Then there were eight.
Three of the eight come from the loaded Region 7-6A (Gwinnett County), two from the respected Region 1-6A (South Georgia- Colquitt County and Lowndes), two from Region 4-6A (Cobb County-McEachern and Hillgrove) and one from Region 8-6A (Gwinnett County- Dacula).
Norcross, North Gwinnett and Collins Hills all hail from Region 7-6A and finished in a three-way tie for the region title during the regular season, all were awarded pieces of the region title. Region 7-6A is 7-1 in the 6A playoff through two rounds.
Region champions Lovejoy (2-6A), Langston Hughes (3-6A), Archer (8-6A), Alpharetta (6-6A), North Cobb (4-6A) and Camden County (1-6A) were knocked out in the second round. Region 5-6A champion Lassiter was the only region champion not to advance to the second round losing to Region 7-6A 4-seed Peachtree Ridge in the first round.
Here are the updated Georgia 6A playoff brackets with notes from some of the games below
Hillgrove, which pulled from McEachern in 2006 when they opened, scored 27 unanswered points after trailing 21-7 against Camden County to win 34-21. It was Hillgrove’s second playoff win at Camden County in the past four seasons. They lead the all-time series 2-1 (all in the playoffs, all in Kingsland,GA). Justin Denton returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. Hillgrove quarterback Elijah Ironside passed for two touchdowns-one a 72-yarder to Emanuel Beal. Omar Black caught a touchdown pass from Sonny Harrison. Kalvarez Bessent caught a touchdown while Harrison Poole and Antonio Wimbush rushed for a touchdown apiece for Camden County.
Michael D’Angola kicked a 28-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining as North Gwinnett defeated Archer 34-32. He also connected on a 30-yard field goal in the game. Defensive tackle Dante Sawyer threw a touchdown pass, Hayden Sphire passed for two touchdowns-both to Caleb Scott and CJ Leggett scored a 39-yard rushing touchdown for North Gwinnett. Dylan Singleton rushed for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown while Gabe Tiller had three touchdown passes for Archer who finished with a school record 11 wins. Archer, in their fifth year of football, pulled from Grayson in 2009. Grayson was the 2011 5A (highest class at the time) state champion did not make the playoffs this season.
McEachern trailed 21-9 with less than six minutes to play before coming back to win 22-21 at Langston Hughes. Freshman quarterback Bailey Hockman passed for a touchdown, Taj Griffin and Alizee Chubbs rushed for touchdowns for the Indians. Hughes’ Keion Davis rushed for a touchdown and Kenny Moxey passed and rushed for touchdowns. McEachern advances to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999 and are doing it without senior starting quarterback Ty Clemmons.
Lowndes never trailed as they downed Lovejoy 23-18. Alex Brown and Jerome Daniels scored rushing touchdowns while Nick hart kicked three field goals for Lowndes. Preston Williams caught a touchdown pass, Jeremiah Kirkland scored a rushing touchdown and Brandon Williams scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery for Lovejoy. Lovejoy failed on all three PAT attempts. Lowndes will travel to north Georgia (Gwinnett County/Norcross) again next week to tussle with defending 6A champion Norcross.
Collins Hill cruised past Alpharetta as Tyler Henderson rushed for two touchdowns and caught two touchdown passes. Quarterback Tyler Herman threw four touchdowns as Collins Hill has outscored their opponents 89-7 in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Eagles will host McEachern in the quarterfinals. McEachern and Collins Hill have never met before.
Dacula rallied from a 21-14 deficit to score 14 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Peachtree Ridge 28-21 to advance. Dacula quarterback Adam Grove passed for a touchdown and rushed for another in the third quarter while Bijan Sirleaf and Kelan Fraise rushed for a touchdown each in the first half. Chance Thrasher passed for two touchdowns and Myron Burton caught a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown. Dacula’s reward? They’ll host Colquitt County who is 12-3 under Rush Propst in road playoff games including Friday nights 52-6 thrashing of North Cobb.
Colquitt County led 38-0 at the half and defeated North Cobb 52-6. Shihiem King rushed for three touchdowns and Tim Saunders rushed for two touchdowns. Daniel Mobley tossed a touchdown pass to Kiel Pollard for Colquitt County. North Cobb got a late touchdown pass by Tyler Queen to avoid the shutout. Colquitt County is now 12-3 in road playoff games under head coach Rush Propst (last five seasons). Colquitt will hit the road again to face Dacula. It will be the teams first meeting in history.
For the second week in a row Norcross broke open a close game, this time to defeat Brookwood 32-9 after leading 7-3 at halftime. Norcross scored on five rushing touchdowns, two by Josh Boyd and one each by quarterback AJ Bush, wideout Clinton Lynch and KaDarius Garrett. Norcross was 1-5 on PATs in the game. Jesse Brown scored Brookwood’s lone touchdown via the ground. Norcross will host Lowndes in the quarterfinals in what will be the teams first meeting in history.
Under first-year head coach Welton Coffey, Camden County book-ended their 10-2 season with losses to North Gwinnett and Hillgrove who will meet in the quarterfinals. The Coastal Georgia Wildcats from Kingsland were outscored 68-35 in those losses. Camden County has exited the playoffs with home losses the past four seasons (’10 Hillgrove, ’11 Colquitt County, ’12 Norcross and ’13 Hillgrove). Camden County has won 10 or more games the past 13 seasons and have never lost more than two games in a season during that span.
Lovejoy’s losses came to Region 1-6A opponents Colquitt County and Lowndes by a combined nine points. Lovejoy is 0-3 against Region 1-6A teams the past two seasons. Lovejoy had made the state title game the past two seasons in two different classifications (4A and 6A).
Archer had it’s first undefeated regular season in the schools history and are 1-2 in the playoffs with both losses coming to North Gwinnet