John McClellan’s high school football predictions: 6 area high schools remain in football playoffs; after Friday, only 3 will survive.

John McClellan’s high school football predictions: 6 area high schools remain in football playoffs; after Friday, only 3 will survive.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports

Truett’s Chick-fli-A, 264 Shorter Ave., 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Self-serve, drive-through, curbside, Door Dash.
Mount Berry Mall, 7 a.m. curbside breakfast; 9 a.m. inside; open until 8:30 p.m. Shipping Container, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. All Monday-Saturday.

 

Five area teams moved onto the second round of the Georgia High School Association playoffs with wins Friday and Saturday as postseason action got under way. Cartersville and Calhoun won first-round games in Class 5A with formidable opponents facing them in Round 2. Cedartown in Class 4A, Darlington in Class A Private and Trion in Class A Public rolled over their opponents in opening week action. Unity Christian was successful in the opening around of the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools playoffs as the Lions moved into the GAPPS semifinals.

The weekend was not so accommodating to other teams as Number 1 seeds Rome and Rockmart went down to Number 4 seeds. Johns Creek held off a last-minute Rome comeback attempt to win 31-27. Stephens County stunned Ringgold 27-13. Pepperell fell behind early and came up just short in a 29-22 loss to Callaway. Haralson County dominated Chattooga 34-7 and Adairsville led early before falling 29-22 to Oconee County. Cass was unable to generate offense in a 42-9 loss to St. Pius X.

Here is a preview of this week’s action:

Class A Private

Tattnall Square Academy (9-1) at Number 8 Darlington (10-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • State Championship History: Tattnall Square won Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA state championships in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, and 2011. Darlington won the 1988 GHSA Class A state championship.
  • The Tattnall Square Trojans were unbeaten in the first half of the season with wins over Hawkinsville 28-0, Deerfield-Windsor 42-7, Savannah Country Day 23-14, Aquinas 46-14, and Brookwood 41-0. After a 20-0 loss to First Presbyterian, the Trojans defeated Stratford Academy 42-41, Strong Rock Christian 41-16, and Mt. de Sales 61-33. Tattnall Square, who finished second in Region 1-A Private, defeated Savannah Christian 28-21 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Darlington Tigers, after a season-opening 14-13 loss to Whitefield Academy, won nine straight regular season games over St. Francis 35-14, Heard County 20-7, Heritage of Catoosa 28-7, King’s Ridge Christian 21-14, Bremen 40-33, Mt. Paran Christian 49-21, Christian Heritage 28-24, North Cobb Christian 35-23, and Walker 43-13. Darlington, who won the Region 7-A Private championship, defeated Hebron Christian 42-17 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The winner plays the winner of the game between Trinity Christian and Athens Christian. Darlington wins by 7.

 


Class 5A

 Number 4 Warner Robins (10-1) at Number 1 Cartersville (10-0)

  • Series History: Warner Robins leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Warner Robins defeated Cartersville 62-28 on December 30, 2020, in the Class 5A state championship game.
  • State Championship History: Warner Robins won state championships in Class AAA in 1976; Class AAAA in 1981, 1988, and 2004, and Class 5A in 2020. Cartersville won state championships in Class AA in 1991 and 1999 and Class AAAA in 2016 and 2017.
  • The Warner Robins Demons were ranked Number 1 in Class 5A the first half of the season with non-region wins over Valdosta 48-20, Archer 50-34, Northside of Warner Robins 49-7, Houston County 49-9, Lee County 56-30, and Camden County 77-34. After a 29-21 loss to Ware County in their first region game, the Demons defeated Wayne County 70-14, Coffee 22-7, and Veterans 59-3. Warner Robins, who finished second in Region 1-5A, defeated Jonesboro 64-20 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes went undefeated in the 2021 regular season with non-region wins over Morrow 55-0, West Forsyth 38-31, Creekside 17-14, and Cherokee 24-14 and region wins over Cass 43-7, Hiram 34-14, Blessed Trinity 49-21, Woodland 49-7, and Calhoun 21-14. The Purple Hurricanes, who won the Region 7-5A championship, defeated Lithonia 51-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The winner plays the winner of the game between Jones County and Eastside. Warner Robins wins by 14.

 Number 6 Calhoun (9-2) at Number 3 Ware County (9-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • State Championship History: Calhoun won state championships in Class C in 1952, Class AA in 2011, and Class AAA in 2014 and 2017. Ware County has never won a state championship, although Waycross High School, who merged with Ware County, after the City of Waycross dissolved its school system in 1994, won state championships in Class AA in 1960, 1961, and 1977 and in Class AAA in 1981.
  • The Calhoun Yellow Jackets defeated Dalton 42-35 and lost to McCallie (Tenn.) 38-20 before winning non-region games over Ridgeland 56-7, Woodstock 56-16, and Cedartown 31-7. The Yellow Jackets won their first four region games over Hiram 63-17, Blessed Trinity 32-27, Woodland 52-6, and Cass 35-14 before losing to Cartersville 21-14. Calhoun, who finished second in Region 7-5A, defeated Decatur 35-21 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Ware County Gators opened with non-region wins over Cook 52-7, Eagle’s Landing Christian 52-28, Baldwin 41-20, and Bainbridge 42-15. The Gators won region games over Coffee 35-3, Warner Robins 29-21, Veterans 28-21, and Wayne County 50-0. Ware County, who won the Region 1-5A championship, defeated Banneker 42-28 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The winner plays the winner of the game between Clarke Central and Starr’s Mill. Ware County wins by 13.

 


Class 4A

 Cairo (7-3) at Number 4 Cedartown (9-1)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • State Championship History: Cairo won an unofficial state championship in 1946 and state championships in Class AAA in 1990 and 2008. Cedartown won the 1963 Class AA state championship.
  •  The Cairo Syrupmakers went 2-2 in on-region play with wins over Florida schools Escambia 21-7 and Merritt Island 21-3 and losses to Thomasville 26-21 and Fitzgerald 29-13. After a loss to Bainbridge 17-7 in their first region game, the Syrupmakers had wins over Monroe 27-0, Thomas County Central 14-13, Dougherty 24-21, and Westover 48-7. Cairo, who finished second in Region 1-4A, defeated New Hampstead 33-31 in the first round of the playoffs.
  •  The Cedartown Bulldogs won non-region games over Denmark 7-3, New Manchester 35-7, and Heard County 42-0 before losing to Calhoun 31-7. The Bulldogs went undefeated in region play with wins over Pickens 31-0, Northwest Whitfield 57-23, Ridgeland 50-6, Central of Carrollton 34-7, and Heritage 49-0. Cedartown, who won the Region 7-4A championship, defeated Hampton 55-14 in the first round of the playoffs.
  •  The winner plays the winner of the game between Perry and Flowery Branch. Cedartown wins by 13.

Class A Public

 Trion (10-1) at Number 8 Wilcox County (8-3)

  • Series History: Trion leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Trion defeated Wilcox County 20-19 on November 9, 2018, in the first round of the Class A Public School playoffs.
  • State Championship History: Wilcox County won the Class A state championship in 2009. Trion won Class B state championships in 1957 and 1974.
  • The Trion Bulldogs opened with wins over Coosa 48-13, Model 28-7, Howard (Tenn.) 37-6, and Cedar Bluff (Ala.) 49-0 before losing to Bowdon 35-13. The Bulldogs then defeated Southeast Whitfield 49-0, BEST Academy 38-6, Armuchee 48-7, Mt. Zion 61-28, and Gordon Lee 43-7. Trion, who finished second in Region 6-A Public, defeated Social Circle 55-21 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Wilcox County Patriots lost to Bleckley County21-19 and Schley County 35-0 before defeating Johnson County 28-7, Telfair County 42-7, Montgomery County 17-13, and Wheeler County 37-34. After a 49-0 loss to Dublin, the Patriots had wins over Dooly County 25-14, Hawkinsville 53-26, and Treutlen 35-6. Wilcox County, who won the Region 4-A Public School championship, defeated Charlton County 36-26 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Trion Bulldogs opened with wins over Coosa 48-13, Model 28-7, Howard (Tenn.) 37-6, Cedar Bluff (Ala.) 49-0 before losing to Bowdon 35-13. The Bulldogs then defeated Southeast Whitfield 49-0, BEST Academy 38-6, Armuchee 48-7, Mt. Zion 61-28, and Gordon Lee 43-7. Trion, who finished second in Region 6-A Public, defeated Social Circle 55-21 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The winner plays the winner of the McIntosh County Academy-Manchester game. Trion wins by 2.

 


GAPPS Class AA

 Unity Christian School (8-3) at Johnson Ferry Christian Academy (10-0)

  • Series History: Unity Christian leads 2-1
  • Last Meeting: Johnson Ferry Christian defeated Unity Christian 34-14 on October 1, 2021.
  • State Championship History: Unity Christian won the 2020 GAPPS Class AA state championship. Johnson Ferry Christian has never won a state championship.
  • The Unity Christian Lions defeated Victory Baptist 60-20 and Hearts Academy 48-0 before losing to Horizon Christian 51-0 and defeating Dominion Christian 36-6. After a 66-6 win over Praise Academy, the Lions lost to Johnson Ferry Christian 34-14 and defeated Fideles Christian 74-31 and Holy Ground Baptist 70-40. The Lions lost to Lanier Christian 24-12 before defeating Our Lady of Mercy. Unity Christian, who finished third in Region 2-AA, defeated Peachtree Academy 44-8 in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The Johnson Ferry Christian Saints went undefeated in the 2020 regular season with wins over Peachtree Academy 58-6, Holy Ground Baptist 56-0, Hearts Academy 66-0, Lanier Christian 14-6, Horizon Christian 40-7, Unity Christian 34-14, Victory Baptist 56-8, Covington Academy 62-8, Fideles Christian 55-14, and Praise Academy 69-8. The Saints, who won the Region 1-AA championship, received a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
  • The winner will play the winner of the game between Covenant Academy and Lanier Christian Academy. Johnson Ferry Christian Academy wins by 8.

 


Here are the predictions on all the Georgia High School Association second round games:

 

Class 7A

Number 3 Milton (10-1) over Number 8 Marietta (7-4) by 1

Number 4 Mill Creek (10-1) over McEachern (7-4) by 15

Number 9 Walton (7-3) over Archer (704) by 1

Number 7 Brookwood (9-2) over North Gwinnett (6-5) by 15

Grayson (8-3) over Denmark (8-2) by 19

Number 2 North Cobb (10-1) over Number 10 Roswell (9-2) by 21

Number 1 Collins Hill (11-0) over Pebblebrook (9-1-1) by 32

Number 5 Lowndes (9-2) over Norcross (8-30 by 9

 

Class 6A

Johns Creek (8-3) over Evans (9-2)

Number 4 Brunswick (11-0) over Dacula (7-4)

Northside of Warner Robins (8-3) over Douglas County (8-3)

Langston Hughes (10-1) over Shiloh (5-6) by 21

Number 5 Westlake (9-2) over Kennesaw Mountain (10-1) by 22

Number 7 Carrollton (10-1) over Alcovy (5-4) by 33

Number 1 Buford (10-1) over Lovejoy (5-4) by 33

Number 2 Lee County (10-1) over Number 9 Cambridge (9-1) by 17

 

Class 5A

Number 5 Creekside (9-2) over Number 8 St. Pius X (9-2)

Number 10 Whitewater (10-1) over Apalachee (6-5) by 20

Number 4 Warner Robins (10-1) over Number 1 Cartersville (10-0) by 14

Jones County (9-2) over Eastside (8-3)

Harris County (7-4) over Villa Rica (8-2) by 5

Number 9 Blessed Trinity (7-4) over Number 2 Woodward Academy (11-0) by 1

Starr’s Mill (8-3) over Clarke Central (9-2) by 1

Number 3 Ware County (9-1) over Number 6 Calhoun (9-2)

 

Class 4A

Number 9 Riverdale (9-0-1) over Dougherty (6-4) by 7

Number 3 Carver of Columbus (10-1) over Hapeville (6-5)

Number 4 Cedartown (9-1) over Cairo (7-3)

Number 7 Perry (10-1) over Flowery Branch (8-3) by 15

Number 1 Marist (9-1) over LaGrange (9-2) by 35

Number 2 Benedictine (9-2) over Luella (8-3) by 42

Number 5 North Oconee (8-3) over Number 8 Spalding (8-2)

Number 10 Bainbridge (7-3) over Northwest Whitfield (8-3) by 26

 

Class 3A

Number 5 Cedar Grove (8-3) over Southeast Bulloch (10-1) by 40

Crisp County (8-3) over Number 2 Oconee County (10-1) by 5

Number 6 Appling County (10-1) over Number 10 Cherokee Bluff (11-0) by 6

Number 4 Thomson (10-0) over Ringgold (10-1) by 9

Burke County (9-2) over Stephens County (8-3) by 1

Number 8 Carver of Atlanta (9-2) over Liberty County (6-3) by 35

Peach County (7-3) over Number 1 Monroe Area (11-0) by 2

Number 3 Pierce County (9-2) over Dawson County (10-1) by 18

 

Class 2A

Number 6 Haralson County (10-1) over Number 8 Northeast of Macon (8-3) by 2

Number 10 Swainsboro (9-2) over Columbia (6-4) by 19

Number 4 Fitzgerald (9-2) over Fannin County (10-1) by 18

Lovett (8-3) over Number 5 Putnam County (11-0) by 4

South Atlanta (10-1) over Westside of Augusta (9-2) by 14

Number 7 Callaway (8-3) over Number 3 Bleckley County (11-0) by 3

Number 1 Rabun County (10-1) over Jeff Davis (10-1) by 17

Number 2 Thomasville (10-1) over Heard County (6-5) by 27

 

Class A Private

Number 6 Holy Innocents (10-1) over Savannah Country Day (8-3) by 18

Number 5 Eagles Landing Christian (5-6) over Number 10 Athens Academy (8-3) by 20

Number 8 Darlington (10-1) over Tattnall Square (9-1) by 7

Number 1 Trinity Christian (11-0) over Athens Christian (6-5) by 42

Number 4 Fellowship Christian (10-1) over St. Anne-Pacelli (8-2) by 16

Number 2 Calvary Day (11-0) over Number 7 Wesleyan (8-3) by 14

Number 3 Prince Avenue Christian (10-1) over Brookstone (7-3) by 40

Number 10 First Presbyterian (9-2) over Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (7-4) by 8

 

Class A Public

Number 3 Macon County (10-0) over Number 10 Emanuel County Institute (9-3) by 10

Number 1 Irwin County (9-2) over Lincoln County (8-3) by 28

McIntosh County Academy (7-3) over Manchester (6-4) by 3

Trion (10-1) over Number 8 Wilcox County (8-3) by 1

Number 6 Bowdon (10-1) over Turner County (5-6) by 7

Number 4 Metter (11-0) over Number 5 Schley County (10-1) by 10

Number 2 Brooks County (8-2) over Washington-Wilkes (9-2) by 35

Warren County (8-3) over Pelham (7-4) by 4

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