Semifinal previews: Class A (public)
Emanuel County Institute at Macon County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Adams-Maffett Field, Montezuma
Records, rankings: Emanuel County Institute is 11-0, the No. 4 seed and No. 3; Macon County is 10-2, the No. 1 seed and No. 2.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Things to know: Macon County is in its first semifinal since its Class A championship season of 1996, but the run is not unexpected. The Bulldogs made the quarterfinals in AA last season and dropped down to A. ECI is in the semifinals for the second straight time. Macon County QB K’hari Lane is 177-of-283 passing for 3,429 yards and 50 touchdowns, four short of Hutson Mason’s TD record. But ECI QB Rhett Gay quietly has crafted an amazing season of his own. He’s 113-of-156 for 2,338 yards (15.0 yards per pass) and 32 touchdowns. Both quarterbacks have thrown just one interception. Macon County’s Jared Daniels has rushed for 1,245 yards, while three ECI backs have more than 600 yards rushing. Macon County’s Trey Brown has 21 TD catches. ECI’s David Durden has 14. Macon County averages 46.3 points. ECI averages 50.2.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Macon County by 6
McIntosh County Academy at Clinch County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Donald Tison Field at Panther Stadium, Homerville
Records, rankings: McIntosh County Academy is 9-2, the No. 6 seed and No. 6; Clinch County is 11-1, the No. 2 seed and No. 1.
Last meeting: Clinch County won 32-7 on Aug. 26.
Things to know: Clinch County is the defending champion. McIntosh County Academy was a perennial playoff team with early exits the past 10 seasons in AA, then dropped to A this season and made its first semifinals since 2000 (also in Class A). Clinch’s team speed and run game are hard to match. Charles McClelland has rushed for 1,447 yards on a team that averages 280.4 rushing yards. Nineteen of 35 completed passes have gone for touchdowns. Commerce was held to 150 yards of total offense last week in Clinch’s 44-0 win. Clinch won the Aug. 26 meeting between these two, but McIntosh County QB Major Robinson played only briefly in that game, and MCA was 4-of-17 passing with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. Robinson has thrown for 1,589 yards and is the trigger man to an offense that averages 182.8 yards passing and 133.3 rushing.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Clinch County by 15
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