Quarterfinals Scores & Recaps
Technically, only one of our local teams – Rabun County – made it to the Quarters. However, with them playing over 200 miles away in Swainsboro, we took in a big-time showdown at nearby City Park in Gainesville, where the Red Elephants took on Houston County. We also wanted to provide you a few recaps of other teams that might be of interest.
#3 Swainsboro 35, #2 Rabun County 10
The Wildcats got off to a great start on a 20-yd TD from Keegan Stover to Jaden Gibson. The lead didn’t last long, as Swainsboro knotted the game a bit later. Rabun County then went ahead with a field goal at 10-7. From there, Swainsboro took a slim 14-10 lead into the break. The Tigers scored 3 more times to secure the win and end Rabun’s undefeated season.
#4 Gainesville 49, #6 Houston County 35
The Red Elephants have a top-10 ranked offense and defense, but were going up against the state’s second-best offensive team in the Bears. Playing at City Park, Gainesville scored on its first possession for a quick 7-0 lead. That was a 65-yd TD from Baxter Wright to Naim Cheeks. Houston County got 2 TDs within 2 minutes of each other in the second to take a 14-7 lead. Gainesville wasn’t rattled, and responded by scoring the next 35 points. TDs came in bunches, as Cheeks had a 31-yd TD run, Wright had a 41-yarder for the 21-14 lead, and a Wright-to-Sky Niblett TD made it 28-14. Cheeks scored a 65-yd rushing TD on the first play of the second half to make it 35-14, and a Wright-to-Tre Reece 57-yd TD made it a 42-14 game. Reece scored a few minutes later on a 90-yd kickoff return. The Red Elephants advance to their first semifinal since 2013 (Deshaun Watson’s senior year). Gainesville will travel to Roswell for the semis.
#5 Oconee County 14, #4 Carver 6
Oconee County secured a semifinal berth with a 14-6 win over Carver. 4-star LSU commit Whit Weeks was the hero by coming up with the game-winning receiving TD, and also had a pick to put the game on ice. The other TD for the Warriors came by CJ Jones, as he scored on a short-yardage TD early in the game for the 7-0 lead. Oconee now takes on Cedar Grove, again on the road, in the semis.
#1 Prince Avenue 23, #8 Metter 7
Metter actually had an early lead on PAC of 7-0 late in the first half. Aaron Philo found Josh Britt for the tying score on a 26-yd TD just before the break. Mac Bradley’s rushing TD early in the third gave the Wolverines a lead, and that went to 17-7 going into the final period. Luke Leverett had a 98-yd pick six for the final score. Prince Avenue Christian now takes on St. Francis in the semifinals on their home field.
#3 North Oconee 31, #5 Wayne County 12
Jaybo Shaw’s first year in Wayne County resulted in a historic quarterfinals run. Undefeated North Oconee put an end to it with a 31-12 decisive win. The Titans took an early lead on a 70-yd pick six by Trey Lenhardt that came late in the first half. The lead went up to 10-0 on a JJ Pole FG before the break. Dominic Elder’s TD run in the third pushed it up to 17-zip. Max Wilson had a QB keeper from 9 yards out for the 24-0 lead. Wayne County got its first score with just under 6 minutes to go in the contest on a scoop-n-score. Elder’s second TD was a final dagger, though Wayne County got one more TD before time expired. North Oconee takes on Cedartown in the semis on the road.