The first round of the GHSA state football playoffs have come and gone with just a few area teams left standing.
Pepperell and Rome High will hit the road for their second-round contests Friday, while Darlington and Rockmart will host their games.
In what has become a common occurrence for Rome High, the Wolves will once again face Warner Robins in a playoff matchup on the road.
Friday’s game will make three straight road matchups between the two schools with the Demons knocking the Wolves out of the Class 5A state playoffs 45-28 last season in the semifinals.
Two years ago, the Wolves were victorious against the Demons when they rolled to a 38-0 win in the Class 5A state title game.
The only other time the teams have met was back in 2004 when the Wolves lost 35-32 in the quarterfinals — also in a road contest.
No. 3-ranked Rome (9-2) is on a six-game streak coming into Friday’s game and opened the playoffs with a 52-0 rout over Lithonia in the first round.
No. 2 Warner Robins (10-1), on a seven-game streak, handled Jonesboro 28-7 in the first round.
In the only matchup in Floyd County on Friday night, No. 9 Darlington welcomes Mt. Paran Christian to Chris Hunter Stadium after sitting out the first round with a bye.
The Tigers (9-1) have had some time to regroup after suffering their first loss of the season in a 42-7 loss to Fellowship Christian in the Region 6-A championship game.
With a win against Mt. Paran, the Tigers would reach the quarterfinals of the Class A Private playoffs, which is the furthest Darlington has been able to advance for the past two seasons.
Darlington has lost two straight contests against Mt. Paran, but hasn’t played the Eagles since 2016 when the Tigers fell 24-22. Darlington is 1-2 against the Eagles overall.
The Eagles (6-4), ranked 23 in the Class A Private Power Ratings, eked out a 29-27 upset against Aquinas, ranked 10th in the Power Ratings, last week in the opening round of the playoffs.
After hosting a first-round game in the Class AA playoffs, the Pepperell Dragons will now head out on the road to take on Thomasville in the second round in the first ever meeting between the two schools.
The Dragons (9-2) rolled to a 27-7 win against defending state champion Heard County this past week at Dragon Stadium.
In its first-round contest, Thomasville (7-4) trailed No. 4 seed Dodge County in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 31-26 win.
Also in the Class AA playoffs, Rockmart welcomes Brooks County to The Rock in a matchup of top-10 teams. The top-ranked Yellow Jackets face the No. 7 Trojans, going up against a ranked team for the first time this season.
Keeping their perfect run going last week, the Yellow Jackets (11-0) opened the playoffs with a 24-7 win against Temple. Coming into Friday’s first-ever meeting between Rockmart and Brooks County, the Trojans (7-4) won their first fourth straight game last week in a 42-14 victory against Washington County in the opening round.