The start of December has brought the conclusion of another strong prep football season for local programs.
Marist visited Cartersville in the semifinals of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAAA playoffs Nov. 30 but lost 17-14. After the Purple Hurricanes jumped out to a 10-0 lead, the War Eagles scored 14 consecutive points late in the second quarter to take a lead into halftime. The scores came on a two-yard touchdown run by Lincoln Parker and Jalen Clark’s fumble recovery.
Marist carried its lead late into the fourth quarter, but Devonte Ross’ 38-yard touchdown catch from Tee Webb with 7:57 left in regulation proved to be the game-winner for Cartersville. The War Eagles were unable to respond and dropped the contest 17-14. Kyle Hamilton had a team-high 124 all-purpose yards for Marist while Connor Cigelske had 115.
“The loss to Cartersville was a tough loss for our players and coaches,” War Eagles’ head coach Alan Chadwick said. “We played really well on defense and in the kicking game but had trouble getting much going on offense. Our front four on defense played extremely well shutting down Cartersville’s run game. They did hurt us with a couple of long passes that set up scores for them. Our kicker, Brendan Farrell, had his usual great game pinning Cartersville deep in their territory most of the game.”
Marist finished the season with 11 wins and extended its postseason appearance streak that dates back to 1983. The War Eagles defeated Heritage (Ringgold), St. Pius X and Mary Persons in the postseason. Two of Marist’s three losses this season came against Cartersville and Blessed Trinity, who are meeting for the state championship Wednesday.
“Overall I’m extremely proud of our team and players,” Chadwick said. “They gave everything they had each and every week and made great progress as the season progressed.”
Westminster advanced to the Class AAA quarterfinals and defeated Jefferson and Greater Atlanta Christian in the playoffs to finish its 2018 campaign with eight wins. The Wildcats’ continued its postseason streak that started in 2007.
Lovett reached the second round of the Class AAA playoffs after earning a home win over Morgan County in the first round. The Lions earned six wins in 2018 and have reached the postseason every year since 2002.
Pace was in the AAA playoffs and won six contests in 2018. The Knights extended their postseason streak to five seasons.
In of Class AAAA, Woodward was also eliminated in the second round after a first-round win at Carver (Columbus). The War Eagles concluded their season with seven wins and extended its playoffs appearance streak that dates back to 2008.
St. Pius X advanced to the second round as well in Class AAAA. The Golden Lions defeated Cedartown at home in the first round. St. Pius won its region title and extended its postseason streak that started in 2006.
Riverwood reached the Class AAAAA playoffs and won eight contests this season, the most since a nine-win campaign in 2001.
Three local teams advanced to the second round of the Class A Private competition. Holy Innocents’ returned to the postseason and earned a first-round road win at Mount de Sales. The Golden Bears won six contests this season and made their first appearance in the second round since 2014.
Mount Vernon Presbyterian won a program-record eight contests in 2018 and defeated Savannah Country Day in the first round at home. Wesleyan finished the season with seven wins and earned a first-round home victory over Tattnall Square.
Whitefield won six contests and qualified for the Class A Private playoffs but lost to Trinity Christian in the first round.