GHSA Football Playoffs Round 2 Preview: Game of the Week - Milton vs Archer
Milton defeated Peachtree Ridge 45-14 and Archer defeated Gainesville 21-14 setting up our game of the week this week as Milton will host Archer on Friday. Milton’s junior quarterback Devin Farrell and junior running back Jordan McDonald both have been having great seasons for the Eagles. Friday, Farrell threw for 217 yards and a touchdown and rushed for two touchdowns with 41 yards on the ground. McDonald added another 65 yards rushing and two touchdowns. On defense, sophomore LT Overton has been playing lights out. He averages like a sack and a half per game and Friday added three sacks to his season total. The defense also came up with 2 interceptions in the win. Archer has been playing well. After dropping their first three games (Lowndes, Warner Robins, Grayson) they won six in a row before losing their final game of the season to Norcross which was for the region championship. The Tigers opened the first round with a win 21-14 win over Gainesville. Archer struggled offensively early on as they were held score through the first half of the game. Defensively, they managed to hold Gainesville to six first half points, so thanks to a 14 point third quarter, the Tigers found themselves up 14-8 heading into the fourth quarter and in route to a 21-14 win to advance to the second round. Expect the Eagles to come out flying on both sides of the ball in this one, but the Tigers will specifically want to come out the most aggressive on the defensive end to get the edge.
Parkview vs East Coweta – After losing their third game of the season to Norcross, East Coweta won seven straight games, one by forfeit, including the region championship game against Newnan, to end the regular season. The Indians opened up the playoffs with a 37-28 win over the defending GHSA 7A state champions, the Marietta Blue Devils, in a game in which the Indians established their ground game early as running back Trey Bowles rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and running back Jayden Bolten rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. This made it an easy day for Indians quarterback Daniel Shoch as he wasn’t forced to make things happen through the air for East Coweta. Shoch did finish the game with 120 yards on 12/14 through the air. Parkview closed out the regular season winning four of their last six games, losing to Grayson and Brookwood, both region match ups. Their only other loss came at the hands of North Gwinnett earlier in the season. Parkview took care of business in round one of the playoffs, defeating Camden County 24-17, but the Panthers needed an overtime period to get the job done. Parkview sophomore quarterback Colin Houck struggled in the Panthers win as he finished with only 39 yards in the air and an interception, so Parkview had to rely heavily on the legs of senior running back and Tennessee signee, Cody Brown, who finished with 278 yard and three touchdown on 43 carries. Look for East Coweta’s defense to come out with intent on containing Brown and forcing the Panthers to try and establish an air attack.
Cartersville vs St. Pius – St. Pius advanced to the second round of the 5A playoffs after they defeated Loganville 31-6. The Golden Lions dominated on the defensive of the ball throughout the entire game as they held Loganville scoreless through the first three quarters of the game and came up with four interceptions in the win. After only scoring a field goal in the first quarter, St. Pius scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter and added another score in the third quarter in route to win. Cartersville had their way in the first round as they cruised to a 56-6 win over Maynard Jackson. The Canes ended the night with four touchdowns through the air, three by quarterback Carlos Del-Rio, and two rushing touchdowns, one a piece for running backs Malachi Jeffers and Quante Jennings. Cartersville’s Devonte Ross also returned a punt for a touchdown as the Canes were effective in all aspects of the game. The Canes offense has been explosive most of the season, only being held in check by Cherokee, who held them to 12 points in their only loss of the season. The St Pius has also been able to score points offensively but when you compare opponents, the edge would have to go to Cartersville when it comes to strength of schedule.
South Atlanta vs Bremen – The South Atlanta Hornets made history winning their first region title in the programs history after they wrapped up the regular season 8-3 overall and 7-0 in the 2A Region 6 standings. The Hornets continued their historic season with an opening round playoff win as they defeated Chatooga 26-14. Defensively, the Hornets kept Chatooga in check throughout the first half, holding them scoreless through the first two quarters. The Hornets were able to get things going for themselves offensively in the first quarter as they led 12-0 at the end of the period but then struggled to muster any points in the second quarter. The Hornets managed to tack on two more touchdowns in the third quarter but once again, stalled offensively in the fourth quarter as they failed to score. Fortunately, the Hornets defenses aonly allowed Chatooga to score twice in the second half as they picked up the win to advance to round two. Bremen’s season may not have been one that was historic, however, they finished the regular season almost mirroring the Hornets overall record as they wrapped up 7-4. It is also worth noting that both Bremen and South Atlanta lost to Heard County, however the Blue Devils had a much better showing against HC, losing 21-14, while the Hornets lost to HC, 20-6. It’s safe to say that this may be a pretty evenly matched up game and it will come down to which team can take control of the tempo of the game first. Expect both defense to come out punching early as each offense looks for their openings.
- Walton vs Colquitt County – Walton is coming off their biggest win of the season after defeating McEachern 49-9 in the opening round of the 7A playoffs. The win should give them some good momentum heading into round two, but will it be enough as they have to travel to Norman Park to face Colquitt County. The Packers have been rolling all season wrapping up the regular season 7-0 with notable wins over Valdosta and Lowndes and a first round playoff win over Brookwood.
Westlake vs Richmond Hill – Westlake finished the regular season at 9-1, their best finish since their so14-2015 campaign when they went 11-2 and lost to Etowah in the second round of the playoffs. The Lions have been on a roar since losing their third game of the season to Hillgrove, winning seven in a row, including their opening round game against Houston County in which the Lions won 42-10. Richmond Hill has had a pretty good season themselves, only losing twice during the regular season, including falling 7-5 to eventual 6A region 2 champs, Glynn Academy. The Wildcats dominated in their round one win over Lakeside as they walked away with a 52-0 victory.