Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

Wow. How great was last weekend at the Dome? At The List HQ, we haven’t stopped talking about it yet.

How about Jefferson taking out Calhoun for its first title? Or Norcross getting the big one? Gainesville finally breaking through? And should Buford just get to start calling the Dome its second homefield at this point?

It was pretty awesome, and now we’re reflecting back on what was a fantastic postseason, as we all knew it would be, because we’re optimists like that.

There were great games throughout the state, building up to the Dome drama Friday and Saturday. What were the best games of the 2012 playoffs? Time to count it down …

10. AAAAAA first round: Parkview 20, Walton 17 (2 OT)

It was the first of two overtime wins for Parkview to open the playoffs, and Walton was the Panthers’ first victim. The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime session, and then Walton knocked in a short field goal after being stuffed near the goal line. After that, it just took Justis Rosser one play to go 15 yards and eliminate the Raiders.

9. AAAAAA second round: Parkview 26, West Forsyth 23 (OT)

It wasn’t a trick play that ended it, but it might as well have been. After West Forsyth hit a field goal to start the overtime, Parkview’s Justis Rosser was supposed to hand it off to Shaq Vereen on the Panthers’ first play. But he bobbled the ball and improvised by taking off himself. For 15 yards, he was barely touched on his way to the winning score.

8. AAAAA first round: Warner Robins 17, Richmond Hill 15

Trailing 15-14 with a little over 4 minutes left, Warner Robins took the ball on its 30-yard line and the season hanging in the balance. The Demons stuck to their gameplan, marching downfield and eventually getting inside the Wildcat 20-yard line, where Matt Monday booted a 32-yarder that moved Warner Robins into the second round.

7. AAAAA quarterfinals: Northside-WR 23, Tucker 20

If it seems like these two play an epic playoff game every year, that’s not far from the truth. This was another big one, with Northside looking like a substantial favorite, playing at home against a Tucker team that failed to even win its tough region. But a Juwaan Williams touchdown run gave the Tigers a 20-16 lead with 1:22 left. A kickoff return to midfield, though, set up Northside to respond. It took a fourth-down throw with 24 seconds left to put the Tigers away this time.

6. AAA second round: Cartersville 24, Blessed Trinity 23

There was going to be no tie for Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin. It might have cost his team this one, but it was certainly a gutsy play. With 8 seconds left, the titans lined up for a 28-yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime if it was good. McFarlin called for the fake, though, and the pass was intercepted by linebacker Brandon Wells to preserve the Purple Hurricanes victory.

5. AAAAAA first round: Mill Creek 41, Alpharetta 39

It took 46 minutes for Alpharetta to take its first lead of the game, but it was a big one – pulling ahead 39-38 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Josh Dobbs to Daniel Clements with 2 minutes left on the clock. And when Mill Creek followed by having a fourth-and-10 from its own 16-yard line, the Raiders had the Hawks on the ropes. But Mill Creek converted, then drove down the field to hit a 25-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to win.

4. AAAAA first round: Thomas County Central 27, Creekside 24 (2 OT)

The Yellow Jackets trailed 24-21 when they took the ball in the second overtime, knowing a touchdown could win it. Meanwhile, Creekside was trying to win its first playoff game since a run to the quarters in 2006. It would take a big defensive stop to do it here. But on TCC’s second play of the second session, Adam Choice found his way around the right side of the line and scampered into the end zone for the score that put Creekside away.

3. AAAA semifinals: Ridgeland 28, Marist 27

When Ridgeland blocked Marist’s extra point following a touchdown with 3 minutes left, the Eagles knew it might come back to haunt them. About 150 seconds later, a halfback pass play resulted in a Shaqualm McCoy 24-yard touchdown that gave the Panthers a 28-27 lead with 36 seconds left. Marist wasn’t done, though, driving all the way to the Ridgeland 17-yard line. Fletcher Malloy’s 34-yard field goal was slightly right, though, glancing off the upright as time ticked off the clock.

2. AA quarterfinals: Jefferson 53, Fitzgerald 51 (3 OT)

If you’re going to win your school’s first state title after many decades of trying, you’re going to need a little good fortune along the way. It looked like the Dragons might not have that when they gave up a 31-16 fourth-quarter lead to go to overtime. But when the defense turned back Fitzgerald’s 2-point attempt in the third overtime, the offense made the most of its chance, getting into the end zone and then Tristen Jackson ended it with the final two-point score.

1. AAAA second round: Marist 43, Carrollton 37 (5 OT)

This one looked like it might never end. After a tight, back-and-forth first four quarters, the teams just continued to trade blows time after time in extra time. Touchdowns, field goals, 2-point conversions … whatever one team put on the board, the other was up to the task of matching it. Finally, though, the Marist defense stood tall, holding Carrollton out of the end zone after a 15-yard Myles Willis touchdown that proved to be the game winner.

Now we want to know what you think. What was the best playoff game you saw this season? Were you at any of the games we mentioned? Would you just completely collapse after about two overtimes? Because we would. Let us know here in the comments or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

16 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

December 19th, 2012
10:16 am

Nice job, Jeff, but there’s a problem on No. 6. A FG in that situation would have given Blessed Trinity the win, not send the game to OT.


December 19th, 2012
10:30 am

Got to agree…Marist Carrollton might have been the best playof game in history.

Sandy Creek vs Burke was a good one too. It was much closer than the score indicated.

Jeff Haws

December 19th, 2012
10:34 am

Good call, Max. My early-morning math was a little off.


December 19th, 2012
10:40 am

Bryant Sherriffs should get player of the year, his play more than anyone’s during the playoffs and final lifted his team to a higher level that few thought would happen. Playmaker.


December 19th, 2012
1:44 pm

Actually the BT field goal was for the tie. Cartersville stepped out of the end zone giving BT 2 pts and a safety on the final play of the game

Jeff Haws

December 19th, 2012
2:15 pm


So I was right all along. Huzzah!

I was actually wondering how I got that written wrong in the first place. After all that research, I forgot about that safety, but I remember now that you mentioned it. There were a few seconds left, and they didn’t want to risk an interception or anything, so they stepped out, giving the final 1-point difference. Well done, PiusDad.


December 19th, 2012
3:58 pm

No problemo, I was pulling hard for my fellow Catholic school, would have been great to meet them in the Dome. Mabye one year!

old school

December 19th, 2012
5:31 pm

Colquitt 26 Newnan 23 second round. Newnan in control then fumbles the game away , Colquitt drives about 70 yards and scores.


December 19th, 2012
9:15 pm

gee what about NORCROSS come from behind in the 4th qtr too win the 6a state championship game.


December 20th, 2012
7:56 am

Cartersville was up 24-21, intercepted the pass with a few secs. left and on next play QB ran around in endzone, running out clock for a safety, hence the 24-23 score. If Trinity had hit the FG it would have been 24-24 at that point.


December 20th, 2012
8:40 am

I agree with spider. The 6A championship game was one of the best games I have seen in high school period. Solid defense from both sides, not a lot of turnovers. Just good solid football.

Mill Creek over Alpharetta was good but it shouldn’t have been. Mill Creek ran all over Alpharetta, over 300 yards and 6 touchdowns for Jacory Lewis. The only reason why Alpharetta kept it close was becasue of Dobbs, that kid has some talent. He improved leaps and bounds from what he was last season when we played them.

In closing I will say this. North Cobb better enjoy the Christmas present Mill Creek gave them this year.


December 20th, 2012
8:40 am

The Norcross game has to be listed because it was the finals and a very exciting contest. That game was the type no way you can go to bed until it was over. I was disappointed that there were only 2 good Championship games the rest were blowouts after the 1st quarters.
Those 3 and 5 OT games I am sure the refs were glad when they were over. No dispute where those games are listed.
If you like defense Buford vs St.Pius. Buford got into the red zone once and that was on the long TD run. Pius may have got in red zone out gaining Buford but still losing. You won’t see many more games where both sides were laying the wood on every series. Other games had a few good hits but overall this was a slobber knocker.
Disagree on BT being “gutsy” letting a kid who hasn’t thrown a pass all year try to win it for you by throwing a pass as the holder. I don’t care what the film showed. If it was the starting QB I would say yes “gutsy” call but this way I will just say nuts !
By the scores of these final games GHSA needs to let some of these teams play up in football then give them Director cup points with a bonus multiplier for their finish. Gainsville vs Sandy Creek now that would be a great game to watch.These state champs of AAAAA,AAAA,and AAA could easily play up in the finals of the next division.


December 20th, 2012
9:18 am

Where’s Dum-Bass? He always weighs in with something totally irrelevant.


December 20th, 2012
11:13 am

Perhaps one of the most challenging concepts to our understanding of the universe is embodied in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which places fundamental physical limits (though small ones) upon the degree of precision that we an obtain about an object’s physical state. The more precisely you try to measure the position of a particle, the less precisely you can measure that same position’s momentum at the same time!


December 20th, 2012
11:32 am

@spider and @hawkfan65… the 6A final..really? That game was terrible. Lovejoy gave it away at the end. Gainesville or Sandy Creek would have beaten either of those teams.


December 20th, 2012
1:32 pm

@ Dum-Bass… Good Point! ;-)