Fall finally decided to bring its chill to Georgia Friday night as temperatures dropped into the 40s and lower in many areas. Sixteen Class A teams also felt a different type of chill as their seasons ended in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.
In 14 of the 16 Class A games, the higher-seeded team won. Hancock Central whipped Eagles Landing Christian Academy 20-12 in one "upset", while Savannah Country Day surprised Turner County 38-36 in a nail-biter.
The most shocking score of the night may belong to the Miller County at Portal game, where the Panthers sunk the Pirates' ship 56-3.
Other than the SCD-Turner game, the closest contest of the first round happened in Commerce, where the Tigers started a freshman QB and edged Trion 13-7. The Tigers regular QB had shoulder surgery during the week and is out 4 weeks. With the win, Commerce will visit Lincolnton next Friday to play our Red Devils, 53-0 winners over OLM.
Our Projected Bracket has been updated to include all Round 1 winners and scores, and our picks for round two.
Aquinas almost made it a clean sweep of 5-A by 7-A, but fell to 5-A Champ Landmark Christian 20-12. We congratulate the Irish on a great season, and expect them to be competitive for years to come.
Next week's games will be more competitive than in the first round. Headlining the list is the next chapter in the Commerce-Lincoln County rivalry as the Tigers visit Buddy Bufford Field. The Devils nipped the Tigers earlier in the year, but that matters not in the playoffs. Commerce will have another week to get their running backs healthy and their freshman QB more practice. This game should draw a huge crowd.
Washington-Wilkes easily whipped Whitefield Academy 36-6, but their playoff road takes a turn uphill as the Tigers must travel to Slaughter Field for Round 2 By-The-Pond.
Twiggs County must leave the comfy confines of their Pit to visit Darien and McIntosh County Academy. Both teams won big in Round 1. The winner of this game will meet the Lincoln/Commerce winner in the third round. If Lincoln wins: a game with McIntosh would be in Darien, while a game with Twiggs would be in Lincolnton.
Once-beaten Randolph-Clay will slosh through the swamp to take on Clinch County. The Panthers seem to be getting stronger, and they always step up their game when playing any set of Red Devils.
Bremen will travel to Fairburn to tackle Landmark, and Hancock Central goes to Bowdon. Pacelli hosts Savannah Country Day, and Hawkinsville will be waiting on Portal to arrive.
For fans of other area teams: Thomson was stunned by Westover 26-14 to abruptly end the T-Dawg season. Washington County walloped Troup County 34-17 and will host Westover nextt Friday. , and would play at Thomson in the second round, should both win their first round contests. Evans lost to Creekside 34-6.