Lincoln County, the top-ranked team in Class A, will take to the road for the first time Friday in the Class A quarterfinals. Its opponent will take to the air for the 13th time this season.
Fourth-ranked Metter (11-1) is led by quarterback Zach Standford, who has thrown for over 3,000 yards this season and 6,000 for his career, according to Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell. It'll be a new look against the Red Devils.
"(We haven't seen) one like that," Campbell said. "They've got a couple of great wide receivers ... so it'll be quite a challenge."
While the Tigers and Red Devils represent two of the top four teams in the final poll of the season, Campbell said the rankings really don't matter this season.
"I think any of these teams can win it," Campbell said. "I've been here a long time and this is as many good football teams I've seen in Class A in a long while."
WASHINGTON COUNTY: The Golden Hawks' shot at revenge against Gainesville won't materialize as expected this week.
It's not because of anything they did. Washington County pitched its eighth shutout of the season against Fitzgerald. But the Red Elephants - ranked No. 1 in Class AAA - were stunned 16-6 by Westminster.
"All of us as coaches are cautious about predicting who's next," said Golden Hawks coach Rick Tomberlin, whose team lost to Gainesville in the quarterfinals last season. "You really never know. I won't say I'm not surprised, but it hasn't shocked me."
His team's effort so far isn't surprising him, either. After Friday's 42-0 win, he compared this team's defense to the unit led by Takeo Spikes in 1994. A day later, he still hadn't changed his mind.
"They have a lot of pride on defense," Tomberlin said. "The turnovers we forced last night, one was a great play and the others were after great hits. I think they like (the comparison)."
SWAINSBORO: Shane Williamson knows what his third-ranked Tigers are up against when they travel to play No. 4 LaGrange (11-1) in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
"LaGrange has a great program, not just a great team, but a great program," Williamson said. "It's definitely going to be a big test. We're definitely going to be the underdog.
"I heard their defense is extremely tough."
Swainsboro (10-0-2) mustered 235 total yards in its 25-7 win over Mary Persons. The Tigers rushed 43 times for 188 yards with senior running back Albert Webb leading the way (30 carries, 136 yards).
Williamson said the offensive line must improve its blocking to help open up holes for Webb.
"We've got to get better as the week goes on," he said. "We just have to be physical on the football field."