Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy coach Al Hughes will lead his team against Marietta, which upset Lowndes last week in Valdosta.
Marietta vs. Lovejoy
When, where: Today, Twelve Oaks Stadium, Hampton
Records, rankings, seeding: Marietta is 8-3 and unranked; the Blue Devils are the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAAAAA. Lovejoy is 10-1 and ranked No. 7; the Wildcats are the No. 1 seed from Region 2-AAAAAA.
Scouting report: Marietta hasn’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 1994, and has compiled a 4-8 record in the state playoffs since 1999. Marietta is the last Cobb County team to win a state title hen it won the 1967 championship. The program is 31-27 all-time in the postseason. The Blue Devils have one of the top quarterback prospects in the state in Anthony Jennings, who has committed to LSU. On the season, he has passed for 2,178 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 719 yards and nine touchdowns. Blue Devils running back KirVonte Benson has rushed for nine touchdowns.
What’s next: Winner plays the Grayson-North Gwinnett winner in the quarterfinals.
Union Grove at Ware County
When, where: Today, Memorial Stadium, Waycross
Records, rankings, seeding: Ware County is 10-1 and No. 8; the Gators are the No. 1 seed from Region 3-AAAAAA. Union Grove is 10-1 and unranked; the Wolverines are the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAAAA.
Scouting report: After opening the season with a seven-point loss to Coffee, the Gators have won 10 straight games. The Gators have yielded only 13 points in their last four games; giving up an average of only eight points per game. This is the third straight season that Ware County has won 10 games, reaching the quarterfinals the last two seasons. Ware County is 11-3 in home playoff games. This is the Wolverines’ first 10-win season since 2002 when they reached the quarterfinals in Class AA. Union Grove is 3-6 in road playoff games. Wolverines senior running back Derrick Craine has 2,001 yards rushing.
What’s next: Winner plays the East Paulding-Stephenson winner in the quarterfinals.
Wayne County at Stockbridge
When, where: Today, Tiger Stadium in Stockbridge
Records, rankings, seeding: Wayne County is 6-4-1 and unranked; the Yellow Jackets are the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAAA. Stockbridge is 10-1 and ranked No. 5; the Tigers are the No. 1 seed from Region 4-AAAA.
Scouting report: Yellow Jackets offensive lineman Glenn Welch was selected to play in the annual Georgia Athletic Coaches Association’s North-South Classic All-Star game next month in Columbus. This is the first time that Wayne County has advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 1996. The Yellow Jackets last reached the quarterfinals in 1993. Stockbridge has never advanced out of the second round of the playoffs.
What’s next: Winner plays the Carrollton-Marist winner in the quarterfinals.
Our Lady of Mercy at ELCA
When, where: Today, Commitment Field in McDonough
Records, rankings, seeding: Mercy is 6-4 and unranked; the Bobcats are the No. 15 seed in the playoffs. ELCA is 9-1 and ranked No. 1; the Chargers are the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
Scouting report: This is the second meeting this season between the two Region 5-A foes. ELCA won the earlier game 49-0 on Oct. 19 in Fairburn. The Chargers have won all nine of the previous meetings in which they have outscored Mercy 415-78. ELCA will again be without starting quarterback Dalton Etheridge, who is still nursing an ankle sprain. This will mark Mercy’s first-ever playoff appearance.
What’s next: Winner plays the Savannah Christian-Holy Innocents’ winner in the quarterfinals.