Crystal Ball: Quarterfinals Predictions

We’re down to 3! Three local teams left in the hunt for a state championship – Commerce, Jefferson, and Rabun County. Here are the matchups and outlook for each, as well as our official prediction.

THE LOCALS

#1 Rabun County (11-1) vs #4 Bleckley County (9-3)

The Wildcats take on Bleckley County, a 4-seed still alive after huge upset wins over Vidalia in the first round and Early County in the second. Rabun is coming off a 35-0 win over Model to advance to a SIXTH straight quarterfinals. This is the best Rabun County team yet, so while Bleckley has a 5-star in Amarius Mims (OT, #17 in the nation overall prospect), and has a lot of momentum, we’re taking Rabun all day. VERDICT: RABUN COUNTY // MAXWELL SCORE PROJECTION: RC 34, BLECKLEY 17

#1 Jefferson (12-0) vs #1 Carver, Columbus (10-0)

The Dragons are up 100-0 on opponents through two rounds of playoffs. Now it gets much tougher with Carver, though Jefferson still has the highest-scoring offense in Class 4A and the second best defense, which gives up under a TD per game. Carver is ranked #3 in the state, so this is a bonafide top-5 matchup. However, we feel Jefferson is going to pull away in this one. VERDICT: JEFFERSON // MAXWELL SCORE PROJECTION: JHS 31, CARVER 0

#1 Commerce (11-1) vs #1 Irwin County (9-3)

Commerce got a thrilling 28-14 second round win, and are back in the quarterfinals once again. Irwin will be the toughest team in the way since the only Commerce loss, to Athens Academy. This pits the #3 team in the state (Commerce) against #5 Irwin, who allows only 11 points per game. This certainly won’t be easy at all, but it helps that the Tigers are home. We will pick against the grain. VERDICT: COMMERCE // MAXWELL SCORE PROJECTION: IRWIN 21, CHS 15

THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

#1 Buford vs #2 Hughes

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