The Stephenson Jaguars and Columbia Eagles open the playoffs on Friday to kick off the 2022 GHSA High School Football State Playoffs for six DeKalb County entries.
Stephenson (6-3) plays host to the Pace Academy Knights (8-2) at Hallford Stadium on Friday at 7:30 pm to open the Class 4A state playoffs in the first ever meeting between the two teams.
The Jaguars are the Region 6-4A runners-up following a 42-13 win over Southwest DeKalb last week. Miller Grove’s win over Westminster sealed a home game for Stephenson. The Jaguars are led on offense by the running back duo of Devin Ingram (157 carries, 1061 yards, 14 TDs) and Cheik Keita (83 carries, 564 yards, 7 TDs) as the pair both went for over a hundred yards against Southwest DeKalb.
Junior linebacker Kaleb Bristow anchors the defense for Stephenson with a team leading 85.5 tackles through eight games. He has 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, one fumble caused and one fumble recovery on the season.
Columbia (7-3) at North Cobb Christian (9-1)
Columbia wrapped up the regular season with a 44-0 win over Towers last weekend to improve to 7-3 on the season and the No.3 seed out of Region 5-2A in tow.
The Eagles travel to Kennesaw to take on North Cobb Christian on Friday at 7:30. North Cobb’s only loss was a 30-12 defeat at the hands of undefeated South Atlanta (9-0). Columbia has rushed for over 2,500 yards on the season led by Royce Tolbert (114 carries, 949 yards, 7 TDs) with Lamaze Williams (4 TDs), Roland Edwin (4 TDs) and quarterback Elijah Morgan (7 TDs) all with over 400 yards rushing each. Morgan has also thrown for 1,036 yards and 10 touchdowns with Jadan Baugh accounting for 398 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Baugh has also rushed for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Columbia’s defense is led by a trio of defensive lineman piling up sacks and tackles for losses in senior defensive end Kenyon Partridge (13 sacks, 18 TFL), junior defensive end Arlando George (11 TFL) and junior defensive lineman Edwin Moore (13 TFL).
It is the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Three Class 5A games and one Class 3A game is on tap for Saturday for DeKalb playoff entries with No. 1 ranked Cedar Grove Saints (7-2) hosting Bremen (5-5) playing at 4:00 pm at Godfrey Stadium to start the day.
The Saints have defeated the No. 3 (Sandy Creek, 49-34) and No. 4 ranked (Carver-Atlanta, 21-2) Class 3A teams to finish the regular season as the Region 5-3A champion. Quarterback EJ Colson (2,018 passing yards, 21 TDs; 259 yards rushing, 8 TDs) triggers the offense for the Saints. His top targets are seniors Barry Jackson (38 receptions, 700 yards, 5 TDs) and Ricky Lee (27 receptions, 538 yards, 6 TDs) and freshman Devin Carter (20 receptions, 334 yards, 6 TDs). Junior Demarcus Smith (4 TDs) and sophomore Boden Walker (5 TDs) have both rushed for 300 yards on the season.
Senior outside linebacker Adonijah Green has 8 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss to lead the Saints defense. Defensive tackle Kyle Mosely has 41 tackles, including 4 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss.
Chamblee (7-2) vs. McIntosh (5-5)
The Chamblee Bulldogs were one play away from being the Region 4-5A champs but finished as the No. 2 and host Region 3-5A No. 3 seed McIntosh in a 6:30 pm game at North DeKalb Stadium.
Chamblee is led by senior quarterback Fabian Walker who has 5,334 yards passing (5th in DeKalb history) for his career and 63 touchdown passes (3rd in DeKalb). His has thrown for 1,820 yards this season with 22 touchdowns while also rushing for 424 yards and 11 more touchdowns. Senior Levi Bradham is his top target on the season with 31 receptions for 472 yards and 6 touchdowns and junior Tristian Sizemore had 28 catches for 441 yards and 6 touchdowns. Larry Harris has rushed for over 500 yards and has 7 touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Mason Carrington (76 tackles, 3 sacks, 7 TFL) and junior defensive end Quay Wright (57 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 23 TFL) anchor the Bulldog defense.
McIntosh is coming off a regular season ending 21-17 win over Harris County to get the No. 3 seed. This is the first meeting between the two Class 5A schools.
Arabia Mountain (5-5) at Northgate (4-6)
A road trip to Newnan is on the agenda for the Arabia Mountain Rams as the Region 4-5A No. 3 seed takes on Region 3-5A No. 2 seed Northgate on Saturday at 7:30 pm.
Senior running back Solomon Rayton has almost 1,600 career rushing yards with 755 this season with 5 touchdowns to lead the Rams ground attack. Sophomore quarterback Julian Shanks (197-99-5) has almost 1,200 yards passing with 16 touchdowns. Receivers Daniel Ndukwe (4 TDs), Jaiden Figaro (2 TDS) and Jordan Miller (4 TDs) all have over 200 yards receiving on the season.
Junior defensive lineman Kendal Brown (3 sacks, 13.5 TFL) anchors the defense along with fellow junior defensive lineman Brandon Scott (4.5 sacks, 8.5 TFL). Junior linebacker Daniel Turpin (40 tackles, 5 sacks, 10.5 TFL) and sophomore Malcom Snipes (53 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT) are the team leaders in tackles.
Northgate finished its season on a two-game streak defeating Harris County (28-3) and Drew (42-7) to secure the No. 2 seed. This is the first meeting between the two programs.
Tucker (4-6) vs. Northside-Columbus (9-1)
Another road game for a DeKalb team has the Region 4-5A No. 4 seed Tucker Tigers heading to Columbus to take on Northside with kickoff set for 7:30 pm.
The Tigers are coming off a tough 14-13 loss to Arabia Mountain that relegated them to the No. 4 seed. Tucker doubled its win total from a year ago and kept a 16-year playoff streak alive. Tucker is led by junior running back Jordan McCoy (135 carries, 1038 yards, 14 TDs) who has played in just seven of the 10 games this season. His stable mate in the backfield is senior Ethan Sanders (94 carries, 532 yards, 9 TDs) who is great compliment to the speedy McCoy.
Junior defensive end Christopher Jackson is a catalyst for the defense with 9 sacks and 6 tackles for a loss through nine games while senior defensive end Nakobi Spurrier has racked up 34 tackles (5 sacks, 6 TFL).
Northside is riding an eight-game win streak coming into the first-round playoff matchup against Tucker. The Patriots ended the season with a 57-14 win over McIntosh. This is the first meeting between two perennial playoff teams.
DCSD FOOTBALL – PLAYOFF FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 11
Pace Academy (8-2) vs. Stephenson (6-3), Hallford, 7:30 pm
Columbia (7-3) at North Cobb Christian (9-1), 7:30 pm
Saturday, Nov. 12
McIntosh (5-5) vs. Chamblee (7-2), North DeKalb 6:30 pm
Bremen (5-5) vs. Cedar Grove (7-2), Godfrey Stadium, 4:00 pm
Arabia Mountain (5-5) at Northgate (4-6), 7:30 pm
Tucker (4-6) at Northside-Columbus (9-1), 7:30 pm