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.