Jacobi Murray Holy Innocents

Jacobi Murray (42), Nick Morgan (34), Zach Jackson (12) and Charlie Mallady (55) helped lead Holy Innocents to a 32-0 victory over North Cobb Christian in the first round of the Class A Private state football playoffs Nov. 13.

A number of local teams are still alive after winning their first-round games in the Georgia High School Association state football playoffs last weekend.

All second-round games are scheduled for Nov. 19. Results were not available at press time.

Woodward Academy and St. Pius X moved on to the second round in Class AAAAA. Woodward (11-0) opened its bid for a state title with a 48-14 victory over Veterans Nov. 12. Damari Alston, an Auburn commitment, rushed for 142 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns to lead the War Eagles, who led 41-7 at halftime. With the win, Woodward advanced to a second-round game at home against Blessed Trinity.

St. Pius (9-2) got off to an equally impressive start with a 42-9 win over Cass Nov. 12. The Golden Lions were boosted by a 52-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Jack Tchienchou in the first quarter and a 57-yard interception return for a score by Austin Taylor in the third quarter. Alex Possert rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown for St. Pius, which moved on to second-round game at home against Creekside.

Defending AAAA champion Marist (9-1) launched its quest for a second straight state title with a 48-7 win over Cedar Shoals Nov. 12. It was all Marist from start to finish as the War Eagles jumped out to a 28-0 lead and were up 49-7 at the end of the third quarter.

“We’re playing real well in all phases of the game,” Marist coach Alan Chadwick said. “Offensively, we controlled the ball very well throughout the entire contest – we never had to punt – and the offensive line dominated up front and played very well. Defensively, we did some nice things. We played better coverage in the secondary.”

Andrew Mannelly rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Quinn Gooding ran for three scores and Billy Roche scored on a fumble recovery to lead the War Eagles. The win advanced Marist to the second round of the state playoffs for the 23rd time in 26 years. The War Eagles host Lagrange in the next round.

Lovett (8-3) moved forward into the second round of the AA playoffs with a 28-7 victory over Union County Nov. 12. Henry Stimmel rushed for 175 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns, while Preston Lusink completed 10 of 16 passes for 100 yards and a score and Stevie Bracey recorded seven tackles to lead the Lions, who advanced for a second-round game at Putnam County.

In Class A Private, Holy Innocents, Mount Vernon and Wesleyan each won their first-round games, which were all played Nov. 13.

Holy Innocents (10-1) moved ahead in the postseason with a 32-0 win over North Cobb Christian. Nick Morgan, William Wright and Jacobi Murray each rushed for touchdowns of 5, 7 and 13 yards respectively, while Wright threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Drew Bomar and Ethan Reuther kicked a 27-yard field goal to provide the scoring for the Golden Bears, who advanced to a second-round game at home against Savannah Country Day.

“I thought we played well, obviously,” Holy Innocents coach Todd Winter said. “Defensively, I am very, very pleased. Nick Perrotta, our defensive coordinator, he’s doing an outstanding job with our defense. Our last six games, our varsity has given up only seven points. He’s doing a great job in having the kids prepared. We’re playing very well on offense – especially in the third quarter, when we ran eight minutes off the clock.”

Mount Vernon (7-4) kept its season alive with a dramatic come-from-behind 14-7 win over Mount Paran Christian. Liam O’Toole scored on an 11-yard run in the third quarter and again on a 47-yard run in the fourth quarter to help the Mustangs erase a 7-0 halftime deficit and move on to a second-round game at First Presbyterian.

Wesleyan (8-3) got the state playoffs off to a winning start with a 21-14 victory over Christian Heritage. Jett Miller completed 15 of 23 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yarder to Jamie Tremble – who caught six passes for 146 yards. With the win, the Wolves advanced to a second-round game on the road at Calvary Day.

Meanwhile, Riverwood (9-2) lost to Douglas County 24-17 Nov. 13 in AAAAAA and Pace Academy (6-5) fell to Rabun County 63-14 Nov. 12 in Class A Private first-round action to see their seasons come to an end.

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