A victory by Tucker over Gainesville in the Class AAAAA semifinals on Friday will guarantee that the champion in the state’s second-highest classification will finish 15-0 for the sixth time in 10 seasons.
Tucker comes into this week’s game at 13-0. So do the teams in the other semifinal, Kell and Creekside. The only other classification with three undefeated semifinalists is the Class A private-school division, where Eagle’s Landing Christian, Aquinas and Mount Pisgah Christian are undefeated but have played fewer games.
Gainesville, which won the championship last season with a 12-3 record, is the only AAAAA semifinalist with a loss. The Red Elephants were beaten by Buford 38-14 in the second game of the season.
Gainesville may not be able to achieve perfection, but it has a different goal in mind. A victory would put the Red Elephants one win away from becoming the first repeat champion in the classification since Northside-Warner Robins in 2006 and 2007 and just the second in the past 16 years.
Here are some of the other things to look for this weekend in the Class AAAAA semifinals:
- If the Tucker-Gainesville game is close, it could come down to the kickers, and both teams have good ones. Tucker’s Eric Webber is 62-for-65 on extra points and 10-for-11 on field goals and recently broke the DeKalb County record for points in a season by a kicker with 92. Gainesville’s Gage Turner is 78-for-78 on extra points and 6-for-7 on field goal for 96 points.
- Kell QB Matthew McGuigan is healthy again missing the past five games with an ankle injury, but expect the Longhorns to stick with Cameron Rosendahl as the starter against Creekside. In three playoff games, Rosendahl is 29-for-46 passing (63 percent) for 398 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a team that gets about 57 percent of its offense from the running game.
- Creekside comes into Friday’s game with Kell as the hottest offensive team in AAAAA. The Seminoles averaged 39.9 points during the regular season but have turned it up a notch in the playoffs, scoring 43.3 points per game the past three weeks. Felix Harper (172 yards passing), Dexter Knox (197 yards rushing) and Bricen Terry (122 yards rushing) combined for almost 500 yards of total offense in a 41-14 victory over North Paulding last week.