Tucker, Dalton stand in Region 1’s way
Northside (Warner Robins) at Tucker
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, James R. Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: Northside is 11-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 5; Tucker is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from 4-AAAAAA and No. 4.
Last meeting: Northside won 23-20 in the 2012 Class AAAAA quarterfinals.
Things to know: Northside and Tucker have met three times, all in the quarterfinals or semifinals between 2007 and 2012. Northside won two of the three games, all of which were decided by three points or less. Northside is led by QB Tobias Oliver, who committed to Georgia Tech on Sunday. Oliver has passed for 1,655 yards, rushed for a team-leading 1,482 yards and had a hand in 37 touchdowns. He had more than 100 yards rushing and passing for the fourth consecutive game last week in a 42-20 win over Glynn Academy. Tucker averages about 248 yards per game rushing and 143 passing. They are led by RBs Taurean Taylor and Chris Broadwater, who have combined for more than 2,200 yards rushing. Broadwater scored three touchdowns in a 28-21 victory over Mays last week. Northside and Tucker have two of the top defenses in AAAAAA. Both teams give up about 210 yards and 11 points per game.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Tucker by 6
Valdosta at Dalton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Harmon Field at Bill Chappell Stadium, Dalton
Records, rankings: Valdosta is 12-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 1; Dalton is 13-0, the No. 1 seed from 6-AAAAAA and No. 2.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Things to know: Valdosta (first) and Dalton (eighth) both rank among the top 10 Georgia schools in all-time victories, but neither has played in the semifinals in a while. Valdosta is in the semifinals for the first time since 2003, and Dalton last reached the semis in 2001. Valdosta QBs Hunter Holt (71-of-104, 861 yards in the regular season) and Josh Belton (68-of-104, 784) combined for 1,645 yards and 15 TDs passing during the regular season, but the Wildcats got two touchdown passes from unlikely sources in a 31-21 victory over Stephenson last week – WR J.R. Ingram and ATH/DB Jayce Rogers on trick plays. Dalton’s Ahmaad Tanner ran for a season-high 243 yards and three TDs in a 30-28 win over Coffee last week, giving him 1,495 and 22 for the season. QB J.P. Tighe has passed for 2,025 yards in the Catamounts’ balanced offense but had a season-low 52 against Coffee.
Maxwell Ratings’ projection: Valdosta by 8