Cedar Grove, Greater Atlanta Christian, Peach County and Calhoun began the season ranked in the top four in Class AAA.
They’ll finish that way after rolling through the quarterfinals on Friday night as they’ve done all season.
The big four are 40-0 against other Class AAA opponents. Only one game has been decided by fewer than 17 points (Calhoun’s 28-20 win over Monroe Area in the second round). The quarterfinals weren't any different.
Here is how the beats went down:
-Cedar Grove, the defending champion, defeated Pike County 28-0. No opponent has come within 20 points of the Saints this season. That was their fifth shutout. The most points they’ve allowed is 14. Pike had the classification’s leading rusher, C’Bo Flemister.
-Calhoun defeated Liberty County 31-7. Calhoun is in the semifinals for the eighth time in 10 seasons.
-Peach County defeated Westminster 45-15. Peach is in the semifinals for the second straight season, seeking its first state title since 2009.
-Greater Atlanta Christian beat Jenkins 51-14. That’s a shining example of the gap between the big four and the rest. Jenkins, entering with a 12-0 record, was ranked No. 5.
Though they’ve not faced each other this year, the big four are familiar with each other. The semifinals will be rematches from the 2016 playoffs. Peach County will travel to Greater Atlanta Christian, and Calhoun will go to Cedar Grove.
Cedar Grove won at Calhoun 47-21 in the 2016 quarterfinals while GAC won at Peach 13-7 in the semifinals. If the 2016 losers are to get their revenge, they must do it on the road. If the home teams win next week, that will produce a rematch of the 2016 title game – Cedar Grove vs. GAC. Cedar Grove won that one 30-19.