A battle of the top two ranked high school football teams in Class 3A is set for Friday at 8:00 pm at Godfrey Stadium as the No. 1 ranked Cedar Grove Saints host the No. 2 ranked Calvary Day Cavaliers in a game set to be televised on Peachtree TV.
Cedar Grove (9-2) is coming off a 70-33 victory over Hebron Christian in the second round of the state playoffs as they put up 300 yards rushing for the second consecutive playoff game.
The ground attack was led by Boden Walker (12 carries, 157 yards, 1 TD) who for the second game in a row scored on his first touch of the game going 65 yards for the opening touchdown. Boden is one yard away from the career 1,000-yard rushing mark. DeMarcus Smith added 13 carries for 100 yards.
Sophomore EJ Colson moved over the career 3,000 yards passing milestone with his 240 yards on 16 of 20 passing with 5 touchdowns against Hebron Christian in the second-round win.
Colson connected with Miami Jones seven times for 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Barry Jackson for two touchdowns and 54 yards on just two receptions. Jackson has surpassed the career 1,100 yards receiving mark this season with his 40 receptions and 754 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season.
Calvary, the Region 3-3A champ, has held opponents to an average of just under 10 points on the season and racked up 114.5 tackles for a loss on the season. Junior defensive end Jordan Davis (90 tackles) leads the way with 20 tackles for a loss alone with sophomore defensive tackle Walter Mathis (18.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks).
Offensively, the Cavaliers are averaging 360 yards per game almost evening split between rushing and passing. Quarterback Jake Merklinger has thrown for 1,921 yards and 32 touchdowns on the season. His top targets in the passing game are Edward Coleman (26 receptions, 536 yards, 8 TDs), tight end Michael Smith (23 receptions, 595 yards, 12 TDs) and Caden Arnold (21 receptions, 526 yards, 9 TDs).
The top leaders on the ground for the Cavaliers are Antonio Butts (640 yards, 15 TDS) and Trevor Strowbridge (429 yards, 4 TDs).
Cedar Grove, the Region 5-3A champion, is playing just its fourth home game of the season is allowing 20 points per game with two loss coming to Class 7A state contenders Mill Creek and Colquitt County. Linebackers Adonijah Green (52 tackles, 9 sacks, 15 TFL) and Keith Bass (56 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 TFL) lead the Saints. Junior defensive lineman Chase Kerns (39 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 TFL) has put together several big games in the last three weeks.
The Saints are vying to advance to the semifinals for the seventh time in eight seasons after winning their sixth region title in the past seven seasons. Cedar Grove is also trying to defend its 2021 Class 3A state crown in going for a fifth title in seven seasons.
DCSD FOOTBALL STATE PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
Friday, November 25
Calvary Day (11-0) vs. Cedar Grove (9-2), 8:00 pm