The 16th annual DeKalb County Middle School Football Trail to the Title playoffs kickoff the first round on Saturday as eight teams vie to move into the semifinals.
First round action starts at 9:00 am on Saturday with a doubleheader at Avondale Stadium as Miller Grove (6-0) faces off with Stephenson (4-2).
Miller Grove enters as the Region 3 champion and opened the season with a bang by defeating both 2018 champion Bethune (28-14) and runner-up Tucker (40-0) to get out to a 2-0 start. The Wolverines then reeled off four consecutive Region 3 wins over Redan (38-16), Freedom (32-8), Salem (22-14) and Lithonia (20-6) to give the team its first undefeated season since 2009 and fifth overall.
Stephenson comes in as the No. 2 seed from Region 2 having won its final three games of the season to qualify. Stephenson knocked off Stone Mountain (40-0), Druid Hills (28-0) and Renfroe (32-6).
The second game at Avondale has undefeated Cedar Grove (6-0) lining up against first time playoff entry Sequoyah (2-4) in a 10:30 am kickoff.
Cedar Grove put together an undefeated season for the first time since 2015 championship and fifth overall. The Saints opened with a big 14-6 win over Stephenson, their second consecutive over the Jaguars dating back to last year’s first round playoff upset victory. The six points would be just one-third of the 18 Cedar Grove would allow in the season which included shutouts of Tucker (36-0), Columbia (36-0) and Chapel Hill (30-0).
Sequoyah is making the team’s first-ever appearance in the Trail to the Title playoffs. A big 40-6 win over Tucker helped propel the Chieftains into the matchup with Cedar Grove.
North DeKalb Stadium hosts the other two first round games with Region 1 champ Henderson (6-0) taking on defending champion Bethune (3-3) at 12:00 pm.
Henderson is coming off its first-ever undefeated regular season and has allowed just six points, a 38-6 win over Druid Hills in the opener, on the way to a 6-0 mark. Henderson did not give up a point in Region 1 action.
Bethune got off to a tough 0-2 start on the season with loses to Champion (32-0) and Miller Grove (28-14), but bounced back to win three of their last four games to make the playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of Region 4. Bethune allowed just six points in wins over McNair (22-0), Chapel Hill (10-6) and Columbia (16-0). The only loss in the final four weeks came at the hands of Region 4 champ Cedar Grove (16-6).
The first round finale pits Region 2 winner Champion (6-0) against Region 3 runner-up Salem (4-2) at 1:30 pm at North DeKalb.
Champion put together its first undefeated regular season, including a first-ever victory over Stephenson (24-14) to start region play. The Chargers shutout three opponents including Bethune (32-0), Druid Hills (42-0) and Stone Mountain (38-0).
Winners advance to the semifinals at Godfrey Stadium on Saturday, October 26. The finals are set for 11:00 am on Saturday, November 2 at Adams Stadium.
SATURDAY, OCT. 19 – FIRST ROUND
GAME 1: MILLER GROVE (6-0) VS. STEPHENSON (4-2), 9:00 AM
GAME 2: CEDAR GROVE (6-0) VS. SEQUOYAH (2-4), 10:30 AM
NORTH DEKALB STADIUM
GAME 3: HENDERSON (6-0) VS. BETHUNE (3-3), 12:00 PM
GAME 4: CHAMPION (6-0) VS. SALEM (4-2), 1:30 PM
SATURDAY, OCT. 26 – SEMIFINALS
GAME 5: GAME 1 WINNER VS. GAME 2 WINNER, 10:30 AM
GAME 6: GAME 3 WINNER VS. GAME 4 WINNER, 12:00 PM
SATURDAY, NOV. 2 – CHAMPIONSHIP
GAME 7: GAME 5 WINNER VS. GAME 6 WINNER, 11:00 AM