northside RB Tijuan Green threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Nick Bass for the game-winning points in the 2007 AAAA final. The victory gave Northside its second consecutive state championship.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Northside by 9

Gainesville at Whitewater

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Wildcat Stadium, Fayetteville

Records, rankings: Gainesville is 10-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Whitewater is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from 4-AAAAA and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson is GHSF Daily’s top candidate for all-classification player of the year. The junior has 4,742 yards passing and rushing and had a hand in 67 touchdowns this season. In three playoff games, during which the Red Elephants have averaged 55 points, Watson has passed for 882 yards and 12 TDs and rushed for 387 yards and eight scores. 2. Whitewater’s top offensive weapon is RB Kendall Conley, who has rushed for 2,041 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. He runs behind 6-9, 368-pound RT Pat Dalton, whom coach Amos McCreary calls ”the most dominant lineman I’ve seen all season.” 3. Gainesville is making its 19th appearance in the semifinals, which ranks fourth all-time behind Valdosta (29), Lincoln County (25) and Carrollton (22). It is the only school with 10 or more trips to the final four that has not won a GHSA state championship. Whitewater is making its first semifinal appearance in the nine-year history of the program.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Gainesville by 1

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34 comments Add your comment

CoffeeC100

December 6th, 2012
7:24 am

My heart is with both Ware County and Whitewater. Coffee traveled to each and handed each their only loss to date in the season opener for both teams. Coffee also had seven key players go down with season long injuries in the two games.

Oh what could have been had the Trojans stayed healthy. Please forgive my whining this one last time.

chilidawg

December 6th, 2012
7:44 am

Let’s go Red Elephants!

ap

December 6th, 2012
8:19 am

Ought to be fun in Fayetteville Friday night! Go Cats!!

jvillebil

December 6th, 2012
9:01 am

Ware County has a solid defense but will need a few turnovers. The home crowd should play well, but last time they met in the finals in 07 NSWR packed their side also.

Reeze

December 6th, 2012
9:26 am

Northside’s defense you know will key on Tolbert all night long, going both ways against the Eagles offense and defense will take it’s toll on him….This one is all up to the Eagles offense , a little worried about the Eagles kicking game with Riveria being out ,Helped Tucker out some…Tough game it will be, Ware defense looks solid.

Northside Dawg

December 6th, 2012
9:39 am

@Reeze: Is Rivera out for the season? What a difference his kicking makes.

Middle GA Football Fan

December 6th, 2012
10:45 am

@Northside Dawg

Rivera’s being out is not good but Tignor held up pretty good against Tucker besides the missed PAT. Let’s encourage him along with the rest of the Eagles and cheer them on to victory over Ware!

Scott Powers

December 6th, 2012
10:49 am

Go Red Elephants and Clemson commit Deshaun Watson!

Northside Dawg

December 6th, 2012
11:56 am

You get spoiled with all those Rivera kickoffs going into the end zone, but Tignor’s kicks might get stronger with this extra week of practice.

Gamer

December 6th, 2012
12:35 pm

Northside will take this one!

Northside will score against Ware’s strong defense. Ware’s problem is—their offense relies 80% on #21 Tobler who along with and #14 go both ways. Trey Payne and Austin Roberts will take care of them.

Gamer

December 6th, 2012
12:36 pm

erasure “and” in my above.

BullEagle15

December 6th, 2012
1:46 pm

Northside has NOTHING to be worried about. Ware can not score on our defense. Unless they get good field position like Tucker did a few drives they won’t score. Our Offense will score on most of they’re drives and we will walk out of there with a EASY win. Ware has not played a team compared to Northside. We win 24-3 I say

Cat Man

December 6th, 2012
1:49 pm

Coach McCreary and Coach Goss have been here before with Palmetto and took it all. Granted it’s been a long time, but these coaches have consistently built winners over the years at Creekside and now Whitewater. They’re a hungry bunch down in Fayetteville and no doubt will have to have their “A” game on against a very good Gainesville team with an awesome offense. Good luck to the Cats!!

Hall County

December 6th, 2012
2:06 pm

The time to inch one step closer to two state titles for Hall County is here.

Go Gainesville Big Red and North Hall Trojans!

Traveling Eagle

December 6th, 2012
3:29 pm

Northside will head to ware county with state on their mind. They may even go by the swamp and chew some gators too. Be afraid Ware County be very AFRAID,,,Fly High Eagles

Traveling Eagle

December 6th, 2012
3:39 pm

Anyone know what radio station will host the game,,,I’m stuck in Brunswick

jvillebil

December 6th, 2012
4:04 pm

@Traveling Eagle WKUB 105.1 They broadcast all the Ware games. You can get it on the internet.

BigDawg1980

December 6th, 2012
5:08 pm

Well NSWR….you will face a DEFENSE Friday night that you have not experienced in a long time. Ware will shut you down completely….Be careful what you ask for cause we can score with the run and with the pass….This game comes down to turnovers…By the way…we got a kicker and he is a good one…good luck..ur gonna need it…..When you come to the SWAMP…you never leave happy if your the opposing team!

BigDawg1980

December 6th, 2012
5:09 pm

BigDawg1980

December 6th, 2012
5:10 pm

go to warecountygatorfootball and you can listen live on the internet.

BullEagle15

December 6th, 2012
5:42 pm

@BigDawd1980 We have the REAL Defense Ware is going to be a little cake walk!

blu eagle

December 6th, 2012
6:13 pm

You have had a soft welcome to the playoffs so far Ware, the end comes in the form of NSWR, friday nite. I will be generous since you have home field advantage 28-14 NSWR, Yea Baby!

itsonlywrite

December 6th, 2012
7:08 pm

@Hall County .. YEP YEP!!! Hopefully we can bring a sense of “Christmas” with Green(North Hall) and Red(Gainesville) to the DOME next Friday!!!

#ELEPHANTNATION

fifener pod

December 6th, 2012
11:10 pm

Listen people,Mr. d. Watson is the most prolific high school qb in the state,and I can’t see any team stopping him.. If their defense can pick it up just alittle bit, I can’t see anyone stopping there.Ga.better take a long , hard look at this Watson fellow, and he’s only a Jr.

graphite

December 7th, 2012
6:21 am

Sure is peaceful on here without all that Tucker yapping.Sure is quiet.

ALLCRIMSON

December 7th, 2012
6:48 am

Ware is going down. 2 scores minimum.

BigJo

December 7th, 2012
7:04 am

@BigDawg1980 last time we came to the swamp we left pretty happy…..GO EAGLES

Rubin_Hood

December 7th, 2012
8:39 am

Roll, Region 7, Roll, all eyes on Norcross, bring it home Blue Devils!

Kmilton

December 7th, 2012
7:46 pm

Ware county winning7-0

class of 65 Red Elephants

December 7th, 2012
8:42 pm

Elephants looking unstoppable stampeding to first state title!!!

class of 76 Red Elephants

December 7th, 2012
11:10 pm

Red Elephants need to “Finish the Drill” this year. Question for ‘65 Elephant, wasn’t the Q.B. Skipper Fuller in 1965?

Ware Co. Class of 1992

December 7th, 2012
11:32 pm

NSWR you guys are a great bunch of players, fans but this year belongs to Ware!

Kmilton

December 8th, 2012
9:34 am

Can you believe it ware county going to the dome for the championship game, not Warner robins not tucker, or Stephenson, that defense held up, all those who didn’t give ware county a shot thank you for the motivation, let me hear now, it was a great game yes we relied a lot on tolber ( our running back)u have to have a good running game, come to the dome and root the gators on to the title.

Gamer

December 8th, 2012
10:51 am

Everyone gets a chance to eat crow unless you win the state championship. I got my stomach filled last night when Ware Cty in overtime beat NSWR. It was their time just like it is Gainsville’s time. For us, it’s basketball season. Good luck to all the teams the rest of the year and may god continue to bless you.

One other thought, NSWR has made it’s 3/4 year run. Only 5 Offense starters return and 3 on the Defense. Todd Holcomb, Please do not rate NSWR next year as a top ten team. We will be back in 2014.

Hey, I just found out I have a little more crow to eat for breakfast. lol