By David Purdum / For the AJC
Passing is over-rated.
Marist didn’t attempt a pass in its quarterfinal win over Burke County. Carrollton attempted only one pass–and it was intercepted—in the Trojans’ win over Stockbridge.
Yet, the two teams advanced and will meet at Marist on Friday in a rematch of last season’s five-overtime playoff thriller.
The War Eagles rushed for 429 yards, led by quarterback Chase Martenson’s 162 and four touchdowns, and reached the semifinals for the 11th time under coach Alan Chadwick. Marist had an 11-minute advantage in time of possession and did not punt.
The Trojans weren’t nearly as prolific in their quarterfinal win at Stockbridge, finishing with just 195 yards of offense, but made enough plays to advance to the semifinals for the second time under coach Rayvan Teague.
Marist beat Carrollton, 43-37, in five overtimes in the second round of last season’s playoffs. The War Eagle are 50-2 at home in the playoffs since 1987.
Stepping up: Few players, if any, are having a better postseason than Wayne County receiver Krenwick Sanders. The senior scored four touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets’ 51-21 win over Alexander on Friday and now has 11 touchdowns (nine receiving, one rushing, one kickoff return) in the playoffs. Wayne County is in the semifinals for the first time in school history.
Clutch: Griffin quarterback Jaquez Parks completed 8 of 9 passes for 125 yards in the fourth quarter and orchestrated two scoring drive in the final seven minutes to lead the Bears to a 32-26 comeback win at defending champion Sandy Creek. Nic Williams sealed the Bears’ win with an interception on Sandy Creek’s final drive. The Patriots, who won three of the last four state titles, lost at home for the first time since 2007.