Two-time defending Class 3A state champions Cedar Grove Saints were the lone DeKalb County football team to advance past the first round of the state playoffs with a 28-12 road victory over Monroe Area on Friday night.
Cedar Grove’s defense forced five turnovers (4 fumbles, 1 interception) and scored a touchdown led by senior strong safety Dominique Davis III (13 tackles, 1 fumble caused, 3 fumbles recovered) and junior defensive end Joshua White (8 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks and 1 fumble caused).
Davis made the first big play of the game on Monroe’s opening drive stripping the running back of the football, picking up the loose football at the 20 and returning it for the opening touchdown of the game. Louis Dominguez hit the PAT for the 7-0 lead.
The Saints (3-4) again stopped Monroe (7-3) and took a 14-0 lead on a six-yard pass from Austin Smith to Janiran Bonner, who was making his first appearance of the season after an off season injury. Dominguez was good again on the PAT.
Late in the first quarter a Saints’ turnover led to Monroe’s first score of the game as it set the home team up with a short field. Monroe converted with a six yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good and Cedar Grove took a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.
Quinterio Lawson completed a Saints’ drive in the second quarter with a two-yard run into the end zone and Dominguez’s kick made it a 21-6 advantage.
Monroe closed the gap to 21-12 at the half as another turnover set the Purple Hurricanes up with a short field. The try for the two-point conversion was no good.
Neither team could get on the board in the third period, but late in the fourth quarter when Everett Roussaw intercepted a pass and returned it to the Monroe 25 to set up Cedar Grove’s last touchdown of the night.
The Saints converted a fourth and two and then on a second and goal from the Monroe 7 Ventrilo Dunlap finished off the drive up the middle for seven yards and the touchdown. Dominguez made it a 4-4 night with the PAT’s.
Cedar Grove must go on the road again this Friday at 7:30 pm to take on Rockmart, a 48-35 winner over White County in the first round. Rockmart is led by senior quarterback Javin Whatley who rushed for 264 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 94 yards and two more touchdowns in the win.
Northwest Whitfield 28, Stephenson 24
Northwest Whitfield scored with 10 seconds to play to oust the Stephenson Jaguars from the Class 4A football state playoffs on Saturday afternoon with a come-from-behind 28-24 win.
Stephenson (4-3) rallied from a 13-3 halftime deficit to take a 24-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Terrance Guffie scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and Quashaun Johnson’s touchdown with 41 seconds left in the period made it an 11-point Jaguars’ lead.
Northwest Whitfield (9-2) scored and went for two to pull within 24-21 with 5:02 to play in the game. Stephenson gave up the ball and Northwest Whitfield was sitting at the Jaguar eight-yard line with first and goal and 38 seconds to play.
A pass interference call on Stephenson gave the home team another shot at the score and they put it in the end zone with 10 seconds to play to seal the second half come-back for the win.
Eastside 3, SW DeKalb 0
A field goal with two seconds to play by Eastside ended the Southwest DeKalb Panthers’ high school football season 3-0 in a Class 5A first round playoff battle in Newton County on Saturday night.
The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie threw almost four quarters when Eastside drove the football down inside the Panthers’ 10-yard line to set up the winning kick.
Southwest finished 4-4 on the shortened season.
In other action on Friday, Tucker (3-5) ended its season with a 49-17 loss to Lee County on the road while Martin Luther King (3-6) fell 41-20 to Clarke Central (8-2) in a Class 5A road game.
GHSA STATE PLAYOFFS
Friday, Nov. 27
Lee County (9-1) 49, Tucker (3-5) 17
Clarke Central (8-2) 41, M.L. King (3-6) 20
Cedar Grove (3-4) 28, at Monroe Area (7-3) 12
Saturday, Nov. 28
Eastside (9-2) 3, Southwest DeKalb (4-4) 0
Northwest Whitfield (9-2) 28, Stephenson (4-3) 24
Cedartown (8-2) 1, Arabia Mountain (3-5) 0
DCSD IN GHSA STATE PLAYOFFS
Friday, Dec. 4
CLASS 3A SWEET 16
Cedar Grove (3-4) at Rockmart (10-1), 7:30 pm
Source: DCSD Athletics