MACON, Ga. — The high school football postseason is in full swing. The team at 13WMAZ gathered around the table to discuss the hot topics as the playoffs continue. Lehgo!!!
Biggest shocker from the opening round?
Marvin James: My biggest shocker from the opening round would be Bleckley over Brooks county on the road. Great win for coach Von Lassiter and his program to go to such a hostile hot bed for football and come back victorious.
Frank Malloy: Bleckley County’s road win against defending State Champion Brooks County. BC’s Defense came up huge to knock out a Class A Powerhouse on their home field. I was also impressed watching Telfair County put 62 points on the scoreboard against a pretty good ECI team.
Justin Baxley: Can’t pick Houston County’s upset of the number one seed because we all called that upset in last week’s roundup. But I have to agree with the guys on this one. I think Bleckley County is the answer here. They got perhaps the toughest possible draw in defending state champion Brooks County and the Royal’s defense shut them down and brought the hammer to that matchup.
Which team is more likely to continue its Cinderella run, Bleckley County or HoCo?
Marvin: Houston County is more desirable in my honest opinion because of their powerful balanced attack. Many defenses aren’t prepared to see a guy averaging 300-400 yards passing a game spreading it out to several receivers with a running back in Ryan Taleb who can get you 150 all-purpose yards as well.
Frank: I’ll go with Houston County. Bleckley’s reward for knocking out Brooks is a date with a once-beaten Lamar County team in Barnesville while HoCo matches up another Cinderella story – North Atlanta. Quarterback Antwann Hill Jr. is proving he can handle the pressure even in the most extreme situations and his teammates also believe they can win. I actually would not be surprised if both HoCo and Bleckley win.
Justin: I think both of these teams could win in the second round and I am actually picking them both to do so. I think Houston County is probably the right answer and seems like a legit threat to win a few more games. I am going with Bleckley County for no reason other than picking them in the preseason. I believe in sticking to my guns. Bleckley winning the state title was my bold prediction of the year and after knocking off Brooks County it feels like we are playing with house money here.
Round 2 upset special
Marvin: I’ll roll the dice on head coach Jeremy Wiggins and Northeast. I know Appling is preparing to stop Nick Woodford like every other team has this season. But I don’t think it’s going to work. Nick will have a 185-yard game to help drive the Raiders to victory.
Frank: I feel like Putnam County can make the trip to Ben Hill County and come away with a win over unbeaten and defending State Champion Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald knocked Putnam out of the playoffs last year in Eatonton and the War Eagles would like nothing better than to return the favor. Also don’t overlook Northeast’s chances to take down a very, very good Appling County team Friday night in Baxley but the Raiders will have to play a near-perfect game to win.
Justin: I am all in on Northeast this week. The Raiders have one of the best players in the state. I think it makes them one of the most dangerous teams. It will take a monumental effort to knock off a really good Appling County team on the road in Baxley (not my hometown despite my last name). But this is a team that seems to play up when it comes to top competition. They nearly knocked off Fitzgerald earlier this season and hung with Mary Persons til the weather cancellation. It is Eastside out loud this week.
What team's path is clearest to Atlanta after the first round?
Marvin: Hard for me to see that any team has the clearest path to Atlanta for the state championships with so many quality teams left but I do like Perry’s odds but also like the road warrior mentality of Houston County. North Atlanta this week and the possibility of Spaulding/Gainesville the next week then Marist or Northside rematch with Rome looming. Again not a cake walk but their offense is a potential threat for upsets.
Frank: I’m not sure any Central Georgia team has a smooth road to the state finals. I really like Perry’s chances to get to Atlanta but the Panthers will have to beat a good Wayne County team this Friday and then in all likelihood North Oconee in the Third Round. If they can accomplish that double then there’s a great chance they hoist the Hardware next month.
Justin: Perry has the best odds of anyone in Central Georgia but like the guys said it is never a clear path. If Northeast can upset Appling County don’t be shocked to see them have a more open path going forward.