Henry County needed a win over Eastside in both team's regular season finale to make the playoffs.
Warhawks senior quarterback Chris Moody made sure his senior season didn't end without a postseason berth. A highly-talented athlete, Moody showed why several major colleges have extended scholarship offers as a dual-threat quarterback.
Moody rushed for a school-record 264 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown in a 34-24 win to earn a playoff berth. He scored one touchdown in the win. It was a 61-yard quarterback keeper on the second play of an ensuing drive that seemed to have shifted the momentum toward the Warhawks in the game.
Down 10-6, Moody's run set up the go-ahead touchdown. From there, Henry County would take control of the game.
Running back/linebacker Keyante Green tried but wasn't able to play on his strained groin in the Region 5-A championship game last Friday, and the Chargers may have to do without him again this week, when they host Mount Paran Christian at home in the first round of the Class A playoffs. But they learned that Joe Walker, Sebastian Hicks and Dalton Etheridge are all capable of picking up the slack, as they did in last week's 21-17 victory over Holy Innocents'.
While Green, who has rushed for over a 1,000 yards in his first two seasons at ELCA, he has 737 this season while missing parts of two games because of the groin injury.
Against Holy Innocents', Hicks finished with 48 yards to give him 433 on the season. Hicks didn't have any carries in Friday's win, but has 253 yard rushing this season. Etheridge, who also plays quarterback, had 33 yards in the region championship game to give him 135 on the season.
Lovejoy's defense, which shut out seven opponents this season, can expect a tough test from first-round opponent Upson-Lee, which features the first quarterback in school history to gain 1,000 yards in a season. Corey Moss went into last week's regular-season finale on a 115-yard a game average.
LOVEJOY'S SPECIAL TEAMS
While the Lovejoy defensive has been credited with nine shutouts this season, the special teams have also come up big. In the regular season finale against Riverdale, the Wildcats blocked a punt, which gives them 15 on the season. Overall, the special teams have recorded 17 blocked kicks.
Jonesboro hasn't beaten its first-round opponent since 1981. It's not that it's been that long since the Cardinals met Griffin, but their last win against the Bears was a 7-6 decision that was followed by 18 consecutive losses — only one of which came by fewer than 10 points. Jonesboro is 2-36 all-time against Griffin, which would've missed the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons except for its performance against Whitewater in the Region 3-AAAA play-in game.
Team Postseason record
Eagle's Landing Christian 5-7
Henry County 4-7
North Clayton 11-15