Crystal Ball: Round Two Predictions

And then there were FOUR…that’s all that’s left after we had 8 of our 11 local programs go dancing. The first round was the end of the road for Banks County, Habersham Central, Union County, and White County. Banks forfeited their game, and the rest nearly got upset wins to move on. Dawson won a thriller, while Commerce, Jefferson, and Rabun cruised into the next round. Here are the matchups for those four.

THE LOCALS

#1 Rabun County (10-1) vs #3 Model (7-4)

The Wildcats earned a revealing win over Haralson that’s more than meets the eye. You see, that first round matchup pitted #1 Rabun against #5 Haralson due to the latter having a 3-way tie for Region Runner-Up and getting bumped to a 4-seed. Rabun’s defense was a blanket, shutting down a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Meanwhile, the offense lit up the board to the tune of a 28-0 halftime lead. Haralson bled 14 minutes on two drives in the second half, thus keeping Rabun to only 1 second half TD. With a monumental upset on that side of the bracket with Bleckely beating Vidalia (4 over 1), Rabun is now heavily favored to reach the semifinals AT LEAST. This game against Model (who upset Washington) should actually be a bit easier in some ways. VERDICT: RABUN COUNTY

#1 Jefferson (11-0) vs #2 Hapeville Charter (5-3)

The Dragons destroyed first round opponents Mt. Zion-Jonesboro. It was 56-0 at the break. Hapeville, who may sound familiar as the 2017 State Champs over Rabun County, is now up in 4A and advanced with an ugly 6-0 win over Heritage – Ringgold. The Jackets won’t stand a chance against Jefferson. VERDICT: JEFFERSON

#1 Commerce (10-1) vs #2 Gordon Lee (10-1)

Commerce scored a school playoff record 52 points in a big-time win over Manchester. Now is Gordon Lee, a much more difficult opponent. Still, this team was just 4-6 a year ago and didn’t make the postseason. While their turnaround is impressive, they’re probably not to the point of pulling off a gigantic upset like rolling into Commerce and stealing a win. VERDICT: COMMERCE

#3 Dawson County (6-5) @ #1 Oconee County (9-0)

What a win it was for Dawson County, who earned a big upset over Adairsville on the road. The Tigers are riding momentum into a matchup at powerhouse Oconee, who was favored in the preseason to win the state championship in 3A. It was odd to see them squeak out a 21-7 win over Westminster in the first round, but a win is a win. Dawson has the offense to give Oconee all it can handle, but their reputation precedes themselves. VERDICT: OCONEE COUNTY

THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

#1 Buford vs #3 Cambridge
#1 Cherokee Bluff vs #2 Carver-Atlanta
#2 Flowery Branch @ #1 Marist
#2 North Hall @ #1 GAC
#2 Denmark @ #1 Collins Hill

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