The state playoffs were full of interesting matchups last night

Published 4:59 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

It’s always interesting to watch how other high school football teams throughout Georgia fair during playoff season.

During the regular season, I’m so focused on who Bainbridge is playing and what the rest of the region field looks like that I lose track of the rest of the state. The playoffs force us to start looking outside our nook and examine the rest of the class.

I’m writing this column on a Friday morning, so the scores of tonight’s second round games are an unknown. But I can still comment on the second round matchups and what I know about these 15 other teams in Class AAAAA.

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From up around where I hail from, Clarke Central stands at a stout 7-4 after squeezing by Carver 35-32 in the first round. Now the Gladiators travel to Stockbridge, a team at a perfect 11-0 and fresh off a 33-0 whooping against South Effingham last week. The Gladiators were strong when I was growing up, but I understand the last few years haven’t been as good as they would have liked. If things go well, Bainbridge has chance to host them in the semifinals. That is one big “If”.

Griffin, the No.2 team from Region 3-AAAAA, took down Warner Robins last week 56-49. I heard the game was an air raid. Now Griffin is moving on to play Arabia Mountain (10-2) an hour away. Griffin is a strong team with a good passing game. Depending on what Arabia Mountains defensive backs look like, Griffin may be moving to round 3.

Although I gnash my teeth at region competition during the regular season, I always cheer them on during the playoffs. Seeing as how Thomas County Central is the only other team to make it to the second round, I’ll be rooting for them. Carrollton traveled down to South Georgia, and I hope they felt the sting of the Yellow Jackets’ veer offense.

And of course, there’s the Ware County vs. Loganville game, a game that all Bearcat hopefuls have their eyes on. If Loganville wins, and Bainbridge wins, a coin flip will determine where the game is played.  I would absolutely go crazy if Bainbridge hosted the quarterfinals at Centennial Field.