The top-ranked teams held serve in Class AAAAA on Friday, leaving No. 1 Buford, No. 2 Stockbridge, No. 4 Rome and No. 5 Kell in the semifinals. No. 3 Carrollton was eliminated by Buford.
That means the semifinals will feature Kell (11-2) at Buford (12-1) and Stockbridge (13-0) vs. Rome (11-2). Rome and Stockbridge had a coin flip early Saturday morning to determine the site.
The winners will meet for the championship.
Rome 42, Ware County 13: The Rome defense sacked Ware County quarterback Jemar Lincoln six times and allowed only three first downs over the final three quarters. Rome was led by quarterback Knox Kadum, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Jamious Griffin, who ran 22 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Kell 44, Woodland 29: The Longhorns scored on their first five possessions. Quarterback John Lampley ran for three touchdowns and threw for another. Kell also got an interception return from Noah Woghiren. Woodland, making its deepest foray into the playoffs, to two touchdown passes and a scoring run from quarterback Reid Larsen.
Stockbridge 41, Griffin 34: Stockbridge was able to get ahead 28-7 early and hang on to beat the explosive Bears. Quarterback Kenderick Duncan scored on a touchdown run and threw a pair of touchdowns to Marquez Ezzard, who also ran for a score. John Brown also had a touchdown for the Tigers. Griffin quarterback Tylan Morton ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more.
Buford 34, Carrollton 27: The Wolves overcame numerous mistakes in the kicking game – a blocked punt, a bad snap on a punt and a missed extra point – to survive the scare. Christian Turner, who has been hampered by a high ankle sprain all season, showed he’s healthy again by rushing for 276 yards and four touchdowns. Carrollton quarterback Mark Wright threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 41 yards and one touchdown.