The 12-0 Irish will play Mount Pisgah Christian in the Class A private state semifinals on Friday.
Leonard said the Patriots’ spread offense will lead to a longer game with expected incompletions on both sides. That means health could be even more important.
Aquinas had some injury issues in the quarterfinals, with Ruben Garnett missing most of Friday’s game. The junior hurt his Achilles tendon but is expected to play against Mount Pisgah.
“He’s doing well,” Leonard said about Garnett. “He should be ready to go.”
PLENTY OF POINTS: Washington County hasn’t been stopped yet.
Through 12 games, the undefeated Golden Hawks have scored at least 40 points in all but two games. The high-scoring ways continued in Friday’s 46-17 win against Blessed Trinity in the Class AAA state quarterfinals.
Washington County will be playing at home again in the semifinals when Ringgold comes to town.
The 11-2 Tigers have gotten better defensively in the playoffs. After allowing 54 points in the first round, Ringgold has given up only 22 points combined the next two games.
ONE MORE: There are signs at the entrance to Silver Bluff that pays tribute to the school’s five football championships and other achievements.
The Bulldogs are hoping to add another one Friday when they take on old nemesis Batesburg-Leesville in the Class AA Division II championship game.
Silver Bluff defeated the Panthers in the 2001 Class AA title game. The victory was the second of back-to-back titles that featured future NFL player Troy Williamson and a 30-game winning streak.
That was Silver Bluff’s last trip to the finals. Now, after losing in the Lower State finals the past two seasons, the Bulldogs got over the hump with a 14-7 overtime victory against Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
But coach Al Lown, who won his 200th game Friday night, wasn’t too worried about the title game as players and fans celebrated.
“It’ll be a hard-fought contest,” he said. “We’re just going to enjoy ourselves tonight.”
Staff writer John Boyette contributed to this story.