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Kell, Hillgrove Go Down; A Huge Battle Set In Tyrone And More: The Top Five Georgia High School Sports Stories

The quarterfinals took place this past Friday and there was an overtime thriller down in Valdosta, a team that got revenge and another team proving they are the real deal. With the semifinals taking place Friday there are two games that are set to be classics. Folks, I give you the top five Georgia High School Sports Stories.

5. Lowndes goes down in overtime.

Lowndes has been to the quarterfinals many times, so they were  coming into the game against Collins Hill with the confidence they need in order to win and move on. But Collins Hill is one of the hottest teams in AAAAA, winning nine consecutive games after starting the season 1-3. They made it 10 wins in-a-row as they defeat the Vikings 31-28 in overtime. Collins Hill QB Taylor Hienicke played out of his mind in the win, completing 34 of 57 passes with 388 yards and four touchdowns. He is going to have to play big again as the Eagles take on Brookwood in the semifinals Friday night. As for Lowndes, the loss snaps a 17 game home playoff win streak and will look to bounce back next season.

4. Wesleyan gets their revenge on Wilcox County.

Wesleyan won the Class A title in 2008 and looked to do the same in 2009, but Nick Marshall and Wilcox County took down the Wolves 20-15 in the quarterfinals and Wilcox went on to win the state title. This past Friday, Wesleyan took on Wilcox again at their home turf and the Wolves got their revenge with a 45-28 win. Wovles' running back Kyle Karempelis ran over the Wilcox defense, running for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall had a game also, throwing for three touchdowns and intercepting two passes, but he fumbled at the Wilcox 36-yard line which led to a Wesleyan score and that changed the game. Wesleyan will face Savannah Christian in the semifinals while Wilcox's run at back-to-back titles comes to an end.

3. Cobb County comes empty handed again.

Just when  you think Cobb County was going to bring home a state title in football, they just fall short yet again. Kell lost to Statesboro 17-7 and Hillgrove's miracle run falls short as they lose to Brookwood 45-35. Kell finishes the year at 12-1 and Hillgrove ends with a 11-2 record. The last time a team from Cobb County that has won a state title was when Marietta won in 1967. Walton came close when they reached the semifinals in 2004 and 2007 and Harrison come close in 2000 when they reached the championship game. With me being a graduate of Walton, I can only hope the drought will end soon.

2. Buford and Lovett go at it again

This is becoming one of the better rivalries in the state as region foes Buford and Lovett go at it to see who will reach the finals. The last time Buford and Lovett played each other in the playoffs was in 2007 when Buford took down the Lions in the finals 50-0. Lovett took down Buford in a 2009 regular season game and that was the first loss for the Wolves since 2006. Can Lovett take down the powerhouse or will Bufocd move on and try to win their fourth consecutive title? It should be a very good game regardless.


1. Peach Co. vs. Sandy Creek: Shouldn't this be a finals matchup

Peach Co. won the AAA state title last year and have won the last 28 games. Sandy Creek won the AAAA title last year and have dominated since dropping down to AAA (they have also won 27 consecutive games). Friday night is when these two titans will battle to see who will reach the AAA finals. It's safe to say this has the makings to be a classic and should be a game the whole state will play close attention to.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.