Football Playoffs

North Cobb senior WR Langdon Parker (8) catches a short pass and picks up a first down. SPECIAL/John Silas

The Sprayberry football team gets to practice for at least another week after making the postseason for the first time in eight seasons.

The Yellow Jackets upset 6AAAAAA rival Dalton a month ago put the Yellow Jackets in good position to make the playoffs and ended the regular season with back-to-back wins over Creekview and River Ridge to secure the region’s No. 3 seed behind Harrison and Allatoona.

If the Yellow Jackets win at Lanier on Friday, it will be their first state playoff win in their 63-year history. The closest they came was 2008 when Cedar Shoals came from behind to win 11-8.

Third-year Sprayberry coach and alumnus Brett Vavra is determined to lead the Yellow Jackets on a historic playoff run after winning a combined five games in his first two seasons.

“In running a program, trying to build a team, trying to change the culture, we’ve done a really good job of that,” Vavra said. “Having good players and making good decisions here and there has been the most impactful thing. I don’t think out kids want this to be over”

Meanwhile, McEachern is in the playoff for the 11 straight season in the state’s highest classification. The Indians went undefeated during the regular season for the first time in 10 years and will be hosting Class AAAAAAA’s at-large team, which will be announced by the Georgia High School Association by 4 p.m. today.

One concern for the Indians is the unclear status of quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson. He got injured late in the second quarter of McEachern’s 49-19 win over North Paulding.

McEachern coach Franklin Stephens did not disclose Del Rio-Wilson’s injury but said it was not serious and is likely to play Friday. Backup quarterback Bryce Archie filled in for Del-Rio Wilson against North Paulding and threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns.

North Cobb and Hillgrove both knew they were making trips to south Georgia going into Friday’s regular season finale against each other.

But with North Cobb winning 35-24 at Hillgrove, the Warriors will be journeying to Colquitt County while Hillgrove heads to Lowndes, ranked No. 5 nationally by maxpreps.com.

Hillgrove also made a first round road trip to Lowndes three years ago where it lost a bizarre 91-63 shootout. With the Hawks defense yielding just 17.9 points a game, they don’t expect this year’s game against the Vikings to get out of hand.

But Hillgrove’s defense had trouble containing North Cobb freshman quarterback Malachi Singleton, last Friday who had one of his better games of the season. He rushed for 130 rushing yards and four touchdowns and added 61 passing yards.

Kell will open the Class AAAAA state playoffs at Avondale Stadium in DeKalb County. The Longhorns finished the regular season with back-to-back wins over Hiram and Woodland to seal the no. 3 spot. Its region losses came against Rome and Carrollton.

In the Class A private school bracket, North Cobb Christian and Whitefield Academy are 13th and 14th in the power ratings and Mount Paran Christian is 23rd. Their opponents will be announced by 4 p.m. today.

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