The Class 5A and Class 4A state quarterfinals had it all on Friday night in Georgia. Overtime, excitement and shutdowns.
Two of the four semi-final places in class 5A were earned with overtime wins. Dutchtown defeated Mays 40-34 in overtime and Warner Robins upset Creekside 31-28 in overtime. Ware County will host Dutchtown in the semifinals while Warner Robins will host Cartersville.
In 4A, all four wins were chalk. Bainbridge flirted with an upset from Cedartown before the Bulldogs put together a strong second half to walk away in a 26-21 win. Troup, North Oconee and Benedictine all rolled in their games to round out the Final 4. Cedartown will host North Oconee while Benedictine will host Troup in the 4A semifinals next week.
Check out how each team won their Quarterfinals match in 5A and 4A below:
Class 5A Quarterfinal Results
Ware County 35, Calhoun 0: The Gators’ historic season continued Friday night with a dominant 35-0 shutout from Calhoun. Ware County’s defense continues to break school records, conceding just 83 points this season. The Gators are only allowing 6.9 points per game this season. Dae’Jeaun Dennis was responsible for all five touchdowns and scored all five on the ground. With the win, the Gators advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2015 and welcome Dutchtown with a place in the finals on the line.
Cartersville 56, Coffee 28: Before Coffee could blink, Cartersville was leading 21-0. Her quick start was more than enough to catapult her to a 56-28 win and advance to the Class 5A state semifinals for the second time in three years. Quarterback Paul Gamble had a great night for the Purple Hurricanes. He was responsible for five touchdowns on the night – three rushing and two passing – to help take the lead. The Purple Hurricanes take on Warner Robins in the semifinals next Friday.
Dutchtown 40, May 34 (OT): Eleven lead changes and one overtime later, the Bulldogs are in for their first state semifinals in program history after beating Mays 40-34 in overtime. The Raiders came so close to matching the Bulldogs’ massive excitement. They led 34-31 late in the fourth quarter before a field goal from Bulldog in the final seconds sent the game into overtime. Mays failed to score in overtime and the Bulldogs won the game on a quick touchdown. With the win, Dutchtown will face no. 1 travel in Ware County.
31 Warner Robbins, 28 Creekside (OT): Despite starting the season 1-4, the Demons return to the Class 5A semifinals for the sixth straight season after upsetting Creekside 31-28 in 2nd place on Friday night. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime and tied 28-28 at the end of regular time to send the game into overtime. In overtime, the Grizzlies didn’t score and set up a 31-yard field goal by Daniel Barber that won the game. Two of the Demons’ touchdowns came via a pick-six and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. With the victory, the Demons welcome Cartersville in the semifinals next Friday.
Class 4A Quarterfinal Results
26 Cedartown, 21 Bainbridge: The Bulldogs were unexcited at halftime after trailing hosts Bainbridge 21-13. But the Bulldogs put together a great second half, beating the Bearcats 13-0 to walk away with a 26-21 win. The Bulldogs scored both second-half touchdowns in the third quarter. Xavier Hargrove had a 23-yard touchdown in the third quarter before Harlem Diamond got the winning shot from four yards. With the win, the Bulldogs advance to their second straight 4A Semifinals and will welcome Noth Oconee on the line with a State Finals berth.
Squad 38, Holy Innocents 28: The Tigers return to the state semifinals for the first time since 2018 after beating Holy Innocents 38-28 on Friday night. The loss ends a great season for the Golden Bears, who skipped three classifications this season and come within 10 points of a semifinal appearance. Troup got the job done after scoring 31 unanswered points. Trailing 31-7 at halftime, the Golden Bears rushed back to cut the lead to 31-28 midway through the fourth quarter before Troup ended the game with a late touchdown. Troup will face Benedictine in the semifinals next week.
North Oconee 31, Wayne County 12: The Titans improved to 13-0 in the season on Friday night with another dominant playoff win, 31-12, this time over Wayne County to advance to their second straight Class 5A semifinals. North Oconee narrowly led 10-0 at the break before scoring 21 points in the second half. Dominic Elder scored two quick touchdowns for the Titans to take the lead. The defense was dominant and produced two interceptions, including a 70-yard pick-six for their only first-half touchdown. With the win, the Titans travel to No. 1 seed Cedartown in next week’s semifinals.
Benedictine 34, Stockbridge 14: A strong second half propelled the Cadets into their third consecutive 4A semi-final after Friday night’s 34-14 win over Stockbridge. Stockbridge took an early 7-0 lead and had the game tied at half-time by 2pm before the Cadets rattled off 20 unanswered points in the second half to comfortably win the game. With the win, the Cadets will host Troup with a State Finals spot at stake.