John McClellan’s picks for the high school playoffs: Cartersville by a touchdown over Woodward Academy. Plus: Statewide forecast.

John McClellan’s picks for the high school playoffs: Cartersville by a touchdown over Woodward Academy. Plus: Statewide forecast.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports

Truett’s Chick-fil-A, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Mount Berry Mall, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Riverside Parkway, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.


This is Georgia State’s stadium, the home of the 2019 Georgia high school football championships in December.

By John McClellan
For Hometown Headlines

John McClellan

And then there was one. A postseason that started so brightly two weeks ago with a record number of Northwest Georgia teams in the state playoffs ended abruptly and, for some, unexpectedly Friday night as only the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes in the immediate area were left to move on to the quarterfinals.

Cartersville stayed unbeaten and rolled through its second-round matchup with a 35-0 win over the Thomson Bulldogs. The Purple Hurricanes will host undefeated Woodward Academy in the Class 4A quarterfinals on Friday as only eight teams remain in each classification.

The Rome Wolves fell behind 12-0 in the first half to the Warner Robins Demons but battled throughout the night before a last-minute comeback ended at the Warner Robins 1 as time expired in a 25-17 loss. The Darlington Tigers found themselves victim to one of the biggest upsets of the night as Mount Paran Christian, who was seeded 23rd of 24 teams in the playoffs, scored late to shock the Tigers 16-13. The Pepperell Dragons lost on the road to Thomasville 58-14, Number 1 ranked Rockmart saw its unbeaten season come to an end in a 41-3 defeat by Brooks County, and Calhoun could not get on the scoreboard in a 35-0 loss to Peach County.

Class 4A

Woodward Academy (12-0) at Cartersville (12-0)

  • Series History: Tied 1-1
  • Previous Meetings: Cartersville defeated Woodward Academy on November 25, 2016 in the Class 4A quarterfinals. The only other game between the two teams was in 1923 when Woodward Academy, then known as Georgia Military Academy, defeated Cartersville 33-0.
  • Best Playoff Appearances: Woodward Academy won state championships in Class AA in 1970 and Class AAA in 1980. Cartersville won state championships in Class AA in 1991 and 1999 and Class AAAA in 2015 and 2016.
  • Last Playoff Appearances: Woodward Academy lost to Mary Persons 65-21 in the second round of the 2018 Class 4A playoffs. Cartersville lost to Blessed Trinity 23-9 in the 2018 Class 4A state championship game.
  • The Woodward Academy War Eagles were 3-0 in non-region play with wins of 19-0 over Westminster, 35-7 over Grady, and 13-10 over Blessed Trinity. The War Eagles won the Region 4-AAAA championships by defeating McDonough 47-7, Druid Hills 44-3, Eastside 49-7, Hampton 49-0, Salem, 42-20, North Clayton 42-8, and Luella 40-7. This was their fifth region championship in the past six seasons. Woodward Academy had state playoff wins over Upson-Lee 40-14 and St. Pius X 38-0.
  • The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes were 4-0 in non-region play with wins over Allatoona 14-13, Luella 47-0, McNair 51-0, and Cherokee 28-7. The Purple Hurricanes won the Region 5-AAAA championship by defeating Cedartown 24-2, Central of Carrollton 16-14, LaGrange 45-2, Sandy Creek 52-42, Chapel Hill 41-6, and Troup 45-35. This was their eighth consecutive region championship. Cartersville had state playoff wins over Flowery Branch 14-6 and Thomson 35-0.
  • The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between Blessed Trinity and West Laurens in the semifinals. Cartersville wins by 7.

Elsewhere across Northwest Georgia, the Carrollton Trojans will host Buford in the Class 5A quarterfinals after a 21-10 win over Veterans and the North Murray Mountaineers will travel to Savannah to play Jenkins after defeating Jackson 24-14. Fellowship Christian and Mount Paran Christian from Region 6-A remain alive in the Class A Private School ranks after Mount Paran’s win over Darlington and Fellowship’s 14-0 shutout of fellow region member North Cobb Christian. Fellowship Christian will host Hebron Christian and Mount Paran Christian will visit Holy Innocents in the quarterfinals.

The season also came to an end for several other teams in region in northwest Georgia. Both the Kell Longhorns and Hiram Hornets lost in Class 5A with Kell being defeated 45-28 by Starr’s Mill and Hiram falling on the road 49-14 to Griffin. The South Paulding Spartans saw their Class 6A championship hopes end following a 38-22 loss to Houston County. The Bremen Blue Devils dropped a 45-19 decision in Class 2A to Dublin, the Bowdon Red Devils became the last Class A public school from northwest Georgia eliminated in a 34-14 loss at Warren County, and Class A private schools Christian Heritage (who lost to Wesleyan 34-13) and St. Francis (who lost a Saturday afternoon game to Holy Innocents 42-3) also were eliminated.

John’s picks for round three of the playoffs:

Class 7A

  • Marietta (10-2) over Mill Creek (10-2)
  • Archer (9-3) over Parkview (11-1) by 5
  • Lowndes (12-0) over Grayson (11-1) by 13
  • North Gwinnett (11-1) over McEachern (12-0) by 8

Class 6A

  • Coffee (8-3) over Allatoona (9-2-1) by 5
  • Valdosta (10-2) over Richmond Hill (8-3) by 17
  • Lee County (11-1) over Dacula (12-0) by 6
  • Harrison (12-0) over Houston County (7-5) by 15

Class 5A

  • Griffin (11-1) over Jones County (11-1) by 9
  • Buford (11-1) over Carrollton (12-0) by 6
  • Warner Robins (11-1) over Clarke Central (9-3) by 18
  • Dutchtown (11-1) over Starr’s Mill (9-3) by 6

Class 4A

  • Cartersville (12-0) over Woodward Academy (12-0) by 7
  • Blessed Trinity (11-1) over West Laurens (11-1) by 4
  • Marist (11-1) over Oconee County (11-1) by 7
  • Sandy Creek (11-1) over Madison County (6-6) by 42

Class 3A

  • Peach County (11-1) over Cedar Grove (10-2) by 2
  • Greater Atlanta Christian (11-1) over Hart County (10-2) by 5
  • Crisp County (9-3) over Jefferson (10-1) by 1
  • Jenkins (11-1) over North Murray (11-1) by 9

Class 2A

  • Callaway (11-1) over Douglass (11-1) by 17
  • Brooks County (8-4) over Metter (11-1) by 21
  • Rabun County (12-0) over Thomasville (8-4) by 6
  • Hapeville Charter (10-1-1) over Dublin (11-1) by 6

Class A Private

  • Wesleyan (10-2) over Savannah Christian (8-3) by 5
  • Fellowship Christian (11-0) over Hebron Christian (8-4) by 14
  • Holy Innocents (12-0) over Mount Paran Christian (7-4) by 22
  • Eagles Landing Christian (10-1) over Athens Academy (11-0) by 12

Class A Public

  • Irwin County (10-0) over Manchester (10-2) by 24
  • Clinch County (10-1) over Warren County (8-4) by 30
  • Lincoln County (9-2) over Marion County (9-2) by 1
  • Pelham (10-1) over Mitchell County (10-1) by 3
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