Playoff preview: Class AAAA quarterfinals

Griffin at Sandy Creek

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone

Records, rankings: Griffin is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 4 and No. 2; Sandy Creek is 11-0-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 5 and No. 1.

Last meeting: Sandy Creek won 22-15 in the 2009 Class AAAA semifinals.

Three things to know: 1. This will be the third time this season that a No. 1 team has faced a No. 2 team (AJC rankings). Sandy Creek beat Carrollton 24-7 on Nov. 1. In AAAAA, Tucker beat Stephenson 31-28 on Oct. 11. Other polls had Lovett at No. 1 and Greater Atlanta Christian at No. 2 when Lovett won 17-14 on Nov. 8. The No. 1 team won all of those games. 2. Sandy Creek won its 14th consecutive home playoff game last week with a 55-7 victory over Chestatee. QB Cole Garvin was 9-of-9 passing for 139 yards and went over 2,000 yards passing on the season (2,035). RB Eric Swinney rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns (giving him 22 on the season) on just six carries. Swinney and teammate Delvin Weems each have more than 1,150 yards rushing on the season. 3. Griffin is averaging 46 points per game, tied with Carrollton for first in AAAA. QB Jaquez Parks is a strong candidate for AAAA offensive player of the year. He has thrown for 2,706 yards and 22 touchdowns. Wide receivers Keyston Fuller and Trey Willis each were over 100 yards receiving last week. Griffin allowed only 149 yards in total offense in a 42-7 second-round victory over Statesboro. A third of that came on a late TD drive against reserves.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Sandy Creek by 10

Winner plays: Alexander/Wayne County winner

Alexander at Wayne County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Donaldson-Madray Field at Jaycee Stadium, Jesup

Records, rankings: Alexander is 8-4, the No. 4 seed from Region 5 and unranked; Wayne County is 10-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 3 and No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Mikell Lands-Davis rushed for 310 yards and five touchdowns – three on runs of 58, 66 and 69 yards – in a 42-28 victory over Lanier in the second round. Lands-Davis has rushed for 2,267 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. Alexander also throws well. Baylor Whitfield is 120-for-204 passing for 1,362 yards. 2. Wayne County WR Krenwick Sanders, who scored six touchdowns on pass receptions in the first round, returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the 20-17 victory over Veterans last week. The Wisconsin recruit has 53 catches for 1,177 yards and 20 TDs. Wayne County held Veterans to 96 yards rushing and forced four turnovers. 3. Alexander is in the quarterfinals for the first time. Wayne County is back for the fifth time but first since 1993. Wayne has not advanced to the semifinals since 1976. This quarter of the draw assured a relative stranger getting to the semifinals. The most recent of the eight teams to get that far was Dalton (beaten by Alexander in the first round) in 2001.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Wayne County by 6

Winner plays: Griffin/Sandy Creek winner

Marist at Burke County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bear Den, Waynesboro

Records, rankings: Marist is 10-2, the No. 1 seed from Region 6 and No. 5; Burke County is 9-2, the No. 1 seed from Region 3 and No. 6.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. The coin flip that decided home-field advantage between these region champions was significant. Burke has won 11 consecutive home playoff games. Marist lost six of its past seven road playoff games and is 10-17 since 1987 in road playoff games compared to 50-2 at home in that time. 2. Burke County’s 20-0 victory over Mary Persons in the first round was the Bears’ first playoff shutout in history, covering 37 games. DL Bryant Wilson (6-5, 245) leads the team with 9.5 tackles for losses. The offense is led by QB Donquell Green, who has rushed for 1,506 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He is 65-for-110 passing for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns. 3. Marist QB Chase Martenson has rushed for a team-leading 992 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, six in two playoff games. Marist averages 312 yards rushing per game in an option-based offense. DL Kendall Baker, who has committed to Georgia, has a team-leading 10 tackles for losses for a defense that allows only 114.5 yards rushing per game.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Even

Winner plays: Carrollton/Stockbridge winner

Carrollton at Stockbridge

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium, Stockbridge

Records, rankings: Carrollton is 11-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 5 and No. 4; Stockbridge is 11-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 4 and No. 9.

Last meeting: Carrollton won 35-10 in the second round of the 2011 Class AAA playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Stockbridge QB Javon Brandon, who scored two touchdowns in a 35-0 victory over Westover in the second round, has led the team to six consecutive victories (scoring at least 31 points in each game) since the early season starter went down with a season-ending injury on Oct. 18. Malik Bryan has rushed for 1,380 yards and scored 21 touchdowns in the Wing-T offense. Super 11 DB Kendarius Webster, who is committed to Ole Miss, leads the defense. 2. Carrollton runs a similar Wing-T offense but without a true feature back. Running backs Jarvies Terrell (893 yards rushing), Malik Sheppard (790) and Trey Chivers (717) each have 13 rushing touchdowns. QB Will Garrett (57-of-92 passing, 1,103 yards) has scored 12 and passed for 13. DT Dontavius Russell, who has committed to Georgia, has 6.5 tackles for losses. DL Brandon Walton, who has committed to Appalachian State, has 5.5 sacks. 3. Stockbridge is in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive time and second time ever. A victory would mean that Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley had improved the team’s record in each of his five seasons – from 1-9 the season before he arrived to 2-8 to 6-5, to 9-3 to 11-2 to 12-1.

Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Carrollton by 18

Winner plays: Marist/Burke County winner

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91 comments Add your comment

Go Trojans!

November 26th, 2013
8:27 am

AAAA has the best playoff games this year. Good luck to all the teams!

Looking forward to visiting Stockbridge on Friday! My guess is the game will be closer than 18 but still projecting a Carrollton win!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

November 26th, 2013
8:32 am

The questions here are… will Burke Co be able to hold out the Marist DL while they try to spread the field to try to shake someone free in a speed matchup? Marist defense makes the field seem much smaller. Then will Burke County have the disipline to play the option? No secret here but lots of teams try to just let their defenses find the ball …that doesn’t work. Marist has that play the
“loaded”option it is a very tough play to defend.
Can’t see Burke staying with Marist so Marist in a low scoring game 17-7.

DreadHead5

November 26th, 2013
9:30 am

@NoDistrictLinesInDekalb HOW DO YOU FIGURE BURKE WANT BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE OPTION AND IF MARIST DL TO GET IN THE BACKFEILD THEY GOTTA MAKE THE TACKLE BC IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER TEAMS YOU HAVE PLAYED WHERE YALL DL HAS DOMINATED WE HAVE TEAM SPEED LIKE TUCKER AND A DEFENSE THAT ARE HEAD HUNTERS IT SHOULD BE A GOOD GAME BUT YALL STILL GOTTA STOP US TOO AND I DON’T SEE THAT HAPPENING ESPECIALLY WHEN WE SPEED UP THE TEMPO ON OFFENSE CAN YOUR DEFENSE HANDLE THAT OR ARE THEY GONNA BE SUCKING WIND CAUSE THEY ARE TO TIRED

Go Tigers

November 26th, 2013
11:07 am

I love it! Stockbridge is a 18 point underdog! Keep them coming……….

Hey Carrollton, no need to practice this week………..

Bear_Backer

November 26th, 2013
11:28 am

@ Go Trojans! – Happy thanksgiving to you and yours also. Here’s wishing everyone in the State safe travels and good luck. Go Griffin Bears!!!!

Bear Power

November 26th, 2013
12:03 pm

FIRED UP – GRIFFIN – FIRED UP !!!!

WarD@mnEagles

November 26th, 2013
12:09 pm

Dreadhead5,

The Marist gameplan for every contest is a pretty simple concept – Stop Burke’s big plays on offense, limit turnovers, eat up the clock playing Marist football and wins the field position battle. Opposition speed & tackling are not an issue as we have speed and tackle very well. Most positions we are undersized but make up for it with our schemes. That said, we will give up the occasional big play. We do not play particularly well on the road. And falling behind early takes us out of our game.
However, teams have to stop our offense which is not seen much these days and run to perfection. Defenses have to play against their instincts to stop us. And we have excellent speed at QB and 3-4 RBs. And the Marist team will not be sucking wind. These kids could play two games if asked.

It should be a great game. Two contrasting styles and two very good football teams. We look forward to playing in The Bear Den. Happy Thanksgiving to all. May the weather be good, no injuries, the referees call a great game, all be safe and the best team win…

Trojan Power

November 26th, 2013
1:24 pm

Wow. Carrollton by18, Sandy Creek by 10. Just as i predicted. Ive been close on these lines the last 3 weeks. Carrollton is the only team that has a shot against Sandy Creek. See yall in the Dome. Not disrespecting Griffin, they just havent played the competition Sandy Creek & Carrollton has. Stockbridge is just to little in the trenches. They will get dominated. Carrollton 45 Stockbridge 7. Sandy Creek 35 Griffin 14.

bigdawg

November 26th, 2013
2:17 pm

Trojan power why you keep on saying carrollton is the only team can play wit Sandy creek when they beat you guys bad.If you guys make it to the dome,they will do the same thing again.

hollywoodraiders

November 26th, 2013
2:49 pm

@bigdog yes they will get beat by sandy creek again and again and again. carrollton cant adjust when you take away the run. great athletes yes but coaching dnt like to be stressed..it would be same thing over again too one-dimensional to ever beat sandy creek i really hope they dnt play sandy creek again it would be a waste of air time again.

Kidding Me

November 26th, 2013
3:48 pm

@Trojan Power not even Carrollton can play with Sandy Creek. The Score of that game was not as close as it looked. There was nothing Carrollton did that game that even mildly scared Sandy Creek. Don’t Sleep on Stockbridge that Defense is legit.

Tony

November 26th, 2013
3:57 pm

NOBODY/NO TEAM is capable of beating Sandy Creek – Period!

DreadHead5

November 26th, 2013
5:59 pm

@WarD@mnEagles, THATS PRETTY MUCH EVERY TEAMS GAME PLAN TO LIMIT BURKE BIG PLAY ABILITY, DON’T TURNOVER THE BALL AND CONTROL THE CLOCK. I KNOW THE OPTION ATTACK IS HARD TO CONTAIN BUT I FEEL CONFIDENT WE WILL LIMIT THE BIG PLAYS FOR MARIST WITH GOOD DISCIPLINE DEFENSE. ITS EASY TO SAY YALL KIDS CAN PLAY TWO GAMES BUT WHEN U CONSTANTLY ON THE FIELD AND CAN’T SUB THEY GONE START TO SUCK WIND.

trojan power

November 26th, 2013
6:19 pm

What I was saying was. Sandy Creek is an Elite team. Its hard to beat the same team twice in one year. Especially when the only difference was coaching. Our defense played great. Just stayed on the field to long. Offensvely we sucked. But we have the talent to adjust. Our advantage and there advantage is were region foes. So we know each other schemes. Its all about coaching in our matchup. But Sandy Creek is the best team in all classifications this year. We can beat them though! But Griffin wont. This is a whole nother level Griffin hasn’t seen this year.

Tarcountry

November 26th, 2013
6:26 pm

Question when was the last time that three teams from the same region made it to the DOME!

FirstDoowwnnCreeekkk!!!

November 26th, 2013
8:06 pm

Contrary to the dialogue on this blog, SC Head Coach Walker and players are not taking anything for granted on Friday night. Had a good workout Monday, watched film today with the bad weather. Back on the practice field tomorrow. Kids are focused and have been getting a LOT of Twitter noise from the Griffin players. They are even more focused than they were for Carrollton. Walker has that fire burning in their bellies for another state title.

Go Tigers

November 26th, 2013
10:00 pm

Not so fast……. Carrollton still has to get by Stockbridge. And trust me, this is no guaranteed Trojan win. Time will tell………

Tech Fan

November 26th, 2013
10:18 pm

Why does everyone keep referring to Stockbridge offense as the Wing-T when they are clearly a Flexbone Option Team. Coach Whitley is a G. Southern guy and has run the Triple Option since he was at Creekside. I understand the two are sister offenses but the base play in the offense is the inside veer to the B-Back.

Bravo402

November 26th, 2013
11:49 pm

You can listen to the Griffin vs Sandy Creek game Friday Night on AM 1450, 88.9 FM, or on the internet at their website http://www.wkeuradio.com, and on their app for smart phones as well!

Just a Fan

November 27th, 2013
9:46 am

Tar Country-explain how 3 teams from the same region could make it to the dome.

Trojan Nation

November 27th, 2013
10:40 am

Good luck to the trojans. Hopefully Teague wont coach us out of the playoffs. we got the talent we just have an arrogant coach that does not wont to make changes in order to win the game

Tony

November 27th, 2013
10:46 am

trojan power “Our defense played great against SC” I think NOT. Carrollton’s defense gave up 24 points and the SC offense was inside the 7 yard line when the game ended – Chip Walker decided not to score again. The 7 points Carrollton scored took approx 8 trys due to penalties against SC. The differences between the teams is far more than coaching.

Trojan Nation

November 27th, 2013
10:59 am

I feel you but you have to watch how Teague coaches games. He is arrogant and not willing to adjust. SC game for instance why would you leave your cornerbacks so far off the ball when they are killing you with the quick slant all nite. that is poor coaching, and having players that should b on the field that are not. another example of poor coaching

Tony

November 27th, 2013
11:02 am

Trojan Nation – you right! – I saw that. My point is its a little more than coaching between the teams. It’s very HARD to beat SC with a running attack only.

trojan power

November 27th, 2013
1:04 pm

@ Tony. Did u watch the game. Halftime score should have been 7-7. Our quarterback threw the interception with 3mins left. On our 15yrd line. Then they scored. After that our offense couldn’t move the ball defended. Got tired. Still held them to 10 and hf points. U need to do your research!

Wayne

November 27th, 2013
2:29 pm

I watched Marist on youtube and they appear to run a lot of dive plays and quick tosses to the outside. If they can’t throw the ball we should beat them by two touchdowns. Burke county 35 Marist 21. They look very big up front but I don’t think they have the speed to stay in this game. If we can’t stop their run it could be a lot closer game. I wish all the Marist fans a safe trip to the Bear den. It will be a very cold night so dress warm.

GoTrojans!

November 27th, 2013
3:46 pm

@Trojan Nation, you are an idiot. You have a coach that has taken you to the playoffs consistently and cares about the boys on his team. There is a reason he is coach and you are sitting the stands. Support your team and quit bashing one of the best coaches in the state.

TROJAN2010

November 27th, 2013
3:50 pm

I see a rematch from Alexander and sandy coming. . Also a rematch from Marist and carrollton from the 2012 OT THRILLER

TROJAN2010

November 27th, 2013
3:53 pm

I see a rematch from Alexander / Sandy.. Another rematch from the 2012 OT thriller carrollton/Marist

Go Trojans!

November 27th, 2013
4:22 pm

Hey – who is using my AJC handle?????

Tony

November 27th, 2013
5:16 pm

trojan power – half time = half the game. The final score was 24-7 with SC inside the 7 yard line about to score again and the coach stopped it. Hopefully we will play you guys again. Meet SC in the Dome in December

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
5:22 pm

I for one agree with Trojan power that turnover before halftime was the turning point of the game up til that point it was a pretty even game, The Trojan defense are the only team this year to force sandy creek to play a full four quarters of football. Also in that game Teague for reason i’ll never understand only gave terrell, sheppard and chivers a combine 9 carries in the game so for that reason I can’t say carrollton played there best. hope we win the next two games so we can have another shot. Yes by me saying that I think sandy creek will beat griffin 31-21.

Tony

November 27th, 2013
5:34 pm

Trojan94/Trojan Power – I wish you guys much luck the rest of the playoffs however most teams need a GREAT offense to beat SC. I don’t see it. Again = Good Luck! – you will need it if you play SC again

MATTD87BEARS

November 27th, 2013
6:30 pm

DONT ANYONE FORGET THAT BURKE COUNTY CAN WHIP THAT ASS. LAST YEAR VERSUS SANDY CREEK WAS PRETTY MUCH THE STATE CHAMP GAME IN THE THIRD ROUND. AND BURKE WAS BEATING PATRIOTS IN THE FOURTH. AND BELIEVE THAT MARIST AND CARROLLTON ARE NOT GOING TO STOP OUR GUYS FROM GOING TO THE DOME.

Creek Rising!!!

November 27th, 2013
6:56 pm

Alexander and Plant forced Creek to play 4 quarters of defense. Those are the only two games our starters played all the way through. While I believe Carrollton is the second best team in AAAA, they don’t have the best team to play against Sandy Creek. Griffin and Burke are best suited for beating Sandy Creek. The only reason why the Carrollton game had a low score was because Walker chose to keep the ball from the Trojans. He only called for one long pass and all the others were simply ball control. Were Carrollton to tighten up and play closer to the box, he would have gone deep, but the game plan was to keep the Carrollton offense on the sideline. The game and last years game were not as close as the score indicated. Think about it, in the last 3 meetings Carrollton has not made an offensive score in the second half. Its not a good match up for them.

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
8:27 pm

creek rising you are absolutely right so bad comment on my part …sad thing is I was at the plant game lol!

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
8:29 pm

Enter your comments here

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
8:42 pm

creek rising – I still say carrollton could have ran the ball if Teague had tried to. I can see your comment about griffin being true but burke co is another story this is the same bears team that lost to Statesboro 21-7 who lost to griffin 42-7 I understand matchups but that one I don’t see. Are you going by the past games if that’s the case burke co can’t stop the wing-Teague 49-15 either

wayne

November 27th, 2013
9:06 pm

Trojan94, we played a terrible game against Statesboro. We had too many mistakes and several key players were injuried. Burke will get a lead on Marist and that’s when Marist game plan will change. Marist don’t have much of a passing game, and the Bears will play fast. A victory Friday night is guaranteed. I do believe Sandy Creek is the team to beat for the championship.

MATTD87BEARS

November 27th, 2013
9:23 pm

BURKE COUNTY DIDNT HAVE A COUPLE OF ALL STAR STARERS ON OFFENSE AND DEF vs STATESBORO. DO UR RESEARCH PLAYER. DEPTH IS THE KEY TO BEAT US AND ONLY SANDY CREEK HAS THAT

MATTD87BEARS

November 27th, 2013
9:26 pm

SEEDS IN OUR REGION BURKE CO 1…..WAYNE CO.2………STATESBORO 3………NUFF SAID

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
10:59 pm

I wish you guys would stop using caps to blog!

That Dude Says...

November 27th, 2013
11:05 pm

@Wayne… I’m not so sure you really are a true Burke Co fan. Burke Co fans have shown us they like to type in all caps. You just not down with the caps lock key? :)

Trojan94

November 27th, 2013
11:09 pm

One thing about marist they come to play every game. Since there loss to Lovett they have blasted everybody now burke might be a different animal than the other teams after Lovett but trust me the bears better be ready to play cause marist is going to bring it!

DreadHead5

November 28th, 2013
9:18 am

@Trojan94 YEA YALL BE BURKE 49-15 BUT WERE HAVE YALL BEEN SINCE THAT WIN IN 2010 THE NEXT YEAR WE WON STATE, WHERE WERE YALL LAST YEAR MADE IT TO THE QUATERFINALS BUT LOST A GOOD GAME TO SC , WHERE WERE. EVERY SINCE WE PLAYED CARROLLTON IN 2010 WE HAVE ELEVATED OUR STATUES AND SEEMS LIKE YALL HAVE DECREASED

dawgs01

November 28th, 2013
10:53 am

i dont understand how yall think stockbridge and griffin are just gonna get blown off that field. all yr griffin aint played anyone blahblah. we beat stockbridge 35-14 who at the time had the states best defense giving up 5 pts a game and they just happened to one of the 8 teams left in the playoffs and so far have cruised to victory. last wk everyone said the boro would be gtown but did not happen against the boro had the best defense only givving up 8 pts a game we scored 42 with about 7 min left in the third and the starting defense gave up somewhere around 50-70 yards of offense. now we have the number one defense. Griffin always has so much talent and is known for being fast. remember who feeds the nfl. griffin more nfl players than any other high school in the great state. we have 3 current players bobby rainey, chris clemons, sherrod martin and toby jackson was on the dallas preseason team but did not make the roster. 6 players on offense hold division one schollies. 3 receivers have division one schollies and 2 of the 3 receivers have sec schollies. Most of griffin’s nfl talent comes from small colleges so just bc they dont hold a d-1 scholly dont think they cant play. i know The Creek has more division one scholarship players and i think chris williams will be the best player on the field friday night dude is a monster and is so athletic could be a middle backer and in college might get the chance depends on if he has trouble putting on wt which i doubt he will but if he cant throw him in the middle kid has great hips and ft speed. With all that said sandy creek probably wins but it wont be a cake walk. i think griffin puts up a hell of a fight but the creek just to strong in the end. i will say this griffin would crush carrolton. dont sleep on stockbridge they got tons of speed and athletes. i hope griffin moves the pocket with parks to keep 55 off of him. go bears i hope all the kids in all the games stay healthy not just from injury but the freaking flu too. happy t-day yall.

dawgs01

November 28th, 2013
10:55 am

sorry for all the typos but its somewhat readable getting ready for thanksgiving so was speed typing for me.

MATTD87BEARS

November 28th, 2013
10:59 am

PLEASE DO NOT HATE ON MY CAPS LOCK. I AM A TRUE BC FAN ALL THE WAY. I WILL B THERE TOMORROW NIGHT TO WATCH THOSE MARIST WAR TURKEYS GET COOKED FOR A LATE THANKSGIVING. CLASS OF 05′

Tony

November 28th, 2013
11:06 am

dawgs01 – all this talk; How many teams in the playeroffs NOW been to the dome in the last 4 years?

dawgs01

November 28th, 2013
11:17 am

i said sandy creek would win man read the whole post. i just cant believe no one is giving us a chance. i know all about sandy creek better than most. i have worked with alot of their players past and present. yall got us in the coaching department and players so i think yall win all i was saying is griffin is not as bad as all yall are saying. it is like we dont even belong on the field which is what we heard last wk from alot of fans on here. saying we were not physical. it is a struggle growing up in the Grip. sandy creek kids and griffin kids come from two different walks of life. i just hope our boys play hard and anything can happen and trust me they love the fact everyone is counting them OUT. sandy creek is the penthouse and griffin is the outhouse if you compare facilities and thats what makes those young men hungry and tough team to beat. people said we were not physical enough to take on statesboro last wk, well, when i read that i knew they knew nothing about the Grip. you will be surprised at how big our freaking receivers are too. count on that. Smooth who plays for sandy creek might have a chance at some picks tomorrow but he is gonna be looking up at those griffin receivers.