GHSA Football Semi-finals Preview

December 4, 2012
The semi-finals are here for the Georgia High School State Playoffs.

In single A, Lincoln County will be taking on Dooley County. These teams are matched up pretty well. The average amount of points allowed per game are at a .2 difference with Lincoln County allowing 12 points per game and Dooley allowing 11.8. The Red Devils do have the edge on the offensive side of the ball. The Red Devils have been averaging around 33 points per game; whereas, the Bobcats have averaged 27. I believe this game will be decided by the turnover margin.

From the other single A playoff bracket. Wilcox County will be taking on Emanuel County Institute. The last time these teams met was in 2007 and ECI came away with a strong 41-21 victory. On paper it would seem the ECI Bulldogs are the better team averaging over 40 points a game and allowing only 11. The Patriots may have their hands full as they allow almost 17 points per game and the offense scores around 33 per game.

In AA, T. McFerrin and his Jefferson Dragons will take on Greater Atlanta Christian. Jefferson is coming off a 3 OT 53-51 win against Fitzgerald. The Dragons have won 12 games in a row after losing their first game against rival Commerce. Jefferson has the better numbers coming into the game against the Spartans; but, how much is left in the tank after a 3 OT win that saw them blow a 31-16 lead in the final quarter?

Calhoun will take on Lamar County in a battle of the unbeaten. Calhoun is 13-0 and Lamar County is sitting at 12-0-1 this season. The Lamar Trojans look to have the better defense; however, the Calhoun Jackets have a high powered offense that has put up over 600 points throughout the season. The Trojans also have Elbert’s own, Coach Parker Martin, to help stump that offense. Good luck to him in his first year coaching.

In AAA, the Buford Wolves will take on unbeaten Cartersville. The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes have a high powered offense that has averaged 40 points per game and has over 520 points so far this season. The Wolves defense, however has been stout and has on average allowed only 7.5 points per game. This is the sixth consecutive year the Buford Wolves have made it to the state semi-finals. These two teams have met back in 2006-07, both times Buford came out on top.

The other side of the AAA bracket will see St. Pius Catholic School take on North Hall. Both teams are 11-2 this season, and have met the last three season and St. Pius has come out on top each time. The teams are pretty even this year, though North Hall on average scores about 5 more points than than the Golden Lions and has allowed less points. This is another game that I believe will come down to the turnover margin.

In the AAAA Monroe Area will take unbeaten Sandy Creek. Sandy Creek has an impressive defense that has only given up an average of about 10 points per game the most being 26 to Shaw. Sandy Creek also boasts a more impressive defense. They have totaled 580 points this season compared to the Hurricanes 514. When these two teams met back in 2010 Sandy Creek won 41-0.

Ridgeland will take on Marist in the other AAAA semi-final game. This will be a good game to keep up with because Ridgeland has a good high powered offense while Marist has a hard nosed defense that only gives up about ten per game. Both teams are 12-1 so far this season. Ridgeland’s one loss came on their first game of the season against Calhoun (see AA above), but have since won twelve straight. Marist lost a close game against Thomas County Central.

In the AAAAA we have Northside, Warner Robins taking on Ware County. Northside is undefeated this season and rightfully so. The Eagles have an offense that averages over 42 points per game and a defense that only allows around 9 points per game. Ware County has an even more impressive defense that has put up 5 shutouts this season and on average allows on 7 points per game.

Gainesville and Whitewater face off in the other AAAAA bracket. Gainesville has struggled on the defensive side of the ball but has more than compensated with an impressive offense. The Red Elephants have scored over 600 points in total this season. Whitewater’s defense has done well this season only allowing on average around 13 points per game. If the Whitewater can bottle up the Gainesville offense they could move on the the championship.

The newly added AAAAAA classification will see Lovejoy take on North Cobb. The talk of this game should be the Lovejoy defense. The Wildcats have put up 4 shutouts and had 9 games where they did not allow anything over 7 points. North Cobb will have their hands full in getting the ball moving against such a stout defense.

The other AAAAAA game will be Norcross against Colquitt County. Norcross has an offense that averages about 38 points per game and carried them to an unbeaten record. The Blue Devils haven’t had a close game all year and handily won each contest they have played in. The closest game the Devils were involved in was an 8 point 49-41 win over Mill Creek. Colquitt has had tough schedule and been in every game they have played. The Packers three losses were by a total of 7 points. They will have to play a perfect game to keep up with the perfection that Norcross has displayed this season.