GHSA Football Playoffs Round 3 Game of the Week: Creekside at Whitewater
As the teams get ready to hit the field on Friday in the third round of the Georgia High School Association football state playoffs, the Whitewater Wildcats will host the Creekside Seminoles in Class 5A action and it is no surprise that the two teams are meeting as Whitewater comes in as the No. 1 seed and Creekside the No. 2 seed. This will be the fifth meeting between the two teams as the series is at 2-2 with the Seminoles meeting the last meeting in 2013, the same year they won the GHSA 5A state title.
For the Wildcats, as they look to win their first state title in program history, this season has been more than promising for them. After dropping their season opener, Whitewater has won 11 straight games, including the first two rounds of the GHSA 5A playoffs. The Wildcats ended the regular season with a 9-1 overall and 6-0 in their region, winning their first region title since 2012, and for head coach Chad Frazier, even though the goal is to keep playing over the next few weeks, he’s “very proud” of what his players have accomplished thus far this season.
“The young men have done a terrific job, going all the way back to January when we started our off season workouts,” Frazier said adding that another contributing factor in the success the Wildcats have had so far is the players being “coachable”. Frazier would go on to say that “resiliency” has been one of the biggest things his players have displayed this season and he and his coaching staff have definitely taken notice. “Like a lot of teams, we’ve had to overcome some things, some hurdles, some challenges and our kids, no matter what the situation or circumstances, they just keep at, keep working” says Frazier.
Frazier added that, with their program philosophy being built around “competing”, they have conversations around that very topic daily throughout the season and now, they look to pick up a win on Friday, to continue competing for another two weeks, but the Wildcats will have to take care of business in their rubber match with the Seminoles in order to do so. “We’ll have to be very disciplined on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game as well,” Frazier said, adding that a penalty free game for them will also be important on Friday. In last week’s win over Lithia Springs, Whitewater had no offensive penalties.
In Class 7A, the Brookwood Broncos will host the Walton Raiders in what would have been a rematch from earlier this season, however due to COVID-19 protocols, the Broncos were forced to forfeit the match up. Walton has had an up and down season all year, losing a game after every two wins throughout the regular season. Walton’s most notable win was a 34-28 overtime win over Lowndes in their season opener. For the Broncos, as previously mentioned, COVID caused issues for them early in the season, but after going 2-2 to start the season, the Broncos won eight consecutive games including wins in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Atlanta Public Schools will be represented in a major way ono Friday as both the South Atlanta Hornets and the Carver-Atlanta Panthers will host home playoffs games in a double header on Friday. The Hornets are coming off a 9-1 regular season and 8-0 region record winning back to back region titles and is led by a strong ground game led by Keyjuan Brown, who surpassed 2,000 rushing yards this season. The Hornets will host Callaway in 2A action. In 3A, the Panthers, who finished 8-2 in the regular season and 6-1 in the region to claim the No. 2 seed, will take on Burke County. Carver closed out the regular season with a five game win streak including a big region win over Sandy Creek.
Another 3A match up that will have a lot of people watching is the Cedar Grove Saints and the Crisp County Cougars game. Crisp County is under the direction of new head coach, Miguel Patrick, who was the head coach of the Saints from 2019 to 2020 and led the Saints to a GHSA 3A title in 2019, defeating the Cougars in the championship game. After a rocky 0-3 start, Crisp County when on a seven game win streak in route to a region championship and No. 1 seed in Patrick’s first tour. As Patrick prepares to face his former team, he’ll be coaching against his former colleague, John Adams, who served as the Saints defensive backs coach during Patrick’s time with the team. The Saints, like the Cougars, only suffered three losses during the season and would eventually claim their region title.