Second-round previews: Class A (public)
*No. 10 Twiggs County (8-3) at No. 4 Manchester (9-1): Twiggs County has two 1,000-yard rushers, and both went over 100 yards last week in the 46-7 victory over Marion County. RB Ja’mon Height had 216, and Javoris Smith added 119. The Cobras hadn’t had a playoff victory or winning season since 2009. Manchester is one victory from its first 10-win season since 1998. RB Tre Gamble is just under 1,000 yards rushing in a Wing-T offense that averages about 240 yards rushing. QB Garrett Brown, a major college prospect as a 6-foot-7 pitcher, attempts only about five passes per game.
*Turner County (8-3) at No. 2 Macon County (8-2): Turner County got its first playoff victory last week, a 41-6 win over Terrell County, since 2008. QB Tyler Moore has thrown 27 TD passes, at least two in every game he has played. He’s 94-of-165 passing for 1,818 yards. Tamorrion Terry, a preseason all-state pick, has 1,055 yards receiving at 28.5 yards per catch. Terry’s 18 touchdowns in 37 receptions is matched only by Macon County’s Trey Brown, who has 18 touchdowns in 35 receptions. Macon County QB K’hari Lane has thrown for 2,857 yards and 45 touchdowns, nine short of the state record, without an interception.
*Irwin County (7-4) at No. 5 Mount Zion (9-1): Irwin County RB Jeremiah Ashley has rushed for 1,218 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, but ninth-graders stole the show in the 42-0 first-round victory over Dooly County. Freshman FB D.J. Lundy rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and freshmen Jamorri Colson and Chad Miller intercepted passes. Mount Zion RB Jace Jordan has rushed for 1,142 yards and 14 touchdowns on 111 attempts (10.3 ypc). Mount Zion is one victory from its first 10-win season since starting football in 1956. Coach Keith Holloway’s record is 35-19 in five seasons. The program was 7-43 in the previous five campaigns.
*Miller County (9-2) at No. 3 Emanuel County Institute (9-0): Miller County has a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in sophomore Chris Stovall (1,304) and senior J.J. George (1,075). George scored the winning touchdown and conversion in a 29-28 win over Bowdon last week. That was Miller County’s first playoff victory since 2010. ECI QB Rhett Gay is 89-of-123 passing (72.4 percent) for 1,822 yards and 26 touchdowns with just one interception. ECI rushes for 236.2 yards per game without a single feature back.
*No. 7 Taylor County (10-1) at No. 8 Commerce (8-2): Taylor County RB Lyn-J Dixon has rushed for 1,808 yards and scored 36 touchdowns, but the Vikings are a handful because of balance. QB Gunnar Watson was 21-of-28 passing for 211 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 victory over Trion in the first round, Taylor County’s first playoff win since 2001. Commerce’s marquee player is FB/SS Cole Chancey, a four-year starter who has rushed for 1,205 yards and made 52 tackles. OL Cade Overstreet and OL Carson Hall, both 6-3, 245 pounds, control the line of scrimmage for one of the state’s top rushing teams. Commerce has reached the semifinals the past two seasons.
*Mitchell County (9-2) at No. 1 Clinch County (9-1): Malik Barnes rushed for 145 yards in Mitchell County’s 46-14 victory over Randolph-Clay last week. QB Kentravious Williams has passed for 1,364 yards and rushed for 686 on the season. DB/WR/RET James Thomas, one of three freshmen among the top 10 tacklers on defense, has 982 all-purpose yards. Clinch County’s main weapon is QB Charles McClelland, who has rushed for 1,159 yards and 15 touchdowns. Shannon Young, a 1,500-yard rusher during Clinch’s 2015 championship season, remains out with a foot injury. Trezman Marshall (485 passing, 391 rushing) also takes turns at quarterback. Clinch has completed only 28 of 68 passes, but 17 have gone for touchdowns.
*Lincoln County (7-3-1) at No. 6 McIntosh County Academy (7-2): Javon Reid is Lincoln County’s leading passer (1,134 yards) and rusher (975 yards). Quay Hartfield has rushed for at least 100 yards each of the past three games, including a 163-yard effort with three touchdowns in a 24-3 victory over Washington-Wilkes in the first round. The Red Devils had lost four straight playoff games. They lost two in a row only one other time (1980-81). McIntosh County Academy averages 195.0 yards passing and 109.9 rushing. MCA allows just 10.1 points per game, the best among Class A public-school teams. LB Akhari Roberts and LB Dallas Anthony have 15 sacks between them.
*No. 9 Greene County (8-3) at Pelham (9-1): Greene County RB Devin Wynn scored five touchdowns, one on a punt return, and rushed for 175 yards in a 49-7 victory over Wheeler County last week, the Tigers’ first playoff win since 2006. Wynn leads Class A in rushing with 1,938 yards. Pelham won its first region title (1-A) this season since 2001. Pelham freshman QB Kendrick Patterson is 126-of-242 passing for 1,841 yards and 23 touchdowns. Pelham is one win from its first quarterfinal since 1982.
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