Four top-five teams reach the semifinals

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

(Jason Getz / AJC)

(Jason Getz / AJC)

For all the talk of how wide open the Class AAAAAA playoff bracket was this season, it has turned out about the way one might have expected going into next weekend’s semifinals.

All four of the remaining teams were ranked in the top five in the final regular-season poll, and the one top-five team that didn’t make it (No. 3 Mays) was knocked out by the No. 4-ranked team.

So we’re left next week with No. 5 Northside-Warner Robins at No. 4 Tucker and No. 1 Valdosta at No. 2 Dalton. Here’s a look at the four remaining teams, how they got to the semifinals, and the significance of their victories. They are listed by their positions on the bracket.

*Tucker: The Tigers advanced with a 28-21 victory over Region 5 champion Mays. Tucker took an early 7-0 lead and then got three rushing touchdowns from Chris Broadwater as Mays stayed close but was never able to pull even. The victory put Tucker in the semifinals for the first time since the 2013 team lost to Creekside in the AAAAA final. The Tigers won state titles in 2008 and 2011.

*Northside: The Eagles are the only remaining team that did not win a region title. Northside reached the semifinals for the eighth time in 12 years with a 42-20 victory over Glynn Academy. Northside was outgained 407-294, according to the Macon Telegraph, but took advantage of three turnovers to build a three-touchdown halftime lead. Tobias Oliver rushed for 101 yards and passed for 107.

*Valdosta: The nation’s winningest program is two wins away from its first state title since 1998 after it survived third-seeded Stephenson 31-21. Valdosta, which played in the highest classification for decades before dropping down this year, is in its first semifinal since 2003, when it lost in the AAAAA final. Valdosta will be on the road after hosting in the first three rounds this year.

*Dalton: The Catamounts built a 30-7 lead but needed a stop on a two-point conversion with less than three minutes left to preserve a 30-28 victory over Coffee, the No. 4 seed from Valdosta and Northside’s Region 1. Ahmaad Tanner ran for 242 yards, and Dalton got big plays from the special teams. The Catamounts are in the semifinals for the first time since 2001, when they lost in the AAAA final.

Quarterfinal scores:

Tucker 28, Mays 21

Northside-Warner Robins 42, Glynn Academy 20

Valdosta 31, Stephenson 21

Dalton 30, Coffee 28

Semifinal matchups:

(R1 #2) Northside-Warner Robins at (R4 #1) Tucker

(R1 #1) Valdosta at (R6 #1) Dalton


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rwdekalb

rwdekalb5pts

@Sugarbear 1. This was a great game with 2 teams with very different offenses. Yes I agree the Tucker run game caused the Raiders some problems and allowed Tucker to keep the Mays defense on the field longer than I’m sure they wanted. This Tucker team is very balanced and can beat teams in many ways. The Mays qb was very good. Wish these teams were in opposite brackets so they didn’t have to meet this early. Looking forward to the matchup against NSWR next week.

TheRealTHS

TheRealTHS5pts

@rwdekalb – I agree with you statement, “Tucker’s ground game keep theRaiders defense on the field”. I question Tucker’s call to pass on the Mays oneyard line, when the Raiders could not stop the run. A run play might have led to Tuckercontrolling something that Mays could not stop and kept a HIGH power air attackoff the field. In HS football, if youcan pound the ball and your defense is special, you are in the game. The Eagles of Northside is next, and Tuckerhas a point to prove!!

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Semi-Final Appearance!!!

JiminMacon

JiminMacon5pts

Northside had more yards if you count the yards the defense gained on fumble returns and INTs returns. Still Glynn had a great team, turnovers got them. 2 fumbles and 2 INTs. But to Northside’s credit, the fumbles were forced, and one interception was tipped By one DB into the hands of another.

Northside is peaking at the right time, the two last games possibly being the best they have played all year.

C/o 89 Wildcat

C/o 89 Wildcat5pts

I’m predicting an All-Region 1 AAAAAA Championship Battle. NSWR vs Valdosta for all the marbles.

TheRealTHS

TheRealTHS5pts

@C/o 89 Wildcat – I think Tucker and Dalton will have a say in your ALL region1 finals. Let it be known, mid and southGA will come to metro ATL. Safe travels… get here early and may the chips fall – it want be an easy out for region 1. And Tucker has looked and anticipated thismatchup with the Eagles … now it’s on Tucker’s field!!!

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Semi-Final Appearance!!!

JABAJC

JABAJC5pts

Congratulation to my Stephenson Jaguars, no it wasn’t a blowout, the score game was closer than the score because of a Jaguar fumble and Valdosta recovered and ran it in. It was a very defensive struggle at first. Them JAGS came to play. This year Elie 8, next year bigger and better things…. GO TUCKER!!! GO CEDAR GROVE!!! & Congrats goes out to the MAYS family, the game wentas the JAB predicted, Tucker big defense dominated*****

C/o 89 Wildcat

C/o 89 Wildcat5pts

Um actually, runs of 80 yards and a score “twice” by Stephenson and sloppy tackling “twice” by Valdosta were the difference in the final score. Other than that, Valdosta shut your Jaguars down and they didn’t really play Wildcat football that I’ve seen all year.

Sugarbear 1

Sugarbear 15pts

@JABAJC No, Tucker defense capitalized on OUR mistake when they had the opportunity, but they by no means Dominated my Raiders as you stated above and all the Tucker bloggers discussed this week. What they did do is win with their brutal running game that we had difficulty stopping when we needed it which also was our problem this entire season. They did not do anything special on defense other than blitz every down and our OL overall did well against them.

We had our chances near the end and turned it over in our red zone. We let them off the hook! I hope our guys learn from their mistakes and come back stronger. We are still loaded for next year.

Hats off to Tucker Tigers on your win. We were hoping to get our rematch with NSWR, but oh well…..

TheRealTHS

TheRealTHS5pts

@Sugarbear 1 – There is SO MUCH I can read in your words … could or shouldhave, but I won’t go there. Mays is an excellentand growing program on the south west side and I for one are glad to see thekids showcase their talent. Mays andWestlake have, in recent years, let the state know there is football and talentstill in the largest city of GA – Coach Love left too soon. Mays will be a force, if continue the highlevel of coaching, community commitment and talent, and as for as Tucker vsMays battles, well history is written and the Tigers are 7-2. I could interject about Tucker’s chances andquestionable play calling to have said, Tucker could-should have blown theRaiders out. There is something in theair on the southwest side, keeping it going – let GA know, our kids are talentand will play ANYONE … ANYTIME. Congrates to Mays a season WELL done.

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Semi-Final Appearance!!!

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