Six of the 10 Northside schools in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) football state playoffs moved on to the second round with wins in the first round Nov. 27 and 28.
Lovett, Marist, St. Pius X, Wesleyan, Whitefield and Woodward each advanced, but Holy Innocents’, Mount Vernon, Pace and Westminster were eliminated. The second-round games are Dec 4 and 5, with the quarterfinals Dec. 11 and 12. Results of the second-round games were not available at the Neighbor’s print deadline.
In Class 5A, St. Pius X (9-1) lambasted Loganville 31-6 in the first round. The Golden Lions rushed for 226 yards as a team, led by RB Mason Benefield’s 62 yards and QB Dennis O’Shea’s two touchdowns. The defense had four interceptions and held the Red Devils scoreless until they got a touchdown with 2 minutes, 52 seconds left in the game.
St. Pius will play Cartersville in the second round, with the victor battling the Creekside-Ware County winner in the quarterfinals.
Woodward (7-4) walloped Whitewater 35-14 in the first round. QB Banks Snellings was 18-for-27 passing for 178 yards, and RB Damari Alston ran 26 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns to lead the War Eagles’ offense. The defense was paced by LB Errington Truesdell, who had nine tackles.
Woodward will visit Warner Robins in the second round, with the winner meeting the Decatur-Blessed Trinity victor in the quarterfinals.
In Class 4A, Marist (9-0) crushed Central (Carroll County) 49-0 in the first round. Thirteen players carried the ball for the War Eagles, who totaled 218 yards rushing, led by RBs Ian Otten (five attempts for 48 yards) and Lincoln Parker (six carries for 44 yards).
The defense held the Lions to 105 total yards and got into the scoring when CB Justin Hartwell returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown. Chandler Heath returned four punts for 97 yards, including one for 47 yards.
Marist will host Flowery Branch in the second round, with the winner playing the LaGrange-Perry victor in the quarterfinals.
In Class 3A, Westminster (4-4) fell 21-7 to Oconee County, last year’s state Class 5A runner-up, in the first round. The Warriors led the Wildcats 14-0 at halftime and 21-0 in the third quarter before Westminster got a rushing touchdown to cut the lead to 21-7.
In Class 2A, Lovett (8-2) pounded Pepperell 38-17 in the first round. QB Preston Lusink was 11-for-20 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns and also ran 10 times for 41 yards and a score. RB Michael Hollingsworth had 14 carries for a team-high 72 yards. The defense was led by DB Charlie Hoke, who had three tackles, including two for a loss, plus an interception and a pass broken up.
Lovett will visit Callaway in the second round, with the victor playing the Thomasville-Dodge County winner in the quarterfinals.
Pace (6-3) fell to Fannin County 28-21 in the first round. The game was tied at 7 at halftime before the Knights jumped out to a 21-7 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter.
But the Rebels rallied with a touchdown two minutes later and another with under a minute left (with a missed extra point) to trail 21-20 entering the fourth quarter. Fannin went ahead on a touchdown and two-point conversion with six minutes left in the game.
In Class A Private, Wesleyan (9-2) edged Athens Christian 34-28 in the first round. The Wolves trailed 21-7 in the second quarter and 28-20 in the fourth but rallied with 14 unanswered points in the final period to win. RB Griffin Caldwell scored the game-winning touchdown with two minutes left.
Caldwell finished with 22 carries for 103 yards and three scores. QB Ryan Rose was 11-for-20 passing for 212 yards, no touchdowns and an interception, and his favorite target was WR Cooper Blauser, who had eight catches for 118 yards. The defense was led by DT Tanner Bivens and LB J.D. Chipman, who had 10 tackles each.
Wesleyan will face North Cobb Christian in the second round, with the winner facing the Savannah Christian-St. Anne-Pacelli victor in the quarterfinals.
Mount Vernon (5-5) fell to Athens Academy 49-42 in overtime in the first round. The Mustangs led 14-0 before the Spartans came back. Athens’ Tre Hawkins, who had five touchdowns, scored on a 4-yard run with 17 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 42 and had the game-winning TD, a 6-yard rush, in overtime. The Spartans’ Ethan Connelly clinched the win with an interception in overtime.
Holy Innocents’ (5-6) fell to George Walton 32-7 in the first round. RB Donovan Johnson scored the Golden Bears’ only touchdown of the game.
Whitefield (5-3) edged Savannah Country Day 27-21 in the first round. RB Eric Little Jr. had 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the WolfPack. WR Myles Redding returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score, and RB Caleb Lavallee ran for 79 yards and a TD and had 56 yards receiving. The Hornets cut the margin to 27-21 in the third quarter, but Whitefield held Savannah scoreless in the fourth quarter to win.
Whitefield will play Trinity Christian victory in the second round, with the victor facing the Athens Academy-Fellowship Christian winner in the quarterfinals.