On the GHSA side, schools compete in the second round. But in GISA, teams are battling for the right to play for a state championship.
Laney at Carver (Columbus)
It was a memorable win for the Wildcats this past Friday, when they beat Morgan County to win a state playoff game for the first time since 2006. But it's going to be difficult to advance to the next round in Class AA, as Carver is 10-1 -- only loss to Buford -- and has held eight of 11 foes to single digits. Expect Laney's season to end here.
Woodward Academy at Burke County
The Bears (10-1) will match 2010's victory total with a win this week. Burke County continues to win by impressive margins as it gets closer to another semifinal appearance. But it's only the second round in Class AAA, and Woodward has shown it has the ability to score. This is the first meeting, but the Bears' many offensive weapons and solid defense mean there won't be an upset in Waynesboro.
Burke County, 35-17
Clinch County at Lincoln County
At 11-0, the Red Devils should remain unbeaten after this one. QB Denzel Gunby and the offense have scored 35 points or more for four games in a row and are home with a chance to do it again. The Panthers are 8-3 and beat Mitchell County 20-19 in the first round. The programs have met in the state finals twice (1991, 2006) but this game is in the second round.
Lincoln County, 34-14
Aquinas at Wilcox County
The Fighting Irish won a state playoff game for the first time a week ago. To move on from the second round, Aquinas has to knock off the undefeated Patriots. Wilcox County won the state championship back in 2009 and has won by at least 10 points in every game this season.
Wilcox County, 27-13
Jefferson County at Buford
The Warriors, playing as well as any team in the area, have won seven consecutive games after their playoff hopes looked questionable at best at 1-3. But Jefferson County has habitually won the turnover battle, helping it beat three playoff participants in a row. The Warriors have the toughest task out of the remaining local teams. Buford has won the past four state titles and has been destroying foes on a weekly basis.
Brentwood at Piedmont
The two meet for the second time this year, though this confrontation is in the state semifinals. Piedmont won the first easily (36-8) back on Oct. 28, and the Cougars are 11-0 this season. Piedmont is also the defending state champion and holder of a 24-game winning streak.
Edmund Burke at Valwood
Since Nov. 5 of last season, the Spartans (10-1) are 13-0 against teams not named Piedmont. Edmund Burke is one game away from returning to the GISA Class AA state final, where Piedmont is likely to be the opponent again. But the Spartans must first defeat 10-1 Valwood. The Valiants made it to the semifinals a year ago (lost to Piedmont) and have won two of three meetings.
Edmund Burke, 28-21
Thomas Jefferson at Westwood
The Jaguars (10-2) have three 1,000-yard rushers and a quarterback nearing 1,000 passing yards. That offense helped Thomas Jefferson score 55 points in the win against Dawson Street Christian this past week. However, the Wildcats are unbeaten and the defending state champion. These teams, meeting in the GISA Class A semifinals, have split 10 games in the series.