As we enter the State Quarterfinals (the goal every team sets coming in), we have just 2 local programs left playing: Rabun County and Jefferson. Here are the matchup previews for both, who will be traveling to deep South Georgia with a chance to come back home for the Semifinals if they can pull out victories!
#1 Rabun County @ #1 Thomasville
#1-ranked Rabun County (12-0) has rolled through to this point much the same way it did last season. But the Quarterfinals are always a different animal, especially when you have to take the kind of ride this one is to essentially the exact opposite part of the state. North Georgia meets South Georgia with the stakes very high. Thomasville (8-4) is playing in its second quarterfinals in 3 years, but will be looking to make the semifinals for the first time since 1993. This is one of the most storied programs in Georgia, dating back to 1922, earning 725 wins, including 5 state titles and 23 region championships.
The #6-ranked Bulldogs average 30.2 points per game, while allowing 24.3. Thomasville is very balanced, with 2,085 yards of passing offense, and 2,132 on the ground. The QB, Ronnie Baker, has 1,980 passing yards (15 TD), and 564 rushing (8 TD), and freshman Ricky Fulton (755 yds, 8 TD) and sophomore Malik Harper (569, 3) anchor the ground game. Rabun scores 46.3 on the regular, and allows just 10.8 per game. We all know the usual suspects on offense, with Gunner Stockton, Braxton Hicks, Sam Adams, Cory Keller, and others. We believe in the Wildcats! WE PICK RABUN
#1 Jefferson @ #1 Crisp County
The #3-ranked Dragons (10-1) are back in the Quarterfinals, and with a win, could get back to the Semis for the first time since 2016. The offense behind QB Colby Clark is averaging 41.8 per contest, while the air-tight defense (9.7) might be even better. Crisp County (9-3) is ranked #6 in the state, and average 29 pts/game while allowing 10.7. This could be a great defensive battle. The Cougars also last made the Semis in 2016. Both teams played solid defense while focusing more on the ground game on offense. Marquise Palmer, a sophomore, has 1,259 rushing yards and 16 TD for the Cougars, while AJ Lofton (878, 9) also handles QB duties (672 pass yds, 5 TD). So does Jack Carter (675 pass yds, 3 TD). A long ride for Jefferson, but we feel confident they can keep this train rolling. WE PICK JEFFERSON
Predicted winners are in bold
#2 Buford @ #1 Carrollton