Pick 6 Georgia High School Football Playoff Predictions for Round 3

Here we are with our next group of predictions as we stare at the quarterfinal round of the Georgia high school state football playoffs. Several teams refused to follow the script last week, including the Walton Raiders, who were told they had no chance to go into Buford and defeat the Wolves, but they did just that. Now they must travel to Carrollton and buck the script once again.

A few teams stayed on course, including Sean Calhoun’s Colquitt County Packers. They defeated the Harrison Hoyas in Moultrie last week, forcing a visit from the Bulldogs of North Gwinnett. We have seen some unpredictable things so far in these playoffs – you just never know who’s going to beat who. Speaking of which, let’s see if I have any more upsets for you among these Georgia high school quarterfinal predictions.

Walton at Carrollton

This Class 7A quarterfinal matchup will see Walton travel to Carrollton after the Raiders shocked the state of Georgia last week in a major upset win over the previously undefeated and heavily favored Buford Wolves at Tom Riden Stadium. Carrollton is here after soundly defeating their first two opponents, the Lowndes High Vikings in the opening round, then a solid Marietta Blue Devil team last week, 47-14.

Now, a Walton team fresh off the biggest upset of the season comes into Carrollton ready to show everyone that the victory over the Wolves wasn’t a fluke. However, Carrollton’s freshman sensation Julian “JuJu” Lewis is playing lights out so far this season, and he’ll try to match the senior Raiders quarterback Jeremy Hecklinski throw for throw. For the first of our Georgia high school quarterfinal Pick-6 predictions, I’ll say:

Phil’s Pick: Carrollton 35, Walton 34

North Gwinnett at Colquitt County

Next up in our Georgia high school quarterfinal predictions is North Gwinnett’s visit to the Packers of coach Sean Calhoun. As well as the latter has played this season, they haven’t had to rely too much on luck – but that’s exactly what has given Colquitt the home field advantage in this week’s matchup with coach Bill Stewart’s North Gwinnett Bulldogs. The universal coin toss last week by Dr. Robin Hines means that the Packers stay at the Hawg Pen in this matchup of 7A heavyweights.

Colquitt rolls into the game undefeated and playing its best string of football this season. The Packers defeated the Harrison Hoyas last week, while North Gwinnett survived the pesky Lambert Longhorns by a field goal at their home stadium.

The Bulldogs also are on a pretty good roll, having won seven games in a row since falling to 2-2 after a loss to Parkview back in Week 4. Going on the road shouldn’t bother Stewart’s ’Dogs, as they are undefeated away from home this season. But Colquitt is a different animal – after all, they’re hogs, right?

Phil’s Pick: Colquitt County 31, North Gwinnett 13

Roswell at Thomas County Central

No other team in the state has played more consistently than the Yellow Jackets of Thomas County Central. They have played one of the toughest schedules in the state and have had very little resistance. Their closest game was a 9-point victory over traditional 6A power Lee County, but other than that, the Jackets have made their 12 straight victories look rather easy against mostly very good teams. That includes two dominant playoff wins against Evans and last week over St. Pius, both games in which they scored 49 points.

Roswell has rolled to 11 wins in their first season in Class 6A, which included winning their new region 7-6A. The Hornets’ only loss came against former 7A rival Milton, a game that was a rare low-scoring affair for Chris Prewitt’s team. They have averaged 42 points per game this season, and with Central’s high-octane offense also putting up basically the same number of points per game, this could turn out to be a barn-burner at the Jackets nest.

Phil’s Pick: Thomas County Central 44, Roswell 27

Woodward Academy at Hughes

Last season, it was Hughes that gave Buford all it could handle, right down to the final play of the game, where Hughes was setting up for a potential game-winning field goal attempt. The kick never had a chance and Hughes was denied a state championship.

Now, they are on a mission to get back to the state final game, but they’ll have to get by a talented Woodward Academy team that shut down Lee County last week at College Park. Hughes has one of the state’s most electrifying quarterbacks in junior Prentiss “Air” Noland, but Woodward will counter defensively with safeties River Hanson and CJ Heard.

Phil’s Pick: Hughes 38, Woodward Academy 13

Cedar Grove vs. Calvary Day

Cedar Grove has proven it can play with any team from any classification in the state. That should give the Saints an advantage when it comes to region play and the playoffs – and it has. Their two losses came against 7A powerhouses Mill Creek and Colquitt County, while earning nine wins against the rest of their schedule. That includes playoff victories over Bremen and Hebron Christian.

Cedar Grove is seeking to defend its state title from a year ago, when they defeated Carver-Atlanta by 30 points. Calvary Day is undefeated at 11-0 after two impressive playoff wins so far, including last week’s 54-41 shootout win over the Dougherty Trojans. But to defeat the Saints, they’ll need a truly herculean effort.

Phil’s Pick: Cedar Grove 33, Calvary Day 23

Ware County vs. Calhoun

Our Pick-6 predictions conclude with a Georgia high school quarterfinal matchup Gator fans have been waiting for since last season, when Ware County was stunned at home by the Yellow Jackets 49-42. That put an end to a season that had the Gators as one of the favorites to go all the way. This game gives Ware County and its fans a chance at redemption.

Ware is undefeated and led by quarterback Nikao Smith, a junior who has thrown for over 2,000 yards so far this season, his first as the Gators starter. Calhoun is not quite the dominant team it was when these teams met last year, but they didn’t make it to the quarterfinals by accident. They won Region 7-5A despite a loss to 5-5 Hiram a week after upsetting Cartersville in overtime. That was the lone loss for the Purple Hurricanes. Does any of that matter in this battle of teams who know each other about as well as two opponents can? Not really.

Phil’s Pick: Ware County 35, Calhoun 14 

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