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FOOTBALL: Capsules for Nov. 17

Football

Football

SOUTHWEST DEKALB (8-3) AT ROME (11-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Southwest DeKalb is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-5A; Rome is the No. 1 seed from Region 7-5A

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Southwest DeKalb defeated Banneker 35-17 in the first round; Rome defeated Cedar Shoals 63-13

HISTORY: Both teams met in the first round of the 2006 Class 4A state playoffs. Rome won 42-14.

OUTLOOK: Rome learned the value of focusing on the present last week when Cedar Shoals stayed with the Wolves through the first half of the first-round playoff game. Southwest DeKalb comes into town hoping to take advantage of Rome’s secondary by unleashing preseason all-state quarterback Justin Tomlin. First, they’ll have to hold back the Wolves’ top-rated defensive line, which has been a big part of Rome’s 23-game winning streak.

RN-T PICK: Rome by 28

NEXT UP: Winner of Bainbridge-Starr’s Mill

PEPPERELL (8-3) AT HEARD COUNTY (10-1)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Pepperell is the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AA; Heard County is the No. 1 seed from Region 5-AA

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Pepperell defeated Banks County 57-0 in the first round; Heard County defeated South Atlanta 42-3

HISTORY: Both teams met in the first round of the 2013 Class AA state playoffs. Heard County won 27-14.

OUTLOOK: Starting the postseason with the biggest win of the year is a good omen for the Pepperell Dragons. Now they will have to funnel that momentum into a solid effort against the No. 8-ranked Braves. Heard County features Ohio State commit Emory Jones at quarterback and has looked to its defense to create opportunities in games. Pepperell will be without Cameron Miles but still has plenty of weapons to spread the ball out and take charge.

RN-T PICK: Pepperell by 10

NEXT UP: Winner of Dublin-Thomasville

DARLINGTON (7-4) AT AQUINAS (7-3)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Darlington is the No. 13 seed in the Class A Private power rankings; Aquinas is No. 4

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Darlington defeated Mount de Sales 26-3 in the first round; Aquinas received a bye

HISTORY: This will be the first meeting for both teams.

OUTLOOK: It’s a brand new attitude for the Darlington Tigers after securing a confident win to start the playoffs. Running back Tijai Whatley ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns last week after taking a week off to nurse a slight injury. Augusta-based Aquinas is fresh off a first-round bye and has a multifaceted offense capable of running and passing the ball efficiently. Darlington’s defense will have to step up to give the Tigers’ offense a window.

RN-T PICK: Darlington by 6

NEXT UP: Winner of Whitefield Academy-Prince Avenue Christian


CALLAWAY (10-1) AT ROCKMART (9-2)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Rockmart is the No. 1 seed from Region 7-AA; Callaway is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Callaway defeated Douglass 28-8 in the first round; Rockmart defeated Monticello 47-7

HISTORY: Callaway is 6-1 all time against Rockmart. They last met in a regular season game in 2015. Callaway won 37-0.

OUTLOOK: A showdown at The Rock between two former region foes will be a true test of just how far Rockmart has come in the last two seasons under head coach Biff Parson. The Jackets have speed and the ability to adjust to other teams quickly, not to mention junior running back Zabrion Whatley, who has rushed for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. Callaway comes out of a tough Region 5-AA and comes prepared on defense.

RN-T PICK: Rockmart by 8

NEXT UP: Winner of Brooks County-Dodge County

CEDARTOWN (10-1) AT MARIST (11-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Cedartown is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-4A; Marist is the No. 1 seed from Region 7-4A

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Cedartown defeated Northwest Whitfield 47-14 in the first round; Marist defeated Madison County 38-14

HISTORY: Marist is 5-4 all time against Cedartown. They last met in the first round of the 1995 Class 3A state playoffs. Cedartown won 24-21.

OUTLOOK: It’s been 22 years since these teams last met on the gridiron, and they will have much to discuss once the whistle blows tonight. The Bulldogs won their first playoff game since 2002 last week and have a full head of steam going into Atlanta to face the War Eagles. Cedartown came up big on defense last week and will need to keep that mentality as they face traditional power Marist and its longtime head coach Alan Chadwick.

RN-T PICK: Marist by 13

NEXT UP: Winner of Cairo-Burke County

MONROE AREA (10-1) AT CALHOUN (10-1)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: Monroe Area is the No. 2 seed from Region 8-3A; Calhoun is the No. 1 seed from Region 6-3A

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Monroe Area defeated North Hall 42-7 in the first round; Calhoun defeated Pace Academy 27-3

HISTORY: Both teams met in the first round of the 2016 Class 3A state playoffs. Calhoun won 42-0.

OUTLOOK: Calhoun attempts to reach its 10th straight quarterfinal by welcoming the Purple Hurricanes back to Phil Reeve Stadium. A year has made a big difference for Monroe Area as it had won just three games prior to last year’s meeting. Still, Calhoun has overcome tough obstacles all season behind quarterback Gavin Gray, who has passed for over 2,600 yards.

RN-T PICK: Calhoun by 21

NEXT UP: Winner of Westside (Macon)-Liberty County

Series history and scores provided by Georgia High School Football Historians Association, GHSFHA.org.