Class A Blog: First round brackets; Four intriguing match ups; Region breakdown

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are the first round match ups, which will be played next Friday, Nov. 22. The brackets were finalized Wednesday afternoon, after several appeals were heard by the Georgia High Schools Association. None of the appeals impacted the seeding or the playoff brackets. Also, we take a quick look at four of the games, and give the region breakdown of the teams that made the cut.

PUBLIC

Upper Bracket

No. 1 Seminole County (Region 1 champion) vs No. 16 Wilkinson County

No. 8 Commerce vs. No. 9 Charlton County

No. 5 Johnson County vs. No. 12 Emanuel County Institute

No. 13 Trion vs. No. 4 Irwin County

No. 12 Emanuel County Institute (6-4) at No. 5 Johnson County (9-1). Johnson County walloped defending public school champion ECI 65-29 back on Oct. 28. Johnson County QB Markel Horne rushed for 330 yards and scored six touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the charge. At the time both teams were ranked in the top 10 – Johnson County at No. 5, ECI at No. 8.  ECI has been hit hard by injuries this season, as four Bulldog players have suffered ACL tears while James Brown, a pre-season all-state selection, has been slowed by a severe shoulder injury.

Lower Bracket

No. 3 Clinch County (Region 2 champion) vs. No. 14 Claxton

No. 6 Hawkinsville vs. No. 11 Mitchell County

No. 7 Lincoln County vs. No. 10 Dooly County

No. 15 Turner County vs. No. 2 Marion County (Region 4 champion)

No. 10 Dooly County (7-3) at No. 7 Lincoln County (7-3). This is a rematch of last season’s public school semi-final, which Dooly County won 10-7. The Bobcats are one of only two teams in Georgia (Savannah Christian, 3-0) with a winning record against Lincoln County all time at 2-1.  Each meeting has been in the state playoffs. Prior to last season, the Red Devils prevailed in the 1998 quarterfinals, 34-8, while Dooly won the 1983 semi-final, 20-8.

PRIVATE

Upper Bracket

No. 1 Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (Region 5 champion) vs. No. 16 Athens Christian

No. 8 Darlington vs. No. 9 Christian Heritage

No. 5 Prince Avenue (Region 8 champion) vs. No. 12 Brookstone

No. 13 First Presbyterian vs. No. 4 Calvary Day (Region 3 champion)

No. 9 Christian Heritage (8-2) at No. 8 Darlington (8-2). Like Johnson County and ECI, these two teams are in the same sub-region, Region 6 – Division A.  Darlington won the meeting on Oct 11, 18-14, as the Tigers scored 15 unanswered points in the second half to rally for the win. This is the first trip to the state playoffs in the brief three-year history of the football program at Christian Heritage, located in Dalton.

Lower Bracket

No. 3 Aquinas (Region 7 champion) vs. No. 14 Savannah Christian

No. 6 Mount Paran Christian vs. No. 11 Our Lady of Mercy

No. 7 Landmark Christian vs. No. 10 Holy Innocents’

No. 15 St. Anne Pacelli vs. No. 2 Mount Pisgah Christian (Region 6 champion)

No. 10 Holy Innocents’ (6-4) at No. 7 Landmark Christian (8-2). These two Region 5 foes met two weeks ago on Nov. 1, when Holy Innocents’ knocked off the previously unbeaten War Eagles, 29-28. The Golden Bears battled back from fourth quarter deficits of 21-7 and 28-21 to win the game. Head coach Ryan Livezy’s gutsy gamble paid off  for Holy Innocents’, as he decided to go for a two-point conversion after Clay Pfohl’s 2-yard touchdown run pulled the Bears to within 28-27 with a little less than two minutes remaining in the game.  Luke Wright hit Jackson Miller for the winning conversion.  Landmark QB/K Stockton McGuire narrowly missed a 52-yard field goal at the buzzer.

Region Breakdown

Region 1: 2 Public, 0 Private

Region 2: 4 Public, 0 Private

Region 3: 3 Public, 2 Private

Region 4: 3 Public, 2 Private

Region 5: 0 Public, 4 Private

Region 6: 1 Public, 4 Private

Region 7: 2 Public, 2 Private

Region 8: 1 Public, 2 Private

57 comments Add your comment

blackmanwithasuntan

November 14th, 2013
2:32 pm

looks like regions 3, 4, and 6 are the “SEC” of single A football with 5 teams in the playoffs

blackmanwithasuntan

November 14th, 2013
2:34 pm

if I could make one of those silly winky faces on the ajc comments I would…obviously I’m just funnin’ with ya”

Scott

November 14th, 2013
3:23 pm

S. Thomas Coleman – Please explain the appeal process in more detail. What exactly are teams appealing? A team’s overall win/loss record, strenght of schedule, etc. seem cut and dry to me.

Scott

November 14th, 2013
3:29 pm

S. Thomas Coleman – If possible, include an example of a team that appealed to the GHSA yesterday and what their particular ‘beef’ was.

Scott

November 14th, 2013
3:32 pm

Does the appeal process apply to only Class A? Does it apply to both private and public schools in Class A?

RaiderDad

November 14th, 2013
4:44 pm

My Raiders are down this year and face quite the challenge in Aquinas.

One point for clarification…Dooly County is not the only team in Georgia with a winning record against Lincoln County. Savannah Christian beat them in 2009 (their field), 2010 (their field), and 2011 (our field). I believe those are the only three games between the teams.

John

November 14th, 2013
5:25 pm

Although this is only the second year Christian Heritage has played in the GHSA, the school has had a successful winning football program for many years. They competed in the Glory for Christ League (once known as the Georgia Football League), where they finished second in the state behind Holy Spirit Prep in 2011 and had a string of winning seasons before that.

OLM CheerDad

November 14th, 2013
6:34 pm

Does Region 5 even have any public schools?

SingleAisCompetitive

November 14th, 2013
6:36 pm

@blackmanwithasuntan
If you look into it a little bit further you will see that Region 3 has an A & B, so a total of 11 teams. Then Region 4 only has 8 total teams but Region 6 is split again into A@B with 14 teams. Region 5 only has 7 teams total. So as I have commented before usually each Region / SubRegion has approx 2 top teams. I really don’t know region 4 (only seen one of those teams) so maybe others can comment. But it is fact that Region 5 has 5 solid teams this year out of 7. May not hold true next year but the season is still rolling for 4 right now.

SingleAisCompetitive

November 14th, 2013
6:38 pm

OLM CheerDad
no
Strong Rock and Mt Vern are the other two of the 7.

Swamp Lizard

November 14th, 2013
7:10 pm

@ STC …. I know this is a dead horse I’m beating with you, but wanted to throw this out there at you for you to look at and think over. We also took a lashing with our comments that Region 5 ( Top 5 teams ) was the “SEC” of Class A football and this is my reason or proof that I come up with. Please go behind me and verify.
I know we have debated the “Power Ratings” ( our Class A seeding process ) vs “Maxwell Ratings” numerous times. Right now, I’m just talking about Region 5 and mainly Pace Academy to make my point. I think we both agree that Region 5 is very strong and I think we both agree if Pace Academy was in the playoffs that they would be a very tough out for anyone ( no matter what seed they were ). So here’s my point. I will list the Top 5 teams in Region 5, the overall Class A rank ( Public included )and that teams “power rating”. ELCA (1) 68.37 Landmark (7) 44.36 Our Lady of Mercy (14) 37.31 Holy Innocents (19) 35.30 AND Pace Academy (22) 31.61 …. YES, the 22nd best team in all of Class A is sitting at home when 32 teams ( 16 Public & 16 Private ) are playing in the playoffs.
This is just an OPINION for sure, but here are the teams on the Private side that made the playoffs with a worse “power rating” than Pace Academy … Sav Christian ( 25.98 ), St Anne Pacelli (26.97), FPD ( 27.28), Brookstone (29.65), and Athens Christian (29.73). Again, this is just another take, another “look” …. & you very well might not agree with me now, but I thought it was good stuff to back up the claim that Region 5 is very “tough” and comparisons of the two systems.

Swamp Lizard

November 14th, 2013
7:19 pm

@ Class A fans …… I’ll be glad to give the Top 5 teams ( Class A rank & power #’s ) from other regions if you want them. I’m not debating here, just giving information at your request. Please note also that this is information from the Maxwell Ratings and NOT ratings from our Power Rankings used for seeding teams in our playoffs.

Swamp Lizard

November 14th, 2013
7:36 pm

POSSIBLE UPSETS ?? ….These are not my picks just yet, but here are a few of my takes of “possible” upsets in round 1

PUBLIC BRACKET …. #9 Charlton vs #8 Commerce ( I like Region 2 teams ), #10 Dooly Co vs #7 Lincoln Co ( this should be a great game ), and keep an eye on #15 Turner Co against #2 Marion Co ( another Region 2 team )

PRIVATE BRACKET … #9 Christian Heritage vs #8 Darlington ( already played a great game this year ), #11 Our Lady of Mercy vs #6 Mt Paran ( don’t think this game will be 35-7 this go around ), #10 Holy Innocents vs #7 Landmark ( already happen once 29-28 )

BigDave

November 14th, 2013
7:57 pm

Christian Heritage is 8-2. You need to do Your research better!

SingleAisCompetitive

November 14th, 2013
8:19 pm

It was just a mistake BigDave. He was probably looking at the rankings and typo! If you look Christian Heritage is 8-2 at number 14. Just under them at #15 is a 5-5 OLM. That might tell you what the maxprep Freeman pollsters think of CH…..

BigDave

November 14th, 2013
8:29 pm

Yeah,SingleAisCompetitive the AJC doesn’t give a damn about NW Georgia High School football teams. They never get the coverage that They deserve. It’s sad that I have to read the Chattanooga Times-Free Press to get a decent story and info.

Big Phil

November 14th, 2013
9:19 pm

I have watched a good deal of Class A ball this year. My prediction is that ELCA will keep it close with ACS for a while and then ACS will pull away at the end by a couple of scores. But, I think ELCA has enough talent to keep it interesting.

TCDAWG25

November 14th, 2013
9:24 pm

@all I believe Region 3 Should be called the SEC of class A football. The reason for this is that we have put a team in the state championship game six years in a row with three championships and three runner ups. Can any other region in class A compare to this. By the way the teams are ECI and SAV Christian. Also, the teams that were defeated by these two teams are the who’s who of class A football no cupcakes.

BigDave

November 14th, 2013
9:26 pm

I think Christian Heritage beats Darlington the second time around.

LoveFridayFootball

November 14th, 2013
9:39 pm

BigPhil… What do you think the final score is going to be ELCA vs ACS?

Lil Brother

November 14th, 2013
10:34 pm

Go Clinch Co!!!!!

Sam Roney

November 15th, 2013
12:22 am

Looks like Reg. 5 and Reg. 3 both think they are the SEC of GA. Class A. I’ll take Aquinas(Reg.7) in the lower bracket of the private side of Class A. Get used to them for next year too. Their young soph QB Welch
is a great performer, and their leading groundgainer, Reuben Garnett is a phenom, gained over 300 yards against Lincoln Cty. and against FPD. I will also pick FPD to upset at least one or more in the
upper bracket. On the public side of Reg. 7, Lincoln Cty. will beat Dooly Cty., and could run the table
with no private schools in their way. Then, we’ll see if the SEC is still in Reg. 5 & Reg. 3(?)…

Sam Roney

November 15th, 2013
12:26 am

Meant to say, above, that Reuben Garnett (Aquinas) is only a junior this year..Well over 1,000+ yards
rushing, plus a bunch on pass receptions. A leading tackler as well. Verbal commitment to Duke(ACC).
Aquinas will be loaded next season also. Actually, at 10-0, they exceeded all hopes already, after
losing Brendan Douglas this year to UGA.

CSRA706

November 15th, 2013
5:23 am

Well put!!!!!!

CSRA706

November 15th, 2013
5:26 am

@TCDAWG25, that was hands down the best presented case for best region!!!!!

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
6:21 am

@ Big Phil …… PLEASE tell me you are coming to McDonough for the ELCA / Athens Christian game ….. and stop by the bank on the way and bring all you can. ;)

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
6:42 am

@CSRA706 & TCDAWG25 …. Both of you are “sharp” guys …. but do either of you really think that there is one team in Region 3 that can win a State Championship this year? I know the Public side is “watered down” this year and anyone could make a run, but ECI or JoCo will eliminate each other in Round1 ( just like Region 5 foes Landmark / Holy Innocents ). I don’t want to bust a bubble, but there will not even be a team in Region 3 at the Dome this year, must less a State Champion. Calvary Day? …. I don’t think they can beat Prince in Round 2, and if they do …. guess who they will get?
Region 3 has been very impressive sending a team to the Championship the “past” few years …. and that is an impressive run. Lincoln Co has been impressive with all their State Championships and all those Region titles, but more than likely, they are one and done THIS YEAR ( yes, I think Dooly Co will get them ). What I’ve said ( & STC has said ) that Region 5 top 5 teams are by far the best 5 teams in ANY region ….. THIS YEAR. I just wish our teams were playig tonight. Good Luck to all !!

viking proud

November 15th, 2013
6:57 am

mr swamp lizard, don’t forget FPD beat pace academy. so why wouldn’t FPD be ahead of pace in the playoff picture???????

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
8:01 am

@ Viking Proud …. I think a lot of FPD, I really do. I was really impressed with the coaching staff when I seen that game your talking about ( FPD / Pace ). I thought your coaches won that game for y’all ….. they outcoached Pace !! I’m assuming you were at that game …. if so, you seen what I did that night and that was Pace going up and down the field all night. They had to have between 500 – 600 yards of total offense. If Pace hadn’t turned that ball over five times, they would have ran FPD out of the house. That game could have ( & should have ) been a 30+ point win for Pace ). I have no ties to Pace ( other than them being a Region 5 foe )…. I was down there “scouting” ( my son had to play Pace later on ). I think FPD is a year away from being a “player” in the playoffs, but I will tell you the future looks good for FPD if the kids will buy into those coaches. I do wish y’all the best !!

The Dogfather

November 15th, 2013
9:45 am

Sam -I recall your name on the Aquinas Roster some years ago-You were an ANIMAL!!

bucket

November 15th, 2013
11:13 am

I think we need to call a timeout on the phrase “the SEC of Class A football”. The SEC earned that honor by having multiple teams win like 7 MNC’s in a row. If and when a region in class A has multiple teams win 7 state championships in a row, then have at it! There are several good teams in virtually every region. Some of us took exception to the Region 5 love because they didn’t just lose to eachother during this season, 3 of their top 5 teams lost games outside their region as well. To be fair, Region 5 teams won some games outside of the region also. Can’t wait for kickoff next Friday night to see who rises to the occasion. Can anyone challenge ELCA? If not, who wins out in the lower bracket to face them in the Dome?

bucket

November 15th, 2013
11:15 am

BTW, ACS is better than their record would indicate as they scheduled several larger classification schools with North Oconee being the best of that bunch. ACS won’t be intimidated by ELCA, but I don’t think they will win either.

will smith

November 15th, 2013
11:40 am

I told you not to sleep on Calvary they blew Johnson Co. out after Johnson Co smoked ECI. It will be a good matchup when they play ELCA. That will be the State Championsip game before the State Championsip game.

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
11:41 am

@ bucket ….. OK, no more “SEC of Class A football” …. Region 5 ( Top 5 teams ) can not be matched by any other region THIS YEAR. Athens Christian might not be intimidated by ELCA …. BUT….. ACS & 40 will not be enough.

will smith

November 15th, 2013
11:41 am

Calvary will beat PA. Sc beat PA and Calvary had SC 37-0 at half.

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
11:44 am

@ Will Smith ….. you could be right, but Calvary Day has a tough date with Prince Ave in Round 2 ( more than likely ) ….. I would perfer to see a ELCA / Calvary Day game in the semi’s …. being ELCA played Prince Ave in the Championship game last year.

LoveFridayFootball

November 15th, 2013
1:11 pm

Bucket… ACS is not better than their record. They average giving up more than they score! Sometimes no matter how gritty a team is, they are what their record says they are…And I will say the same about Pace. They are as good as their record.

Athens Christian

Scoring Offense: 24.4

Scoring Defense: 28.1

Scoring Differential: -3.7

will smith

November 15th, 2013
1:15 pm

I agree Swamp Lizard, not sure how PA got beat by SC. That is all I have to go by and i went to the Calv/Sc game and it could have been 60-0 so maybe just and off night for PA but looking at the matchup definitely favors Calvary. They will be a tough out for anyone in single A. They have as many skilled players as anyone.

Swamp Lizard

November 15th, 2013
1:41 pm

@ Will Smith …. Sav Christian was two different teams from the beginning of the season ( 1st game 17-9 win over Prince ) to the end of this season ….. Calvary Day took care of them & I’m sure it could have been 60-0 ……. we’ll see how it turns out. I think they ( Sav Christian ) lost their QB and a few others for different reasons. I hear a lot of good things from people on here about Calvary Day ( haven’t seen them myself ).

Christain Radier

November 15th, 2013
3:49 pm

Mr.Roney Your Aquinas is as over rated as your big brothers Notre Dame was last year.
“He who knows has no occasion to shout”. Reguardless of who wins-neither can get by
OLM or Mt.Paran.

CSRA706

November 15th, 2013
5:30 pm

@christain radier, i dont know what you put in your coffee today but im quite sure u shouldn’t be driving. if you think Aquinas is over rated then you are very delusional and on something. look for them to get to the dome fairly easy. anyone that knows class A football sees that that bottom half is gonna be a cake walk for Aquinas and they should go into the Dome healthy

CSRA706

November 15th, 2013
5:32 pm

and still waiting on why region 5 has some convinced that they are so????? guess we find out next week!!!

arubadave

November 15th, 2013
5:35 pm

@ Big Phil, my guess is ELCA’s defense and special teams will out score ACS’s offense.

OLM CheerDad

November 15th, 2013
7:25 pm

Sitting in the rain in Tyrone watching Sandy Creek. This should be fun!

OLM CheerDad

November 15th, 2013
9:53 pm

I found the ELCA of AAAA. Sandy Creek 63-10 and it wasn’t that close.

S. Thomas Coleman

November 16th, 2013
1:50 am

Scott:

Sorry it took so long to respond. Teams could appeal their point total, and thus, their resulting power ranking. Based on the GHSA site, only Randolph-Clay and Georgia Military Academy appealed and both we’re upheld. However in both cases, the updated number was not enough to vault them into the top 16.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

November 16th, 2013
2:04 am

Swamp:

I know you are a big fan of the Maxwell but I just can’t get over the fact that past records are factored into the formula. Plus it is an awful tool for predicting score differential when evenly matched teams play (Case in point: Darlington by 12 over OLM, according to Maxwell).

BUT when you look at the overall ratings it does appear to be more accurate than the Power Ratings. I’ll call it a wash and let the teenagers on the field decide it.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

November 16th, 2013
2:05 am

BigDave:

The typo has been fixed.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

November 16th, 2013
2:12 am

CSRA706:

No one cakewalks into the dome, except for programs like Buford and perhaps ELCA.

STC

Swamp Lizard

November 16th, 2013
6:24 am

@ STC …. The Maxwell Ratings SHOULDN’T be used to predict scores … I think putting “lines” on high school games is foolish. The Maxwell Rating is a power rating to show how strong a team is at that time. I’ll use your example of OLM & Darlington … 5-5 OLM ( PR 37.31 ) and a #11 seed ( meaningless in my opinion, but information none the less ) vs 8-2 Darlington ( PR 42.71 ) and a # 8 seed. You could say Darlington is 5.40 points better ( plus or minus 3 for home field … whatever ) BUT you cant factor in if that team ( OLM or Darlington ) is getting better as the season goes on, if the offense is “clicking” that night, if the defense is playing “lights out” that night. if the special teams are “special” that night, if your going to turn it over three times or take it away three times, etc … etc .. etc … My point is, it’s being used in the AJC for predicting scores, but that’s not what it’s meant for. I did recieve a reply from Loran Maxwell and he said ( in his words ) …. as the season progesses there is a large drop off after four games. Six games into the season, “past connections” are weighed around 8-10%. By the end of 10 games the number is less than 0.1% …. NONE ( that’s me ). He also mention another system ( Bradley-Terry ) that is being used for “seeding” that he thinks is even better than his. I’ll email you his reply later on. You know I think a lot of you and I’m not giving you a hard time, just think it should be a lot better than what we have …. ELCA is a #1 seed that should play a #16 seed … there are four teams with a worse “rating” than Athens Christian ( that’s kind of my point ).